# Do any physicists switch to cooking?

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
dduardo said:
Professional cooks tend to do everything by eye. As an engineer I want reproducible results. If it means using various chemistry equipment to find the perfect ratios so be it.

Test 1: 500ml of milk => Too Dry
Test 2: 520ml of milk => Too Watery
Test 3: 510ml of milk => Just right
Actually, part of the difficulty of being a professional chef is making sure the dishes are reproducible. If someone orders a dish they like, they expect to get the same thing next time too. I think even what they do "by eye" is done fairly accurately...it's just that they have learned to judge amounts quite well by eye.

I can't recall who it was, because it was years ago, but I watched one cooking show where the chef was measuring stuff in the palm of his hand, and at some point stopped and decided to show the audience that when he measures a teaspoon in his hand, it really is a teaspoon, and poured the contents of his hand into a measuring spoon...it was exactly a teaspoon.

Gold Member
Moonbear said:
I can't recall who it was, because it was years ago, but I watched one cooking show where the chef was measuring stuff in the palm of his hand, and at some point stopped and decided to show the audience that when he measures a teaspoon in his hand, it really is a teaspoon, and poured the contents of his hand into a measuring spoon...it was exactly a teaspoon.
Yah I guess when thats all you do for a living, "expert" just doesn't cut it as a description anymore. I remember from time to time seeing cooking shows where the guy would just toss something into his hand and toss it into a pot. I guess now I realize that they're probably not off by more then 10mg every time they do it.

ZapperZ
Staff Emeritus
One usually does not have to be too exact when doing regular cooking. None of my spaghetti sauces or beef strogonoff ever tastes the same, mainly because I make variations to each one every time, but also because I never make any detailed measure of any ingredients. I usually go by feel and tastes.

Where you do have to pay attention to the amount is in baking. Here, accurate measurement is important if you want your souffle not to collapse before you even take it out of the oven.

Zz.

Gold Member
I'm still a bit confused when it comes to ratios in cooking. If you have to say, simmer 1lb of meat for an hour, does that mean you would need 10 hours to do 10lb of meat?

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Pengwuino said:
I'm still a bit confused when it comes to ratios in cooking. If you have to say, simmer 1lb of meat for an hour, does that mean you would need 10 hours to do 10lb of meat?
It would depend on the shape. If you're talking about a thick, roughly spherical roast, it might take 3 or 4 hours, but if it's a flat piece or cut into smaller pieces, it might not take any additional time at all. That might make a fun physics thread for the holiday season to discuss the thermal conduction through a piece of meat.

Gold Member
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_6536,00.html [Broken]

I'm hecka gonna make that today. If i do a good job, maybe ill make liek 40 for christmas when the family comes over. But I don't know how long to cook the meat :P or what half the damn words are!

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Tom Mattson
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Moonbear said:
Uh oh...I guess they forgot their calculator.:rofl:
Pengwuino said:
typical engineers
Calculators? Engineers don't need no stinking calculators. Just set $g=10 m/s^2$ and $\pi=3$.

DocToxyn
Pengwuino said:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_6536,00.html [Broken]
I'm hecka gonna make that today. If i do a good job, maybe ill make liek 40 for christmas when the family comes over. But I don't know how long to cook the meat :P or what half the damn words are!
You really can't go wrong with a recipe that calls for 1/4 cup of bacon drippings.:tongue2: :!!)

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Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
DocToxyn said:
You really can't go wrong with a recipe that calls for 1/4 cup of bacon drippings.:tongue2: :!!)
:rofl: Sounds yummy, but you better make it after you have a big brunch for all the relatives. I don't know how else one manages to have 1/4 cup of bacon drippings for such a recipe unless you eat BLTs for a week. Sounds pretty tasty though.

Gold Member
Tom Mattson said:
Calculators? Engineers don't need no stinking calculators. Just set $g=10 m/s^2$ and $\pi=3$.
And they wonder why I say im amazed that cars actually run now-a-days

rachmaninoff
Pengwuino said:
And they wonder why I say im amazed that cars actually run now-a-days
Better that than having physicists design them.

"Assume the horse is a sphere..."

Gold Member
rachmaninoff said:
"Assume the horse is a sphere..."
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Galileo
Homework Helper
You know, I wanted to try to cook, but I couldn't figure out what those archaic measures meant. Volume measures like 'cup' and 'spoon'. How much does that translate to in SI units anyway?

(I usually go for shoarma)

Monique
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Galileo said:
You know, I wanted to try to cook, but I couldn't figure out what those archaic measures meant. Volume measures like 'cup' and 'spoon'. How much does that translate to in SI units anyway?
(I usually go for shoarma)
You've got a scale on your kitchen counter accurate enought to measure 1,5 grams of salt? The teaspoon method is brilliant

FredGarvin
Calculators? Engineers don't need no stinking calculators. Just set $g=10 m/s^2$ and $\pi=3$.