Heating Christmas puddings

In summary, according to this conversation, cooking time is based upon the surface area and volume of the food being cooked. The time may need to be adjusted depending on the size of the food being cooked, and the oven should be heated to a certain temperature in order to achieve a thermal gradient. If cooking two small bowls of pudding, the oven temp may need to be raised and the time shortened. Pies will cook the same whether made in one batch or two, but doubling a pie crust recipe results in a bad outcome.
  • #1

X=7

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Hello everyone, new member here:smile:.

My sister asked me this today - real-life physics at work!

She's making Christmas pud & the instructions say it takes 8 hours to cook. However, her bowls are too small, so she's made two little ones instead, and she asked how long to allow to cook them (you're not meant to disturb/ examine them while they're cooking). I guessed six hours.

I don't need any complicated formulae, just the ratio of cooking times; is it proportional to the volume, or the surface area:confused:? I have a degree in pure maths , but was always rubbish at physics. I remember there are different types of heat transfer, but please just keep it simple. You can pretend the puds are spherical.

Thanks

X=7
 
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  • #2
This isn't definitive, but you might want to experiment with it a bit. The type of frozen dinners that the wife bought last time come 2/box. Cooking 1 in the microwave takes 2 minutes, and cooking 2 takes 3 1/2 minutes. The same ratio might apply in your situation (ie: a little one takes about 60% as long as a big one).
On the other hand, a conventional oven (which I assume that she's using) might suffer the same effect as a nuker, wherein the available energy must be equally distributed among 2 items. If that's the case, then 2 little ones in the oven at the same time might take just as long as one big one.
Why don't you try melting various sizes of ice blocks or something similar and record the results? That might give you a handle on it.
Sorry that I can't be more helpful.
 
  • #3
It's not complicated.
Go out quick and buy your sister a bigger bowl :smile:
After all there is pudding at stake :!)
 
  • #4
Thanks for the fast replies, Danger and NoTime:smile:. Danger, yes, I reckon you're about right but I probably won't have time to try the ice thing; I came on this physics forum in case these are well-known results. Ditto to NoTime, I'd worked that one out for myself:biggrin:!

Thanks anyway & further contributions welcome.

X=7
 
  • #5
There might be a formula that's applicable, but I'm not aware of one. The time should be based upon volume and surface area combined in some way. There are only so many calories available to heat the volume, but how close most of it is to the surface should determine how long it actually takes. When I get home, I'll try to work something out.
Anyhow, even if we don't manage to nail this one down for you, please hang around the site now that you've discovered it. You won't regret it.
 
  • #6
Danger said:
The time should be based upon volume and surface area combined in some way.
That is what my instinct is telling me, but happy to be proved wrong:tongue:.

Danger said:
Anyhow, even if we don't manage to nail this one down for you, please hang around the site now that you've discovered it. You won't regret it.
Thanks for the friendly introduction, will do!:smile:

X=7
 
  • #7
There's a lot of factors.
Transfer time is important.
A big thick roast takes more time to cook due to the distance to the center, but you also want to adjust the temp somewhat so the outside doesn't get overdone while the center is still raw.

If you're cooking two small bowls of pudding, instead of one big one, then the oven temp may need to be raised to get the same thermal gradient as well as shortening the time.

Two pies in the oven cook much the same as one.
A regular oven won't get loaded down like a microwave.
Ovens have a big thermal mass.

OTOH, I have never succesfully doubled a pie crust recipe. Comes out bad! So if I want more than one pie, I have to make separate batches for the crust.
 
  • #8
NoTime said:
So if I want more than one pie, I have to make separate batches for the crust.
You cook?! And all this time, I only loved you for your mind. :!)

Hey! Wait a minute here... aren't you a guy? :grumpy:

Crap! Now I'm going to have to buy W cooking lessons... :grumpy: :grumpy:
 
  • #9
Danger said:
You cook?! And all this time, I only loved you for your mind. :!)
Having a couple kids qualifies as the mother of invention. :smile:
Gave it up when they moved out and got places of their own.
Somthing about liking what I cooked and having no competition for the results resulted in an extra 40lbs. :grumpy: :grumpy:

Danger said:
Hey! Wait a minute here... aren't you a guy? :grumpy:
:rofl: Now there is the proverbial spanner in the works. :rofl:
I do have being female as a minimum partner requirement :biggrin:

Danger said:
Crap! Now I'm going to have to buy W cooking lessons... :grumpy: :grumpy:
Cooking is dangerous, count your blessings :wink:
 

1. How do I reheat a Christmas pudding?

To reheat a Christmas pudding, first remove any wrapping or packaging and place it in a heatproof dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place it in a steamer or a large pot filled with boiling water. Steam the pudding for 1-2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure the water hasn't boiled off. You can also reheat the pudding in the microwave for 5-10 minutes on medium power.

2. Can I reheat a Christmas pudding in the oven?

Yes, you can reheat a Christmas pudding in the oven. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place the pudding in a heatproof dish. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the pudding is heated through. Make sure to check on the pudding periodically to ensure it doesn't dry out.

3. How long does it take to reheat a Christmas pudding?

The time it takes to reheat a Christmas pudding can vary depending on the method you use and the size of the pudding. Generally, steaming or microwaving will take 1-2 hours, while baking in the oven will take 30-45 minutes.

4. Can I reheat a Christmas pudding that has been stored in the fridge?

Yes, you can reheat a Christmas pudding that has been stored in the fridge. Make sure to bring the pudding to room temperature before reheating to ensure even heating. You may also need to add a few extra minutes to the reheating time to compensate for the chilled pudding.

5. How long can I keep a reheated Christmas pudding in the fridge?

A reheated Christmas pudding can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. Make sure to store it in an airtight container and reheat it thoroughly before serving. You can also freeze the pudding for longer storage, but make sure to thaw and reheat it properly before serving.

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