Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

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Robstreperous
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Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by Robstreperous »

So now that my shoulder's healed up a bit I'm getting back into my cooking and I stumbled upon this article.

I already knew a bunch of the tips but a few were new to me and super helpful. The ones about the mushrooms and carmelized onions are going to save me tons of time. The one about cooking pasta in boiing water is going to allow me to collect on at least 3 long standing bets.

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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by JASinIL2006 »

Interesting, but a couple of important caveats: adding baking soda to help onions carmelize more quickly does work, but to me, it makes them unappealingly mushy, especially if you want a deep carmelization. Not worth it, in my opinion. And resting cooked meat is important, but not for meat cooked sous vide (even if seared briefly at the end).
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joanjet
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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by joanjet »

If you like stuff like this, I highly recommend the food lab by J. Kenji Lopez Alt. Filled to the brim with food science stuff and personal experiments he has done to test a bunch of "common knowledge" culinary ideas
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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by stevem627 »

Actually several of the tips are referenced to J.Kenji Lopez Alt. Tips are always helpful when put together like this way so you can get a lot out of reading a single article. This is a compilation of other people work and I think the Food Lab book is a fantastic tool. You can also use the Serious Eats Food Lab page for lots of good how to info.

https://www.seriouseats.com/the-food-lab-5118015
Last edited by stevem627 on Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by JASinIL2006 »

Great book! I can’t wait for Kenji’s wok cookbook to come out!
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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by joanjet »

stevem627 wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 1:31 pm Actually several of the tips are referenced to J.Kenji Lopez Alt. Tips are always helpful when put together like this way so you can get a lot out of reading a single article. This is a compilation of other people work and I think the Food Lab book is a fantastic tool. You can also use the Serious Eats Food Lab page for lots of good how to info.

https://www.seriouseats.com/the-food-lab-5118015
Oh haha yeah I didn't see that, I only took a glance at the first tip since I'm at work

That serious eats page is great, as well!
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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by LaVieestBelle »

If you really want to take a deep dive into this stuff, try Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. It’s probably 35 years old but still fun. Revised once. A rabbit hold of science and food research.
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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by Robstreperous »

LaVieestBelle wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:00 pm If you really want to take a deep dive into this stuff, try Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. It’s probably 35 years old but still fun. Revised once. A rabbit hold of science and food research.
I’ve been looking for that book for over 30 years. Just ordered it yesterday. Funny story.

Back when my wife and I were dating she bought me a gift: A weekend cooking class at The French Culinary Institute in Lower Manhattan. The course was on soups but it resolved pretty quickly, amateurs we all were, into basic kitchen skills.

One funny story was the woman who said she was taking the class because she thought she might want to be a chef —- but was afraid to touch a chicken. When the instructor asked her how she thought she could be a chef if she wouldn’t touch a chicken she repied, “ I thought I’d be one of those chefs who doesn’t do anything but tells everyone else what to do.”. If looks could kill….

Anyway, I remember asking the instructor a question along the lines of how could I better understand how food cooks or why things happen when they cook or something like that. He replied “The Physics of the Kitchen.” —- a title I’ve never been able to find or even find anyone else that’s heard of it.

I bet you that McGee book is what he was thinking of. 30 years later and with some burnt pans and scraped knuckles under my belt it’s going to be great to give it a read and fill all the “how come’s” that have been piling up in the back of my head…

Thanks all.
Last edited by Robstreperous on Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by Robstreperous »

JASinIL2006 wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:13 am Interesting, but a couple of important caveats: adding baking soda to help onions carmelize more quickly does work, but to me, it makes them unappealingly mushy, especially if you want a deep carmelization. Not worth it, in my opinion. And resting cooked meat is important, but not for meat cooked sous vide (even if seared briefly at the end).
So last night at dinner my wife pointed out mushrooms get slick (she used a different adjective normally associated with the top of stagnant ponds) when they’re washed. To which I replied but they cook out.. To which she replied.. “Not in a salad they don’t”. Touche’.

During the same dinner my wife mentioned she doesn’t like mushy onions. I looked into my bowl of french onion soup and thought “But it’s soup…. the onions are bound to get soggy anyhow …. aren’t they? “. Well aren’t they?

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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by LaVieestBelle »

Robstreperous wrote: Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:58 am
LaVieestBelle wrote: Fri Jan 14, 2022 3:00 pm If you really want to take a deep dive into this stuff, try Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. It’s probably 35 years old but still fun. Revised once. A rabbit hold of science and food research.
I’ve been looking for that book for over 30 years. Just ordered it yesterday. Funny story.

Back when my wife and I were dating she bought me a gift: A weekend cooking class at The French Culinary Institute in Lower Manhattan. The course was on soups but it resolved pretty quickly, amateurs we all were, into basic kitchen skills.

One funny story was the woman who said she was taking the class because she thought she might want to be a chef —- but was afraid to touch a chicken. When the instructor asked her how she thought she could be a chef if she wouldn’t touch a chicken she repied, “ I thought I’d be one of those chefs who doesn’t do anything but tells everyone else what to do.”. If looks could kill….

Anyway, I remember asking the instructor a question along the lines of how could I better understand how food cooks or why things happen when they cook or something like that. He replied “The Physics of the Kitchen.” —- a title I’ve never been able to find or even find anyone else that’s heard of it.

I bet you that McGee book is what he was thinking of. 30 years later and with some burnt pans and scraped knuckles under my belt it’s going to be great to give it a read and fill all the “how come’s” that have been piling up in the back of my head…

Thanks all.
Yes, McGee is a physicist! Same book…. At the moment it is in my daughter’s possession. She is reading it for ideas on teaching science to 6th graders…..
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Re: Beleive in Science! This is really helpful.

Post by salemj »

I think the biggest difference between McGee and Kenji Lopez is that McGee's book has no recipes—it is 100% about the chemistry of food. In fact, I'd probably say the best contrast between then is to say McGee is into chemistry, and Kenji Lopez is more into physics. (McGee is all about chemical reactions and how things change with time, heat, or chemical reactions in combination, where as Kenji Lopez seems to be much more about how chemistry relates to how things actual work in the kitchen via the physical manipulation of cooking/experimentation, but there is TONS of overlap between the two regarding the chemistry lessons.)

Kenji Lopez cut his teeth at America's Test Kitchen, which is why so many of his tips match theirs. His book builds on McGee's in very practical ways. I don't own the Kenji-Lopez, so I haven't looked at it closely beyond checking out a friend's copy—it is a huge book and lacks the wonderful concision and small, easy-to-digest chunks of McGee. I'd use the Kenji-Lopez in the kitchen and for recipe research, whereas the McGee makes for great actual reading (before bed or whenever).
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