Methods Of Cooking – Cooking may be easy, but it’s not a joke. cooking is the art of preparing food to eat with the application of heat.
Cooking is the science of controlling the transfer of heat energy from source to medium and to the food. The bigger the temperature difference, the faster the conduction.
This flow of heat is so meaningful that there is a name for it, Thermodynamics. In short, thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and the physical properties of matter and radiation. But, this topic is out of scope in this article. You can read about thermodynamics here
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Back to the point, when heat is applied to food, the food will change its color, texture, and nutritional value and the raw food becomes edible. when heat is applied to different foods they change differently.
Foods become brown, liquids become solid and flavors change. Proteins coagulate, starches gelatinize, sugars caramelize, water evaporates and fat melts.
We will discuss each topic in detail in their links. Meanwhile, understand the methods of cooking because it may look like confounding variables depending upon the environment, economic, and cultural traditions, and trends around you.
Basic methods of cooking commonly used can be classified into four categories.
- Conduction Method Of Cooking
- Induction Method Of Cooking
- Convection Method Of Cooking
- Radiation Method Of Cooking
Conduction Method Of Cooking
The conduction method of cooking is a static process, but it is the most basic and instinctive way of cooking. In this method, the heat is transferred from utensils to the medium and then to food.
Something hot touches something cool and the cool thing heats up.
A good example is when you boil water in a pan the flame from the stovetop heats the pan, and the heat from the pan is transferred to the water via conduction and it cooks the food.
The key point in this method to remember is, the heat is transferred to food from outside to inside. That means the food is cooked outside and then inside.
for example: When you drop an egg in boiling water, the heated water transfers its heat to the egg. The egg starts cooking slowly from the outer surface to the inner parts of the egg.
Therefore, in the conduction method of cooking the food is cooked from outside to inside, which means you should cook only food that is ideal to cook in this way.
If you try to cook an egg in a microwave oven, the egg will burst, and the shell breaks with a bang.
In microwave cooking, the food starts cooking from inside to outside. That is why never try to boil or cook an egg in a microwave oven.
It is a novel method of cooking where heat flows from a cooktop made of ceramic material over an induction coil.
The hot coil produces a magnetic current and heats up the metal pan very fast, yet the cooktop itself remains cool. Heat is then transmitted to the food in the pan through conduction.
Cooking ware used for induction must be made of ferrous metals, like cast iron, magnetic stainless steel, or enamel over steel, else they won’t heat up on Inductions.
because of its instant heating feature, Induction cooking is ideal for bigger operations as there are no nooks on the smooth surface of the induction top, cleaning becomes easy as spilled foods neither get stuck nor do cooks, on the cool surface.
Convection Method Of Cooking
In this method, the heat is transferred through fluid or a gas and then to food. The flow of steam or the movement of boiling water is a good example of convection because convection circulates the moving heat such as the air inside the oven circulated by a fan.
This generation and re-circulation of hot air cook the food evenly, brown faster over the surface of the food.
There are two types of convections:
- Natural and
Natural convection takes place when the warm molecules rise, and the colder sink, creating a natural current and circulating the heat throughout the liquid or gas.
It is the same natural convection but uses a mechanical device to help the distribution of heat. Stirring food in a hot pan and a fan in a convection oven are good examples of mechanical convection.
Radiation Method Of Cooking
Unlike Conduction and Convection, the Radiation method of cooking foods doesn’t require any contact between the heat source and the food.
In this type, the heat is produced by the friction created by electromagnetic waves or light waves that radiate out from the heat source striking vigorously and vibrating the water molecules at high speed causing friction and penetrating the food.
In this type of cooking, the food is cooked from inside to out and the heat created by radiation travels in all directions, rather than just rising.
All the above methods of cooking will use any one of the methods of heat distribution, or multiple methods of heat transference.
Since the majority of cooking methods use multiple types of heat transference, it’s wise for us to classify them into different groups.
The Methods Of Cooking Food
Keeping in view of the above cooking mediums. we can differentiate our methods of cooking into three categories
Dry Heat Cooking, Moist Heat Cooking , Combination Cooking
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