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The Kitchen as LaboratoryReflections on the Science of Food and Cooking$
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César Vega, Job Ubbink, and Erik van der Linden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231153454

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231153454.001.0001

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Baked Alaska and Frozen Florida

Baked Alaska and Frozen Florida

On the Physics of Heat Transfer

(p.166) Twenty-two Baked Alaska and Frozen Florida
The Kitchen as Laboratory

Adam Burbidge

Columbia University Press

This chapter provides an introduction to the concept of heat transfer and explains what this means in the context of real cooking. Heat transfer refers to the motion of heat, which is a form of energy that moves through a material, which in this case is food. There are four basic methods by which heat travels: conduction, convection, radiation, and volume heating. Conduction is the transfer of heat from a hot object to a cold object, or from a hot region to a cold region within the same object. With conduction, there is no movement between the objects. But with convection, the movement of heat comes from the movement of the material. Radiation is important at high temperatures and travels in waves in a similar fashion to light. Heat transfer by volume heating is essentially how microwave ovens cook food: microwaves heat the whole volume of the material simultaneously. The chapter then presents three recipes to demonstrate some of the modes of heat transfer discussed. For each case, it first outlines the cooking method and then explains why certain aspects of the recipe are the way they are from the perspective of heat transfer.

Keywords:   science-based cooking, heat transfer, physics, conduction, convection, radiation, volume heating

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