Science

March 20, 2013

The Maillard Reaction

One of the most important flavor-producing reactions in cooking is the Maillard reaction. It is sometimes called the “browning reaction” in discussions of cooking, but that description is incomplete at best. Cooked meats, seafood, and other protein-laden foods that undergo the Maillard reaction do turn brown, but there are other reactions that also cause browning. […]

March 12, 2013

Is It Safe to Cook with Plastic?

Since writing Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home, we’ve been asked many times to comment on the safety of cooking in plastic bags. Many of our sous vide recipes, from our Sous Vide Salmon and Rare Beef Jus to our Cranberry Consommé and Scrambled Egg Foam, require vacuum-sealing or using a zip-top bag. Similarly, […]

January 15, 2013

Why Cook Sous Vide?

Cooking sous vide is easier than its fancy name might suggest. You simply seal the ingredients in a plastic bag (you can also use a canning jar) and place them in a water bath, a combi oven, or any other cooker that can set and hold a target temperature to within a degree or two. […]

December 12, 2012

The Physics of Coffee & Cream

Every Seattleite has been in this situation: On a cold, rainy December morning, you get your coffee to go from Vivace, Stumptown, or Starbucks, and then watch out the window for your bus. The bus, you know, might be a minute or two late, and you’ll have to wait a few minutes. You want to […]

November 27, 2012

Our Guide to Picking the Perfect Pan

Are you looking for a new set of pans this holiday season? Scott Heimendinger, our Director of Applied Research, explains the science behind heat diffusion in stove-top cooking on MDRN KTCHN on CHOW.com. The end result: Thickness is more important than material, no matter how shiny and expensive those copper pans may be. He also […]

November 2, 2012

Watch Nathan’s Modernist Cuisine Story on NOVA scienceNOW

Last night, NOVA scienceNOW aired “Can I Eat That?,” a show on the science of food and cooking, which profiled Nathan Myhrvold in the final segment. Host David Pogue narrates a behind-the-scenes look at Nathan’s inspiration for creating Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home. For those of you interested in seeing The Cooking Lab’s […]

August 30, 2012

The Chemistry of the Barbecue “Stall”

The “stall” is widely known among serious barbecuers. Well into cooking, the temperature of uncovered meat stops rising and may even fall slightly before it climbs again. Most barbecue experts say this stall occurs when connective tissue in the meat softens and fat starts to render, which does occur, but it doesn’t cause the stall. […]

January 4, 2012

Nathan Myhrvold on Top Chef Tonight!

Tonight’s episode of Top Chef will feature Modernist Cuisine author Nathan Myhrvold as a guest judge. What will they make for him? We can’t say (though the videos above are a pretty good tease!); you’ll have to tune in to find out! It’s a pretty safe bet that it will feature barbecue, one of Nathan’s […]

December 14, 2011

Physics World Names MC in 2011 Top 10 List!

The prestigious science magazine calls Modernist Cuisine "the ultimate reference book for all chefs and aspiring cooks."

November 4, 2011

Vacuum-Concentrating, Part 2

MC coauthor Chris Young wraps up his tutorial on vacuum concentration with a guide to the equipment you'll need to get started.

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