The Science of Cooking: Every Question Answered to Perfect Your Cooking

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Get answers to all your cooking science questions, and cook tastier, more nutritious food using fundamental principles, practical advice, and step-by-step techniques.

Where does the heat come from in a chili pepper? Why is wild salmon darker than farmed? Does searing meat really "seal in" the juices? A good recipe goes a long way, but if you can master the science behind it, you'll be one step ahead.

Using full-color images, stats and facts through infographics, and an engaging Q&A format to show you how to perfect your cooking, The Science of Cooking brings food science out of the lab and into your kitchen. Topics include meat and poultry, seafood, dairy, pulses and grains, fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, baked goods, and more, making it perfect for perfecting everyday cooking as well as for special meals.

From the Publisher


Chile peppers' active ingredient, capsaicin, is a toxic irritant that produces a burning sensation when we come into contact with it. However, in moderation, capsaicin creates an enjoyable spiciness.

How Can I tell if Meat is Good Quality?

We tend to believe that the freshest, most flavorful red meat is bright cherry-red, but is this always the case? Ask your butcher for their tastiest cut, and you might be shown one with a darker hue that has been aged over time to create a deeper flavor and more tender texture.

The Process of Sous Vide

Heat from the water bath penetrates the food's surface from all directions. The airless bag stops moisture entering or leaving and the core of the food gradually reaches the same temperature as the edges, so there's no temperature gradient.

Is it Better to Eat Vegetables Raw?

Cooking has a mixed effect on nutrients, destroying vitamins and antioxidants in some foods, while increasing them in others. To optimize health, it's important to eat a variety of cooked and raw vegetables.

An Essential Guide to Pots and Pans

The type of metal you choose for your cookware affects how food cooks, but more important is a pan's thickness: the thicker the base, the more evenly the heat from the burner spreads across it.

How do I Chop an Onion without Crying?

Damage to onion cells results in their releasing an irritating gas called the lachrymatory factor, intended to ward off animals and insects. Once this gas reaches the surface of your eyes, it reacts with water on your eyeballs and turns into sulfuric acid, among other irritating chemicals.

The Three Stages of Cake Baking

A cake goes through three stages of baking. The first stage is the rising phase, when the sweet batter inflates. In the second stage, the cake solidifies, fixing in place the hollows, or bubbles, that have formed in the batter. A bake ends with the third, 'browning' stage.

Pectin in Fruit Cells

Accounting for less than 1 percent of the fruit, pectin is concentrated in the core, seeds, and skin. It degrades as fruits age, so overly ripe fruit makes poor-quality jam. Fruits such as blackberries are high in pectin, Some, such as cherries and pears, have lower levels, so extra needs to be added during the jam-making process.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Specializing in food science, Dr. Stuart Farrimond is a science and medical writer, presenter, and educator. He makes regular appearances on TV, on radio, and at public events, and his writing appears in national and international publications, including the Independent, the Daily Mail, and New Scientist.

An avid blogger, Stuart is also the founder and editor of online lifestyle-science magazine Guru, which is supported by the Wellcome Trust, the world's largest medical research charity.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: DK (September 19, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1465463690
  • ISBN-13: 978-1465463692
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
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Dr. Stuart Farrimond
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