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Food Science

Food Science
  • Ginger ale, ginger beer
    Ginger ale, ginger beer

    What's the difference between ginger ale and ginger beer, and is there really such a thing as a "ginger beer plant"?

  • Mashed potato textures
    Mashed potato textures

    Potatoes processed with a ricer have a different texture than those processed with a mixer. Why?

  • Cucumber Preservation
    Cucumber Preservation

    Though it's not the best for the environment, there are reasons to wrap cucumbers in plastic.

  • Flattened Cookies

    Sometimes what should be a nice, puffed-up cookie falls flat. Literally.

  • Less Moist: Dehydration at Home

    Sometimes you get a bounty of tasty food that you want to preserve, but you don't want to take up all that freezer space and you've canned about as much as you're going to can. Do you buy a specialty machine to do that, or are there other options?

  • How Baby Carrots are Made

    There are no storks, but baby carrots often have to go a ways to get to your home

  • How to Make (and Fix) Emulsion Sauces

    Learn the chemistry behind these notoriously tricky sauces, plus the secrets to getting them right and fixing them if they (gasp) break.

  • Why is Spicy Food Spicy?

    Some foods are a little spicy, and some are really, really spicy. What causes the spiciness and why?

  • Steak vs. Hamburger

    If beef is beef, why is it safe to have a rare steak, but not a rare hamburger?

  • Chef vs. Cook

    What is the difference between a chef and a cook? Should you feel bad if you are one and not the other?

  • Roasting a Perfect Turkey

    Our food science experts explain the secrets to cooking your Thanksgiving turkey.

  • Under Pressure

    Pressure cookers speed up cooking by increasing pressure inside the pot, thus raising the temperature of the food inside. So why are they also affected by high-altitudes?

  • Freezer Burn

    A surprising find in a freezer and why it's safe from dehydration

  • Is "Cheese Food" Either?

    There are things masquerading as cheese in grocery stores all across America. Are these things cheese, especially the cheese that is named for our country?

  • Muffin/Cupcake Taxonomy

    What's the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?

  • How to Cook Fresh Corn

    Golden and sweet, this beloved vegetable is a must on any summer table. Here are the hows and whys of choosing, storing, and cooking it.

  • Popping Foam Bubbles

    Sprinkling cinnamon sugar onto a latte's foam seems to pop the bubbles more than it should. Let's explore why.

  • Stale Irony

    The refrigerator is supposed to keep our food fresh for longer, but some claim that putting bread in the refrigerator makes it go stale faster. Read on to learn what's going on, how to prevent it, and how to fix it (sometimes).

  • High-Rise, Fallen Cake

    A promising angel food cake collapsed in the oven shortly before it was done. What could have caused this tragedy?

  • Simmer vs. Boil 202: The Master Class

    Why does heating to a full boil make it hard to simmer afterwards? Why does stirring a simmering pot cause it to stop simmering? And, most importantly, why does a watched pot never boil?

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