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C O U R S E 
The Science of Gastronomy
Prof. Lam Lung Yeung, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
The Transfer of Heat Through Foods via Conduction
Notes taken on August 1, 2013 by Edward Tanguay
thermal energy is transferred from one molecule to the nearby molecule by means of a collision, there is no relocation of molecules
during cooking, heat is transferred from the outside to the center of a solid piece of food by means of conduction, e.g. steak
cellular structure of food impedes heat transfer
rate of heat transfer is determined by
thickness of food
overall shape of food
temperature of pan
amount of time heat is applied
how much energy is need to heat up food?
(mass) (specific heat capacity) (change in temperature)
heat capacity
the measurable physical quantity that specifies the amount of heat required to change the temperature of an object or body by a given amount
water has a very high heat capacity
you need a lot of energy to heat up water
in general, the higher the content of water in food, the slower it will heat up
water also holds heat longer, which is why when you burn your tongue it is usually on parts of food that contain a high amount of water, e.g. a tomato or cheese on a pizza, but probably not the crust
metals have a low heat capacity
you don't need a lot of energy to heat up metals
heat conductance
how fast heat flows through the food
silver and copper
high conductance, low heat capacity (heat up quickly)
water (and fish and meat)
low conductance, higher heat capacity (heats up quickly, i.e. has a higher capacity to hold heat)
stone grill
stone can store a lot of energy and gradually pass out the heat
Teppanyaki grill
style of Japanese cuisine that uses an iron griddle to cook food
widely used to cook food in front of guests at restaurants