Why can’t you cook your food at 5000degrees for 1 minute instead of 50degrees for 100 minutes?

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Why can’t you cook your food at 5000degrees for 1 minute instead of 50degrees for 100 minutes?

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It takes time for heat to move through the food. If you blast it with too much heat, the outside will burn before the heat has time to get into the middle.

Because 1) your oven only goes up so high, and it can’t reach 5000°, and 2) massive temperature for a brief moment would char the outside surface of your food to a crisp, while the center would still be raw. Getting thicker foods to cook evenly without drying out is always a big challenge – that’s why it’s easy to overcook or undercook a Thankgiving turkey. It takes time; you need to cook it at a lower temp, for a longer time, so that the heat can slowly creep its way in without overheating the outside.

To cook your food well it needs to reach a specific temperature. And that means all of it, inside and outside.
If you cook your food for 30 minutes at 150 degrees, you heat most of it up to that temperature.
If you turn your oven to 1500 degrees however and just cook for 3 minutes, only the outside will be hot, because your food needs time to actually transfer the heat and evenly distribute it. This the outside is scorched while everything past a few millimetres will be raw.

A way of somewhat fixing this is the microwave. Due to processes, that are best described as „black magic fuckery“ in the scope of this comment, the food is actually heated more or less evenly from the inside, so it reaches the target temperature faster.

If you could transport that heat inside the food by something other than heat conduction, you could cook faster. Heat conduction takes time, so you have to let the inside of something heat up before the outside burns.

Microwaves do that, and tend to cook faster. Unfortunately, microwaves don’t cook evenly, and are limited to about 1100W for most houses

Cooking is a chemical process, and the chemical reactions have a set temperature at which they start to occur. For example, you need to heat your meat enough to brown it (the Maillard reaction, 140-165°C) without charring it (300+°C). Alternatively, you may want to spend a long time rendering the meat (95°C) without browning it all, e.g. for slow cooking. For a large joint it takes significant time for the heat to permeate to the centre, and you need to make sure the outside doesn’t dry out or burn in that time.

This applies to all food: the name of the game is to control the temperature and duration of the cooking, to allow the desired chemical reactions to occur in the full depth of the food without allowing undesired ones.

Cooking something at 5000° for 1 minute will result in an atomised outside, spectacularly burned middle layer, a cold, uncooked centre, and a 1-star review on TripAdvisor.

All of the other comments pretty much have it covered, but I wanted to add that temperature doesn’t work like that unless you’re talking Kelvin or Rankine, in which case your food is not getting cooked at 50° in the first place.

You can’t multiply temperature unless you’re working in an absolute scale (where 0 actually means 0).

Not going to dispute any answers, they are all right.

Going to add, this happens a little with pizza. Look up 90 second pizza. It’s like 700° pizza cooking. At 500°F I can cook a pizza in 6 minutes. I know people who make pizzas homemade and bake them for 20+ minutes at like 375.

The key though, is pizzas are pretty thin, so temp is pretty constant.

Best answer I can think of is that different chemical reactions occur at different temperatures.

Chemical reactions for breaking down proteins and carbs to cook food and make them tasty happen at lower temps than 7000°C.

And in higher temperatures completely different reactions happen i.e burning. Burning is also a reaction called combustion.

Because if your oven could even get to 5000 degrees your house would catch on fire anyway because of how dry it would get