Why do we not cook food at hotter temperatures quicker?


For example why would we cook something at 200c for 20 mins and not at 400c for 10 mins?

In: Chemistry

Heat takes time to transfer from the oven, to the outside of the food, and to the inside of food, and it takes time for the chemical reactions that actually cook the food to take place. Increased temperature also tends to burn food instead of just getting it nicely browned. Plus, 400°C is not actually double the heat of 200°C, but that’s not as important a factor here.

So if you took something that should be cooked for 20 minutes at 200°C and increased the temperature, you’d likely end up with a burnt outside, a cold inside, and a poor end result.

When cooking, you need to cook at a temperature that won’t burn the outside before the inside is done. By drastically changing the temperature, you also run the risk of it evaporating too much or not enough water and altering the texture. In addition, you need to keep fats under their smoke point; some fats in particular dont do well at high temperatures.

There are many many reasons.

In addition to not burning the outside before cooking the inside. Different foods respond differently to different combinations of heat and time. Take brisket for example. Cooked at 200 for 12 hours it’s amazingly tender and juicy. Cook it in a pan on high heat quickly and you’d have a tough and overly fatty piece of rubber.