Why when boiling water or searing food does a large pocket of steam or smoke get emitted immediately after turning the burner off?

747 views
0

Why when boiling water or searing food does a large pocket of steam or smoke get emitted immediately after turning the burner off?

In: Physics

The stuff in the pan is boiling/evaporation, emitting large amounts of water vapor. While the stove is on the air around the pan is hot enough to keep the water in the form of vapor until it has dissipated enough not to condense.

When you turn off the heat, the air cools, and the vapor above the pan condenses out into mist, which you can see.

It’s not technically steam, it’s water vapor that condenses into water droplets (but still very small, small enough to still be buoyant) when you turn the heat off.