At the very heart of cooking, there exists a unique, scientific heat transfer that takes food from a state of uncooked to a state of preparedness. This heat transfer takes place in three major ways: Convection, Radiation and Conduction. We have talked in the past about Convection
heat, and here we will discuss Conduction
. Chances are you've boiled a pot of water on the stove, made hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill, or simply cooked up something in a skillet on your stovetop. All of these things use Conduction by taking the heat energy from the stove/grill/cooktop and transferring that heat to the pan or cooking tool, and eventually, your food.
One of the most important components of Conduction Cooking is the quality of the conductor itself. Investing in the right tools and supplies that are highly conductive will ensure a better, thorough outcome with your food.
Conduction Cooking for most people is the easiest to understand and most intuitive to grasp because it is simply the transfer of heat via contact. Essentially, thermal energy which results from the fast vibration of molecules, is transferred from one material into another in direct contact with it. So when a skillet touches the burner, heat is conducted, when a piece of food touches the heated skillet, heat is conducted again. The concept is a fairly simple one! There are other ways that conduction can take place, including the transfer and movement of heat within one object or piece of food. This means that when food first comes in contact with heat, the outer layers of the food cook first and this heat from the cooked exterior makes its way inward to cook the interior, cooler regions of the substance.
To learn more about other types of heat transfer make sure to check out our blogs on Convection and Radiation.