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Others Like “'Make Mine Medium-Rare': Heat Conduction in Steak”

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Science Fair Project Idea
What is cooking? Cooking is applying heat to food in order to help make it taste good. But the decision to cook your food doesn't end there. Do you want to cook it at a low temperature for a long time or do you want to apply high heat and cook or sear it right away? You might think that a pot is just something in which to cook your food, but it is also a cooking tool. Pots and pans are made from different kinds of materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, iron, and ceramics. Each of these… Read more
FoodSci_p031
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Access to cooking pots made of different materials.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Minor injury possible. Always exercise caution when using a stove. Adult supervision is required. Make sure that the cooking pots you have chosen to test are designed for stovetop use.
Science Fair Project Idea
Caramelization is the name of the cooking process that occurs as sugar is heated and the molecules begin to break apart. But what happens to the sugar as it breaks apart? And what do the physical changes mean for the flavor of the sugar? Using the Internet or cookbooks, read up on the chemistry of caramelization, then head to the kitchen with an adult to caramelize your own batch of sugar. With an adult's help, dissolve 1 1/3 cups of sugar in 2/3 cup of water. Heat the mixture in a pan over… Read more
FoodSci_p018
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- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use caution when making the caramel, it is extremely hot and can burn severely if it gets on your skin. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
"What? My food needs some standing time? How can food stand? I don't see any legs on those baked potatoes!" Whether you're using a traditional oven or a microwave, standing time is an important concept in cooking or baking. When you remove a food from an oven or a microwave, the food retains heat and continues to cook for several minutes after it has been removed from the heat source. This process of the food continuing to cook, using the retained heat in the food itself, is called carryover… Read more
FoodSci_p067
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the oven.
Science Fair Project Idea
When you think of successful inventions from the 1900's that have dramatically changed how people live, what comes to mind? The car? Radio? TV? The computer? What about the microwave oven? You might not remember a time when microwave ovens were not a standard part of most kitchens, but your parents or grandparents probably do. They can remember when heating leftovers took a good 30 minutes in a traditional oven. Or thawing a food from the freezer meant leaving it in the refrigerator overnight.… Read more
FoodSci_p033
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Access to a microwave oven and microwave-safe cookware.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is required when using the microwave oven.
Science Fair Project Idea
Whether you are sitting around a campfire, or drinking hot chocolate after a day in the snow, nothing says fun quite like a marshmallow! Even its name is soft and spongy! In this cooking and food science fair project, you will make your own marshmallows several different ways, and discover the three special ingredients that give marshmallows their unique texture. You will also find out why they melt so quickly. Explore the science of these sticky, spongy sweets! Read more
FoodSci_p065
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Be careful when heating syrup in the saucepan. Adult supervision is required.
Science Fair Project Idea
Do you like skeletons? One of the more interesting jobs at a natural history museum is the creation and care of the skeletons and bones. How do the curators clean and put together the skeletons? Many curators use the carrion beetle, Dermestes vulpinus, to quickly clean off the dead animal tissue from a corpse to reveal the skeleton. These insects do such a good job that sometimes the skeleton remains intact! Another method is to slow cook the carcass until the meat falls off. You can use… Read more
Zoo_p038
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Use only food-grade animals for this project. Do not use roadkill or other dead animals from unknown sources, as such animals might have died from diseases. Wear gloves and safety goggles, and use caution when handling bleach and other chemicals. Adult supervision is recommended.
Science Fair Project Idea
Your digital photo comprises a certain number of dots in the x and y directions. What happens to the print image quality as you "stretch" those dots out to larger and larger pictures? (Note: This experiment studies the dots per inch in the image itself, not the number of dots per inch that is output by your printer.) Read more
Photo_p020
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
When you open a can of green beans, have you ever wondered why the beans are not mushy, or more like a puree? Canning requires boiling the beans for a long period of time to kill bacteria, so why don't the beans fall apart into small pieces? Some fruits and vegetables—like cherries, apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, beans, cauliflower, and tomatoes—have the ability to undergo hardening, or firming of their plant tissues. A special enzyme, called pectin methyl… Read more
FoodSci_p034
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- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the stove.
Science Fair Project Idea
Brrrr, freezing cold! It's the worst nightmare of any fresh fruit or vegetable! If the produce in your kitchen had legs, they would run in a panic every time the freezer door opens. Why? Well, freezing temperatures are not kind to fresh produce. Freezing kills the plant tissues and alters them on both a chemical and physical level. Chemically, the enzymes in the produce become more concentrated and do not work normally, so that discoloration, off-flavors, vitamin breakdown, and toughness may… Read more
FoodSci_p035
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- Less Details
Time Required Long (2-4 weeks)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability A specialty item to help view the structure of the vegetables is optional.
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Adult supervision is recommended when using the stove and working around boiling water.
Science Fair Project Idea
Yogurt is a very versatile dairy product. It's yummy eaten straight from the container, it is good for your digestive system, and it can be used in several ways for cooking. There is historical evidence that yogurt-making developed 4,500 years ago! Humans depended on yogurt-making as a way to preserve milk. Yogurt is the result of bacterial fermentation of milk. In fermentation, the bacteria consume the milk sugar, lactose, and produce lactic acid. The end-product is a thick, creamy, and tangy… Read more
FoodSci_p030
+ More Details
- Less Details
Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety Use caution when working with a stovetop. Adult supervision is recommended.
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