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Hot Pot: Choosing the Right Pot in Which to Cook Your Meals

461 reviews


Areas of Science
Time Required
Short (2-5 days)
Access to cooking pots made of different materials.
Material Availability
Readily available
Low ($20 - $50)
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.
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

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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 materials transfers heat differently. In this cooking and food science fair project, you will determine which material transfers heat the fastest. Try different kinds of pots to see which kind boils water the fastest or use a kitchen thermometer to find out which delivers the highest temperature after 10 minutes. You can also test and see how long the hot water stays hot in the pot. After doing this science fair project, you'll be the expert and can help your parents make cooking decisions, like the best pot to cook stew in or the best pan in which to sear meats.


This website gives a great tutorial on heat transfer and the different ways of transferring heat.

  • Zimmerman, B. (2007, June 1). Heat Transfer and Cooking. Cooking for Engineers. Retrieved October 9, 2008.
icon scientific method

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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Science Buddies Staff. "Hot Pot: Choosing the Right Pot in Which to Cook Your Meals." Science Buddies, 23 June 2020, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/FoodSci_p031/cooking-food-science/choosing-the-right-pot. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

APA Style

Science Buddies Staff. (2020, June 23). Hot Pot: Choosing the Right Pot in Which to Cook Your Meals. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/FoodSci_p031/cooking-food-science/choosing-the-right-pot

Last edit date: 2020-06-23
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