Cooking can be seen as a science, same with baking. Chemical reactions timed with proper heat or cold can turn something as simple as flour, water and yeast into a mouthwatering pastry that engages all senses. These 7 cool science hacks will definitely make cooking easier for you.

1. ADD SALT TO COFFEE TO REDUCE THE BITTERNESS: If you find yourself with coffee that’s just a too bitter add some salt. Salt enhances pleasant flavours while suppressing more unpleasant ones so the result is less bitterness in your coffee. The next time you are faced with office coffee mix a packet or two of salt in with the grinds before you brew.

2. SEMI FREEZE ONIONS TO PREVENT TEARS: Cutting an onion creates synpropanethial-S-oxide via chemical reactions which evaporates and makes our eyes water. Unfortunately the chemicals and oils that create this tear triggering compound are also what makes onions so tasty. To slow the amount of evaporation which is what carries the synpropanethial-S-oxideto your eyes chill your onion for a few minutes before chopping , but don’t fully freeze as frozen onions are mushy.

3. COOK SHELLFISH ALIVE: As soon as lobster and other shellfishes such as crabs are dead the bacteria naturally present in their flesh can rapidly multiply., and after this point these bacteria aren’t always killed by cooking. Lobsters don’t possess pain receptors in the same way mammals or other animals do so the general consensus is that they don’t feel pain., though some activists argue otherwise. To prevent food poisoning cook shellfish alive or immediately after killing them.

4. FRY YOUR SPICES FOR FLAVOUR: Fry your whole spices in an oil with a high smoking point to infuse your oil and amp up the flavour of your spices. In two minutes or less when you can smell the spices opening up go ahead and add whatever you were going cook in the oil anyway: veggies, meat., it will work for any of these. The heat roasts the spices and causes new depths of flavour to be achieved.

5. KEEPING YOUR FRUITS FROM TURNING BROWN: Sprinkle some freshly cut avocado or apple with lemon juice and store in an airtight container. This will keep the fruit from turning brown for a day or so. Fruit turns brown from oxygen interacting with its enzymes., but by sprinkling it with lemon juice the oxygen will interact with the acid first. Once the acid is used up the fruit will turn brown as normal.

6. FREEZE CAKES BEFORE FROSTING IT: One secret all professional bakers practice…. they freeze cakes, tightly wrapped in plastic before decorating them. There are a few reasons for this, freezing firms up the fats in the cake making a less crumbly texture and frozen then thawed cakes are much easier to work with and frost. Some swear they taste better too.

7. USE LEMON FOR ALMOST ALL: Have buttercream that tastes overwhelmingly sweet? Add a little lemon juice. Tomato sauce falling a little flat? Add some lemon to that too. Lemon juice is almost like salt in the way the bright acidity can add a whole new dimension to flavours. It works by activating more flavour receptors on your tongue very much the same way salt does. Lemon juice in marinades also helps break down protein strings resulting in more tender meat.

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