Science kitchen hacks that really work

Almost everything to do with food and cooking involves science. Food is kept in a fridge to slow down the growth of microorganisms, some foods are preserved in vinegar others are kept in the dark. Bitterness in food and drink can be reduced by adding salt. Need to ripen a banana fast, no problem, pop it in a paper bag!

Whatever the problem, there’s usually a science based kitchen hack to solve it!

Six of the best science based kitchen hacks

1. Extra Fluffy Eggs

Do you know you can make eggs extra fluffy by adding a little soda water?

Add two tablespoons of soda water to 3 eggs and mix well. Then, cook the omelette as usual.

Why does it work?

When the egg and soda water mixture is heated, the air in the soda water bubbles expands, giving you an extra light and airy omelette!

2. Butter from Cream

If you’ve run out of butter but have cream, you can make butter! All you need is some strong arms and patience.

Pop the cream in a jar with a lid. Close the lid tightly and shake. After 5-10 minutes, you’ll have delicious fresh butter.

Why does this work?

Cream is a type of mixture called a colloid. It is made up of very tiny particles of fat dispersed in water. When you shake the cream, the fat particles stick together, forming butter.

3. Save the fruit salad

Stop a fruit salad from turning brown and wilting by covering it in fruit juice. Orange juice or a little lemon or lime juice works well.

Why does it work?

Many fruits are rich in iron; when you cut them, the inside is exposed to oxygen in the air. The iron in the fruit reacts with oxygen to give the familiar brown colour. The process is called enzymatic browning. Anything that prevents the exposed fruit from coming into contact with the air will stop or slow the reaction.

The addition of an acid lowers the pH of the fruit, which slows down enzymatic browning as it inactivates the enzyme responsible for the reaction.

4. Stop raisins sinking

Have you ever made a fruit cake and found all the raisins sink to the bottom? Raisins have an oily, slippy surface, which means they sink through the cake mix as it starts to cook.

If you cover the raisins ( or other dried fruit ) in a little flour before adding them to the mix, they can grip the cake batter better and don’t all sink to the bottom.

5. Ripen an avocado

We’ve all been there, you pull an avocado out of the fridge, and it’s hard…what can you do?

The answer is simple. Just place the hard avocado in a paper bag with a banana or kiwi, and it’ll soon be beautifully soft and ready to eat.

Avocados are a climacteric fruit. They continue to ripen after being picked. Strawberries and grapes are non-climacteric. They don’t ripen after being picked.

Why does this work?

Avocados release ethylene gas slowly, which makes them ripen. The paper bag traps the ethylene gas, ripening the avocado faster. Bananas and kiwis also release ethylene gas, so having them in the bag with the avocado speeds the process up even more!

If you want to ripen a banana, pop that in a paper bag for a day too!

6. Chill a drink in 5 minutes

Need a cold drink fast? No problem. Add some salt to an ice bucket along with ice and water, and you’ll have a cold drink in less than 5 minutes.

Why does this work?

Salt lowers the melting/freezing temperature of ice. This makes the water temperature drop below zero ( freezing point depression ). When salt is added to the icy water mixture the ice starts to melt. Melting requires energy. The ice absorbs heat energy from its surroundings ( the water and drink ) to melt. This makes both the water and the drink in the water get cold very quickly!

Know your baking soda from your baking powder

These two common kitchen ingredients can be easily mixed up. Remember baking soda needs an acid to activate it. Baking powder starts to work straight away as it contains cream of tartar, which is an acid!

More kitchen hacks based on science

Find out why you should always salt pasta water.

If you want nicely browned meat, make sure it’s dry before cooking. Meat won’t brown until the water evaporates, so a quick pat with some kitchen towel will give you the lovely browned meat you want!

When your gravy is too runny, mix a little cornflour ( cornstarch ) with water and stir it in. The gravy sill soon be deliciously thick.

If you want to stop the tears when cutting onions, try popping them in the freezer first, or make clean, sharp cuts to reduce the damage to the cells that release the tear-inducing chemicals.

If you enjoyed reading my science kitchen hacks, you’ll love my kitchen chemistry experiments!

Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by Emma Vanstone

The post Science kitchen hacks that really work appeared first on Science Experiments for Kids.

Science Experiments for Kids Read More 

Leave a Reply