Cooking by Conduction

Transfer of heat from the heat source directly to the utensil. Heat spreads across the bottom and is conducted up the sides of the pan from the heat source. Heat is transferred directly to the food mass as the utensil heats. An example of this would be the sautéing of vegetables or stir-frying. For conduction to take place, there must be direct contact between the heat source and the utensil. Top-of-range cookware cooks many foods by conduction, so it is important to that the cookware be made of a good heat-conducting material. There is limited conduction in oven baking because the baking vessel has little direct contact with the heat source.

As you can see from the table of conductivity, glass top-of-stove cookware would be extremely resistant to conduction since glass is a poor conductor (but at the same time, an excellent insulator). There is a benefit to less conductive cookware, however. The more quickly a pan heats up, or conducts, the more quickly it will cool. This is why for long and slow food preparation such as that used with soups, stews and similar recipes, a less conductive pan may be desired, in that it will hold heat for a longer period of time.
 
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Heat Sources

Cooking by Conduction

Transfer of heat from the heat source directly to the utensil. Heat spreads across the bottom and is conducted up the sides of the pan from the heat source. Heat is transferred directly to the food mass as the utensil heats. An example of this would be the sautéing of vegetables or stir-frying. For conduction to take place, there must be direct contact between the heat source and the utensil. Top-of-range cookware cooks many foods by conduction, so it is important to that the cookware be made of a good heat-conducting material. There is limited conduction in oven baking because the baking vessel has little direct contact with the heat source.

Heat Source

Heat Conductivity of Common Cookware Materials

As you can see from the table of conductivity, glass top-of-stove cookware would be extremely resistant to conduction since glass is a poor conductor (but at the same time, an excellent insulator). There is a benefit to less conductive cookware, however. The more quickly a pan heats up, or conducts, the more quickly it will cool. This is why for long and slow food preparation such as that used with soups, stews and similar recipes, a less conductive pan may be desired, in that it will hold heat for a longer period of time.

 

 

 

 
 
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