When cooking, each food has its ideal preparation point that depends on the temperature. Discovering the temperature of the oven, the pan with water, or the frying pan with oil is ideal for knowing when it is the right time to put the ingredients on the fire.
The good news is that you don't need to own a cooking thermometer to measure the inside of your pans. With simple tricks, you can check the temperature of hot water or oil. You don't need a thermometer to measure the temperature of the pan.
Why check the temperature of the pan before cooking?
Just setting the knob to the desired temperature does not always guarantee that the pan will be at that exact temperature. One thing is the temperature of the stove, another is the surface above it. Depending on the thickness or material of the pan and whether it is filled with water, oil, or some other ingredient, the result will vary.
In addition, there is the heating time that the pan takes to reach the desired amount of heat. Therefore, knowing how to identify or measure the temperature of the pan is the best way to be sure it is ready to add food.
What is the ideal temperature for cooking food in water and oil?
The ideal boiling temperature varies depending on whether you are cooking eggs, vegetables, meat, or pasta. It's not much use knowing the temperature in the pan if you don't know which one is ideal for cooking. As not every recipe indicates the exact number, it is good to know the values most used to prepare food.
To cook in a pan with water, the minimum temperature indicated is 70ºC to eliminate microorganisms from the ingredients that can cause diseases. But depending on the food, it may need more heat to stay at the desired
Salmon is cooked at what temp? The recommended temperature is to gentle boil of 85ºC. Same with fruits and eggs. Pasta, vegetables, meats, and other more resistant foods need a high boil at 100ºC.
In the case of frying with oil immersion, the ideal temperature for most foods is around 180ºC. At this temperature they cook inside and seal outside, preventing them from absorbing too much oil.
The exception is more delicate fried foods such as greens and vegetables that cook well at 160ºC without losing their characteristics. Lower than that, the ingredients absorb oil and become greasy. And above 200ºC the common oil burns and leaves an unpleasant smell and taste.
How to know the temperature of the water in the pot?
The trick to knowing the boiling point of water does not require any special ingredients or instruments. The secret is to watch the bubbles. The size and number of bubbles in water say more about its temperature than you might think. The first stage is the small bubbles that appear at the bottom of the pan. They are very small, the size of the head of a pin. At this stage, the water is at about 70°C.
The hotter the water is, the bigger the bubbles get. When they are medium in size, but still stuck to the bottom, the approximate temperature is 80ºC. Another sign you will see is the steam that is already starting to emerge. When the bubbles are bigger and start to rise to the surface, you are dealing with water above 85ºC.
The next stage starts when the bubbles rise so fast to the top that they form chains of pearl-sized bubbles, which means it's around 95°C. Shortly afterward the water will have even more bubbles and more steam, indicating a boiling point of 100°C. But attention! These values work for plain and simple water. If it has impurities, such as salt itself, the boiling temperature is higher. Therefore, it is recommended to add salt and seasonings after reaching the right point of boiling.
How to measure the temperature of the oil in the pan?
To get it right when frying, you can use measuring the temperature of the pan with three tricks. In the case of oil for deep frying, there are several tricks you can use to find out if it's at the right temperature, with matches, a wooden spoon, and bread! The technique of using phosphorus is simple. Place a match over the oil. When it lights up, you'll know it's at the ideal frying temperature of around 180ºC.
Keep an eye out because it lights up and goes out in a few seconds! Then just remove the match with a skimmer or spoon and prepare your fries, your breaded chicken, or whatever else you want.
The wooden spoon trick asks you to hold the handle of a wooden spoon, chopstick, or similar in the oil. When it starts bubbling around the wood, it's hot enough to fry. These two techniques indicate that the oil is hot, but they don't help as much to set the temperature. If you want more precision, use a piece of bread!
Leave the oil on the stove for a few minutes. When you want to measure, put a piece of bread inside. If it goes straight to the bottom and does not rise, the oil temperature is 150°C. If it rises very slowly, it is at approximately 160ºC, the ideal amount of heat for making tempura or vegetable recipes.
But if the bread rises quickly and becomes golden in less than a minute, then it will be at 180º C, perfect for frying in general. Is the bread burnt? Then you can lower the heat a little because it is reaching 190ºC.