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Flummoxed

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I realize this isn't a physics forum, but if anyone has an idea what's going on here, I'd like to hear it.

 

Was reading a blog post about homemade yogurt & came across this in the comment thread:

Quote:

Before you even turn on the stovetop,put an ice cube in the pot and move the pot around so the ice covers every inch of the bottom as it melts. When the ice is entirely melted, leave the cold water in the pot and just add the ingredients to it. As long as you don’t touch a metal spoon to the bottom of the pot as you stir throughout the recipe, the milk won’t scorch the bottom of the pot.

I was skeptical, to put it mildly. How is the bottom of the pot supposed to remember that it was cold before it got hot? What sort of force-field does this little bit of water on the bottom of the exert after you dump a half-gallon of milk on top of it?

 

I make yogurt all the time, always get a pretty significant layer of scorched milk on the bottom of the pan (a heavy SS/aluminum sandwich-bottomed Vollrath) which is a PITA to scrub off; I thought what the heck, I'll give it a try.

 

It works.

 

Does anyone know why?

 

I suppose in the name of science I should touch a metal utensil to the bottom of the pan sometime & see if that breaks the magic spell.

The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #2 of 4

I don't know either, but I am willing to theorize.

 

If a metal spoon will break the effect, it's probably because of the dielectric current that would result from the metals being dissimilar. But that would also seem to be part of the problem if you touched the sides with it too which they don't specify. hmmm.

 

Sticking with the dielectric theory because I don't have any other ideas, the minerals in the ice water and the temp probably help seal off reaction points in the metal. The dielectric current from the metal spoon opensthose points so the milk bonds and scorches.

 

My best guess at it anyway.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #3 of 4

You know, it's an old grandma trick to rinse the pot with cold water first to keep milk from burning at the bottom.

Don't ask me for an explanation but it works. 

post #4 of 4

This is just conjecture, but the water probably sticks to the pot somehow, (and i'd want to experiment just putting water in, not necessarily cold) and waters down the milk near the base of the pot, but not the upper levels of the milk, which if you stirred it, the milk would be only negligibly diluted at the base of the pot.  It's the protein of the milk that makes it stick i'd imagine (if it were the sugar, it would soak off)

Is this gibberish?

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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