Food Science

Cooking isn't just an art; it's a science. We'll help you understand the physical and chemical processes that make food look, smell, and taste the way it does.
A collage of coffee blooms at various stages
Bloom Phase: How to Read the Bubbles In Your Coffee
Illustration of an imaginary desk in a lab at Harvard working on a bean study
Can You Stop Beans From Making You Fart? We Put 17 Methods to the Test
Close up view of Masa batter
From Birth to Bake: How Bubbles Form in Batters and Doughs
Cookie Science: Why Cream Butter and Sugar?
A container of baking powder next to a spoon full of baking powder.
How Does Baking Powder Affect My Cookies?
A pile of cubed butter
The Best Way to Soften Butter
Cookie Science: The Real Differences Between Brown and White Sugars
Brining Beans With Baking Soda: An Investigation
Meringue on pink background
The Science Behind Vegan Meringues
Cookie Science: How Do Eggs Affect My Cookies?
Mint-yogurt marinade being poured over boneless skinless chicken thighs
The Science of Yogurt Marinades
A small spoon holding baking soda with a container of baking soda next to it.
How Baking Soda Works
A seared rare steak cut in half on a wooden board
An Introduction to the Maillard Reaction: The Science of Browning, Aroma, and Flavor
Cookie Science: The Importance of Scraping Your Bowl
close up of ap flour sourdough starter on day 11
The Science of Sourdough Starters
Flavor Science: How We Taste Sweet, Sour, Salty, and More
The Truth About Mustard Oil: Behind the "For External Use Only" Label
Close-up of a hamburger
What Is American Cheese, Anyway?
Flip Frequently
What's a Smoke Point and Why Does it Matter?
What a Pressure Cooker Does Best
Close up of the face of an analog kitchen scale that reads 13 pounds, 10 ounces.
Cocktail Science: Do Alcohol Calories Count?
How to Make Tadka
The Science Behind Salt and Vinegar Chips
Meet Isoamyl Acetate, the Banana-Flavored Molecule You Love to Hate
Illustration of a man with a prominent but blacked out nose inhaling aroma rising up from a variety of foods
Smell Loss and Its Impact on Enjoying Food
Lifting off a lid of a pressure cooker.
How Pressure Cookers Actually Work
Overhead view of boiling water
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (Plus More!) About Boiling Water
The Case for Room-Temperature Foods
MSG crystals
Is MSG Actually Bad for You?
Behind the Phenomenon That Makes Your Wine Smell Like Farts
The Food Lab Video Series: Emulsions
The Food Lab Video Series: Boiling Water
Cooked, curled pepperoni with tiny pools of fat on the surface of a pizza.
Why Does Pepperoni Curl?
Asparagus sautéing
Why Asparagus Makes Pee Smell
Four Vietnamese baked chicken thighs, served on a wooden serving platter with cut limes and a bowl of cucumber salad.
Meet Warmed-Over Flavor, the Phenomenon That Turns Leftovers Funky
A tray of assorted Jell-O shots.
The Science of Jello Shots
Does Mixing Oil and Butter Really Alter the Smoke Point?
Brie and Nutella Grilled Cheese
The Science of Melting Cheese
Cocktail Science: All About Foams
How Salt Can Improve Your Tomatoes
Revisiting the Myth of The 12-Year Old McDonald's Burger That Just Won't Rot (Testing Results!) | The Food Lab
The Science of Lactic Acid Fermentation: Pickles, Kraut, Kimchi, and More
A Bloody Mary cocktail in a tall glass garnished with a celery stick and some shrimp on a toothpick.
The Bloody Mary: The History and Science of an Oddball Classic
6 stages of whipped cream
Cream Science: On Whipping, Butter, and Beyond
Simple Syrup
Cocktail Science: Simpler Simple Syrup
A jar of processed tomatoes being removed from a water bath with a pair of jar tongs.
How to Can Tomatoes
a cocktail being poured over a large ice cube in a rocks glass
Science! This is Why Hot Water Can Freeze Faster Than Cold Water
What Is Diacetyl?
The Science of (and Guide To) At-Home Carbonation
Here's Why McDonald's Burgers Don't Rot | The Food Lab
Get To Know the Microbes and Bacteria That Bring Us the Cheese We Love
Cocktail Science: 5 Myths About Ice, Debunked
Sotolon: The Molecule That Smells Like Pancakes, Fall, and a NYC Mystery
Is Good Pizza Really All About the Water? | The Food Lab
The Science of Heat vs. Temperature
A package of Fleishmann's active dry yeast.
Can Eating Yeast Really Keep You From Getting Drunk?
Why Does Absinthe Get Cloudy?
Cocktail Science: 8 Tips and Tricks For Getting the Most Out of Citrus