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 bowl of ramen noodle soup; you can transform regular pasta into ramen noodles with baking soda.
Turn Your Pasta Into Ramen With Baking Soda
Side view of brining vegetables
The Science of Brining Vegetables
Overhead photo of peeled garlic.
Why Does My Garlic Turn Green? | Ask The Food Lab
What Happens to Your Coffee As It Sits, and the Science Behind It
For Smoother Ice Cream and Sorbet, Use Corn Syrup
Side view of layers of cincinnati chili
Can Food Set Off Metal Detectors? According to Jason Kelce's Vat of Skyline Chili, Yes
Calculating the Ghostbusters Twinkie Size In Real Life
Cottage cheese in a spoon.
What's Going On With Cottage Cheese?
A single jar of vanilla extract
How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
Table salt being added to a porcelain teacup covered with flowers.
The British Are Uproarious About This Chemist's Suggestion of Adding Salt to Tea
A collage of coffee blooms at various stages
Bloom Phase: How to Read the Bubbles In Your Coffee
Ovehead view of steak test
The Science of Marinades
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
Overhead view of two ramekins filled with white and brown sugar, respectively.
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
Two cookies side-by-side on a marble surface.
Cookie Science: The Importance of Scraping Your Bowl When Baking
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
Mustard oil being poured into a measuring spoon. A cutting board, knife, pestle, and half a lime are out of focus in the background.
The Truth About Mustard Oil: Behind the "For External Use Only" Label
Close-up of a hamburger with cheese on it
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
Closeup of banana-shaped candies arranged on a turquoise background.
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
Pure MSG crystals against a black backdrop.
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 in a pan.
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
A jar full of sauerkraut on a countertop, with an airlock fixed on top to let gas out.
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
Why Hot Water Can Freeze Faster Than Cold Water