electric oven

Cooking and Fuels

Enviromental Education For JTET/CTET

The process of preparing food for consumption with the use of heat is called as cooking. The art and science of cooking is called as cookery.

Cooking style largely depends on unique environmental, economic and cultural traditions and trends. Methods of cooking depend on the skill and type of training of a cook. However, in household cooking training is not essential and the art of cooking passes from generation to generation.

Cooking can also be done through chemical reactions without the presence of heat. However, we are not concerned with this type of cooking here. There is a traditional South American dish named as Ceviche which is cooked with the acid in lemon or lime juice.

Scientists are of the opinion that the advent of cooking played an important role in the evolution of human beings. Many anthropologists are of the opinion that cooking on fire first developed around 250,000 years ago.

The expansion of agriculture, commerce, trade and transportation between civilizations in different regions offered cooks many new ingredients.

New inventions and technologies, such as pottery for holding and boiling water, expanded cooking techniques. Some modern cooks apply advanced scientific techniques to food preparation

There are very many methods of cooking, most of which have been known since antiquity. These include baking, roasting, frying, grilling, barbecuing, smoking, boiling, steaming and braising. A more recent innovation is microwaving.

Various methods use differing levels of heat and moisture and vary in cooking time. The method chosen greatly affects the end result because some foods are more appropriate to some methods than others.

Materials that store potential energy is such forms that can be released or used for work as heat energy. The concept is basically applied solely to those materials which store energy in chemical forms and that could be released through combustion.

The medium used for burning is called as a fuel. Wood has been taken as traditional fuel. However, owing to its harmful effects due to release of smoke and its impacts on health, this practice is rejected on mass scale.

Next, came the coal which too could not lost longer due to emission of harmful gases during its burning. Liquified Petroleum Gas or the LPG has become the safer fuel for cooking now a day.

Fuels can be classified into solid, liquid, and gas.

Wood and coal are solid fuels whereas kerosene; diesel and petrol are liquid fuels. Not, all these fuels are burnt for cooking. But, some of these are burnt to release energy for driving engines.

CNG or the Compressed Natural Gas is another form of gaseous fuel but it is used for running motors.

Now a day, solar energy is used for cooking food as alternate source of the conventional energy. Solar cookers have also been invented to cook food by using solar radiations.

Such techniques are very suitable in the modern context even when the world is already facing warming and climate change due to concentration of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere.

Feature Image : MICROWAVE OVEN Internal scene

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