Tag Archives: cooking temperature

Why You Shouldn’t Always Turn Up the Heat When Cooking

Turning Up the Heat Could Affect Nutrient Levels, Flavors and Healthiness of Food

Little Johnny’s preschool class went on a field trip to the fire station. The firefighter giving the presentation held up a smoke detector and asked the class: “Does anyone know what this is? ”

Little Johnny’s hand shot up and the firefighter called on him.

Little Johnny replied. “ That’s how Mommy knows supper is ready! ”   Why You Shouldn’t Always Turn Up the Heat When Cooking

Many moons ago I used to be a housewares and cookware buyer for a major department store. I was 25 years old at the time and the only experience I had in the kitchen was eating. In order to learn about cookware, I had to learn about cooking. I remember one of the greatest chef’s of all time, James Beard, said that if cooking on high heat was a crime, violators should get a life sentence.

One of the greatest insults to nourishment in our modern fast-paced and processed food culture is the high heat at which so much of our food is cooked. This exposure of food to high heat may be convenient and quick, and it may fill the air that we savor, but it comes at a nutritional cost. Food, and the nutrients within our food, wasn’t designed then nor today to withstand extremely high temperatures.

Lets admit it folks, we don’t do well taking our time, taking it slow, going the long way home just to enjoy the scenery. Nutritional research is just starting to catch up with the consequences of our high-heat approach to cooking. Researchers from Mt. Sinai Medical found that foods cooked at high temps contain greater levels of compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that cause more tissue damage and inflammation than foods cooked at lower temperatures.

Take it from me, a retired cookware buyer, that turning the knob to high on the oven is NOT the only culprit when it comes to losing nutrients, flavor and eating less healthy. The sidekick in the crime in most cases is the cookware itself and the metals that  are used to retain and maximize flavor and nutrients in our cooking. Stay tuned for our next blog to learn about why the cookware we use is so important to cooking and eating healthy in our lives.