Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

This may be anecdotal. Playing in the kitchen I realized the frying pan comes with both a flat, and a concave bottom. So here's the question -

Given two pans made of brass, one has a concave base & the other a flat base, which of the two would use heat more efficiently? I would believe the latter because the flat base means any heat must necessarily travel through the cooking medium, and the recipe before reaching open air.

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The Wok

Wok

is a design that gets the maximum efficient use of energy for cooking and needs a minimum of heat source.

A flat bottom equivalent pan transfers the heat to the food from the bottom plane, and the walls are just containers radiating most heat away, since the food is at the bottom. A Wok focuses the heat from the walls to the food being cooked ( think of a parabola and its focal point). The walls partake in the cooking process effectively giving more area contact to the food than the flat bottom one.

share|improve this answer
    
But the walls in a vertical plane present the least surface to radiate from ... –  Everyone Sep 29 '12 at 4:24
1  
The thing is where is the radiation focused? A vertical cylinder has a focus line going up. There is little food there unless one is boiling a stew, usually it is the first ten centimeters where the food is cooking. The heat from the walls heats the air. –  anna v Sep 29 '12 at 4:28
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.