Carryover cooking (sometimes referred to as resting) is the phenomenon that food retains heat and continues to cook even after being removed from the source of heat. Carryover cooking is often used as a finishing step in preparation of foods that are roasted or grilled, and must be accounted for in recipes as it can increase the internal temperature of foods by temperatures between 5 and 25 degrees Fahrenheit (3–14°C). The larger and denser the object being heated, the greater the amount of temperature increase due to carryover cooking.
Resting, when used as a synonym for carryover cooking, also refers to the process of allowing the liquids in meats to redistribute through the food over a 5- to 20-minute period. This allows for a more flavorful and juicy finished product.
Because larger objects have a lower surface-area-to-volume ratio, they are more able to retain heat. This heat retention translates to a uniform temperature increase throughout the food as the heat dissipates to cooler areas. Additionally, foods with a higher water content are more subject to carry over cooking as water has a higher heat capacity and will have more heat to distribute throughout the food item.
- Turner, Danielle. "Carryover Cooking". Cooking Clarified. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- Brown, Amy (2008). Understanding Food: Principles and Prn (Third ed.). Thomson Wadsworth. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-495-10745-3.
- "Food Science: Why You Should Rest Meat After Cooking". The Kitchn. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
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