Frying an Egg on a Pan – Radiation Or Conduction?
When you’re frying an egg, do you worry about radiation or conduction? Both processes are responsible for the final product. However, they have some differences. Conduction involves the transfer of heat from a heated surface to an object in contact with it. When an egg is placed on a hot pan, the heat will transfer from the bottom of the egg to the top, eventually cooking the entire egg.
When cooking with an oily pan, food is cooked by either conduction or radiation. When the food sticks to the pan, conduction is the primary source of heat. This method is best suited for sautéing, pan-frying, and searing. In fact, the Maillard reaction is the primary benefit of conduction cooking. A hot frying pan will melt an ice cube almost immediately.
Conduction is the most common method of heat transfer. A pan that is hot will transfer heat to the contents of the pan, and the same process happens when you drop an egg into boiling water. When the egg is in contact with the hot water, it is heated through forced convection, and the egg will be cooked inside. A heat transfer like this is often difficult to achieve through convection alone.
As far as chemical changes are concerned, it’s hard to say for sure which is the best method. The fact is that frying an egg causes a chemical change in the yolk. Free fatty acids are produced during this process. The eggs lose water during frying, as well. In fact, whole eggs absorb up to 73% of the oil they’re frying. Moreover, eggs lose up to 12.5% of their water during frying. Hence, a better understanding of these processes will help us make the best use of these two modes of cooking.
While frying an egg on a pan, it’s important to keep in mind the shape of the egg while cooking. If the egg is overcooked, it will burn the white and not cook the yolk completely. To avoid this, use cooking spray to keep the shape of the egg while it cooks. Once the yolk is done, you can then serve it on a croissant or bagel. A fried egg with a crispy top should be cooked in 6 to 8 minutes, but if you don’t want to have a scrambled egg, you can always serve it as a sandwich.