Ice cubes

Useful science: cooking tips on ice and sugar

Have you ever wondered why some ice cubes are as clear as glass, or why bakers use sugar, even in savoury breads? Celebrity American chef, Alton Brown, answers these questions in this American Chemical Society’s (ACS’) Bytesize Science episode.

“Everything that happens in the kitchen is science,” Brown says. “So if you understand science, at least some of it, you’re going to have more power over your food.”

In this video, Brown gives examples of this principle and explains the basic chemistry behind two of the most essential ingredients in the kitchen — water and sugar. If you want to impress guests by turning water into glassy rather than foggy ice cubes for your cocktails, the video notes that understanding the behaviour of water molecules will help.

As for the other key ingredient featured in the video, Brown talks about what makes sugar so important in baking, even in those instances when sweetness isn’t the goal.