Science Questions

Why do vegetables like swedes cook quicker when they’re chopped up?

Sun, 27th Jul 2008

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Question

Les, Over asked:

Why do vegetables like swedes cook quicker when they’re chopped up?

Answer

Chris -  This is all down to surface area.  If you chop up your swede into small chunks then it means there’s far more contact between the vegetable and the hot water.  If you have one very big swede you have a very big volume locked up inside your swede but not much surface area on the outside of the swede for the heat and the water to get into the vegetable matter.  If you chop it into small bits the surface area is now very high relative to the volume so it can get heat in much quicker.  The downside is that it can get cold much quicker once you put it on your plate.  Eat up quickly!

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