Many people are confused about whether cooking is an endothermic process or an exothermic process. Despite it seems that cooking is an exothermic process as we feel the heat while cooking, it’s actually is an endothermic process.
But why is cooking an endothermic process?
Before answering, let us clear your idea what an endothermic process actually is.
What is the Definition of Endothermic Process?
The endothermic process is a procedure where energy is required or absorbed from the surroundings to complete the process. In simple, external energy is required to complete the endothermic process.
The absorbed energy delivers the activation energy for the process to occur. For example, “melting of ice”. Here, an ice cube is absorbing heat energy from the environment, and that energy causes the ice to melt. In the same way, evaporation of water vapour, melting solid salts are the endothermic process.
Well, what do you think when liquids get converted into ice? Is that also an endothermic process? If you don’t know, then I’m here to help you out.
Endothermic Vs Exothermic Process
The term “Exo” means outside. If you are smart enough, you have already guessed what exothermic process means. Yes, you guessed it right. An exothermic process is a procedure where energy is produced as an output of the process when it’s done. Usually the energy forms as heat energy. But it also might be in the form of light, sound or electricity.
After an exothermic reaction or process, more energy is released to the environment than that was absorbed while initiating it. On the other hand, energy is reduced from the surroundings after an endothermic process or reaction.
The trademark of the endothermic reaction is it feels cold. The exothermic reaction produces energy so that the surrounding feels hot.
Coming back to the question of icing the liquids, that is an exothermic process. The liquid releases a certain amount of heat energy to the surroundings to get converted into ice. As energy is produced and released outside, it’s an endothermic process. Similarly, combustion of fuel, nuclear fission, respiration are examples of the exothermic process.
So, we can see that both processes complement each other. When we make something which produces heat is exothermic. Again, while breaking that thing, the same energy is absorbed, making it an endothermic process.
Back to Business: Why is Cooking an Endothermic Process?
Now we know in an endothermic process, heat is being absorbed by the processing system giving a cold feeling. Cooking food is endothermic because food receives heat energy during cooking. It doesn’t release energy while cooking. The heat is distributed through the food while it is cooking, and that is why we get our food prepared. The heat is basically making the food to be cooked.
It’s clear that the food absorbs the heat while cooking. Thus cooking is an endothermic process.
Many times I find questions like how is cooking an egg endothermic? The answer is quite similar in this case as well. The egg absorbs heat from the pan and therefore will be cooked with time. The whole cooking procedure is an example of the endothermic process.
FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)
Baking a pizza is an endothermic process as well. Because the dough absorbs heat. The heat then causes a chemical process of the baking powder which eventually produces carbon-di-oxide from the bicarbonate. These carbon-di-oxide holes in the dough make the dough rise and become larger spaces.
Baking a cake or cookies is an endothermic process. Baked cake absorbs the heat derived from the oven to bake the cake mixture and transform that into the solid pastry.
Eating is an exothermic process. Because after eating the food gets digested. In the process of digestion, complex substances are broken down into simpler ones. For example, starch is broken down into sugar and proteins. Energy is produced in the process. So, this is an exothermic process.
If you have been carrying this question: why is cooking an endothermic process?” We hope now you know the answer. If you have any queries, feel free to ask us in the comment section. Keep raising questions even if they are silly. One day you will become the wisest amongst all.