The Food Lab was an observation that anyone who’s ever cooked a steak could have made, and one that has since led restaurants to completely revise their cooking methods. Indeed, many high-end restaurants these days cook their steaks first, sealed in plastic, in low-temperature water baths, searing them only at the end in order to add flavor. The result is steaks that are juicier, moister, and more tender than anything the world was eating before von Liebig’s erroneous assertion was finally disproved.
Details about The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science
The question is, if debunking von Liebig’s theory was such a simple task, why did it take nearly a hundred and fifty years to do it? The answer lies in the fact that cooking has always been considered a craft, not a science. Restaurant cooks act as apprentices, learning, but not questioning, their chefs’ techniques. Home cooks follow the notes and recipes of their mothers and grandmothers or cookbooks—perhaps tweaking them here and there to suit modern tastes, but never challenging the fundamentals.