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Cooking Experiment

Need Help Designing an Experiment


Cookware 40

Need Help Designing an Experiment

Seitan | Feb 6, 2012 09:58 PM

I want to do an A-B comparison between two sauce pans. The experiment is to see which pan heats up a a batch of water faster.

Problem: the two sace pans are not the same size. Nor are they the same shape. But they are not that different.

Background: I want to test one of my Cuisinart multi-clad pots against a friend's All-Clad Copper Core. I've always been curious about the copper core and whether it is actualy more responsive than other types of S/S cookware. I was only able to borrow my friend's 2 qt copper core sauce pan for a limited time. The closest similar size in my MultiClad line is a 1.5 qt. (next size up that I have is a 2- 3/4 qt). The 2 qt All-Clad is a little taller and narrower than the 1.5 qt multi-clad.

I ran a few preliminary tests using the same volume of water (of the same temperature) in each pot on the same stove top burner (electric). The copper core brought the water to a rolling boil about a minute faster than the multi-clad. Just out of curiosity, I ran the same test in the larger multi-clad 2 3/4 qt size pot. This resulted in an even faster time than the copper core, which didn't make sense. There must be something about heating a larger pot with the same volume of water that heats the liquid faster. I thought maybe it's the height of the water relative to the bottom of the pan. So I went back to testing the 1.5 qt multi-clad against the 2 qt All-Clad copper core with the same level of water in each (2"). This time, the 1.5 qt was faster. But now I don't know what I've learned.

I need help designing an experiment that can simulate a direct A-B comparison between the two different size pots. Should the water be the same volume? Or the same level? Or should the water fill the same relative volume of each pot? Or is this whole experiement invalid without the same size pots?

What's the best way to eliminate variables and make the fairest comparison?

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