Conduction: Direct Contact

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Conduction is when heat moves directly from one atom to the next. Examples of conduction in practice include:

  • Skewering potatoes before baking. The metal skewer heats up along its length and transfers heat from the metal directly to the potato, so helping the potatoes to bake.
  • An electric waffle maker which heats up, resulting in a hot surface which then heats the molecules of the waffle mixture placed upon it.

In addition, conduction is most commonly considered in relation to the materials that make up utensils. Some materials are better conductors of heat than others, e.g. copper or stainless steel are better conductors than ceramics, so a wok is a better conductor than a ceramic dish.

Conduction is generally combined with convection.

Further Reading

  • Davidson, A. (1999) The Oxford Companion to Food, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192115790.