There's a reason why bacon doesn't taste as good microwaved as it does fried, and why chicken doesn't taste as good boiled as it does roasted. That reason is the Maillard reaction, a phenomenon that takes place when denatured proteins and sugars meet temperatures of around 300-500 degrees Fahrenheit (150-260 degrees Celsius) and combine, making meat turn brown and taste absolutely delicious.
From the Chem Lab to the Kitchen
Here's How the Maillard Reaction Works
An explanation of the chemical reaction that creates that delicious browning.
Key Facts In This Video
The Maillard reaction is named after the French chemist Louis Camille Maillard, who first described how sugars and amino acids combine to create numerous flavors. 00:33
Here are some examples of the thousands of different flavor compounds created by the Maillard reaction. 00:45
Humans may have evolved to enjoy these compounds because of the evolutionary benefits of cooking meat. 01:21
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