Kitchen Chemistry


This book contains a wide variety of activities, from class practicals and demonstrations to reading comprehension and paper-based exercises, all of which are available for free on Learn Chemistry. Written in collaboration with Heston Blumenthal, Kitchen Chemistry explains that all foods are made up of chemicals and shows some examples from a typical kitchen.

Follow the links below to buy a copy from our online shop for £22.95. If you're a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, you're entitled to a 35% discount.


A short video introducing the Kitchen Chemistry series, hosted by Heston Blumenthal.


The Royal Society of Chemistry would like to thank the Discovery Channel for providing the video clips for this resource, and Twofour Productions for producing the clips.

If you teach primary science, click the headings below to find out how to use this resource:

Skill development

Children will develop their working scientifically skills by:

  • Asking their own questions about scientific phenomena.
  • Selecting and planning the most appropriate ways to answer science questions, recognising and controlling variables where necessary, including:
    • Grouping and classifying things.
  • Using appropriate scientific language and ideas to explain, evaluate and communicate their findings.

Learning outcomes

Children will:

  • Compare and group materials together according to whether they are solids, liquids or gases.
  • Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.
  • Explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and that this kind of change is not usually reversible

Concepts supported

Children will learn:

  • What happens when something dissolves.
  • That changes of state are often reversible.
  • That some chemical changes, such as burning, are irreversible.

Suggested activity use

The video could be used to stimulate discussion about the number of different changes children could observe happening in the kitchen: dissolving, reversible/irreversible changes, changes of state. Children could undertake some of the daily activities in the kitchen and sort these according to what chemical change is occurring and describe the process.

Practical considerations

The suggested uses require a prior knowledge of states of matter, and of reversible and irreversible changes.

A selection of examples to show different changes will need to be prepared beforehand, so children have a range of processes to sort. They should be able to identify which processes are reversible and which are irreversible. They should also be aware that some kitchen activities require both types of change, e.g. baking a cake involves mixing ingredients and baking.

If children are to carry out the tasks to help with the sorting process, health and safety considerations need to be taken into account, including considering food allergies.