50
votes
4answers
593k views

How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?

If I left food out of the refrigerator for some period of time, is it still safe? If I left it out too long, can I salvage it by cooking it more?
67
votes
1answer
38k views

How long can I store a food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer?

How do I know if a given food or ingredient I have is still good, or if I should discard it? How can I best preserve a food or ingredient? This broad question is intended as a "general reference" ...
119
votes
4answers
36k views

Translating cooking terms between US / UK / AU / CA / NZ

This post is an attempt to keep track of the terms that differ between dialects of English or exist in some dialects but not others: British / Australian / Canadian / American / etc. Please note that ...
65
votes
10answers
50k views

What's the best way to season a cast iron skillet?

I just purchased a new cast iron skillet. What's the best way to season it? And if I need to re-season an old pan, is the process any different?
21
votes
4answers
395k views

How long can cooked food be safely stored at room/warm temperature?

If I leave fully-cooked food (particularly meat) out at warm temperature - say on the counter or in a crock pot that's been turned off - how long will it stay safe to eat? Does it make any ...
44
votes
4answers
138k views

Why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out and then cooked?

If cooking meat kills bacteria, and bacteria are responsible for problems with eating meat which has been left out, then why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out at room temperature and ...
47
votes
9answers
314k views

Is there a problem with defrosting meat on the counter?

I generally defrost meat on the kitchen counter. A friend of mine suggested that this was dangerous and suggested that I defrost meat in the refrigerator. I am no biologist but it seems to me that as ...
57
votes
7answers
127k views

Cooking away alcohol

When you cook with wine or spirits, when does the alcohol cook away? Obviously high temperatures will do it, but how low of temperatures will work? Also, does it vary by the type of alcohol?
98
votes
26answers
29k views

How do you properly cook a steak?

I love steaks so much, that I would like to get a green card and live in the States just to enjoy good steaks whenever I want. When I try to cook a steak at home (I live in Italy), it always turns ...
55
votes
9answers
464k views

How dangerous is it to refreeze meat that has been thawed?

I've often been told by people that I shouldn't refreeze meat (particularly hamburger meat) once it has been thawed. However, this seems a little silly to me. I can't imagine how meat that hasn't ...
42
votes
10answers
138k views

How do you make a cake lift equally and minimize doming?

Some time ago, I baked a cake (Sachertorte to be exact). The taste and texture was fine, so my recipe is okay. My biggest issue was the shape. In the middle it was really a lot higher than on the ...
43
votes
6answers
14k views

How do you clean a cast iron skillet?

I have a seasoned cast iron skillet, and I don't want to mess up the seasoning when I'm cleaning it. What do I use and what don't I use to get it back to clean? I've heard not to use soap and to ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What makes a moist steak (or roast)?

When cooking steak on my grill it seems that even at a steady temp of 350 Degrees F and for 20 minutes the steak seems to change in the way of texture. I get my meat from the same Hanaford and I ...
20
votes
11answers
178k views

What is a substitute for red or white wine in a recipe?

If someone cannot or will not use wine for cooking, what would be a good substitute? Question applies to both red and white wine.
16
votes
7answers
33k views

What's the best way to make Béchamel sauce?

When I make Béchamel sauce I keep getting different results. Sometimes the sauce becomes too liquidy and never seems to firm up. Other times it might get quite lumpy, despite my use of a recipe that ...
16
votes
1answer
9k views

What do I need to know about temperature and food safety?

What general rules do I need to follow to keep my food safe? How do I know what temperature to cook something to, or whether my food is safe at room temperature?
18
votes
7answers
153k views

Is it safe to cook a steak that was left out (raw) for 7 hours?

I left a round steak out for 7 hours in a container of cold water. It was wrapped very well, hadn't been opened yet. Is it ok to cook this? I planned on cooking it in the crockpot for 8 hours.
16
votes
8answers
20k views

Botulism, Garlic, Cold pressed Olive oil and mason jars

I make a product I invented called Maybe It's Marinade. Cold pressed extra virgin olive olive, pressed garlic as the base in three varieties, AoliOliO, Dill and Cayenne Pepper, garlic powder, and ...
80
votes
11answers
539k views

Is it safe to eat potatoes that have sprouted?

I'm talking about potatoes that have gone somewhat soft and put out shoots about 10cm long. Other online discussions suggest it's reasonably safe and the majority of us have been peeling and eating ...
39
votes
17answers
4k views

How to Store Fresh Herbs

What is the best way to store fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro? I find I have about the same luck with them whether they are left in a plastic bag or I put them in a cup of water.
11
votes
8answers
19k views

Substitute for onions and garlic

I love the taste of onions and garlic and it seems lots of other people do too. But they upset my stomach so much that I can't really cook with them. What can I use in their place to give my food a ...
70
votes
13answers
112k views

Do you heat the pan first, then add oil? Or put the oil in and heat up with the pan?

As the title says... I personally heat up the pan first, then put the oil in and after it's heated up add the ingredients. I go with the line of reasoning that doing it this way gives the oil less ...
67
votes
7answers
11k views

Browning Avocados - What Helps?

Years ago Koobz asked "Oxidized Avocado: What's Going on & How to Prevent It?" That question has been merged with this one because it's dealing with the same issue. Recently, we had this question:...
29
votes
3answers
4k views

What oil or fat to use for different purposes?

I understand that one of the main reasons to use different kinds of fat or oil is the temperature at which it burns, e.g. an extra-virgin olive oil to fry a steak wouldn't work. Taste is also a very ...
25
votes
10answers
22k views

What are the pros and cons of storing bread in various locations?

Why should/shouldn't I store my bread in the fridge/freezer/breadbox/plastic bag/etc?
10
votes
5answers
8k views

Can adequate heating transform spoiled food into safe food?

Suppose I have some food that became unsafe or contaminated by any means besides explicitly adding dangerous substances. It could be past the expiration date, or handled unsafely by leaving at room ...
43
votes
9answers
2k views

How should I care for my knives?

I've finally put down the money to buy a quality knife and it's sharpness is amazing! How do I take care of it so that the edge lasts and the knife stays sharp?
69
votes
27answers
270k views

How can I keep pasta from sticking to itself?

Whenever I boil pasta (specifically spaghetti), it always sticks to itself before I'm ready to use it. What can I do to avoid this without it becoming mushy (which happens if I keep it in the water)? ...
22
votes
8answers
5k views

How does one find recipes given an ingredient rather than the recipe name?

How does one find recipes given an ingredient rather than the recipe name?
39
votes
12answers
15k views

Should I refrigerate eggs?

I've read a lot of conflicting advice on whether it's advisable to store eggs in the refrigerator. The case against seems twofold: (1) that eggshells are porous, and eggs can take on unwelcome ...
31
votes
6answers
85k views

Frying Oil Reuse

What are some guidelines or rules with regard to filtering and reusing (vegetable/canola/sunflower) oil that has been used for deep frying? Is it safe and acceptable under some circumstances to ...
21
votes
6answers
42k views

Can extra virgin olive oil be used for stir frying, roasting, grilling?

I'd like to use extra virgin olive oil for the above mentioned cooking methods as opposed to other oils/butter. Are there any downsides to it, or can it be used safely in all those cooking methods? Is ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Are there any vegetarian-friendly egg substitutes that can be used in cakes?

I spent about 2 1/2 years as a lacto-ovo vegetarian but, I gave up eggs in October. The problem is that I really like cake. Unfortunately, the cake recipes that I've found that don't use eggs produce ...
10
votes
8answers
219k views

Is it bad to leave the crock pot on “warm” (not low) all day?

I just bought all the ingredients to make a soup in the crock pot. I was planning on having it cook all day, but I just realized the recipe only calls for it to cook on low for 3-4 hours. If I cook it ...
129
votes
11answers
81k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
56
votes
9answers
13k views

How can I get chewy chocolate chip cookies?

My chocolate chips cookies are always too crisp. How can I get chewy cookies, like those of Starbucks? Thank you to everyone who has answered. So far the tip that had the biggest impact was to ...
75
votes
10answers
89k views

Is it safe to put hot food in the fridge?

I heard that putting really warm food in the fridge right after cooking it is not the right thing to do. It might cause bacterial growth? Is this true?
33
votes
12answers
37k views

How do you cook a steak like those found in fine steakhouses?

I went to a 5* restaurant once, the steak was unbelievable. You could cut it with a butter knife, it was fat and juicy, pink in the middle, great stuff. When I cook it at home, I seem to just slice ...
38
votes
15answers
65k views

Is there a magic ingredient that keeps ice-cream soft?

I have bought a electric ice-cream churner, I have tried so many different flavours, different recipes, used alcohols. Have read previous questions and a don't believe that leaving ice-cream out to ...
44
votes
7answers
7k views

Why do some foods taste better the next day?

Many people think that certain foods, like lasagna, many stews and hearty soups, tomato sauce and so forth taste better the next day. My question is, is that really true, and if so, why? The ...
27
votes
12answers
239k views

How can you make a sauce less spicy/hot?

Sometimes when I'm making a sauce or soup that needs to be a bit spicy, I have no troubles spicing how I want to. But if the dinner party is a bit late, or I made the sauce in advance to really draw ...
47
votes
2answers
77k views

Why can applesauce be used in place of oil?

In many recipes, mostly desserts, it is suggested that you can substitute oil with applesauce to reduce the fat content. But why applesauce? Is there something special about applesauce or are there ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the basics and options of brining meat, for example chicken?

What are the basics and options of brining meat, for example chicken? I ate at a restaurant in Santa Fe that specialized in brining and the chicken was amazing. Id like to know what the process is ...
12
votes
6answers
28k views

How do you know when a cultured item is no longer safe to consume?

How do you know when yougurt (for example) is no longer safe to consume? Do I know it from the taste, how it smells, or something else?
89
votes
13answers
9k views

What knives are “required” for a serious home kitchen?

I consider myself a serious home cook. What knives are essential?
41
votes
6answers
27k views

Why does my food turn out poorly using an All-Clad Stainless-Steel Fry Pan?

I have an All-Clad frying pan, the precise one shown below: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005AL5F I made this purchase out of curiosity after reading about the benefits of this professional ...
40
votes
11answers
111k views

How long can I keep eggs in the refrigerator?

To keep eggs useful and healthy, what is the average time I can keep them in refrigerator? Can I freeze, and re-use them after melting, or will they be useless or not healthy to eat?
17
votes
14answers
8k views

Better Scrambled Eggs

I used to add milk to eggs when whipping them, but someone told me that water was better since it evaporated and made the eggs fluffier. I've tried it, and I'm not sure which one works better. Any ...
34
votes
6answers
1.0m views

What temperatures should I keep my refrigerator and freezer set at?

For a refrigerator, if it's cooler, items like milk and meat last a bit longer. However if I set it close to freezing then some items start showing frost on them. What temperature should I set my ...
38
votes
6answers
11k views

Pasta: is simmering equivalent to roiling boil?

I recently got into a surprisingly heated argument with a friend about what level of boil you should cook your pasta at. He (an engineer) argued that the heat transfer would remain the same regardless ...

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