62
votes
12answers
65k 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
10answers
44k 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?
19
votes
5answers
6k views

Flavour combinations - structural analysis

Without neccesarily going into molecular cooking (although we could): does any literature / website / theory provide information on flavor / flavour combinations that go well together? (ignoring ...
14
votes
13answers
5k 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
7k views

Pasta: Simmering Water or Rolling 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Navigating the different types of cookware - new kitchen advice

I am looking to buy new cookware and I am confused by all the choices I have. I am trying to balance healthyness vs. ease of use vs. taste of prepared food vs. total cost of ownership (in that order). ...
19
votes
9answers
7k views

Can raw eggs be frozen?

If raw eggs are nearing their expiry date, can they be preserved in the freezer? Would there be any issues with them after taking them out of the freezer?
42
votes
2answers
49k 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 ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

How should I organize my fruits for storage?

As I learnt from this post, there are some fruits that should not be kept together with the others (e.g. watermelon and apple). Which fruits should be kept separately in order to prevent rotting?
22
votes
10answers
16k 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?
9
votes
8answers
10k 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 ...
59
votes
7answers
7k views

Browning Avocados - What Helps? - Second Edition Answer and Experiments

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 ...
69
votes
9answers
385k views

Is it safe to eat potatoes which have sprouted?

I'm talking about potatoes which 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 ...
46
votes
3answers
20k views

What exactly is “Sushi Grade” fish?

What exactly makes some fish "Sushi Grade"?
33
votes
12answers
11k 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 ...
28
votes
6answers
756k 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
36k views

Why does a brown paper bag speed ripening?

I often see this technique suggested as a way to speed ripening. Why does it? Also, is there any data available on how fast it ripens comparatively?
25
votes
12answers
160k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
28k views

What is the correct water to pasta ratio?

I have heard one should use a lot of water when cooking pasta; how much water should I use?
28
votes
7answers
6k views

What is the difference between various types of flour?

Is there a difference between the various types of flour that you see in the stores (i.e. Cake, Bread, and All-Purpose? Is it really necessary to stock 3 types of flour in my pantry or is this just a ...
38
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?

And can I use one in place of the other in certain recipes?
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I convert between the various measurements?

I found a recipe that's using one or more measurements that I don't recognize. How can I convert it to a unit that I use locally? Alternative question template: (to improve searchability): How can ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does my olive oil smoke/burn when I fry with it?

I see many chefs/people in food channels who use olive oil to fry stuff (like salmon). However, when I add olive oil for frying it quickly burns releasing dark smoke. Is there a specific type of olive ...
12
votes
6answers
6k views

dry garlic in oil --> botulism risk?

My girlfriend and I are thinking of preparing some flavored oils for Christmas presents this year (don't tell anyone!). We've read online that fresh garlic presents a health hazard when stored at room ...
7
votes
8answers
3k views

What is a good vegetarian source of umami flavour?

I'm looking for a source of the umami flavour to add to various dishes. However, since I became vegetarian I can't think of a good source for the flavour. I used to use Worcestershire sauce, or Nam ...
15
votes
7answers
20k views

Why are there no recipes combining both yeast and baking powder?

I've never seen anything with both yeast and baking powder. What's the reason for that? Shouldn't e.g. muffins get even more fluffy by adding some yeast? Or bread by adding baking powder? I know there ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

How effective are modern home refrigerators at keeping other foods cool when hot food is introduced to the space?

In the comments to this answer, there is some discussion as to whether putting significant mass of hot food into a refrigerator will unacceptably warm the other food already inside. Elsewhere on ...
29
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there any truth to the idea that you shouldn't multiply seasonings when multiplying a recipe?

I often hear cooks discuss that idea that if you are multiplying, say, a recipe for 4 to be a for 32, that you shouldn't multiply some herbs, spices, or salt. I've never understood any reason why this ...
10
votes
5answers
72k views

What is the ideal fridge temperature

I notice that in both countries where I lived the fridges are kept at 6 or 7 °C (43-45 °F). When it would be colder, people find their drinks to cold, when served straight out of fridge (especially in ...
9
votes
11answers
53k views

Can whole chilli peppers be frozen?

I have some Dorset Naga chilli peppers bought from the local supermarket. Aren't they lovely? :) Well, unfortunately, my local supermarket (I think the only one in the UK that stocks them) ...
21
votes
4answers
70k views

Why isn't it safe to eat raw chicken?

Why is safe to eat some raw or undercooked meats like beef and fish (assuming you're careful), but not chicken? I know that there are bacteria in chicken, but are they in all chicken, or just so many ...
14
votes
5answers
86k views

How long can eggs be unrefrigerated before becoming unsafe to eat?

A friend of mine accidentally left a carton of eggs on her counter, unrefrigerated, for three days. The eggs had been previously refrigerated both at the store and at home. Now she's planning to do ...
12
votes
5answers
7k views

Over-stirring muffin mixtures

In muffin recipes, the instructions often say to stir the mixture till "just combined". Why does over-stirring the muffin mixture result in tough muffins? And how do you know if you did too much ...
9
votes
5answers
52k views

What Kind of Frosting Doesn't Need To Be Refrigerated?

I'm looking for a frosting that I can leave on the counter (under a cover of some kind) for a few days. What kind of frosting (for a cake or cupcakes) would stand up to this? Update: Ideally, I ...
8
votes
4answers
100k 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 ...
50
votes
7answers
2k views

What's a good resource for knowing what spices are and what to use them in?

I know what spices like garlic and black pepper are, and what foods you typically put them in. But spices like cardamom, rosemary, thyme, paprika, etc., completely elude me. I haven't found a good ...
30
votes
8answers
40k views

The secret to hash browns / home fries / breakfast potatoes

I have never been successful in making pan-fried potatoes àla the American diner. It seems like such a simple concept, but they never turn out right! Usually undercooked & oily, with some parts ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I cook for just one person? any good cookbooks?

Being single again, I'm thinking it's time I learned how to cook for myself, problem is knowing how to cook, and buy, buying being a significant part of the problem, in quantities that will be just ...
34
votes
13answers
402k views

How to quickly and safely defrost chicken?

What is the safest, quick way to defrost chicken? Microwave? Running water over it?
12
votes
6answers
70k views

How should baking soda be used to tenderize meat?

At some Chinese restaurants, I've had beef dishes where the meat was unusually tender. It also has a somewhat unusual texture, which is hard to describe. I understand that this is a result of using ...
30
votes
3answers
6k views

Why should I “rest” meat after cooking?

I often read in recipes that I should "rest" meat after it has been cooked but what does resting the meat actually do?
12
votes
2answers
6k views

Are some flavour pairings known to work better than others (and if so, why)?

It is commonly known that there are five "primary" flavours: Sweet Sour Bitter Salty Savory (AKA Umami) That leaves 10 possible pairs of two, 10 possible sets of three, and 5 possible sets of ...
11
votes
11answers
657 views

What is a simple and easy way to make a meat dish for a college student [closed]

I need a bit of variety and more simplicity in my cooking. My 25 minute chicken curry is great, but it can get a bit frantic since I often leave cooking until I am very hungry (studying takes ...
29
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the purpose of creaming butter with sugar in cookie recipes?

I got distracted while assembling the dry ingredients for a cookie recipe and added the sugars, which were supposed to be creamed with the butter first. Fortunately, the sugar was added last and I was ...
14
votes
4answers
5k views

How do you make paneer?

I've seen the ingredient list of a brand of paneer with an ingredient list of: Milk, Citric Acid. Ok, so what is the process from there? I have a few specific questions: What kind of milk do you ...
12
votes
13answers
491k views

Butter substitute for 1 cup of butter for baking

What can I substitute for 1 cup of butter in baking recipes (e.g. cookies, muffins, cakes, etc.)? I'm looking for something that has less saturated fat (and also doesn't have trans fat). Update: ...
8
votes
5answers
8k views

How can I create steam in a normal oven to promote bread oven spring?

Oven spring and a crisp crust on bread are largely due to high heat and high humidity. Commercial bakery ovens have steam injectors. How can I replicate this high humidity environment in my home ...
31
votes
10answers
101k views

How to fix food that got extra salty?

I imagine this depends on what the food is. With spaghetti, you can add water or change water if you detect it on time. But what about grilled meat? Or a tomato sauce?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Can I sous-vide meat (at a temperature between 40ºF and 140ºF) for more than four hours?

According to the USDA cooking chicken at 145ºF (63ºC) for 13 minutes (i.e. maintaining an internal temperature of 145ºF for that long) will bring about a "7 log10 relative reduction of salmonella". A ...
19
votes
9answers
126k views

How long is it safe to drink coffee after brewed?

How many hours/days would you recommend to drink coffee (after brewed) and consider it safe? (For example if you don't want to waste it). What is the difference if it is refrigerated or not? The ...

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