33
votes
8answers
62k 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 ...
33
votes
8answers
6k views

Why is there cow cheese but no pig cheese?

I have always wondered what there is no cheese made from other milks other than cow, goat or sheep. Are they not suitable for humans? Do they taste bad? Is it even possible to make dairy products with ...
33
votes
8answers
66k views

Stock vs Broth - What's the difference in usage?

I've now learned (from this site) that broth and stock are not the same product (see this great answer). So, in any given scenario, why should one use stock rather than broth, or vice versa? i.e. ...
33
votes
2answers
3k views

What does a healthy cast iron skillet look like?

I've read plenty about how to restore and season cast iron, but I have no clue whether any of the old cast iron I've inherited could benefit from this. Is healthy cast iron black? or should it be ...
32
votes
12answers
10k 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 ...
32
votes
7answers
110k 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 ...
32
votes
7answers
12k views

Why wait for water to boil?

I've always heard that you should wait for water to boil before adding pasta/perogies/vegetables/etc. What is the reason for this? Is it because it reaches boiling point faster? If so, why?
32
votes
18answers
47k views

Caffeine content of cold-brewed coffee: higher or lower than hot-brewed?

I recently rediscovered the joys of cold-brewing coffee. (One level cup of rough-ground beans, 4-1/2 cups of cold water, steeped overnight and strained, produces a rich coffee concentrate. A shot or ...
32
votes
3answers
1k views

Theoretical: why there's no gradient of doneness in bread?

I was always wondering, why there's no gradient of doneness visible on the cuts of bigger breads. For example: This one was made in the baking form, it has a thin visible crust, but after that the ...
32
votes
5answers
5k views

How do you ensure a tortilla keeps all its contents when making a burrito?

What's the best technique to tuck or close the tortilla when preparing a burrito so that it doesn't come undone when it's time to eat?
31
votes
14answers
4k views

Nonstick cookware or not?

I am looking to replace my >10 year old Calphalon nonstick cookware. I can see the nonstick surface coming off the pans, and am starting to worry about how much of that is getting into our food. I ...
31
votes
1answer
1k views

What does “do.” mean in old recipes?

I'm reading through a book of cocktails from 1865 and I often seen the measurement for a given ingredient listed as "do.". What does this mean? Examples: 40 1/2 ounces of roast and ground cocoa. ...
31
votes
7answers
18k views

How can I make bacon powder?

I want to make bacon powder, I assume the means cooking all of the fat out without burning the meat. Is this right? if so how should I do this? If not what should I do? How should I turn the bacon ...
31
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is 180 degrees C so common in recipes?

Is there any particular reason 180 degrees Celsius is so commonly called for in baking, roasting, deep frying?
31
votes
12answers
336k views

How to quickly and safely defrost chicken?

What is the safest, quick way to defrost chicken? Microwave? Running water over it?
30
votes
10answers
73k 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?
30
votes
6answers
2k views

What's the right way to hard boil eggs?

I find I always have trouble scaling the amount of time the eggs should be boiled, cooled, etc. for different-sized batches of hard-boiled eggs. I've heard a variety of "folk lore"-type rules for how ...
30
votes
11answers
9k views

How to succeed with making omelette

Sounds simple but I seem to fail every time, that is it turns into scrambled eggs instead. How do you make it so that you can flip it over both without it breaking and before it burns?
30
votes
14answers
3k views

How to peel hard boiled eggs easily?

This is one of the most annoying duties in the kitchen, for me. What are yours tips and tricks to peel hard boiled eggs easily?
30
votes
12answers
7k views

How to clean mushrooms?

Some people say cleaning with water removes the taste from mushrooms. But if I don't use water the mushrooms will carry a lot of dust. Do you have any techniques for cleaning mushroom so I don't ...
30
votes
7answers
5k views

How to test that a knife is sharp enough?

As per the question - how to I test that a knife is sharp enough? And/or, how do you know when a knife needs sharpening? Edit: Yesterday I attempted (I feel quite successfully) to hone my knives ...
30
votes
3answers
5k 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?
30
votes
12answers
1k views

Digital recipes storage? [closed]

How do people organize their recipes digitally? Software and web solutions are both welcome. For me, the ideal solution would accept recipes from different sources (copy/paste, or email) in any ...
29
votes
17answers
7k views

How to go from instant ramen to gourmet meal? [closed]

I'm looking for some common (or not so common) ingredients that you add to your instant ramen to make it a little closer to a full-blown meal.
29
votes
7answers
20k views

When you cook spaghetti, do you add olive oil to the boiling water?

Many people (at least in Germany) think that Italians add olive oil to the boiling water for spaghetti. However, Italians tend to tell the opposite (from my experience). So, can you please state ...
29
votes
6answers
3k views

What should I look for in a good, multi-purpose chef's knife?

If I want to buy a good multi-purpose chef's knife, which characteristics should I look for?
29
votes
6answers
5k views

Why are there so many different pasta shapes?

Do the different pasta shapes serve any purpose, or are they just for fun? Some difference appear to be cultural (lo mein vs spaghetti), but there are so many different syles of Italian pasta, is ...
29
votes
8answers
36k 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 ...
29
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
29
votes
6answers
6k views

How do I pick a watermelon at the supermarket?

Lately, every watermelon I bring home form the organic section of the supermarket has not been sweet.  Among the small, seedless varieties, I try to pick the densest. How do I know if it is ripe?  Can ...
29
votes
4answers
43k views

Should I peel kiwifruit?

What should I do with the kiwi peel? I've got no problem with its taste and feel and eat them whole when I'm by myself. Is it in any way bad for my health?
28
votes
9answers
38k views

What's the secret for Chinese fried rice?

I see a lot of recipes for fried rice, but never seem to be able to give the gorgeous lightly browned color (and therefore flavor) to my rice. This is before adding soy sauce or anything else. Is ...
28
votes
15answers
96k views

Does active dry yeast really expire?

I was cleaning out my spice cabinet and deep in the back I found two packages (e.g., six envelopes) of active dry Red Star yeast that expired in March 2009, 15 months ago as of writing this question. ...
28
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
28
votes
2answers
7k views

Why do you have to rinse rice?

I'm interested in learning to make my own sushi. Every guide I have read has stressed that the rice has to be rinsed thoroughly. The bags of rice I generally buy say not to rinse the rice in order ...
28
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are baking measurements such nice round numbers?

I've heard over and over that when it comes to baking, measurements cannot be ignored, and you need to be very precise. This question covers how precise a measurement of flour should be, for example. ...
27
votes
9answers
2k views

Parmesan rind: should I use it, or trash it?

I grate my own Parmesan cheese (and others). When I get down to the rind, I usually throw it out. Is there a use for it?
27
votes
10answers
18k views

Does ginger have to be peeled? If so how?

I noticed that many recipes that call for ginger explicitly call for peeled ginger. When I use ginger I don't bother to peel it. As it is almost always minced fine the tiny bits of papery peel are ...
27
votes
6answers
647k 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 ...
27
votes
9answers
4k views

What is the point of a salt mill?

Salt mills and pepper mills often come in pairs. I understand the purpose of the pepper mill: It breaks open the pepper corn and releases the aroma. But there is, to my knowledge, no such thing as a ...
27
votes
11answers
3k views

How should I prepare Risotto

I've been watching a lot of Hells Kitchen, and one of the signature dishes that Chef Ramsay has the chefs prepare is Risotto. This seems like a simple enough dish but often times the seasoned chefs ...
27
votes
10answers
32k 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 ...
27
votes
13answers
2k views

Good ways to store coffee?

What are some key points to store coffee to preserve freshness? Different methods for whole beans vs ground?
27
votes
13answers
97k views

How do I butter popcorn without making it soggy?

I've tried buttering my popcorn in the past, and it always turns out inconsistent. A few pieces will be soaked with butter, and others have no butter on them at all. Perhaps there is a way to get the ...
27
votes
5answers
30k views

When boiling water, why start from cold?

A question about probably the most mundane subject in cooking: boiling water. For cooking techniques where you drop ingredients in simmering or boiling water - such as for vegetables, pasta, many ...
27
votes
4answers
7k views

Does freezing butter or margarine change the properties?

I have a lot of butter & margarine and looking for ways to keep it for longer time. Will freezing them change melting point, flavor, or anything that could be undesirable when cooking? Update: ...
27
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
27
votes
13answers
63k views

How should I cook bacon in an oven?

I've heard of people cooking bacon in an oven by laying the strips out on a cookie sheet. When using this method, how long should I cook the bacon for, and at what temperature?
27
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are there spikes growing out of my ice tray?

This is sooo weird. As is my habit, I filled my ice trays with cold tap water and let them settle on the counter for 15 minutes or so. Then I put them in the freezer. A few hours later I opened the ...
27
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the difference between sea salt and regular table salt?

I often sea sea salt sold in grinders to be used at the table, with comments about how it tastes better. What sort of taste differences would I notice using sea salt vs table salt, and what other ...

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