14
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any scientific advantages to using a cork to stop a wine bottle?

Although I am by no means a connoisseur (I don't really even drink it) I have been investigating the various means by which wine bottles are stopped up. This was prompted by a negative reaction by a ...
14
votes
3answers
365k views

Is it okay to use aluminium foil instead of parchment paper while baking cookies?

I don't have access to parchment paper or even butter paper for that matter. I just read on a website that it'd be okay to use aluminium foil as long as I apply a coating of grease on it. And also ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

What should I check when buying a pineapple?

I live in middle Europe so pineapple (so called "ananas") is an exotic fruit for me. What should I check when buying a pineapple to make sure it would taste well? Should it smell specific? Should it ...
14
votes
6answers
23k views

What is the fastest/easiest way to prepare potatoes for mashing?

I've always thought that mashed potatoes should be a really simple thing to make. But I find that with all the peeling, quartering, boiling, not to mention the incredibly messy cleanup, it's actually ...
14
votes
8answers
12k views

What is the benefit of using a Mezzaluna Knife over a traditional knife

These seem popular in many modern knife sets, and I have seen them used (somewhat clumsily) in Europe. I have briefly tried some before, but couldn't see the benefit of it. But then again no one ...
14
votes
3answers
30k views

How does the power setting on a microwave work?

In general, how does the microwave power setting work? Is it a straight percentage of the maximum wattage or is it something less precise? For example, would the time to cook something in a 700 watt ...
13
votes
5answers
12k views

How important is RPM in a blender?

I'm looking at getting a new blender, basically the main things I want to be able to do with it are make curry pastes, ultra smooth restaurant quality purees and soups and grind small amounts of ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Light vs Dark Brown Sugar

Is there a practical difference between light and dark brown sugar? I ask because I've seen many recipes specify one or the other. Do they really behave differently in some way?
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Maillard in a Pressure Cooker

I was reading about frying in On Food And Cooking this weekend and it mentions that frying works so much better than oven cooking because oil has a far higher specific heat than air so it is able to ...
13
votes
11answers
9k views

Culinary uses for lavender

I have some lavender bushes in the garden. They last well and smell wonderful. I have always considered lavender a herb, but can't think how it is used in cooking. If people have any good recipes for ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Clarified butter? What should I know?

Ok, someone mentioned Mac-n-Cheese. Which led me to a mornay sauce. Which requires a bechamel. Leading to roux. Dropping me on the doorstep of clarified butter. I haven't ever used or made it. Is ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

Why does Green Tea taste sour as it cools down?

It seems every time I make a cup of green tea, if I don't finish it while it's still considerably hot, it starts to get really sour and tastes awful. Why is this and how can I prevent this? What am ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Do all modern electric stoves have “binary” heating elements?

I've noticed that the burners of some or all of the newish-style electric stoves which have a flat top have a peculiar property. They do not seem to be capable of running at a constant low ...
13
votes
5answers
8k views

how to grind pistachio nuts so that they stay dry

I've become a bit obsessed with making macarons and have actually managed to make them come out nicely, so I'm looking to take them to the next level and start using different nuts from almonds. When ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Besides salmon, what other meats can be grilled on a cedar plank?

I've fallen in love with this wonderful Cedar Planked Salmon recipe - the two times I've made it have turned out excellently! What other meats (or meat substitutes) can be grilled on cedar and not ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Science of fast (high heat) vs. slow (low heat) scrambled eggs and omelets

There seems to be a lot of disagreement about cooking "light" (as in texture) scrambled eggs, which would seem to be one of the simplest of foods. (To be clear, I'm specifically asking about the "...
12
votes
3answers
12k views

Pots and Pans in the dishwasher

Settle a longstanding feud in our household for me: is it safe to put pots and pans in the dishwasher? Assume we have both stainless steel and various non-stick pans. Assume we have frypans, sauce-...
12
votes
6answers
19k views

Beer batter fish, keeping the breading from peeling right off while eating?

A few months back I made beer-batter fish. I don't remember the exact recipe I used but I think I got it from foodnetwork.com. I fried in vegetable oil at 350. Everything came out OK, but the ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I make whole grains stick to the top of bread?

I want to bake bread or bagels that have whole grains like poppy seeds, cumin, caraway, etc. stuck to the top. I have tried just pressing them to the top but they fall off during or shortly after ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the first hotcake always the worst?

Every time I cook hotcakes, the first one is usually the worst one. It seems like it will take forever to cook and for the bubbles to show up at the surface. I initially thought it was the pan, that ...
12
votes
3answers
14k views

What does “spooned and leveled” mean?

I'm looking at a recipe that lists the following as an ingredient: 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled) What exactly does this mean? Is this literal - i.e. spoon it into the measuring ...
12
votes
21answers
67k views

How to ferment dosa batter?

I have never been successful in fermenting dosa batter properly in the US. I generally soak urad dal, rice and fenugreek seeds for a few hours and grind them together. Even if I leave the batter in 30°...
12
votes
2answers
12k views

What does to deglaze a pan mean?

A friend of mine described a recipe to me, and she said she deglazed the pan (I think I understood correctly). What does that mean?
12
votes
4answers
20k views

“Indian Spicy” vs. “Thai Spicy”

What ingredient(s) make the spiciness from Indian food distinct from the spiciness of, say, Thai food? Indian good seems to have a longer, slower burn, rather than a "sharper" spiciness of Thai. I ...
12
votes
4answers
22k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking rice?

Given the great answer to the question on adding salt to water when cooking pasta, I am curious whether the same explanation holds for rice as it does for pasta (flavor and starch gelation)? Is there ...
12
votes
1answer
394 views

Is there anything special about fugu meat?

I know that fugu is fairly well known both inside and outside Japan, and wild versions of the fish contains a toxin 1200 times more potent than cyanide. (Fun fact: one species is also the second ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Cast Iron vs Steel

1. What is the advantage of a steel skillet over a cast iron one? I currently use cast iron for most everything and am curious what I might be missing. 2. If there's an advantage to getting a steel ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How to store garlic?

When I buy garlic, I normally put it in a bowl on the kitchen counter or in the pantry, and then pop off cloves as need. Sometimes, if the garlic has been around for a while, I find what looks like ...
11
votes
7answers
11k views

Why do burgers sometimes fall apart on the grill?

Sometimes when cooking a burger I have had it completely fall apart for no apparent reason. Is this due to using a ground meat that is too lean? I don't add anything to the meat and don't spend too ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Suggestions for convenient and safe methods of transporting a few meals without a vehicle?

I'd like to prepare a few meals for a cousin who recently gave birth. She lives about an hour and a half away, and I will be walking and taking public transportation to get there. Does anyone have ...
11
votes
6answers
9k views

How do you peel chickpeas?

When making a hummus one of the key factors seems to be removal of chickpea white skins. Are there any tips on how can I effectively peel the skins off in an efficient way?
11
votes
8answers
6k views

How to get a smooth paste from ground chickpeas?

I make Hummus quite often, and use my food processor to chop the chickpeas. This yields a sort of coarse paste, which is a little better if I peel the chickpeas first. Adding liquid to the mixture ...
11
votes
2answers
61k views

Does it matter what type of wine is used to make mulled wine?

I had mulled wine at a French restaurant I went to for dinner last night, and it was a very dry wine - which was interesting, since there was definitely added sugar and the spices are typically ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

Best way to reheat pizza

Whats the best way to reheat leftover pizza? We usually use Boboli Crust with our own toppings, or sometimes we have frozen pizza.
11
votes
9answers
55k views

What is the difference between crepes and Swedish pancakes?

We just made the Swedish recipe this morning, and it seems like crepes...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I keep meringue pie-topping from falling?

Nothin' better on a hot summer afternoon than a slice of cold pie... And nothin' says "summer" like a great big fluffy meringue topping over that slab of rhubarb/lemon/banana custard. Unfortunately, ...
11
votes
6answers
9k views

How long does bicarbonate soda (baking soda) keep?

I am thinking of baking biscuits for presents for Christmas. However, the recipe calls for baking soda, and I cook from scratch fairly rarely, so I'm worried the leftover bicarb will go strange in my ...
11
votes
2answers
40k views

Is it scientifically verified that bananas will ripen faster when kept in a bowl with other fruit?

I've heard you shouldn't keep bananas in a bowl with other fruit. But they all look so happy together. What I'd like to see is hard science here. Or at least documented and repeatable observation. ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Coffee foam vs. Tea foam

One sign of really good fresh well-roasted coffee beans is foam. When you pour hot water into the French press, it foams, often forming a head up to 2" high. And when you use an espresso machine, ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Thick, moist, fluffy, flavorful pitas

Are there tricks for baking thick and fluffy pita bread? The ones I make come out fine, with an even puff and nice pockets, but they are on the thin side. I would really love to be able to make ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How to tell if it is honey, super filtered honey, or corn syrup?

There is this article here in Australia that an importer has labeled corn syrup as honey. It has been imported from Turkey and it has been sold to people. I think this is not just happening here in ...
11
votes
9answers
91k views

How do I make a really flavorful turkey burger?

Since turkey burgers don't have a lot of fat, you lose a lot of the flavor that you get with beef. Also, you have to make sure you cook them through (170 degrees), so they tend to dry out. What are ...
11
votes
7answers
19k views

How can I get crispy skin when pan frying fish?

I struggle to get crispy skin when pan frying fillets. What's the secret?
11
votes
3answers
64k views

Which fruits and vegetables should be kept in a fridge, and which outside?

I'm a bit unsure about which fruits and veggies should be kept outside the fridge and which inside. It seems that apples, oranges, and bananas, are normally kept outside, and melons, watermelons, etc ...
10
votes
2answers
813 views

How to prepare gnocchi dough for mixed ingredients?

After reading a recent post on incorporating vegetables into gnocchi (and presumably of potato/flour based pastas), I tried my own mixture of veggies and it came out great. Here is where the ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the advantages of using a stove instead of an oven?

Are there any advantages to using a stove instead of oven? As a woman of science, this is a question that has been lingering in my noggin for a very long time. The main points I'd like to see ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Utensil to thaw meat

A very long time ago, I was at a friend's house where her father took out this piece of ribbed metal from the cupboard. It was a dark piece of metal about the size of an adult hand. It had grooves on ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does frozen food seem to have lost its original taste and texture after reheating?

I usually freeze my leftovers. Then, when I reheat them, the flavors are diminished - less salt, less chili, less everything. Any ideas why?
10
votes
6answers
110k views

How long can I leave an uncooked steak out?

This is similar to This Question, but hopefully different enough. I have 3 porterhouse steaks sitting in my refrigerator that I need to cook up tonight. I've been told leaving them out for an hour ...
10
votes
3answers
21k views

Is 'Pizza yeast' any different than normal baking yeast?

A friend (Italian) mentioned that she uses 'Pizza Yeast' for making pizza, and one can't use normal yeast or it'll "grow too much".. I looked around the internet for "Pizza yeast" and all I found was ...

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