31
votes
8answers
44k 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 ...
37
votes
13answers
463k views

How to quickly and safely defrost chicken?

What is the safest, quick way to defrost chicken? Microwave? Running water over it?
24
votes
8answers
92k views

What is the best flour to use for pizza dough?

I've been making pizza dough and the recipe says to use "good quality flour" but I'm not sure what it means? Are there differences in quality between different types of flour and how can I tell?
13
votes
6answers
96k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
7k 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
11answers
686 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How does velveting work?

The Chinese technique of velveting works. It creates a lusciously tender bit of meat, and I'm a complete advocate of making the small additional effort. If you've ever done it, you're already a ...
26
votes
5answers
22k views

Is “until juices run clear” a valid test for poultry doneness? Why or why not?

I've come across this particular recommendation many times in various recipes and cookbooks and probably even given it out myself once or twice. Poultry is sufficiently cooked when the juices run ...
25
votes
13answers
15k views

Is there anything I can add to homemade bread to preserve it?

I love making our own bread - we rarely buy shop bought, but it tends to go off very quickly. Part of the appeal is that it doesn't have any "junk" in it - artificial preservatives - which I'm sure ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

How can I reheat a roux-based (alfredo) sauce in the microwave without separation?

I made an alfredo sauce last night using a roux made with ghee instead of regular butter, since that's what I had on hand. The ingredients were: ghee, flour, heavy cream, garlic, pecorino romano, and ...
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 ...
13
votes
13answers
542k 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
11k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
13k views

Never ending soup; is it actually safe?

In the poor student or youth worker days it was popular to have never ending soup; a large pot on the stove that was topped up with new and leftover ingredients when available. Normally the pot was ...
17
votes
13answers
57k views

How do I prevent coconut milk from separating in Thai curry?

It seems like every single attempt I've made at making a Thai-style coconut curry ends up with the sauce mixture separating. Although it usually still tastes good, the coconut ends up looking like it ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How deeply will the flavors in a brine penetrate chicken? (experiment results)

I'm not asking about salt or "juiciness". I think there is enough evidence here and elsewhere to answer that question with "pretty deep, or all the way to the bone". My question concerns spices and ...
11
votes
5answers
12k views

Gummy residue from baking spray/oil

I'm sure everyone's seen this - that brownish stuff left behind when you grease an area of a baking dish that gets left exposed to the heat. Soap doesn't bother it too much, and it likes to gum up my ...
10
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How to look after non-stick cookware so it lasts?

Over the course of the last 4 years I think I seem to have been working my way through non-stick pans at a ridiculous rate, I think I'm on my 3rd frying pan and 4th wok - or something of that nature. ...
19
votes
9answers
172k 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 ...
18
votes
3answers
9k views

Does adding salt when soaking dry beans toughen or soften the skin of the bean?

I have heard opinions on both sides of this. The the latest answer on this site, says salt softens bean skins quoted Cooks Illustrated (I can't see the article, but I trust CI), while another answer ...
13
votes
5answers
9k views

How do you halve a recipe that calls for 1 egg?

How do you halve a recipe that calls for 1 egg? Clarification: I do not want to have to make the full recipe just to use half and I don't have powdered egg substitute.
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Making Mayo by hand , using whisk , emulsion breaks down

I'm trying to make homemade mayonaise and it's not really working out well. I got a glass bowl that's fairly deep and use the following ingredients: * 1 egg yolk* * 1/2 teaspoon salt (not kosher) * ...
9
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
11answers
32k views

Brownies without egg

My son has a severe egg allergy. We've tried a couple of egg-less brownie recipes but they always end up terrible. I've tried making a batch with an egg replacement and one without. In both cases, the ...
5
votes
1answer
9k views

Why do my pizzas get such hard crusts?

I usually buy ready made pizza base and use it for baking pizzas. All of my pizzas get a very hard and crispy outer crust. Why so? I thought of brushing some oil on the pizza base before I bake it but ...
28
votes
4answers
6k views

Is it safe to eat a cooked steak that (briefly) touched the plate that was holding the raw meat?

So I just finished preparing a perfect-looking steak, and as per usual, my apartment's hypersensitive smoke detector decided to go off. Not wanting to put the steak back into the pan, in one ...
24
votes
7answers
23k views

How to store brown sugar without it becoming hard?

I put a clothes pin on my opened bags of brown sugar and keep them in a dark pantry at room temperature. Since I don't use it very often, it becomes hardened. My work-around is to use a grater to ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What determines the shape-holding ability of cookies?

What things can you vary to make cookies hold their shape better during cooking, and not spread out like a pancake? From my experimenting, the initial temperature of the dough before cooking seems to ...
13
votes
6answers
788 views

Cup measurements: shake or scrape?

When you are measuring out your flour, sugar, etc with the measuring cups, is it better to scoop and then shake the cup to get a leveled cup, or scoop and then use a knife to scrape off the excess. ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Quinoa in a Rice Cooker?

I’ve recently discovered the loveliness of Quinoa, and the joy of buying it in bulk at Costco, so I’ll be making a lot of it in the near future. I’m wondering if I can use my rice cooker to make the ...
12
votes
7answers
5k views

Is Teflon dangerous?

I've read that non-stick saucepans using Teflon are dangerous. Why do so many people still use them including all the professional chefs, and how do you personally feel about using them after reading ...
7
votes
6answers
11k views

How do I get my chocolate chip cookies to turn out thick and soft?

How can I get my chocolate chip cookies to come out thick and soft? I always use real butter; is this a problem?
6
votes
3answers
8k views

How to measure the temperature of a pan?

When I need to know if a pan is above or below 100 Celsius but don't have a thermometer handy, I squirt some water on it. Say I want to check for another temperature, e.g. for the Maillard reaction or ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Is there a general algorithm for calculating the amount of time to roast meat for?

Often when you buy meat from the store it comes with guidance on how long the meat needs to be roasted, presumably calculated as a function of its weight. Is there some well known general algorithm ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

What can I do to help my avocados ripen?

I bought some avocados recently, and one of them was rock hard when I tried to cut it. I left it out for a couple days hoping it would ripen, but it didn't help. What can I do to help my avocados ...
17
votes
9answers
19k views

Fresh basil storage

How should fresh basil be stored? The packaging suggests that the optimal temperature is around 50°F, but I can't think of anywhere in an average kitchen at that temperature. A pantry is too warm, and ...
13
votes
1answer
54k views

Conversion rule: how to switch oil and butter?

Just a moment ago, I was making muffins. The recipe calls for 125ml oil. As a footnote, it says that you can replace the oil with 125g butter. Can you do so in every recipe (not just muffins or ...
12
votes
5answers
17k views

What flour and technique do I need for hand pulled noodles?

I can't get the dough I tried to be good enough so that I can pulled it and make noodles out of it. What kind of flour exactly do I need? What are other things do I need? I have used self raising ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

When a recipe calls for a cup of chopped nuts, should they be measured before chopping or after chopping?

It seems like it would throw off recipe since you can fit more in once they are chopped?
9
votes
4answers
56k views

What oil is best for seasoning a cast-iron skillet

I just cleaned up a rusty cast-iron skillet and I would like to season it. The thing is that I don't have lard handy and I'm wondering whether any of my other oils and fats would do. I have: canola, ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

Make chocolate with a high melting point?

Is there something that can be done to chocolate which will raise its melting point? I ask because this question wanted a way of getting space dust into a cake, which might be able to be done by ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it safe to use oil at its smoking point?

Teflon toxicity and second degree burns aside, are there any health issues related to cooking with oil at or past its smoking point? Googling a bit I found one article that went so far as to say you ...
6
votes
2answers
25k views

What is the best cut of beef to use for stews?

What cut of beef should I use for a beef stew? I heard that you want a little bit of fat in the meat, but what part the animal is best to use?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How many different varieties of 'pancake' are there?

I'm not talking about ingredient differences like adding blueberries or chocolate chips, or even buttermilk or cooked pumpkin to the batter ... How many fundamentally different regional types of ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How to make chicken absorb more salt when cooking a soup?

This is a really important question for me, it can actually make the difference between me recovering from a chronic illness or not. Basically I have been cooking a basic soup : 1kg chicken: 1.5 ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

Adjusting the baking time for large cakes?

How long should I bake a 13" (330 mm) sponge cake? Which gas mark should I use?
57
votes
7answers
2k views

What are some good resources for learning Knife Skills?

What are some good resources for learning knife skills? Specifically, is there anywhere that I can see video demonstration of different slicing techniques and when those techniques are appropriate?
45
votes
14answers
317k views

What's the Ideal Coffee to Water Ratio for a French Press?

What's the ideal amount of coffee to use per cup of water in a French press? I've looked at various online resources, which all gave me a different amount. Some call for 2 tablespoons per 6 oz of ...

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