9
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
73k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
847 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 ...
54
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?
40
votes
13answers
219k 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 ...
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 ...
60
votes
11answers
54k 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
65
votes
4answers
18k views

Why did my banana catch fire in the microwave?

Wow, that sounds like a silly question, but really! My wife froze bananas in the freezer with the peel still on. You can't peel them frozen. I put it in the microwave for one minute at 50% power. ...
39
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
37
votes
11answers
12k views

What's the proper way to dispose of used fats & oils?

Down the drain? Does it depend on the type? With bacon fat, I usually let it solidify in a cup lined with foil, and then throw it out. With used canola oil, I'm not quite sure what to do because it ...
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?
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 ...
22
votes
12answers
2k views

How do we escape the cycle of bad college eating?

Mouseover text: And yet I never stop thinking, 'sure, these ingredients cost more than a restaurant meal, but think how many meals I'll get out of them! Especially since each one will have ...
8
votes
7answers
3k views

Kitchen essentials for a poor college student who wants to cook like an iron chef?

During college years funding is low but the need to cook like a pro can be essential. (Let's say to meeting your future wife/husband?) What are essential devices the kitchen should have but will ...
21
votes
6answers
75k 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?
19
votes
7answers
1k views

How to make ice cream without a machine?

I recently made a poor-man's ice cream by making an egg custard and freezing it in the freezer in a metal bowl, stiring about every half hour. I was expecting it to freeze it 2 hours, but three hours ...
18
votes
6answers
67k views

How to keep my (deep frying) oil usable as long as possible?

I have a new deep fryer. I am pleased with its results so far. I am not a 'heavy user' though - say once every 2-3 weeks. I want to re-use the oil a couple of times. The deep fryer is covered but not ...
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
6k views

What varieties of potato would be good for chips / french fries?

What varieties of potato would be good for making chips / french fries that can be cooked in a deep fryer to give a nice golden crunch on the outside, but still be nice and fluffy in the middle?
18
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I make McDonald's type French Fries

I have eaten french fries from most popular fast food joints. McDonald's has been the best by far. Crisp & crunchy on the outside yet moist inside, still maintaining the potato taste. Also it ...
9
votes
7answers
89k views

Cooking beef: how to make it tender?

I have been trying to sauté beef and make pan sauces, but the meat seems to always become somewhat dry and chewy. How do I avoid this? I have the same issue when stewing beef in a slow cooker or dutch ...
27
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
52k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I prevent food from sticking to a standard (non-coated) pan?

On cooking shows I always see cooks using ordinary pans without non-stick coatings, and nothing ever seems to stick to their pans. But when I try the same recipes at home, my food always sticks. ...
26
votes
6answers
33k views

How can brown stains be removed from pots and pans?

I haven't been cooking for long — recent college grad — so I'm doing a lot of experimentation and making a lot of rookie mistakes. One of them is shown here for your viewing pleasure: ...
22
votes
10answers
10k 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
6answers
282k views

I need to quickly and safely thaw frozen ground beef, what are my options?

Since reading the answers to my question about defrosting meat on the counter I've been good about giving my meat time to defrost in the refrigerator. However, my plans for tonight have changed and ...
14
votes
1answer
497 views

Are there any general principles of ingredient substitutions?

When trying to determine if an ingredient can be substituted in a recipe, are there any general principles or guidelines that apply?
14
votes
12answers
34k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
714 views

How does salmonella get into eggs?

Since a few hundred million eggs have been recalled, I'm wondering how salmonella gets into eggs in the first place. Is it getting on the shells from the environment (or the hen)? Is it inside the ...
10
votes
8answers
23k views

How do you cook corn on the cob on BBQ?

Do you remove peel and wrap it in tin foil ? Do you put it directly on gril (with peel) ? How much time ?
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. ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some recipes recommend Kosher salt?

Is it healthy or more tasty?
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How to throw a pizza dough?

If there are different instructions for different sizes, those would be appreciated as well.
9
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
20
votes
9answers
87k views

How to quickly soften brown sugar

I had some brown sugar that didn't get properly sealed and so now it's solid as a rock. What's the quickest way to soften it up and get rid of the clumps? Folks have suggested leaving an apple with ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

How does the way that I cut my garlic affect the taste of my food?

I've seen recipes that called for coarsely chopped garlic and recipes that called for finely chopped or minced garlic. What affect does that cut have on the final taste of my dish? What about crushed ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Does putting salt in coffee really remove bitterness?

I have seen people claim that putting salt in coffee enhances the flavour or removes bitterness. Example. Does this really work? If it does, how does it work? Is there something chemical going on, or ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
19k views

Rule of thumb for cooking or baking different quantities?

I often want to cook double quantities from that stated in a recipe - say, twice the quantity of pasta bake or casserole (all in one dish), or two cakes instead of one (in separate tins). Is there a ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it possible to make cookies without creaming the butter?

I love to make some cookies but have limited kitchen appliances. I don't want to cream the butter and sugar by hand -- I did that before and it was not fun! Is it possible to make good cookies ...
9
votes
6answers
29k views

Is pyrex safe to use on a gas burner?

There seems to be conflicting views on whether a pyrex dish can be used on a gas burner. Can anybody here provide a definitive answer?
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the secret behind “always soft” ice cream?

Since humanity discovered the ice cream in a frozen cave in Antarctica, it was so hard you had to wait 15-20 minutes to be able to use it as food and not as a blunt object for a Hitchcock's plot. ...
8
votes
9answers
44k 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) ...

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