30
votes
8answers
82k views

Should I rinse canned beans before using them?

Certainly, if I were making a salad with canned beans, I would thoroughly rinse them first. But if I'm making soup or chili with canned black beans or kidney beans, should I drain and rinse them ...
30
votes
1answer
9k views

What is the difference between a prawn and a shrimp?

Are prawns and shrimps the same thing or are they different? Basically, I think they're the same but one of my friends was arguing that they're similar but definitely not the same thing and they ...
30
votes
2answers
8k 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
972 views

Why are salt and pepper the “classic” dinner table seasoning?

Is there a reason we use salt and pepper on so many dishes and they can be found in any kitchen table at dinner time? Does it have to do with their flavor synergies, or were they just more available ...
30
votes
9answers
159k views

Does ceramic non-stick cookware “fail”, and if so, how?

I've heard of pans with ceramic non-stick surfaces; it seems some reports on internet say they may "fail" in about 6 months. How can these pans "fail"? Do ceramic-coated pans require ...
30
votes
4answers
53k 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?
29
votes
6answers
56k views

Frying Oil Reuse

What are some guidelines or rules with regard to filtering and reusing (vegetable/canola/sunflower) oil that has been used for deep frying? Is it safe and acceptable under some circumstances to ...
29
votes
4answers
13k 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: ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

What oil or fat to use for different purposes?

I understand that one of the main reasons to use different kinds of fat or oil is the temperature at which it burns, e.g. an extra-virgin olive oil to fry a steak wouldn't work. Taste is also a very ...
29
votes
16answers
34k views

How do I pound chicken (or other meat) without making a mess?

Despite my best efforts, my kitchen (and sometimes the chicken) always looks like a war zone after pounding 8 or 10 breasts. Maybe this is just a messy job, but I think there must be something I'm ...
29
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
29
votes
13answers
82k 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?
29
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 ...
29
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
29
votes
3answers
2k 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. ...
29
votes
7answers
50k views

How long do you let a steak from the fridge come up to temperature, and when do you salt it?

Before cooking a steak, you're supposed to let it sit out at room temperature. You're also supposed to salt it. What is the proper timing for these steps? How long do you let the steak come up to ...
28
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?
28
votes
11answers
31k views

How do you cook a steak like those found in fine steakhouses?

I went to a 5* restaurant once, the steak was unbelievable. You could cut it with a butter knife, it was fat and juicy, pink in the middle, great stuff. When I cook it at home, I seem to just slice ...
28
votes
11answers
76k views

Is it safe to eat smoked bacon without grilling?

The reason I ask this is due to the fact nothing on the bacon packaging indicates it can or cannot be eaten 'raw' and in general eating raw meat is a bad idea.
28
votes
10answers
18k views

How to chill beer quickly?

We all know the situation. The party is about to begin, it's really hot outside and we forget to put the beer (or similar drink) into the fridge... What is your way to chill beer really fast?
28
votes
9answers
6k views

How do I make prettier fried eggs?

I have no problem cooking fried eggs to my desired doneness or keeping them intact while cooking and serving. But eggs cooked by professional chefs and diner line cooks look like this: The white ...
28
votes
9answers
3k views

Tips for a small kitchen

I enjoy cooking but have a seriously small kitchen. There is only about 3 ft of work surface and that has kettle and toaster on it. I have a fair amount of shelf space but still need to larder goods ...
28
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 ...
28
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?
28
votes
7answers
6k views

How do restaurants make chicken fried rice? What ingredient am I missing?

Everytime I try to make chicken fried rice like I get at the take out place it never tastes like it does when they make it. We all know the basic ingredients Rice (1 day old), Chicken, Green Onions, ...
28
votes
3answers
78k views

Why use yeast instead of baking powder?

Both yeast and baking powder are used to gas-fill the pastry, make it expand and thus make it soft and fluffy. Using yeast is rather inconvenient - it can be dead already or if the yeast is submerged ...
28
votes
13answers
114k 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 ...
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 ...
28
votes
8answers
18k views

Is it safe to eat raw eggs?

I have a friend that is training for a marathon and he drinks 6 raw eggs before running (Yes, like Rocky) - is this safe?
28
votes
8answers
31k views

White pepper vs. black pepper

Other than color, what is the difference between white pepper and black pepper? I thought it was purely a color thing so that black pepper wouldn't ruin the color of, say, a white sauce. We tried ...
28
votes
19answers
15k views

How do you reduce static in a coffee grinder?

Is there a way to reduce/eliminate the static buildup in a burr grinder? I've tried a few different coffee grinders and inevitably on removing the grinds bin, I get a spray of coffee all over the ...
28
votes
10answers
39k views

How to rest meat but not let it get too cold?

Having read this question I am persuaded that resting meat is good for its flavour. But if the meat has a good temperature straight after it's been cooked, it seems as though it will be too cold after ...
28
votes
5answers
1k views

Shelf life of spices

The common wisdom I've heard is that dried herbs and spices: have a shelf-life of about a year or 2 keep best in a cool dark place will release more flavor when crushed That's fine but some spices ...
28
votes
4answers
68k views

Does it matter what kind of sugar is used in baking?

The baking recipes I use specify many kinds of sugar e.g. caster, raw, white, soft etc. Generally, I always just use raw sugar, mainly for convenience. Does it really make a difference?
28
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does my glaze soak into my doughnuts?

I fry up some yummy doughnuts and let them cool. Shortly after glazing them, I notice that the glaze has soaked into the doughnuts. How can I prevent this from happening?
28
votes
4answers
1k views

I want to make my own cheese. How do I get started?

I've seen people do their own mozzarella and it seemed easy. Any tips on how to get started (equipment, ingredients, recipes)? What about blue cheese and other stronger cheeses?
28
votes
3answers
76k views

What is the internal temperature a steak should be cooked to for Rare/Medium Rare/Medium/Well?

I'd like to know when to take my steaks off the grill and please everybody.
27
votes
7answers
7k views

Can I learn to like wine?

Wine, especially combined with the right food, seems to be a great deal among gourmets. I'd love to enjoy those highly-praised combinations too, but unfortunately, although I'm 22 years old by now, I ...
27
votes
5answers
2k views

Does searing meat lock in moisture?

I just saw a claim to this end in another thread, and it is perpetuated about the internet and in many cookbooks. So: Is it true? Does making a nice crust (maillard reaction) on a roast seal in juice ...
27
votes
5answers
34k 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?
27
votes
6answers
52k 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: ...
26
votes
12answers
184k 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 ...
26
votes
7answers
153k views

Is ground beef that was in the refrigerator for two weeks and has turned brown still usable?

I bought some ground beef around 2 weeks ago and used half of it, putting the rest in a freezer bag in my fridge (not the freezer). It has since turned brown (not red, as when I bought it). Is it ...
26
votes
7answers
6k views

Will Cinnamon ever dissolve in a cocktail?

I have this idea, that making a cinnamon, vanilla and brandy cocktail would be delicious, and it is. But it is also kinda grainy. What I have been doing: In a 500ml glass, add 15m brandy, add 1/2 ...
26
votes
8answers
9k views

Is a steak OK to eat if it fell down, but I cooked it afterwards?

If I am cooking steaks at a grill and one of them accidentally falls down on the floor/ground, is it safe for me to wipe it and cook it for a certain amount of time (till it is pretty well done) and ...
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 ...
26
votes
4answers
66k views

Is it normal to see flames inside my self-cleaning oven?

I spilled some sauce, cheese, and pepperoni in the oven last night while trying to transfer some homemade pizza from the pizza peel onto the pizza stone, so I decided to clean it today. I wiped the ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I make a chocolate cup that looks like the seaweed on a sushi roll?

I want to make a dessert that simulates a salmon roe sushi (like this) using rice pudding and spherified melon juice with a chocolate "seaweed" wrapping. But I can't figure out how to make the seaweed ...
26
votes
9answers
124k views

How do Chinese restaurants tenderize their meat?

I eat at a lot of Chinese restaurants now and also while growing up. I often wondered how is it that the chicken, pork, and beef in dishes are always so tender. I can never replicate it when I cook. ...
26
votes
7answers
26k views

How do cooks prepare risotto in a restaurant?

I'm not looking for a Risotto recipe. I make a pretty nice risotto, thank you very much. But, making a risotto takes about 20 minutes. It seems unreasonable to me that a cook would start from ...

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