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 ...
27
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 ...
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
2answers
18k views

Why is some metal safe to use in a microwave, but others not?

This might be a more scientific question, but it relates to cooking and I thought it was interesting. I just made my lunch which was a microwavable bowl of chunky soup. The directions said: ...
27
votes
6answers
35k 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 ...
26
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 ...
26
votes
8answers
15k 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?
26
votes
8answers
19k 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 ...
26
votes
6answers
34k 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
9answers
25k 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 ...
26
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?
26
votes
2answers
716 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
50k 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.
26
votes
9answers
116k 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 ...
25
votes
10answers
25k 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 ...
25
votes
10answers
15k 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?
25
votes
7answers
126k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
4k views

Should french fries be fried two times?

Most professional cookbooks tell me to fry french fries two times. First at a lower temperature of about 150-170°C and then at a higher temperature about 180-190°C. Reference: ...
25
votes
5answers
31k 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 ...
25
votes
17answers
12k views

Secret to takeaway curry

It's become something of a quest for me to find a curry recipe that tastes like the curry you get from an Indian Takeaway. I'm getting close with the consistency, but can't get the taste right. I ...
25
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 ...
25
votes
5answers
17k 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
2answers
27k views

What's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin?

I was debating with someone today whether what we were eating was a cupcake or a muffin, but realized we didn't really know the difference. So what's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin in ...
25
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
25
votes
15answers
117k views

Is it bad to cook frozen meat without waiting it to be unfrozen?

I wonder if it is bad to cook frozen meat (chicken, fish, beef,...) without waiting it to be unfrozen? Sometimes, I realize I forget to take meat out of my freezer beforehand, when I am too hungry ...
25
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
25
votes
12answers
56k views

Slow cooking without a slow cooker

I frequently hear people telling me about how wonderful their slow cookers (AKA "crock pot") are. In many cases they're right - meat that tends to come out tough in normal cooking comes out very ...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

How do you open a coconut?

Without killing yourself or others?
25
votes
7answers
52k 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 ...
25
votes
6answers
149k views

How much juice is in a lemon?

A lot of recipes call for the "juice of a lemon". I keep a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge as this is easier, cheaper and more convenient than buying lemons all the time but my problem is I never ...
25
votes
3answers
37k 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?
24
votes
10answers
58k 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.
24
votes
12answers
137k 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
27k views

What can I use for a Crème brûlée if I don't have a blow torch?

I've always wanted to make a Crème brûlée but I don't have a blow torch to burn the top with. Is there anything else I can use to get that nice crunchy caramel on top?
24
votes
9answers
4k 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 ...
24
votes
11answers
2k views

What is the best way to clean a grater?

A grater is a very useful instrument in the kitchen and it's fun to use. You can use it for a lot of food: cheese, citrus fruit peel, nutmeg, all kinds of vegetables, etc. But cleaning a grater is a ...
24
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 ...
24
votes
12answers
23k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
20k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do some recipes recommend Kosher salt?

Is it healthy or more tasty?
24
votes
7answers
14k views

Can I boil pasta in a pasta sauce?

Is it ok to boil pasta in pan with a pasta sauce? Is there any reason to boil pasta separately (and then add the sauce)?
24
votes
15answers
10k 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
24k 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?
24
votes
23answers
982 views

How do you organize your recipes?

I am thinking of collecting and organizing recipes that turned out to be good. The first thought I had is to write down the recipes in a word processor, print them out and collect them in a thin ...
24
votes
2answers
599 views

Which vegetables to use for stock?

Which vegetables and/or fresh herbs should be used when making vegetable stock? Are there any vegetables/herbs that should be avoided? Can parts of vegetables that would otherwise be discarded be ...
23
votes
14answers
13k views

Best meat replacements for a vegetarian/vegan?

Let's compile a list of vegetarian/vegan meat replacements. Generic replacements: Seitan Tofu Tempeh Quorn Quorn Vegan Alternatives Paneer TVP Commercial fake meats: Tofurky (Roasts, Sausages, ...
23
votes
12answers
34k views

How to stop meatballs falling apart when frying

I tried cooking meatballs as a change to what I usually cook but I found that they didn't stay together when being fried. I made the meatballs with about 500g of mince, a chopped onion, some herbs ...
23
votes
9answers
13k views

How can I grind coffee without a coffee grinder?

I usually buy prepackaged ground coffee for my drip coffee maker, but recently I accidentally bought a bag of whole bean coffee and threw away the receipt. Can I salvage this bag of coffee without ...
23
votes
7answers
21k views

What are some good substitutes for salt for those on low sodium diets?

I try to keep my sodium intake fairly low to ensure that my blood pressure doesn't get too high. Salt is such a common part of cooking, and it's especially difficult to cook Asian-style food without ...

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