27
votes
11answers
27k 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 ...
27
votes
9answers
5k views

What is the point of a salt mill?

Salt mills and pepper mills often come in pairs. I understand the purpose of the pepper mill: It breaks open the pepper corn and releases the aroma. But there is, to my knowledge, no such thing as a ...
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 ...
27
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?
27
votes
13answers
104k 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 ...
27
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 ...
27
votes
15answers
146k 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 ...
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
1answer
1k 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?
27
votes
2answers
21k 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
3answers
56k 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
9answers
132k 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 ...
26
votes
10answers
16k 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?
26
votes
11answers
63k 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.
26
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 ...
26
votes
5answers
38k 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 ...
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
6answers
4k 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, ...
26
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 ...
26
votes
8answers
16k 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
22k 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
39k 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
29k 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
145k views

How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?

If I left food out of the refrigerator for some period of time, is it still safe? If I left it out too long, can I salvage it by cooking it more?
25
votes
12answers
154k 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 ...
25
votes
7answers
134k 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
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
19k 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
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
61k 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
62k 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
166k 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
15answers
12k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
46k 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
8answers
24k 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
31k 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
4answers
31k views

When is a cooking oil not appropriate to substitute for another?

Frequently recipes call for a particular kind of oil for making use of certain characteristics (taste, heat tolerance, health, etc.). It's well known you can substitute cooking oils in most cases ...
24
votes
17answers
13k 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 ...
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
4answers
52k 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
8k views

Why not put knives in the dishwasher?

What is it about the dishwasher that harms knives? The only reasons I've found are: You could get cut... I personally have a greater change of getting cut by trying to wash them by hand. The blades ...
24
votes
12answers
26k 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
22k 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
3k views

Why do some recipes recommend Kosher salt?

Is it healthy or more tasty?
24
votes
7answers
16k 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)?

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