33
votes
7answers
6k views

How to test that a knife is sharp enough?

As per the question - how to I test that a knife is sharp enough? And/or, how do you know when a knife needs sharpening? Edit: Yesterday I attempted (I feel quite successfully) to hone my knives ...
33
votes
6answers
228k 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 ...
33
votes
3answers
2k views

Theoretical: why there's no gradient of doneness in bread?

I was always wondering, why there's no gradient of doneness visible on the cuts of bigger breads. For example: This one was made in the baking form, it has a thin visible crust, but after that the ...
33
votes
9answers
201k 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 non-stick-...
32
votes
12answers
10k views

Why use onions in cooking?

Onions are an ingredient in almost every recipe. I hate the taste(flavour) of them (I know I might be the only one). I always try to avoid eating them and try to pick them out of the food. Seeing that ...
32
votes
5answers
7k views

Why do American supermarkets only carry lamb and not mutton?

When I go to the supermarket I do not see much, if any, mutton, just a lot of lamb. So, I have postulated some possible explanations: mutton (the meat of a sheep) is being sold as "lamb", mutton ...
32
votes
11answers
109k views

Why let dough rise twice?

I'm just wondering, what's the point of letting dough rise twice? I've seen a bunch of recipes in the form: Mix dough together and knead Let it rise Knead again Let it rise again Why do they do ...
32
votes
8answers
50k 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 ...
32
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
32
votes
6answers
63k 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?
31
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the function of this shallow, 19-divoted, eared cast iron piece?

This piece was given to me a few years back by someone who picked it up at an estate sale. At the time I cleaned it up, re-seasoned it, and promptly forgot about it. At first blush I thought maybe it ...
31
votes
9answers
68k views

What's the secret for Chinese fried rice?

I see a lot of recipes for fried rice, but never seem to be able to give the gorgeous lightly browned color (and therefore flavor) to my rice. This is before adding soy sauce or anything else. Is ...
31
votes
6answers
85k 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 ...
31
votes
11answers
21k 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?
31
votes
8answers
8k 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, ...
31
votes
3answers
117k 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 ...
31
votes
8answers
23k 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?
31
votes
4answers
5k views

Is there any truth to the idea that you shouldn't multiply seasonings when multiplying a recipe?

I often hear cooks discuss that idea that if you are multiplying, say, a recipe for 4 to be a for 32, that you shouldn't multiply some herbs, spices, or salt. I've never understood any reason why this ...
31
votes
7answers
59k 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 ...
31
votes
3answers
8k 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?
31
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. ...
31
votes
12answers
2k views

Digital recipes storage? [closed]

What works well for storing recipes digitally? Software and web solutions are both welcome. For me, the ideal solution would accept recipes from different sources (copy/paste, or email) in any ...
30
votes
3answers
6k views

Is butter ever the same after having been melted?

I was recently doing some experiments with butter which involved melting it gently in the microwave and pouring it into dishes. It seemed to me that after the butter had cooled and re-solidified, it ...
30
votes
11answers
67k views

transfer pizza onto stone without sticking

After I have made my pizza and put the toppings onto it, I find that I am unable to transfer the pizza on to the pizza stone in the oven. When I try to do it the pizza goes out of shape, gets folded, ...
30
votes
8answers
15k 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 ...
30
votes
5answers
18k views

Is it safe to boil water in a microwave?

Our electric kettle broke. So this morning I used the microwave to boil water for the first cup of coffee. Only thing is - the water in south Africa is not really the best of quality when you get it ...
30
votes
9answers
25k views

What is the proper way to dispose of a kitchen knife?

How do you throw away a kitchen knife (or for that matter, any knife)? It seems extremely dangerous to just throw it in the dumpster, even if it's wrapped up real well.
30
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 ...
30
votes
16answers
46k 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 ...
30
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 ...
30
votes
5answers
9k 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 ...
30
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does my glaze soak into my doughnuts?

I fried up some yummy doughnuts and let them cool. Shortly after glazing them, I noticed that the glaze has soaked into the doughnuts. How can I prevent this from happening?
30
votes
12answers
64k 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 ...
30
votes
2answers
1k 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 "...
29
votes
11answers
11k 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
11k views

How can 100% peanut butter have more protein than 100% peanuts

I am looking at: 100% peanut butter (no added salt, sugar, oils or anything else) 100% roasted peanuts (no added salt, sugar, oils or anything else) When looking thought different sources, I can ...
29
votes
11answers
4k 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 ...
29
votes
14answers
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?
29
votes
12answers
114k views

How do I prevent an egg cracking while hard boiling it?

Sometimes when I cook hard boiled eggs they will crack in the saucepan, and some of the egg will seep out into the water. Am I boiling the water too vigorously, or can I add something to the water to ...
29
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
29
votes
3answers
4k 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
4answers
19k 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
7answers
10k 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
14answers
99k 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
9answers
52k 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 ...
29
votes
12answers
91k 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 ...
29
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
29
votes
4answers
113k 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?
29
votes
7answers
71k 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
3k 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?

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