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 ...
23
votes
4answers
28k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
18k 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.
23
votes
8answers
7k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

What's wrong with using spin dryer to dry lettuce?

I love lettuce salad. I eat it very often. I bought a spin dryer, which I find very handy and I use it all the time. But recently I heard Gordon Ramsay saying that you should never use a spin dryer, ...
23
votes
11answers
11k views

How can I keep delicate food from sticking to the grill?

When I grill fish or chicken, often much of the meat and/or skin ends up sticking to the grill. What's the best way to avoid this?
23
votes
3answers
3k views

How to remove bits of egg shell from a cracked egg?

Sometimes when I crack eggs, I end up with a bit of shell in the egg. How can I easily get the shell out, as it always seems to evade my fingers?
23
votes
1answer
426 views

Sniffing out a rotten egg from the dozen

Is it possible to tell if an egg has gone off? I am not referring to those eggs that have been especially brined to look like they've been sitting around for decades, but to fresh eggs you want to ...
23
votes
7answers
17k views

How to store brown sugar without it becoming hard?

I put a clothes pin on my opened bags of brown sugar and keep them in a dark pantry at room temperature. Since I don't use it very often, it becomes hardened. My work-around is to use a grater to ...
23
votes
2answers
19k views

What are the differences between an induction stove and a regular electric stove?

What are the differences between an induction stove and a regular electric stove? They are both electrically powered, and don't look all that different, but the induction cooktops I have seen are a ...
23
votes
3answers
8k views

Never ending soup; is it actually safe?

In the poor student or youth worker days it was popular to have never ending soup; a large pot on the stove that was topped up with new and leftover ingredients when available. Normally the pot was ...
23
votes
6answers
2k views

How to prepare butter for baking when time is limited?

From my experience, the best way to use butter when baking is to let it soften to room temperature. However, sometimes one is short on time and must use the microwave to soften the butter. I always ...
23
votes
3answers
6k views

What's the difference between pan frying, sauteing, and shallow frying?

As I understand it, all of these terms refer to cooking food in a small amount of fat/oil. What exactly is the difference?
23
votes
4answers
82k views

Is there an alternative to condensed milk?

In Denmark we don't have condensed milk in our regular stores and I've actually only seen it in an UK-import store a few years ago. Is there an alternative to it or can you craft it with regular ...
23
votes
3answers
98k 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?
23
votes
4answers
8k views

How to peel chestnuts?

The chestnuts on an open fire question reminded me: Is there a trick to peeling chestnuts easily? I always end up with bits of hairy skin stuck to the chestnuts (ick), and/or stuck under my ...
22
votes
19answers
202k views

Making white rice more tasteful [closed]

I am very new to cooking. I can boil rice, but it tastes too bland. Is there anything else I can add to it, to make it taste better?
22
votes
17answers
41k views

Cooking an egg without oil or butter

I like scrambled and fried eggs but the butter or oil probably add unnecessary calories. How can I fry an egg with no butter? I tried in a Teflon pan but it was a mess.
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 ...
22
votes
8answers
612 views

Vegetarians and nutrition

Normally when cooking for vegetarian friends I focus on making the food interesting, since a one-off meal isn't going to throw them too much. However, we will be having a vegetarian stay with us for ...
22
votes
3answers
53k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
1k views

Unnecessary kitchen gadgets: a reference [closed]

There are a lot of advertised tools and electronic gadgets for every field; the kitchen is no exception. In my experience, there are a lot of useful tools for specific purposes (a garlic press, for ...
22
votes
9answers
90k 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. ...
22
votes
6answers
850 views

How to caramelise onions?

Often recipes ask for caramelised onions. What are some good techniques for cooking them this way, as it seems to take a while, and often even if they are on a low heat they can brown a bit too much ...
22
votes
9answers
3k views

How can I make my Ice Cream “creamier”

My ice cream doesn't feel creamy enough. I got the recipe from Good Eats, and I can't tell if it's just the recipe or maybe that I'm just not getting my "batter" cold enough before I try to make it ...
22
votes
8answers
489 views

Cues to a reliable or unreliable recipe?

Over on this question about measurements we got into an interesting discussion about recognizing reliable recipes. What cues do you look for to recognize one you would trust? This is a community wiki ...
22
votes
9answers
40k views

Expiration Date on Milk

What does the expiration date on milk cartons mean? I have different experiences with the date: There is still about a week before the expiration date but the milk has gone bad It is 1-2 days ...
22
votes
11answers
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 ...
22
votes
4answers
3k views

Does resting the dough for a long time reduce the need to knead the bread?

In this article by Chef Michael Smith, he mentions a recipe where leaving the dough to rest for 18 hours removes the need to knead the bread. Is this a viable alternative? I've tried the recipe and ...
22
votes
5answers
55k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
2k views

Wok preparation and caring

What is a good technique for initially seasoning a wok, keeping it seasoned, and preventing rust?
22
votes
1answer
3k views

Egg yolks vs Whole eggs

I'm about to make cinnamon rolls & one recipe calls for 2 whole eggs. The other recipe calls for 3 egg yolks. Which one will give me a moist, soft, cinnamon roll?
22
votes
4answers
5k views

How do you make General Tso's chicken as generally found in the Eastern USA?

I realize this is a recipe request, but I'm hoping that the supplemental information will be enough to let it through. I also realize it's rather localized and apologize to all of those who don't know ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the purpose of using ping pong balls on top of a Sous Vide Bath?

I recently saw a picture of expert Douglas Baldwin with his sous vide equipment in this article. One of his immersion circulator baths was covered with ping pong balls. What is the purpose of ...
22
votes
1answer
4k views

Why should a stock be simmered and not boiled?

Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook says that a stock should NEVER be boiled, why is this? Does the higher heat extract bitterness or something else undesirable? It seems a little strange because ...
22
votes
10answers
3k views

How do I make soft chapattis?

I have been trying to make chapattis (an Indian flat unleavened bread, somewhat like a wheat tortilla), using the following recipe for the dough: 300ml water, 250g whole wheat flour, 250g white wheat ...
21
votes
2answers
3k views

I bought Mainland's vintage cheddar, it tastes… stale?

Normally I bought a cheddar slice, which I've been eaten since child. It has a smooth and milky taste. This time I wanted to try something premium so I bought the pricier, but same kind of cheese. ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Why doesn't mayonnaise taste like pure oil?

The mayonnaise I tried making myself today (first try ever) wasn't entirely bad but there was something off-putting to the taste too, as if eating a spoon of pure oil. Now if I had never had ...
21
votes
9answers
25k views

What's the numbering system for spaghetti and does it matter?

When I lived in Italy some years ago I remember an Italian friend explaining the numbering system for spaghetti (perhaps also other long pasta). How spaghetti was sold in Italy with a number ...
21
votes
6answers
2k views

How can you melt chocolate without it getting wet?

I've tried a (few times) to melt chocolate but am obviously doing something wrong: Put a pot of water onto the boil Place a metal bowl over the pot Put chocolate into the bowl Wait for chocolate to ...
21
votes
11answers
3k views

What can I cook for Indian guests without trying to mimic Indian cuisine?

I am raised in Belgium, with the Belgian cuisine related to the French and (to a much lesser extent) the German. I'm having Indian friends over for dinner and I don't know what to cook for them. Last ...
21
votes
10answers
13k views

Is there any difference between chopped and crushed garlic in cooking?

Often recipes say to chop garlic, but I usually cheat and just crush it as it's quicker. Is there any difference in doing this? Will it have much of an effect on the flavour of the dish?
21
votes
4answers
66k views

Why isn't it safe to eat raw chicken?

Why is safe to eat some raw or undercooked meats like beef and fish (assuming you're careful), but not chicken? I know that there are bacteria in chicken, but are they in all chicken, or just so many ...
21
votes
2answers
9k views

Why does a microwave rotate the food being cooked? And is there ever a time when it shouldn't rotate?

Most microwaves I've used have a plate at the bottom that rotates when the microwave is running. I presume that rotating helps more evenly heat the food. Interestingly, my microwave rotates by ...
21
votes
10answers
12k views

Can I boil eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else?

I know cooking the eggs kills the salmonella and that the risk is small even for raw eggs. However, I stopped boiling the eggs in the same pot I'm boiling something else, like potatoes, when I learnt ...
21
votes
6answers
78k 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?
21
votes
2answers
5k views

Coca Cola's Secret Recipe

If only two executives know the secret recipe of Coca Cola at any one time, and it is so well guarded, then how do they manufacture Coca Cola in plants without giving away this secret to the workers?
21
votes
3answers
21k views

How does a splash of vinegar help when poaching eggs?

What does splashing in a shot of white vinegar to the simmering water do when poaching an egg? Is it for taste or is it supposed to react in some way with the albumen?
21
votes
10answers
14k views

What are the pros and cons of storing bread in various locations?

Why should/shouldn't I store my bread in the fridge/freezer/breadbox/plastic bag/etc?

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