27
votes
9answers
153k 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. ...
27
votes
7answers
23k 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)?
27
votes
12answers
86k 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 ...
27
votes
6answers
66k 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: ...
27
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
27
votes
2answers
697 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 ...
26
votes
14answers
6k views

How can I cool tea quickly?

Imagine you're making someone a tea, but for whatever reason they have to leave soon. How can I cool the tea so that they don't have to choose between leaving it unfinished or burning their mouth? ...
26
votes
12answers
221k 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
177k 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
14answers
14k 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, ...
26
votes
9answers
45k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

What are the benefits and drawbacks of washing dishes in hot water?

When hand-washing dishes, it seems commonplace to wash dishes in hot water. This LifeHacker article about washing your hands in hot water versus cold water points out that: It's certainly true ...
26
votes
7answers
7k views

Is “sealing in the flavor” an actual thing?

Someone mentioned searing food to "seal in the flavor". My response was that searing was a way to add a delicious crust, and nothing more or less. However, I recently noticed a frozen food mentioning ...
26
votes
6answers
12k 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 ...
26
votes
8answers
11k 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
18answers
16k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
52k 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 ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

Food safety when tasting from dish

When making a dish, I of course taste it through out the process of cooking until its done. I have been extra careful - Each time I taste from the dish I use a new spoon - This means that I have to ...
26
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 ...
26
votes
3answers
54k views

What happens when you mix whiskey and water?

It is sometimes said that to best experience the flavor and aroma of a good whiskey (or whisky), one ought to add a bit of water. This practice is said to release flavors somehow. Is there any truth ...
26
votes
5answers
26k 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
85k 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
7answers
30k 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 ...
26
votes
8answers
3k views

How do you open a coconut?

Without killing yourself or others?
26
votes
3answers
4k 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?
26
votes
24answers
1k 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 ...
26
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it safe to eat freshwater fish raw?

According to this question freshwater fish should not be used in Ceviche--why not?
26
votes
5answers
10k views

What are the benefits of using a dedicated rice cooker, rather than just cooking rice in a pot?

For which reasons should I use a dedicated rice cooker, instead of cooking rice in a pot?
26
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 ...
26
votes
4answers
99k 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 ...
25
votes
16answers
8k views

Books that explain the science of cooking?

I have been cooking for a while now, but its mostly what I picked up watching others cook. I usually experiment with ingredients, try out a few things, and learn from there. In short, there is nothing ...
25
votes
3answers
5k 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
8answers
48k 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?
25
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 ...
25
votes
8answers
11k 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 ...
25
votes
10answers
21k 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?
25
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do some recipes recommend Kosher salt?

Is it healthy or more tasty?
25
votes
11answers
17k 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?
25
votes
13answers
20k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
36k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
7k views

Why would you place potatoes on salt when baking in the oven?

Several of my recipe books call for baking potatoes on a layer of (rock) salt, e.g. I'm currently following one for gnocchi that has this very instruction. Searching yields many recipes, but I can't ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

Wok preparation and caring

What is a good technique for initially seasoning a wok, keeping it seasoned, and preventing rust?
25
votes
3answers
11k 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?
25
votes
4answers
13k 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 ...
24
votes
14answers
58k 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 ...
24
votes
9answers
26k 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 ...
24
votes
11answers
5k views

How can vegans alleviate the effects of spicy food?

It's well-known that if you eat spicy food, you can neutralize the flavor (and thus stop your mouth from burning like a forest fire) by drinking milk. This is due to casein. Simply drinking water or ...
24
votes
2answers
20k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
88k 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
104k 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?

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