5
votes
3answers
5k views

What are some good substitions for alcohol in cooking?

One of my favorite recipes these days is making a good bananas foster dessert. Everyone I know enjoys it, to some extent, so it's a go-to dessert, for me. One of my concerns, however, is that since ...
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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
20
votes
10answers
8k views

How do you cook grass-fed beef so it is not tough?

I recently went to a farmers market and bought some grass-fed beef. I went with what we normally buy, and got a couple of bone-in thick cut ribeye. I typically prepare this by liberally applying ...
20
votes
5answers
13k views

Ways to learn to season food correctly?

What is a good way of learning how to season food correctly? Are there some foods which are particularly bland until seasoned correctly that can be used to 'educate' your palate as to what is ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Buttermilk substitute?

I've got a recipe that calls for some buttermilk, but none on-hand. Is there some way I could use some common ingredient(s) as a substitute?
17
votes
4answers
729 views

Is there any way to remove stains (e.g. from curries and pasta sauces) from plastic containers?

I like using microwaveable plastic containers to bring my lunch in as they are my lighter than the Pyrex/glass versions. However, reheating my food up creates unsightly stains.
16
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I reheat a roux-based (alfredo) sauce in the microwave without separation?

I made an alfredo sauce last night using a roux made with ghee instead of regular butter, since that's what I had on hand. The ingredients were: ghee, flour, heavy cream, garlic, pecorino romano, and ...
13
votes
15answers
66k views

What oil to use when cooking steak, and what difference does it make?

When cooking steak, I have always been told groundnut oil is the best to use. But what difference does it make? Is it the best? And if it is the best, what's the next best?
12
votes
6answers
27k views

Making cake icing look professionally smooth

So you've got a nice, flat-topped cake after learning on Seasoned Advice how to eliminate doming and now you wish to ice it as perfectly smooth as you see it sometimes done commercially: no ridges ...
12
votes
4answers
716 views

Is unnecessary refrigeration problematic?

Our local grocery store's produce section has a few areas of refrigerated produce along the walls--mostly "wet" vegetables like lettuce, squash, peppers, green beans, etc. The rest, in the middle of ...
11
votes
10answers
11k views

How to imitate commercial fried chicken?

I'm trying to develop my own "secret" fried recipe, something that is similar to Popeye's or Church's. I'm a LONG ways from getting there. Here's what I did in my last experiment: Chicken was ...
10
votes
10answers
17k views

How can I choose good avocados at the supermarket?

I've been trying to ignore my burning desire to make some guacamole because every time I go to the supermarket to buy avocados I can't manage to pick out good ones. They always either become too soft ...
10
votes
5answers
679 views

What are good references for Gluten free baking

I have several members of my family who are GF. Baking for them has become a real challenge. I'm looking for good references to learn to understand how to work with this limitation in my baking. What ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Standard weight conversions for converting cups of flour to grams of flour?

I hate the idea of measuring flour using something as imprecise as measuring scoop. What numbers do you treat as definitive/authoritative/canonical for doing weight conversions for different types of ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How to look after non-stick cookware so it lasts?

Over the course of the last 4 years I think I seem to have been working my way through non-stick pans at a ridiculous rate, I think I'm on my 3rd frying pan and 4th wok - or something of that nature. ...
8
votes
2answers
734 views

How can I make yogurt at home?

What are the requirements for making yogurt at home. Is there a solid recipe for making yogurt?
7
votes
3answers
12k views

What to do about yeast that doesn't work?

I am using a new container of yeast from the store; I keep it well-sealed (it's a small jar) and refrigerated. I make sure to use warm water in bread recipes - I check the temperature using a ...
26
votes
3answers
48k 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.
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Best chopping board material for meat

I've heard that using a wooden chopping board for cutting meat is not very hygienic as it is a porous material. If that is the case, then what would a chopping board ideally be made out of when ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Does adding salt when soaking dry beans toughen or soften the skin of the bean?

I have heard opinions on both sides of this. The the latest answer on this site, says salt softens bean skins quoted Cooks Illustrated (I can't see the article, but I trust CI), while another answer ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it really necessary to wash a skillet that will be heated up again soon?

I made some eggs in a cast iron skillet yesterday and didn't wash the skillet. Today I want to make eggs again. Is it really necessary for me to wash the skillet before making more eggs? It would ...
15
votes
6answers
23k views

How should I prepare dried chickpeas?

I've never used dried chickpeas before, but I'm not wanting for chickpea recipes. The bag of dried chickpeas I got contains no instructions for cooking. I know that I need to soak them in water for a ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

What to look for when purchasing a blender?

I currently don't have a blender after purchasing my own home and am looking to get one for making smoothies primarily, but also for pureeing for soups, etc. I had a smoothie maker that I won as a ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I grow my own yeast (sourdough starter)?

I would like to always have my own culture of yeast (sourdough starter) in my fridge at home. Does anyone know how to grow yeast and keep it alive?
12
votes
2answers
752 views

Is it possible to temper chocolate at home?

I've read that tempering chocolate is the only way to get glossy, 'snappable' results. I've also read that it can be a complicated process involving precise temperatures. Is it possible to temper ...
12
votes
3answers
24k views

How do you make pork rinds?

The little bit I currently know is that they're fried pig skins. However, beyond that it's just a bunch of hand-waving on my part. Do you buy pig skin from a butcher? Is there a special type you ...
11
votes
5answers
19k views

How to avoid getting the pizza all watery?

When I cook pizza it gets all watery. There's literarily water formed on top of the dough. I believe it's released by the mozzarella, but I'm not totally sure. Any ideas how to avoid this? Some more ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Gummy residue from baking spray/oil

I'm sure everyone's seen this - that brownish stuff left behind when you grease an area of a baking dish that gets left exposed to the heat. Soap doesn't bother it too much, and it likes to gum up my ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the purpose of sifting dry ingredients?

What is the purpose of sifting dry ingredients (esp. with flour)? I heard in one place that it was because this is the best way to mix them well. I heard somewhere else that this is a carry-over from ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I sous-vide meat (at a temperature between 40ºF and 140ºF) for more than four hours?

According to the USDA cooking chicken at 145ºF (63ºC) for 13 minutes (i.e. maintaining an internal temperature of 145ºF for that long) will bring about a "7 log10 relative reduction of salmonella". A ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

Why does whip cream dispenser sometimes produce “ragged” cream?

Sometimes I make whipped cream in my ISI cream whipper and it comes out beautifully fluffy and smooth, and other times when I dispense it, the cream looks "ragged" for lack of a better description. ...
6
votes
4answers
18k views

Can I use cottage cheese instead of cream cheese when making a cheesecake?

If I can, would there be any difference in the measurements? For example if the recipe calls for 8 ounces of cream cheese, would it be the same amount of cottage?
6
votes
4answers
866 views

How can I make an Überfood?

Each day, you're supposed to get a certain number of servings of grains, vegetables, fats, etc. You know, the food pyramid. However, instead of going to all the trouble to prepare three meals with ...
6
votes
5answers
26k views

Are there any substitutes for Shortening?

I was specifically thinking about the Crisco shortening that is used in baking.
6
votes
4answers
687 views

How to make home-made butter?

Has anyone tried it before and how was the result? What are the steps and what ingredients and kitchen tools do I need?
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Storing Baking Soda

How can I store baking soda outside of the box it comes in? I buy baking soda in the orange box all the time however, I don't use it that often but hate leaving it in that box. Is there a proper way ...
24
votes
7answers
124k 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 ...
17
votes
8answers
13k views

Why is it important to add salt during cooking?

This may seem like a silly question, but given that each persons' tastes are different why is it that salt is added during cooking? It seems better to just allow the person eating the food to add ...
14
votes
7answers
13k views

Why are there no recipes combining both yeast and baking powder?

I've never seen anything with both yeast and baking powder. What's the reason for that? Shouldn't e.g. muffins get even more fluffy by adding some yeast? Or bread by adding baking powder? I know there ...
13
votes
4answers
65k views

What does it mean to “fold in” an ingredient into a mix?

I see this in baking recipes, but I've never been quite clear on the difference between mixing and "folding."
12
votes
3answers
10k views

Why skim “scum” from the surface of a simmering stock?

I've been reading various Googled recipes and techniques for stockmaking, as I made my first stock tonight using raw chicken bones. Just about every article/recipe I read says to skim the surface of ...
12
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there any way to avoid grease splatter?

I often cook fries in a skillet. I put about 1/4 cup vegetable oil into a large skillet and heat on high, then I toss in some frozen fries. As soon as I toss them in there is an explosion of grease ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I make a “baking powder” substitute in a pinch

Every once in while we run out of "Baking powder". What would be a good receipt for a substitute that you have used that works well. Thanks!!
11
votes
6answers
15k views

How do I tone down the intensity of raw onion?

How can I tone down the intensity of raw onion? Some onions have a more acute taste and smell than others of the same type, and I would like to avoid them in salad dish, or making dips with raw onion. ...
11
votes
4answers
8k views

Why does my steak turn out well done when the temperature probe says it's only rare?

Is it because I used a poor cut of meat? Did I not cook it fast enough? Should I have removed it from the heat sooner? Is my cut too thick? Is my temperature probe too conservative?
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Can I sharpen a knife with sandpaper?

So I was thinking, instead of purchasing a dedicated (and expensive) whetstone with limited coarse(ness?) range, why not use patches of sandpaper in increasing grit numbers (getting finer), stretched ...
10
votes
8answers
9k views

How can I make my Chocolate Mousse fluffier?

I regularly make Chocolate Mousse with an egg yolk, sugar and dark chocolate base folded into whipped egg white or whipped cream (or both). It's tastes pretty good and has a nice mouth-feel. Now I ...

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