24
votes
9answers
39k views

Why is it necessary to preheat an oven?

Just about every recipe advises to preheat the oven before using it. I often forget this, but luckily this doesn't seem to matter all that much. Hence my question: why would it be necessary to preheat ...
24
votes
4answers
3k 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, ...
24
votes
2answers
6k 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?
24
votes
11answers
8k views

How can I improve my fried rice?

I'm an amateur cook with almost no experience (never taught by my parents, first time cooking on my own was first few days living on my own), so I'm studying very hard because I want to be a great ...
24
votes
3answers
46k 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?
24
votes
8answers
18k views

Does adding salt help water boil faster?

I've always heard adding salt to water makes it boil faster. Is this true? If so, why? If not, why do people do it?
24
votes
8answers
595 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 ...
24
votes
9answers
68k 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
507 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
24
votes
7answers
28k 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
1.1m views

How long will uncooked chicken keep in the fridge?

My wife is obsessed about not leaving uncooked meats in the fridge longer than a day (esp. Chicken). If we buy chicken breast and we're not going to use them the next day, she'll put them in the ...
24
votes
2answers
11k views

Dishwasher safety - “top shelf” vs. “bottom shelf”

The instruction manual for some of my kitchen equipment says "Dishwasher safe (top shelf)". What difference is there between what an object on the top shelf of a dishwasher experiences, and what ...
24
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
24
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 ...
23
votes
8answers
31k views

Will spoiled food always make you sick?

Kind of a strange question, but say something has spoiled, i.e. smells bad, tastes bad, etc. Will it actually always make you sick? Like for instance spoiled dressing, let's say it tastes sour, ...
23
votes
5answers
5k views

Preventing my toast from becoming wet when I put it on the plate

Since I moved to my new flat, I have a problem when heating bread in any way. What happens is that if I put it on a plate, it gets very wet on the plate side. This is so acute that drops appear on the ...
23
votes
15answers
8k views

Why would I buy a rice cooker?

A friend of mine I'm getting an apartment with next year said that we should invest in a rice cooker. I'm fairly adept in the kitchen and don't come from a family that uses a rice cooker so I would ...
23
votes
12answers
19k views

How do I flip an egg when preparing it “over easy”?

I tend to break a lot of yolks when preparing eggs over easy. I also can't do it too fast, making it hard to cook multiple eggs at once (they tend to overcook). Sometimes the spatula I'm using ...
23
votes
18answers
68k 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.
23
votes
11answers
31k views

What can you surmise about coffee beans that have oil on them at the time of purchase?

I find myself favoring the purchase of coffee beans that have visible oil on them. My inference was that this bean had some extra flavor or awesomeness. Am I right, are beans 'better' if they are ...
23
votes
6answers
153k views

Can someone please give an explanation of different egg preparations?

When we go to a restaurant for breakfast and order eggs, we are often asked how we want them. I have a handful of ways that I will eat them (I often prefer over-medium) and I am sure there a large ...
23
votes
3answers
5k views
23
votes
2answers
43k views

What is the difference between green, white and black tea?

What is the difference between green, white and black tea? Are all based on original tea leaves?
23
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
23
votes
12answers
113k views

How to quickly soften brown sugar

I had some brown sugar that didn't get properly sealed and so now it's solid as a rock. What's the quickest way to soften it up and get rid of the clumps? Folks have suggested leaving an apple with ...
23
votes
10answers
23k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
74k views

When baking, is it better to use a gas or electric oven?

I'm looking for an oven and wanted to know if there is any difference between a gas or electric oven when it comes to baking things like cakes, biscuits and scones?
23
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 ...
23
votes
8answers
47k views

How warm must dough be in order to rise?

While making some focaccia this afternoon, my wife said, "sure the house is 'warm'; it'll be fine." One hour later, no rising. It may be worth noting that our house is 66F. So we stuck it in a warm ...
23
votes
2answers
28k views

How does a Miracle Thaw work?

Miracle Thaws are utensils for rapidly thawing foods. Put an ice cube on one and it melts before your eyes, yet the whole thing stays cool to the touch. How do they work? (Inspired by this ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do drinks drunk from a glass instead of a bottle taste differently?

Cola drunken out of a glass instead to a bottle/can taste differently to me; it is much better. Is this due to more aroma smelled by your nose when drinking out of open glass changing the kind of ...
23
votes
4answers
63k views

How much to reduce salt when using salted butter in place of unsalted butter

I normally don't keep unsalted butter on hand since I use it so seldom. So when a recipe calls for salt and unsalted butter among its ingredients would it be alright to use salted butter and reduce ...
23
votes
1answer
10k 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?
23
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
23
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
2k views

What research is there on tea preparation?

I'm a fan of modernist cooking, and its emphasis on precise measurements and consistency. I'm curious how to apply this to tea preparation - in particular, several things: It seems to be well ...
22
votes
2answers
5k 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. ...
22
votes
6answers
20k views

How do you coat perfectly round truffles with melted chocolate?

How do you coat perfectly round truffles with melted chocolate. Preferably with the least amount of mess. Normally, I just dip the truffle into a bowl of melted chocolate and remove the truffle with a ...
22
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
11answers
4k 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 ...
22
votes
8answers
5k views

How does one find recipes given an ingredient rather than the recipe name?

How does one find recipes given an ingredient rather than the recipe name?
22
votes
12answers
15k 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
19k 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?
22
votes
4answers
5k views

How does one invent a cookie recipe?

My cookbook has dozens of cookie recipes and I can find hundreds more online. But... If I want to invent my own cookie recipes how can I go about doing it, without wasting tons of ingredients on ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

How to make ice cream without a machine?

I recently made a poor-man's ice cream by making an egg custard and freezing it in the freezer in a metal bowl, stiring about every half hour. I was expecting it to freeze it 2 hours, but three hours ...
22
votes
10answers
173k views

What is the difference between pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce?

Pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce are both tomato-based, have roughly the same seasoning (Italian) and look a like. However, I (and a friendly user here) think there is a difference between the two. So ...
22
votes
5answers
19k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
5k views

How can I make this antique ginger wine recipe using ingredients available today?

I have this old family ginger wine recipe, but some of the ingredients are hard to find or may not exist any more... Essence of Ginger 12mls Tincture of Capsicum 9mls Essence of Lemon 5mls ...

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