21
votes
10answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
24k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
611 views

Pizza baking order

First few times I thought it was coincidence but now I'm puzzled. I'm baking two pizzas, one after another, made from the same dough and with the same ingredients. Every time, the second pizza base is ...
21
votes
7answers
42k 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?
21
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 ...
21
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
5k 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?
21
votes
4answers
768k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to eat freshwater fish raw?

According to this question freshwater fish should not be used in Ceviche--why not?
21
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Does water that's been left to sit and then reboiled taste different from fresh water boiled once?

This may sound like a silly question, but I've always wondered: If I boil some water and use some of it and leave the remainder in the kettle, and then a few days later boil that same water again, ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

Shaken, not stirred…but why?

Most people are probably familiar with line from James Bond, "Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred." What I have never figured out is "why would it make a difference?" I have tried making martinis both ...
21
votes
2answers
803 views

What is the chemical process behind the way you cook a risotto?

Cooking risotto seems to differ from regular rice in two important ways: you stir the risotto regularly you only introduce liquid a little bit at a time What is the effect of these two steps ...
21
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
20
votes
12answers
12k 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 ...
20
votes
16answers
4k 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 ...
20
votes
10answers
27k 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, ...
20
votes
11answers
2k views

How might I roast coffee at home without investing in an expensive roasting machine?

Tired of the bland supermarket beans and too poor to sate my thirst at the local roaster, so I've ordered 20lbs of green coffee beans online... But, now what do I need to do to turn them into The ...
20
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

Honey changing into unusable, hardened clump

I buy raw, unfiltered honey from the grocery store in jars sold/packed directly by the farmer. When I had used the last jar to about half, I noticed the honey beginning to dry(crystalize?) to the ...
20
votes
10answers
19k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
31k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
10k views

Cure for burns from hot peppers / capsicum oil?

So, I foolishly ignored advice about wearing gloves while handling hot peppers. I thought since they were "just" anaheim peppers I'd be fine... I was wrong, and I repent. Does anyone know of a way ...
20
votes
12answers
62k views

Is there a substitute for tahini in hummus?

If I don't have tahini is there anything similar to use to make hummus?
20
votes
10answers
9k 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
4answers
4k 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 ...
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
9answers
23k 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 ...
20
votes
11answers
111k views

How long should I keep a cut onion?

Since I only cook for one or two, I will tend to buy an onion and only use part of it, and then keep the rest in the fridge. Sometimes it will be a while before I use the rest. Is there any guidance ...
20
votes
12answers
29k views

Should tomatoes be stored in the fridge?

Storing tomatoes in the fridge tends to make them last a bit longer, but I've heard that the flavor is negatively affected. What is the best way to store them?
20
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the “German” in “German chocolate cake” refer to the chocolate or the cake?

A friend insists that the "chocolate" is the German part of German chocolate cake, the evidence being that there are no palm trees in Germany (for the coconut frosting). Is this correct?
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?
20
votes
7answers
1k views

Cutting boards: What are some general tips on purchasing and using a cutting board?

I have heard various debates on the merits of wood versus synthetic cutting boards, and their affect on food safety, knife edges, and ease of cleaning and storage. What are the pros and cons of the ...
20
votes
10answers
24k views

Does kimchi go bad?

I bought some kimchi a few weeks ago, ate half the jar, and then forgot about it. I found it in my fridge yesterday and tried it. It tastes the same, but there isn't a date stamped on the jar. Does it ...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

Achieving perfection via manual drip-brew coffee method

Every time I make coffee it seems to taste different, and I've found there is a lot more room for error with the manual drip-brew method than using a Moka coffee maker or an automatic drip-brewer. ...
20
votes
10answers
88k 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

How do you properly clean a cutting board and knife to prevent cross contamination?

I have one very nice cutting board that I like to use with my chef's knife. Because I only use this single cutting board and chef's knife, if I have a recipe that calls for cutting raw meat as well ...
20
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it possible to preserve color in steamed vegetables?

When I steam green vegetables, like broccoli, they come out bright green. A few minutes later though, and they have darkened and dulled. Is this a symptom of cooking them for too long or is there some ...
20
votes
7answers
360k views

What is a substitute for mascarpone cheese?

I've found mascarpone cheese can be pricey. What would be a good (in taste and price) substitute?
20
votes
5answers
4k views

In peanut butter cookies, what is the criss-crossed pattern on the top good for?

I've been making peanut butter cookies, but skipping the step of pressing the top of the cookie down with a fork. What does this step do for the cookies?
20
votes
4answers
5k views

What are the differences between different types of onions, and when do you use them?

I used a recipe for a mean black-eyed-pea salad this past weekend which called for a red onion. Since I wanted extra onion flavor in the salad anyway, I decided to pick up a Vidalia onion to throw in ...
20
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I tell whether an egg has been hard-boiled, through the shell?

At my workplace, there's a mysterious carton of eggs in the common refrigerator. Nobody I've asked knows whether they're raw or cooked. Is there a way to tell, without cracking one of the eggs open?
20
votes
5answers
20k views

Does microwaving destroy nutrients in food?

After answering this article, I did some research on microwaving killing vitamins and nutrients in food. I very quickly learned that this is a touchy subject, even among nutritionists, and nobody (at ...
20
votes
3answers
915 views

When, if ever, are dried herbs preferable to fresh herbs?

Sometimes I see a recipe call for dried herbs. If I have access to fresh herbs, should I go fresh instead? Is there any benefit in using dried herbs with some recipes?
20
votes
4answers
1k views

How does the way that I cut my garlic affect the taste of my food?

I've seen recipes that called for coarsely chopped garlic and recipes that called for finely chopped or minced garlic. What affect does that cut have on the final taste of my dish? What about crushed ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it possible to make a marshmallow that isn't sweet?

I've got in mind to make a savory play on s'mores, using morel mushroom paste where you would expect chocolate. The graham cracker replacement should be no problem. But I'm stuck on the marshmallow. ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

What is the purpose of seasoning a skillet?

I've seen a couple questions on how to season a skillet, and this may be a dumb question, but why do you season a skillet? Does it impart flavor onto the food? For how long? (which I guess is one ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I ensure that pita forms a nice big, even pocket when baking?

I have the opposite problem as Amir's question about thick, fluffy pitas. Whenever I make pita, it's nice and thick and fluffy, but the pocket is small or nonexistent. I would like to use my pita for ...

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