25
votes
4answers
96k 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 ...
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
10answers
22k 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
9answers
54k 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 ...
25
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?
25
votes
12answers
118k 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 ...
25
votes
11answers
20k 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
23k 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
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 ...
25
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do some recipes recommend Kosher salt?

Is it healthy or more tasty?
25
votes
2answers
8k 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
2answers
15k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
69k 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 ...
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
2answers
9k views

Resources that explain the science of cooking?

I have been cooking for a while now, but its mostly what I picked up watching others cook. Now, I am an engineer by profession, and it seems there ought to be a reason for cooking food the way it is ...
25
votes
3answers
13k 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
65k 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
27k 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
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 ...
24
votes
7answers
175k 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 ...
24
votes
8answers
108k 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?
24
votes
1answer
104k views

What is a clove of garlic?

If a recipe calls for 8 whole cloves of garlic, does it mean 8 whole garlics? Or does it mean 8 of the wedges?
24
votes
9answers
43k 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
3answers
5k views
24
votes
2answers
51k 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?
24
votes
11answers
19k 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
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
1answer
3k views

Why stir sourdough only with wooden spoons?

When reading about sourdough (in german texts at least), they almost always say to stir it with a wooden spoon. Why do they do that? Does metal or plastic somehow interfere with the sourdough?
24
votes
12answers
10k 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
53k 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
618 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
75k 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
536 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
7answers
30k 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
2answers
35k 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 question:...
24
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 ...
24
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
23
votes
8answers
55k 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
6k 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
12answers
21k 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 doesn'...
23
votes
18answers
76k 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
36k 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
10answers
28k 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
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
10answers
32k 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 ...
23
votes
7answers
82k 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
4k 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
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
8k views

What are the differences between types of soy sauce?

I recently started using Tamari over whatever the standard US form of soy sauce is. The difference was something of a revelation. The depth and complexity of flavor is an order of magnitude more ...

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