198
votes
19answers
28k views

How can I chop onions without crying?

Onions are an excellent addition to many dishes, but cutting them can be frustrating when they make you "cry" all the time. Does anyone know any tips or tricks to help minimise the tears when ...
116
votes
10answers
60k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
107
votes
3answers
26k views

Translating cooking terms between US / UK / AU / CA / NZ

This post is an attempt to keep track of the terms that differ between dialects of English or exist in some dialects but not others: British / Australian / Canadian / American / etc. Please note that ...
106
votes
7answers
17k views

Is it possible to cook a whole fish in a dishwasher?

I heard that there is a way to cook a whole fish in a dishwasher - any techniques, tips??
91
votes
6answers
13k views

How can I tell the difference between a rabbit and a cat?

I received a shipment of prefabricated skinned rabbit last week and the shipment seemed unusual. Rabbits have a very close resemblance to cats once their “hair” and skin have been removed. Is there a ...
88
votes
11answers
49k views

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature?

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature? If so, how long is it safe to keep it out?
86
votes
10answers
73k views

Why use milk in scrambled eggs?

I've seen many recipes for scrambled eggs with and without milk / cream / half and half So what does the milk do? The only difference I can see is color - without the milk the eggs are a brighter ...
85
votes
25answers
22k views

How do you properly cook a steak?

I love steaks so much, that I would like to get a green card and live in the States just to enjoy good steaks whenever I want. When I try to cook a steak at home (I live in Italy), it always turns ...
81
votes
10answers
8k views

What knives are “required” for a serious home kitchen?

I consider myself a serious home cook. What knives are essential?
75
votes
11answers
444k views

Is it safe to eat potatoes that have sprouted?

I'm talking about potatoes that have gone somewhat soft and put out shoots about 10cm long. Other online discussions suggest it's reasonably safe and the majority of us have been peeling and eating ...
71
votes
18answers
10k views

How do you peel garlic easily?

How should I approach peeling a clove of garlic to get the skin off most quickly? Is it different if I'm doing a bulb whole?
70
votes
4answers
23k views

Why did my banana catch fire in the microwave?

Wow, that sounds like a silly question, but really! My wife froze bananas in the freezer with the peel still on. You can't peel them frozen. I put it in the microwave for one minute at 50% power. ...
69
votes
10answers
56k views

Is it safe to put hot food in the fridge?

I heard that putting really warm food in the fridge right after cooking it is not the right thing to do. It might cause bacterial growth? Is this true?
65
votes
85answers
5k views

What cookbooks do you always come back to? [closed]

Like me, there are probably a lot people on here that have a lot of cookbooks, but I find I keep coming back to the same 1 or 2 books to give me the basis of most of the stuff I cook. For me, I find ...
64
votes
14answers
79k views

Do you heat the pan first, then add oil? Or put the oil in and heat up with the pan?

As the title says... I personally heat up the pan first, then put the oil in and after it's heated up add the ingredients. I go with the line of reasoning that doing it this way gives the oil less ...
62
votes
7answers
8k views

Browning Avocados - What Helps?

Years ago Koobz asked "Oxidized Avocado: What's Going on & How to Prevent It?" That question has been merged with this one because it's dealing with the same issue. Recently, we had this ...
62
votes
1answer
24k views

How long can I store a food in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer?

How do I know if a given food or ingredient I have is still good, or if I should discard it? How can I best preserve a food or ingredient? This broad question is intended as a "general reference" ...
62
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between white and brown eggs?

I always use brown extra large eggs, but I can't honestly say why I do this other than habit at this point. Are there any distinct advantages or disadvantages like flavor, shelf life, etc?
61
votes
26answers
207k views

How can I keep pasta from sticking to itself?

Whenever I boil pasta (specifically spaghetti), it always sticks to itself before I'm ready to use it. What can I do to avoid this without it becoming mushy (which happens if I keep it in the water)? ...
57
votes
10answers
34k views

What's the best way to season a cast iron skillet?

I just purchased a new cast iron skillet. What's the best way to season it? And if I need to re-season an old pan, is the process any different?
57
votes
7answers
2k views

What are some good resources for learning Knife Skills?

What are some good resources for learning knife skills? Specifically, is there anywhere that I can see video demonstration of different slicing techniques and when those techniques are appropriate?
57
votes
5answers
37k views

Why shallots over onions?

It seems that in more advanced cookbooks and when watching professional chefs that shallots are used extensively. They seem to be used in the places where onions are in cookbooks which are aimed at ...
56
votes
8answers
13k views

Why did people start using CO2 (instead of e.g. oxygen) for carbonated drinks?

I am curious about why those who invented carbonated drinks chose to use specifically carbon dioxide in the liquid, instead of some other gas (say, oxygen). (Obviously they wouldn't necessarily have ...
54
votes
9answers
9k views

How can I get chewy chocolate chip cookies?

My chocolate chips cookies are always too crisp. How can I get chewy cookies, like those of Starbucks? Thank you to everyone who has answered. So far the tip that had the biggest impact was to ...
53
votes
6answers
6k views

How Did I Explode A Saucepan?

I am a complete amateur when it comes to the world of cooking. My recent attempts to teach myself have unfortunately lead to me needing to ask: How did I explode my saucepan? I'd put some ...
53
votes
10answers
3k views

How should I poach an egg?

What's the best method to poach an egg without it turning into an eggy soupy mess?
51
votes
7answers
3k views

What's a good resource for knowing what spices are and what to use them in?

I know what spices like garlic and black pepper are, and what foods you typically put them in. But spices like cardamom, rosemary, thyme, paprika, etc., completely elude me. I haven't found a good ...
50
votes
25answers
178k views

In a tomato sauce recipe, how can I cut the acidity?

It seems that every time I make a tomato sauce for pasta, the sauce is a little bit too acid for my taste. I've tried using sugar or sodium bicarbonate, but I'm not satisfied with the results.
50
votes
7answers
7k views

Is there a quick, easy, mess-free way to peel an orange (or grapefruit)?

Just what the title says, I don't enjoy getting my fingers all messy and I don't like getting a lot of pith. Is there a better way than just...peeling?
50
votes
4answers
23k views

What exactly is “Sushi Grade” fish?

What exactly makes some fish "Sushi Grade"?
50
votes
10answers
343k views

How dangerous is it to refreeze meat that has been thawed?

I've often been told by people that I shouldn't refreeze meat (particularly hamburger meat) once it has been thawed. However, this seems a little silly to me. I can't imagine how meat that hasn't ...
48
votes
8answers
88k views

Cooking away alcohol

When you cook with wine or spirits, when does the alcohol cook away? Obviously high temperatures will do it, but how low of temperatures will work? Also, does it vary by the type of alcohol?
46
votes
9answers
3k views

Once a month cooking

I've heard of "once a month cooking" or "freezer cooking," where you basically spend a day cooking and fill your freezer with the next month's worth of food. This could especially come in handy when ...
45
votes
14answers
317k views

What's the Ideal Coffee to Water Ratio for a French Press?

What's the ideal amount of coffee to use per cup of water in a French press? I've looked at various online resources, which all gave me a different amount. Some call for 2 tablespoons per 6 oz of ...
45
votes
8answers
18k views

Is it safe to eat moldy cheese if you slice off the edges?

Whenever my cheese gets too old and has a bit of blue/white mold on the side, I'm not sure whether I should throw it completely out or not. Is it safe to eat if I cut off the edge? Should I cut a bit ...
44
votes
13answers
70k views

Why do we peel carrots?

So I was sitting there, looking down at my counter, realizing that I probably had a good carrot or two of shavings just going to waste. (well, I'll compost it, but it's non-food at that point). Is ...
43
votes
6answers
11k views

How do you clean a cast iron skillet?

I have a seasoned cast iron skillet, and I don't want to mess up the seasoning when I'm cleaning it. What do I use and what don't I use to get it back to clean? I've heard not to use soap and to ...
43
votes
19answers
30k views

How can you reduce the heat of a chili pepper?

There are many chilis that have amazing flavors but are so hot that it is hard for most of us to appreciate them. Beyond the standard suggestion to discard the seeds and cut away the ribs, are there ...
43
votes
11answers
2k views

How can I train myself to identify flavors better?

I'd love to be able to cook well and I think a part of that is identifying flavors. We all have different palates, but there are probably some basic techniques that can be used to figure out what the ...
43
votes
2answers
59k views

Why can applesauce be used in place of oil?

In many recipes, mostly desserts, it is suggested that you can substitute oil with applesauce to reduce the fat content. But why applesauce? Is there something special about applesauce or are there ...
42
votes
10answers
98k views

How do you make a cake lift equally and minimize doming?

Some time ago, I baked a cake (Sachertorte to be exact). The taste and texture was fine, so my recipe is okay. My biggest issue was the shape. In the middle it was really a lot higher than on the ...
42
votes
9answers
2k views

How should I care for my knives?

I've finally put down the money to buy a quality knife and it's sharpness is amazing! How do I take care of it so that the edge lasts and the knife stays sharp?
42
votes
9answers
103k views

Stock vs Broth - What's the difference in usage?

I've now learned (from this site) that broth and stock are not the same product (see this great answer). So, in any given scenario, why should one use stock rather than broth, or vice versa? i.e. ...
40
votes
5answers
12k views

Could coconut cream be used to create a non-dairy ganache for whipping?

A few days ago I made a batch of profiteroles and éclairs, with a minor twist: For half the profiteroles, instead of chantilly cream I used a whipped ganache made from about 2 parts dark or ...
40
votes
6answers
14k views

Why do people smash garlic?

It seems a lot of people say to smash or crush a clove of garlic before they cut it up. Why is this? I've cut up garlic both ways, and I could see crushed being potentially a little easier to handle ...
40
votes
8answers
19k views

Why wait for water to boil?

I've always heard that you should wait for water to boil before adding pasta/perogies/vegetables/etc. What is the reason for this? Is it because it reaches boiling point faster? If so, why?
40
votes
4answers
103k views

Why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out and then cooked?

If cooking meat kills bacteria, and bacteria are responsible for problems with eating meat which has been left out, then why is it dangerous to eat meat which has been left out at room temperature and ...
40
votes
9answers
200k views

Is there a problem with defrosting meat on the counter?

I generally defrost meat on the kitchen counter. A friend of mine suggested that this was dangerous and suggested that I defrost meat in the refrigerator. I am no biologist but it seems to me that as ...
40
votes
7answers
6k views

Why do some foods taste better the next day?

Many people think that certain foods, like lasagna, many stews and hearty soups, tomato sauce and so forth taste better the next day. My question is, is that really true, and if so, why? The ...
40
votes
2answers
279k views

How do I know if food left at room temperature is still safe to eat?

If I left food out of the refrigerator for some period of time, is it still safe? If I left it out too long, can I salvage it by cooking it more?

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