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49 votes
4 answers
1.4m 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?
67 votes
1 answer
73k 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" ...
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  • 13.1k
196 votes
6 answers
77k 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 (UK) / Australian (AU) / Canadian (CA) / American (US) / ...
79 votes
10 answers
103k 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?
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  • 1,578
55 votes
5 answers
258k 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 ...
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  • 1,397
77 votes
7 answers
269k 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?
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  • 4,889
26 votes
4 answers
744k views

How long can cooked food be safely stored at room/warm temperature?

If I leave fully-cooked food (particularly meat) out at warm temperature - say on the counter or in a crock pot that's been turned off - how long will it stay safe to eat? Does it make any ...
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  • 261
64 votes
10 answers
1.0m 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 ...
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  • 2,576
66 votes
9 answers
619k 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 ...
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24 votes
13 answers
277k views

What is a substitute for red or white wine in a recipe?

If someone cannot or will not use wine for cooking, what would be a good substitute? Question applies to both red and white wine.
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52 votes
10 answers
283k 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 ...
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  • 13.2k
24 votes
9 answers
40k views

Botulism, Garlic, Cold pressed Olive oil and mason jars

I make a product I invented called Maybe It's Marinade. Cold pressed extra virgin olive olive, pressed garlic as the base in three varieties, AoliOliO, Dill and Cayenne Pepper, garlic powder, and ...
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48 votes
7 answers
26k views

How do you clean a seasoned 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 ...
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  • 962
16 votes
1 answer
15k views

What do I need to know about temperature and food safety?

What general rules do I need to follow to keep my food safe? How do I know what temperature to cook something to, or whether my food is safe at room temperature?
9 votes
1 answer
4k views

What makes a moist steak (or roast)?

When cooking steak on my grill it seems that even at a steady temp of 350 Degrees F and for 20 minutes the steak seems to change in the way of texture. I get my meat from the same Hanaford and I ...
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123 votes
26 answers
49k 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 ...
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  • 4,583
47 votes
19 answers
7k views

How to Store Fresh Herbs

What is the best way to store fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro? I find I have about the same luck with them whether they are left in a plastic bag or I put them in a cup of water.
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  • 701
20 votes
9 answers
43k views

What's the best way to make Béchamel sauce?

When I make Béchamel sauce I keep getting different results. Sometimes the sauce becomes too liquidy and never seems to firm up. Other times it might get quite lumpy, despite my use of a recipe that ...
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  • 1,747
86 votes
8 answers
19k 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 question:...
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  • 58.1k
26 votes
8 answers
145k 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 ...
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  • 271
12 votes
8 answers
37k views

Substitute for onions and garlic

I love the taste of onions and garlic and it seems lots of other people do too. But they upset my stomach so much that I can't really cook with them. What can I use in their place to give my food a ...
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10 votes
7 answers
3k views

How many different varieties of 'pancake' are there?

I'm not talking about ingredient differences like adding blueberries or chocolate chips, or even buttermilk or cooked pumpkin to the batter ... How many fundamentally different regional types of '...
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  • 75.6k
174 votes
11 answers
148k views

Why add salt to the water when cooking pasta?

What is the effect of adding salt to the water when cooking pasta?
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  • 2,331
45 votes
17 answers
148k views

Is there something I can do to keep ice-cream soft?

I have bought a electric ice-cream churner, I have tried so many different flavours, different recipes, used alcohols. Have read previous questions and a don't believe that leaving ice-cream out to ...
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40 votes
13 answers
299k views

How can you make a sauce less spicy/hot?

Sometimes when I'm making a sauce or soup that needs to be a bit spicy, I have no troubles spicing how I want to. But if the dinner party is a bit late, or I made the sauce in advance to really draw ...
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9 votes
2 answers
30k views

Rules for refreezing food

What are the general rules regarding when can you refreeze food that was frozen and then thawed in the fridge? and what are the reasons behind them? (Hygiene? Food quality?). Let's assume for the sake ...
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  • 1,140
83 votes
31 answers
457k 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)? ...
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  • 1,627
28 votes
11 answers
32k 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?
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  • 1,069
112 votes
14 answers
278k 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 ...
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96 votes
10 answers
244k 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?
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  • 1,125
37 votes
4 answers
7k views

What oil or fat to use for different purposes?

I understand that one of the main reasons to use different kinds of fat or oil is the temperature at which it burns, e.g. an extra-virgin olive oil to fry a steak wouldn't work. Taste is also a very ...
user avatar
  • 1,083
48 votes
13 answers
34k views

Should I refrigerate eggs?

I've read a lot of conflicting advice on whether it's advisable to store eggs in the refrigerator. The case against seems twofold: (1) that eggshells are porous, and eggs can take on unwelcome ...
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23 votes
6 answers
232k views

What oil is best for seasoning a cast-iron skillet

I just cleaned up a rusty cast-iron skillet and I would like to season it. The thing is that I don't have lard handy and I'm wondering whether any of my other oils and fats would do. I have: canola, ...
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  • 587
40 votes
13 answers
263k views

How to fix food that got extra salty?

How to fix food that got extra salty? I imagine this depends on what the food is. With spaghetti, you can add water or change water if you detect it on time. But what about grilled meat? Or a tomato ...
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  • 1,345
31 votes
18 answers
72k 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 ...
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  • 2,529
20 votes
7 answers
398k views

Is it safe to cook a steak that was left out (raw) for 7 hours?

I left a round steak out for 7 hours in a container of cold water. It was wrapped very well, hadn't been opened yet. Is it ok to cook this? I planned on cooking it in the crockpot for 8 hours.
user avatar
  • 209
13 votes
5 answers
9k views

Are there any vegetarian-friendly egg substitutes that can be used in cakes?

I spent about 2 1/2 years as a lacto-ovo vegetarian but, I gave up eggs in October. The problem is that I really like cake. Unfortunately, the cake recipes that I've found that don't use eggs produce ...
user avatar
  • 233
12 votes
3 answers
34k views

How to measure the temperature of a pan?

When I need to know if a pan is above or below 100 Celsius but don't have a thermometer handy, I squirt some water on it. Say I want to check for another temperature, e.g. for the Maillard reaction or ...
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55 votes
6 answers
62k views

Why does my food turn out poorly using an All-Clad Stainless-Steel Fry Pan?

I have an All-Clad frying pan, the precise one shown below: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005AL5F I made this purchase out of curiosity after reading about the benefits of this professional ...
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  • 1,015
104 votes
10 answers
840k 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 ...
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  • 4,160
59 votes
11 answers
52k 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 chill ...
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  • 4,583
44 votes
11 answers
179k views

How long can I keep eggs in the refrigerator?

To keep eggs useful and healthy, what is the average time I can keep them in refrigerator? Can I freeze, and re-use them after melting, or will they be useless or not healthy to eat?
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  • 873
42 votes
14 answers
743k views

How to quickly and safely defrost chicken?

What is the safest, quick way to defrost chicken? Microwave? Running water over it?
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  • 585
40 votes
5 answers
1.3m views

What temperatures should I keep my refrigerator and freezer set at?

For a refrigerator, if it's cooler, items like milk and meat last a bit longer. However if I set it close to freezing then some items start showing frost on them. What temperature should I set my ...
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51 votes
12 answers
160k views

Frying Oil Reuse

What are some guidelines or rules with regard to filtering and reusing (vegetable/canola/sunflower) oil that has been used for deep frying? Is it safe and acceptable under some circumstances to ...
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18 votes
5 answers
119k views

How do you know when a cultured item is no longer safe to consume?

How do you know when yougurt (for example) is no longer safe to consume? Do I know it from the taste, how it smells, or something else?
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  • 7,052
25 votes
3 answers
10k views

How deeply will the flavors in a brine penetrate chicken?

I'm not asking about salt or "juiciness". I think there is enough evidence here and elsewhere to answer that question with "pretty deep, or all the way to the bone". My question concerns spices and ...
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  • 58.1k
20 votes
6 answers
19k views

How to calculate the calorie content of cooked food?

I like to cook from scratch, and I'm currently trying to loose a few pounds. I know that cooked food is generally more calorific than raw food, so if I add up the calories of the ingredients I know it ...
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17 votes
9 answers
49k views

Stripping seasoning from cast iron

After reading this article, I want to try to re-season a skillet with flaxseed oil; I'm fairly certain I did a terrible job when I seasoned the skillet several years ago. Is it possible to do this ...
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56 votes
2 answers
135k 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 ...
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  • 1,179

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