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264 votes
21 answers
46k 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 ...
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) / ...
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
147 votes
7 answers
99k views

Why would boiling milk in an electric kettle break the kettle?

Or: is it safe for the electric kettle's integrity and overall functionality to be used to boil non-water liquids such as milk? *note: I know milk may burn onto the element and be difficult to clean ...
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  • 1,883
141 votes
2 answers
91k views

What is this colored fiber in my chicken?

I smoked a whole chicken. When I cut into the breast I found this: What is it and is my chicken ruined?
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  • 1,079
134 votes
7 answers
29k 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??
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  • 7,456
126 votes
7 answers
40k 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 ...
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  • 1,825
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
113 votes
12 answers
92k views

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature?

Is it safe to leave butter at room temperature? If so, for how long is it safe to keep it out?
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  • 1,383
112 votes
14 answers
154k 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 ...
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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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105 votes
6 answers
56k 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. ...
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  • 18.9k
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
98 votes
21 answers
22k 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?
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  • 11.3k
97 votes
4 answers
36k views

Why do grape-flavored foods taste different than actual grapes?

Grapes are one of my favorite fruits, but I typically don't like grape-flavored foods. For example, grape jelly or grape candies (like Jolly Ranchers) have a distinctly different taste. I imagine some ...
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  • 1,307
97 votes
13 answers
14k views

What knives are "required" for a serious home kitchen?

I consider myself a serious home cook. What knives are essential?
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  • 1,437
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
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
86 votes
12 answers
84k views

Are rare burgers safe?

On a recent trip to France, I had a burger that was still pink in the middle. I know this is incredibly common in France (and it was delicious!) - but, as I understand it, it would never be allowed in ...
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  • 1,044
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
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
79 votes
10 answers
35k views

Are there any advantages to freshly ground salt?

Recently, I've seen salt grinders sold in stores. I understand that freshly ground pepper has a plus over pre-ground pepper in terms of freshness and strength. However, salt to me seems like a mineral,...
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  • 871
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
76 votes
14 answers
15k views

Any benefit to buy high-quality meat for a mediocre cook?

Quite honestly, I consider myself a mediocre cook as I am consistently able to make decent dishes. Nothing I ever make is fantastic and almost never terrible. The question is this: will my cooking ...
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73 votes
85 answers
8k 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 ...
72 votes
7 answers
77k 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 ...
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  • 46.9k
71 votes
10 answers
39k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 857
68 votes
28 answers
553k 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.
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  • 1,794
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
67 votes
4 answers
10k 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?
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  • 1,073
66 votes
5 answers
17k views

Why do you need to heat the pan before heating the olive oil?

In the Netflix documentary Salt Fat Acid Heat, Samin Nosrat says this when she is making sofrito and she is about to put olive oil into the pan: This is one of those important things that I think ...
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66 votes
2 answers
351k views

What is the difference between a prawn and a shrimp?

Are prawns and shrimps the same thing or are they different? Basically, I think they're the same but one of my friends was arguing that they're similar but definitely not the same thing and they ...
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  • 4,746
66 votes
7 answers
5k views

What are some good resources for learning Knife Skills? [closed]

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?
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 ...
user avatar
65 votes
9 answers
29k views

Why wooden sticks for ice cream bars?

Why are wooden sticks usually used for ice cream bars? This seems to hold for every commercial ice cream bar I have ever had, yet I can't find the reason... Why not use plastic instead, for example? ...
user avatar
  • 780
65 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why does plastic never dry properly in a dishwasher?

Whenever I get tasked with unloading the dishwasher, I'm always amazed at the amount of water that's still stuck (always in droplets) to our plastic kitchen utensils and storage containers. We have ...
user avatar
65 votes
7 answers
18k 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 garlic/...
user avatar
  • 653
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 ...
user avatar
  • 2,576
62 votes
15 answers
18k views

Best way to remove fruit flies from your kitchen

I have a confession to make. I was lazy, I didn't think it would cause any harm, but it did. And now they are back. The fruit flies have taken over my kitchen, and I need help fighting them. Story: ...
user avatar
  • 1,096
62 votes
7 answers
19k views

Why did flatbread dominate the Middle East but Europe adopted raised breads?

This may be a history question so please move it if appropriate. Culturally, local ingredients dominate cooking recipes and national dishes (e.g., soy in SE Asia), but why do Europeans add a raising ...
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62 votes
14 answers
117k 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 ...
user avatar
  • 75.6k
62 votes
4 answers
11k views

How is sushi supposed to be eaten?

Yesterday I was at a banquet that was serving sushi rolls. Some had rice on the outside and others had seaweed on the outside. I wasn't able to find chopsticks. In terms of etiquette is it alright to ...
user avatar
  • 1,625
60 votes
11 answers
14k views

How do you funnel food off a cutting board?

After I cut or chop something up on a cutting board I have the problem of funneling the pieces into a bowl or other container and it typically makes a mess. Normally what I try to do is scrape the ...
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60 votes
1 answer
9k views

What constitutes the majority of meat?

Looking at 100g chicken breast for example, I see that ~30g is protein and ~4 is fat. What is the rest of the 100g piece made of? Is that all connective tissues? Fiber? Something else?
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60 votes
13 answers
7k views

How should I poach an egg?

What's the best method to poach an egg without it turning into an eggy soupy mess?
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  • 752
60 votes
7 answers
16k 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?
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  • 58.1k
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 ...
user avatar
  • 4,583
58 votes
18 answers
204k views

Why should I soak beans before cooking?

Every recipe says I should soak beans in water overnight before cooking. Why? I did some experiments. I have tried soaked and unsoaked beans from the same batch. There was no difference in cooking ...
user avatar
  • 1,140
57 votes
9 answers
19k views

How do I wash the "pokey" side of a box grater?

I have this box grater, and one of the sides is "non-directional" (not sure what this is called) -- that is, the pointy "blade" things are on every side of the holes: Close-up: The fibers you see ...
user avatar
  • 2,146
57 votes
15 answers
486k 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 ...
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