55 votes
Accepted

Why did James Bond heat up the knife for his foie gras?

From this link The key to slicing and portioning foie is to treat it like a rich mousse-cake: Make sure to heat up your knife under running water in between every slice. A cold knife will ...
paparazzo's user avatar
  • 6,358
53 votes
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Food temperature "danger zone" - is it really binary?

You are absolutely right, it's not binary at all. Bacterial growth doesn't magically accelerate at 40°F, the difference in growth rate between 39.9°F and 40.1°F is extremely small. I'm going to switch ...
GdD's user avatar
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52 votes
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Why do my silicone spatulas melt in frying oil?

If the products are melting and falling apart in hot oil at cooking temperatures I think you have experimentally confirmed that they are not food grade silicone. Food-grade silicone should be ...
dbmag9's user avatar
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47 votes
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How can I cool tea quickly?

What is wrong with a regular ice cube? As you state that the tea is not yet ready, you just use slightly less water and then add the ice cube, which has a fixed temperature. I use this for large ...
John Hammond's user avatar
  • 3,114
38 votes

Should pasta be started in cold or boiling water?

As stated in another answer, Italian tradition is that all pasta is cooked in boiling water. A reasonable explanation for this usage is that it's easier to get the time right this way. Pasta is very ...
Federico Poloni's user avatar
37 votes

How can I cool tea quickly?

One solution would be to use Whiskey Stones. These are essentially stone (or metal) cubes that you normally use for whiskey to chill it without diluting it. This will also work for your tea However, ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 8,863
34 votes

How can I cool tea quickly?

Possibly even easier than using ice or fridges or anything... pour it repeatedly from one container to another. Constant exposure to the air will rapidly cool the drink, you can get it to drinking ...
Erik's user avatar
  • 729
33 votes
Accepted

Should pasta be started in cold or boiling water?

For dried pasta it doesn’t really matter if you start with cold or hot water, as most of the time pasta spends in water is for hydration. And once the hydrated starches reach a certain temperature ...
zetaprime's user avatar
  • 4,286
31 votes
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"Room temperature" and "cool, dry place" -- are there actual temperatures associated with these canned phrases?

"Room temperature" as used for testing, analysis, and validation purposes generally falls within the range of 65F-75F (18C-24C). Published research will typically specify temperature ranges ...
borkymcfood's user avatar
  • 5,381
30 votes
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Can I slow cook noodles?

If by “noodles“ you mean pasta that comes in the dry form with or without eggs, then yes, you can make that in the slow cooker. There is one caveat though: other than your meat, which won’t be ...
Stephie's user avatar
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30 votes
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How do I avoid my food becoming brownish/dark while cooking?

The "browning" or "coloring" of food during cooking and baking1 is a reaction of temperature and/or time. As a rule of thumb, the hotter your pan or oven, the faster the food will brown. There are ...
Stephie's user avatar
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30 votes
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Knowing temperature in oven with no preheat indicator

You don't mention if it is an gas or an electric oven, but if it is the latter, there is generally an easy way to tell if the oven is up to temperature without a thermometer. Give the oven about 10-15 ...
Greybeard's user avatar
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28 votes
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How accurate is the hand technique for grilling?

While I suspect that the formula is mostly reliable if you repeat the experiment with the same person, I found the individual heat sensitivity varies a lot. Most professional cooks and seasoned ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 59.8k
27 votes

Is there an acceptable way of cooling red wine?

Putting your bottle of wine in the fridge is fine. Even the BBC says so, as does Wine Enthusiast. It's even OK if you forget about it, let it get down to 5deg, then take it out and let it warm up to ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
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25 votes

Does it matter if you don't preheat the oven for frozen French fries?

For fairly forgiving things like french fries, I've never found it makes a difference. Typically I turn the oven on, get the chips (which is what we call them here) out of the freezer, and the baking ...
Chris H's user avatar
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21 votes
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What, if at all, is the difference of cooking an egg on high or low heat?

The proteins in egg white and egg yolk behave differently at different temperatures. It is an ingredient that responds to very subtle temperature variations. That is why it is a favorite item to ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 74.7k
21 votes

When does a spatula or spoon become sterile during cooking?

Making stuff sterile, in the medical sense, i.e. pathogen-free, is incredibly hard. You basically need an autoclave, and of course tools that withstand prolonged exposure to high pressure steam at ...
arne's user avatar
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21 votes
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Does my electric oven need to be calibrated?

The advantage is not having to make adjustments in baking to compensate for how your oven is different than the one in the recipe (allowing for the generous assumption that the writer of the recipe ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 17.5k
20 votes

How can I cool tea quickly?

I do this everyday before I leave for work. I can't have really hot tea. So once my tea is ready: I put it in a tea pan (a deep pan used to make tea). You can substitute with any other clean deep ...
Divi's user avatar
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20 votes
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Preheating oven increases temperature?

Sadly, yes. Your oven most likely has been running too hot for a while and now that you are actually measuring it, you noticed it. We have a lot of Q/As on the site that recommend using a separate ...
Stephie's user avatar
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19 votes

What temperature would a "quiet oven" be in old fashioned temperature vocabulary?

A “quiet” oven is likely around 325° to 375°. The two main resources I’ve used are the Internet Archive and Michigan State University’s Sliker Culinary Collection. The term “quiet oven” does not ...
Jerry Stratton's user avatar
18 votes
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Sous vide chicken without an internal temperature of 165 °F (75 °C)

The reduction of bacterial growth, and thus food safety, follow a logarithmic pattern that factors in temperature plus time. During sous vide cooking, lower temperature are frequently used for longer ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 74.7k
18 votes

Lactic fermentation related question: Is there a relationship between pH, salinity, fermentation magic, and heat?

Your question is missing the word 'bacteria'. All bacteria have a growth curve. These will vary quite a lot by species. This is the growth curve for salmonella As you can see the growth peaks around ...
thelawnet's user avatar
  • 1,103
18 votes

Is there an acceptable way of cooling red wine?

There's nothing wrong with using the refrigerator if you remember to take the wine out. Else perhaps run a large volume of cold water (e.g. into an ice bucket or the bath) and put it in that, with or ...
abligh's user avatar
  • 1,015
18 votes

"Room temperature" and "cool, dry place" -- are there actual temperatures associated with these canned phrases?

It depends on whether you are talking about food safety, or food quality. When you are talking about food safety, then "room temperature" is the complete range between 4°C (40°F) and 60°C (...
rumtscho's user avatar
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18 votes
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Difference between letting yeast dough rise cold and slowly or warm and quickly

Retarding fermentation allows, as you wrote, different and additional metabolic pathways to have a greater influence on the flavour. In addition, extended enzymatic activity of the flour has a ...
wumpus D'00m's user avatar
  • 4,101
17 votes
Accepted

Why does hot food placed in a picnic cooler keep cooking?

What you call a "modern picnic cool box", I assume, is also known as a "cooler" in other parts of the world. This is generally a well-insulated, most often plastic, container. It could be hard-sided ...
moscafj's user avatar
  • 74.7k
16 votes

Does it matter if you don't preheat the oven for frozen French fries?

The primary reason that instructions on the packaging almost always tell you to pre-heat is that different ovens heat up differently, so both to the people who write the instructions, and those ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 261
16 votes
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Oven temperature reduction in middle of baking

Unless stated otherwise, reducing the temperature does not mean taking the food out of the oven, but simply adjusting the temperature setting. If you need to reduce the temperature quickly (usually ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 59.8k
15 votes

How can I cool tea quickly?

Pour the tea back and forth between two cups until the desired temperature. Adjusting the height of pouring is fun to play with to get faster results but try it over a kitchen sink.
TeamHal's user avatar
  • 151

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