Cooking Basics

424 Helpful Cooking Tips

How to Weigh Flour
How to Weigh Flour
Measuring flour by weight for baking recipes is far more precise than measuring by volume. Here’s what you need to know about how to weigh flour properly for yo…
Published: January 2019
Three Ways to Thicken Sauce (Cornstarch, Roux, Beurre Manie)
Three Ways to Thicken Sauce (Cornstarch, Roux, Beurre Manie)
When your sauce, gravy, or stew doesn’t turn out quite as thick as you’d hoped, you have a few options.
Published: January 2019
How to Make Herbes de Provence at Home
How to Make Herbes de Provence at Home
Herbes de Provence is a dried herb blend made from plants that flourish in southern France, but a canonical recipe doesn't exist. Here's how we make it.
Published: January 2019
How to Chop Fennel
How to Chop Fennel
We use the same technique to chop a fennel bulb as we do to chop an onion.
Published: January 2019
How to Prevent Hot Milk from Sticking to the Pan
How to Prevent Hot Milk from Sticking to the Pan
Constantly scraping the pan bottom isn't practical. So what is?
Published: July 2018
Pastry Brush versus Silicone Brush
If you're equal parts cook and baker, consider keeping both types of brushes in your kitchen.
Published: July 2018
How to Store Leftover Fruit Pie
Does fruit pie fare better left on the counter or stored in the refrigerator?
Published: July 2018
Do Emulsions Cling to Food More Effectively?
Do Emulsions Cling to Food More Effectively?
We set up an experiment to find out.
Published: May 2018
More Good Uses for Kitchen Shears
Your shears are good for more than just butterflying a whole chicken. Here are some other good ways to put this essential tool to work.
Published: May 2018
How to Clean and Care for a Wooden Salad Bowl
Is your wooden salad bowl still sticky even after you've cleaned it? Here's how to make it new again—and keep it that way.
Published: May 2018
How To Determine When to Retire Your Rasp-Style Grater
Think your rasp-grater has lost its edge? Use this test to find out for sure.
Published: March 2018
Using a Low Oven versus Sous Vide
Using a Low Oven versus Sous Vide
To compare these two methods, we cooked a 1-pound pork tenderloin each way then took each roast's temperature. Here's how the two approaches measured up.
Published: March 2018
The Best Way to Determine Caramel's Doneness
No surprise: It's by temperature, not color.
Published: March 2018
The Differences Between Thai and Italian Basil
What is Thai basil, and can you use Italian basil in its place?
Published: March 2018
What's the Shelf Life of Dry Vermouth?
Dry vermouth is a shelf-stable substitute for white wine. How long will an open bottle of it last?
Published: March 2018
How to Cook Shishito Peppers
You’ve probably seen these Japanese peppers on restaurant menus, and now they’re popping up at farmers’ markets and supermarkets. Here’s what to do with them.
Published: March 2018
How to Prevent Pastry Bag Leaks
Here's the best way to prevent the filling from leaking out of the tip as you fill the bag.
Published: January 2018
Two Ways to Store Ginger
We tested a few popular ginger-storing methods to determine which ones really worked.
Published: January 2018
Tips for Grating Ginger
Grating ginger can be challenging and messy. Here are some tips to improve your grating game.
Published: November 2017
Why Do Some Knife Blades Have Hollows?
Many sources claim that the design prevents food from clinging to the blade. But that's not its only purpose.
Published: November 2017
How to Make Homemade Five-Spice Powder
The five elements of the cosmos—earth, fire, metal, water, and wood—are represented by five-spice powder. Here's how to make your own.
Published: November 2017
How to Cook Pasta for a Crowd
You can cook two pounds of spaghetti, fusilli, ziti—or any other type of pasta—in a single pot.
Published: September 2017
Quickest Way to Cool Hot Liquids
It’s important that liquids are cool before you put them in the refrigerator; if the liquid is too hot, it will increase the temperature inside the refrigerator…
Published: September 2017
Chocolate in the Microwave: Less Fussy and Faster
Our preferred method for melting chocolate is to use the microwave, whether it’s to simply liquefy it (for a frosting or a cake) or to temper it (so it hardens …
Published: September 2017
Butchering with a Paring Knife
The small size of a paring knife makes it much more maneuverable than a larger chef’s knife for certain butchering tasks.
Published: September 2017
A Simpler Julienne
This simpler, more casual technique will yield sticks that vary a bit in length, but we think it’s fine for most applications.
Published: September 2017
How to Gauge Tofu Texture
The best way to eliminate ambiguity is to use the names as a general guideline and then inspect the protein content per serving listed on the package.
Published: September 2017
What Is Shiso and How Do I Use It?
This aromatic, heart-shaped leaf can be so much more than a decorative garnish for sushi.
Published: September 2017
Why Bread Dough Needs Oil
The differences between some bread dough recipes, with and without oil are subtle but important.
Published: July 2017
Red or White Wine Vinegar: Does it Matter in Dressing?
Though most of us like to keep a well-stocked pantry at home, there are definitely occasions when we have red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar but not both.
Published: July 2017
Lazy Cook’s Frosting
This simple frosting takes just about a minute to make.
Published: May 2017
5 Steps to Perfect Pizza Dough
The key to great pizza crust is to handle the dough as gently—and as little—as possible.
Published: May 2017
Recrisping Stale Crackers and Cookies
Bring your stale cookies, crackers, and chips back to life.
Published: May 2017
How to Cook with Chayote
Chayote can be eaten both raw and cooked. Here's the best way(s) to prepare it.
Published: May 2017
Cooking Class: Boil versus Simmer
Whether we call for boiling or simmering in a recipe depends on the situation.
Published: May 2017
How to Use the Toothpick Test to See If Baked Goods Are Done
To determine if cakes, muffins, and quick breads are done, we often use the toothpick test.
Published: March 2017