Pasta, Grains, & Beans

48 Helpful Cooking Tips

Does Rinsing Canned Beans Remove Sodium?
Given that we often drain and rinse beans before use, we were curious: Exactly how much sodium does that wash away? To find out, we sent cans of beans to a lab …
Published: March 2018
Swapping Dried Beans for Canned
Substituting cooked, dried beans for canned is easy. But what if the recipe also calls for the canned bean liquid?
Published: March 2017
Seeking Out Authentic Basmati
Supermarket shelves teem with a multitude of boxes, bags, and burlap sacks labeled “basmati.” Does it matter which you choose?
Published: March 2016
Foolproof Rice Without a Rice Cooker
Rice cookers make the task convenient and foolproof, but what if you don’t own this single-task appliance?
Published: January 2016
The Nicest Rice for Pudding
Rice pudding is usually made with long-grain rice, but we wondered if it could be improved by swapping in Arborio or sushi rice.
Published: November 2015
Brining Beans in Half the Water
Is a full gallon of brine really necessary for soaking a pound of dried beans?
Published: September 2015
Farro: The Fast-Cooking Whole Grain
Usually, when a grain is sold as “semi-pearled” or “pearled,” it will cook faster than “whole” grains. But farro is an exception.
Published: May 2015
The Best Way to Rinse Rice
To ensure light, fluffy white rice, we always rinse the raw grains before cooking. But it can be hard to recognize when the water has become clear. What's the b…
Published: May 2015
Understanding Semolina Flour
Understanding Semolina Flour
Its yellow color and coarse texture might have led you to think that it was cornmeal, but this flour is made from wheat.
Published: March 2015
For Fewer Blowouts, Bake Your Beans
For perfectly cooked beans with fewer blowouts, skip the stovetop and head for the oven.
Published: January 2015
How Much Sodium Does Salted Cooking Water Add to Pasta?
How Much Sodium Does Salted Cooking Water Add to Pasta?
When boiling pasta in salted cooking water, just how much salt does the pasta absorb? Does it vary by pasta shape?
Published: November 2014
Hull-Less Barley vs. Pearl Barley
What is hull-less barley, and how does it compare with pearl barley?
Published: May 2014
The Many Colors of Quinoa
What are the differences between white, red, and black quinoa?
Published: January 2014
Cooking Pasta in Alkaline Tap Water
Cooking Pasta in Alkaline Tap Water
How does the pH of tap water affect the way pasta cooks in a pot?
Published: November 2013
For Creamier Hummus, Skin Your Chickpeas
With our simple method, removing skins from chickpeas is far less arduous than you might imagine.
Published: May 2013
Prevent Oatmeal from Boiling Over
Does adding a pat of butter to oatmeal when cooked in the microwave prevent boilovers?
Published: March 2013
Beyond Rice: A Guide to Other Grains
These days, supermarkets offer an entire universe of grains—and with the right method they’re as easy to cook, and as versatile, as rice.
Published: January 2013
Freezing Gnocchi
Can homemade gnocchi be frozen for a quick weeknight meal?
Published: May 2012
Faster Brown Rice
If you have time to soak your rice before cooking it, you can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to cook.
Published: March 2012
The Truth About Quick-Cooking Pasta
Three-minute pastas have started popping up in supermarkets. Are they any good?
Published: March 2012
The Truth About Black Rice
What is black rice?
Published: January 2012
Ready-to-Use Quinoa
Quinoa is a pain to rinse before cooking. Is there an easier way?
Published: January 2012
Flavoring Dried Beans with Seaweed
What purpose does putting a strip of seaweed in the pot when cooking dried beans serve?
Published: January 2012
All About Lentils
Lentils come in numerous varieties, each of which has a distinct appearance, flavor, and texture.
Published: September 2011
Are Red Kidney Beans Poisonous?
There are rumors that dried red kidney beans must be boiled—not just simmered—to make them safe to eat. Is this true? And if so, how long should they be boiled?
Published: September 2011
Save Energy: Soak Your Noodles
If you’re planning to parboil pasta for a baked dish like ziti or lasagna, but the burners on your stove are in high demand, here’s an energy-saving way to ge…
Published: September 2011
Freezing Brined Beans
Tired of waiting hours on end for our beans to brine, we wondered if we could take care of this time-consuming step beforehand and save them in the freezer.
Published: July 2011
Vital Wheat Gluten
What is vital wheat gluten? Is it necessary when baking homemade bread?
Published: May 2011
What Is Low-Temp Pasta?
What Is Low-Temp Pasta?
Published: March 2011
A Better Dust for Your Peel: Semolina
One of the keys to success in making any pizza is ensuring that your perfectly formed pie easily slides off the peel and onto the stone, without any rips or tea…
Published: January 2011
Salty Soak for Beans
Brining isn't just for meat. When you soak dried beans in salted water, they cook up with softer skins.
Published: November 2010
Lots of Pasta, Less Water
If you don't have a pot large enough to handle the amount of water a pasta recipe calls for, don't panic.
Published: November 2010
Frozen Vs. Jarred Artichokes
Canned and frozen artichokes are readily available and ready to cook (unlike the labor- intensive fresh vegetable). But which type is the better option?
Published: May 2010
Cooking Whole Grains
Grains can be used as an alternative to rice or pasta in a number of applications. Here's everything you need to know about cooking them.
Published: May 2010
The Best Cornmeal for Polenta
The Best Cornmeal for Polenta
Here's what to look for when shopping for polenta.
Published: March 2010