Seasonings

111 Helpful Cooking Tips

Substitute Ginger for Galangal, but Not Vice Versa
Substitute Ginger for Galangal, but Not Vice Versa
Galangal is part of the ginger family, but this ginger look-alike does not taste the same.
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 Use a Spice Mill
How to Use a Spice Mill
To get the most out of your mill and keep it in top shape, we have some useful tips.
Published: January 2019
Is Store-Bought Prepped Garlic OK to Use?
Is Store-Bought Prepped Garlic OK to Use?
Peeled cloves, jarred minced garlic, or garlic paste in a tube: trusty timesaver or questionable flavor?
Published: September 2018
Iodized Salt vs. Noniodized Salt on Food Flavor
Iodized Salt vs. Noniodized Salt on Food Flavor
Is there a taste difference when using iodized or noniodized salt in recipes?
Published: September 2018
How to Buy, Clean, and Store Dried Chiles
We made our way through more than 250 dried chiles while developing a recipe and learned a few tips along the way.
Published: September 2018
Fresh Turmeric vs. Dried Turmeric
Fresh Turmeric vs. Dried Turmeric
Here's your quick introduction to turmeric.
Published: September 2018
Oregano: Mediterranean and Mexican
Whether you use Mediterranean or Mexican oregano can impact a recipe's taste.
Published: July 2018
Rose Water: What It Is and How to Use It
Plus how to include it in your next batch of baked goods.
Published: May 2018
How Seasoning Changes with Serving Temperature
Have you ever noticed that foods served either hot or chilled need to be seasoned with salt more than room-temperature foods? We delved into the topic.
Published: January 2018
Why You Should Store Spices in Glass
After a week of being stored in it, our freshly ground five-spice powder melted a plastic container. Here's why.
Published: January 2018
For a Touch of Tang, Try Sumac
In the test kitchen, we most often reach for a lemon when we want to brighten a dish’s flavor, but there’s another way: Simply add some of the lemony spice know…
Published: July 2017
Is Tofu Worth Marinating?
We know that, contrary to popular belief, marinades do most of their work on the surface of meat and poultry.
Published: May 2017
Seasonings Beyond Salt and Pepper
While salt and pepper are always a consideration for final tweaks, our test cooks also look to a range of other pantry ingredients that can help bring a dish in…
Published: May 2017
How to Make Flavored Salts
Flavored salts can be expensive, but it’s easy to make them on your own.
Published: March 2017
Table Salt versus Kosher Salt?
Since table salt and kosher salt are practically identical in terms of chemistry, why do recipes specify one or the other?
Published: January 2017
Substituting Black Pepper for White Pepper
Can black pepper be substituted for white pepper in recipes?
Published: May 2015
Science: Substituting Dried Herbs for Fresh
Science: Substituting Dried Herbs for Fresh
When fresh herbs aren't readily available, it can be tempting to swap in dried herbs when a recipe calls for fresh. How well does this work?
Published: May 2015
Science: When Should You Add Salt During Cooking?
Science: When Should You Add Salt During Cooking?
Most recipes (and culinary schools) advise seasoning food with salt early in the cooking process, not just at the end. We decided to investigate this convention…
Published: March 2015
Low-Sodium Salt in Baking
We wondered how well LoSalt salt substitute, which replaces some of table salt’s sodium chloride with potassium chloride, would fare in baking applications.
Published: March 2015
Black Pepper's Hidden Flavors
Don’t skip early additions of pepper when a recipe calls for it—the spice will infuse the dish with a noticeable depth.
Published: January 2015
Aleppo Pepper
To add a more nuanced kick of spiciness to dishes than red pepper flakes can offer, give Aleppo pepper a try.
Published: January 2015
Experiment: Bringing Out the Best in Garlic Powder
Experiment: Bringing Out the Best in Garlic Powder
We devised a quick test to find out if we could coax more flavor from garlic powder by treating it as we would a spice.
Published: November 2014
Blue Ginger
Blue Ginger
Why does fresh ginger sometimes have a blue-gray color?
Published: September 2014
How Much Sodium Is in Brined Food?
We sent cooked samples of food that we brined to an independent lab for sodium analysis.
Published: May 2014
Using Basil Stems in Recipes
Using Basil Stems in Recipes
Cilantro stems can be used in recipes. Is this also the case with basil stems?
Published: March 2014
Maximize Your Brine
Could we pack more meat into the same volume of brine to save space in the fridge?
Published: September 2013
Leave Out Lower-Fiber Vegetables When Freezing Stew
Freezing stew offers make-ahead convenience, but not all vegetables handle freezing and reheating well. Which vegetables work well for this purpose, and which o…
Published: September 2013
A Better Way to Store (and Use) Vanilla Beans
Vanilla beans supply flavor that’s superior to vanilla extract, but they also require a little more maintenance.
Published: September 2013
Dried vs. Fresh Lemon Grass
Can dried lemon grass be substituted for fresh?
Published: September 2013
Lessening a Chile Pepper's Burn on Skin or in Mouth
Lessening a Chile Pepper's Burn on Skin or in Mouth
Are there good ways for getting rid of the irritating burn that can happen when you accidentally touch a fresh hot chile?
Published: July 2013
Enhancing Flavor with Kombu
A little kelp can help out the flavor of your soups and sauces in a big way.
Published: July 2013
Keeping Basil Green in Pesto
We found two proven methods on how to keep the basil from discoloring over time.
Published: May 2013
What Kind of Mustard Should Be Used in a Vinaigrette?
What types of mustard, aside from Dijon, can be used when making vinaigrette?
Published: May 2013
Grinding Cardamom
We often recommend grinding whole spices for greater flavor complexity. Does this also apply to spices like cardamom, which is already quite potent when it's av…
Published: May 2013
Making a Vegetarian Substitute for Fish Sauce
Is there a homemade vegetarian substitute for fish sauce?
Published: March 2013