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  • How to Make a Stovetop Smoker

    Just because the weather isn’t cooperating doesn’t mean that you can’t smoke food.

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  • Does Fattier Meat Need More Salt?

    Throughout years of cooking in the test kitchen, we’ve noticed that we tend to season fatty meat more generously than lean meat. To bolster our anecdotal evidence with real data, we set up the following experiment.

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  • Roasting Coffee in a Popcorn Popper

    We’ve always been intrigued by the idea that roasting coffee beans at home could be as simple as calling for an air popcorn popper, a method embraced by DIY diehards.

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  • Crumb Pie Crust Done Right

    Making a crumb crust is a cinch compared with working with pie pastry, but unless you pack the crust properly, you risk crumbling edges during baking and slicing.

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  • For Meatier Flavor, Season with Sherry

    To enhance meaty, umami flavors in food, we typically turn to ingredients like soy sauce and anchovies, which are rich in the glutamates and nucleotides that create this savory taste. But when we read that British chef Heston Blumenthal uses sherry—an ingredient not known to contain these compounds—for the same purpose, it piqued our interest.

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  • Don't be Afraid to Rotate Cakes

    Does rotating a delicate, airy cake during baking cause it to collapse?

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  • Getting the Most from Your Microwave

    Microwave cooking is unlike any other cooking method in the kitchen. It can seem at once to be the fastest method and the most uneven. To illustrate the difference between microwave cooking and simmering, we ran the following experiment.

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  • Fast Route to Parlor-Worthy Pizza Crust

    The best restaurant pizzas are baked in ultrahot ovens (some reaching temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees), guaranteeing a beautifully browned crust before the toppings overcook. However, even the best home ovens max out at about 550 degrees, meaning that getting a crisp, bronzed edge before the interior of the crust overcooks is difficult.

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  • Are Vanilla Pods Worth Saving?

    Are there any uses for spent vanilla pods?

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  • Toning Down Tomato Sauce

    We've encountered recipes which finish tomato sauce with a pinch of baking soda. Will this mellow out a sauce that is too acidic?

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  • Low-Sugar Pectin Substitutes

    Some of our recipes call for Sure-Jell low-sugar pectin. Will other brands work?

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  • Cookie Swap for Crumb Pie Crusts

    Can any cookie type be substituted for graham crackers in crumb crusts for pies?

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  • Prevent Oatmeal from Boiling Over

    Does adding a pat of butter to oatmeal when cooked in the microwave prevent boilovers?

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  • Coring Parsnips

    Should the cores of large parsnips always be removed and discarded before cooking?

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  • Making a Vegetarian Substitute for Fish Sauce

    Is there a homemade vegetarian substitute for fish sauce?

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  • Getting the Most out of Saffron

    Can saffron’s flavor be intensified by toasting it in a foil packet?

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  • The Easiest Way to Skin Hazelnuts

    The most common method for removing hazelnut skins—toasting them and then rubbing them in a towel—can still leave some skin stubbornly hanging on.

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2013

March/April

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