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Cooking 101

34 Helpful Cooking Tips

Published: December 2015
Walnut Oil 101
Can Walnut Oil be substituted for olive oil?
Published: June 2012
Egg Whites 101
Whipping egg whites is a core technique for the seasoned baker, as well as one of the miracles of baking. Our recipe for Angel Food Cake illustrates some of the…
Published: October 2011
Braising 101
Think you know everything about braising? Read this to make sure.
Published: October 2011
Short Ribs 101
What are short ribs?
Published: October 2011
Lemon Oil 101
What exactly is lemon oil? The package instructions say to use it in place of lemon zest.
Published: February 2010
Salt Pork 101
What, exactly, is salt pork?
Published: December 2009
Baking Spices 101
Everything you need to know about the most common spices used in baking.
Published: October 2009
Turkey 101
Although you might think a frozen bird is easier (no need to put in an order for a fresh bird from the butcher), a frozen turkey requires some planning, unless …
Published: October 2008
Yeast 101
Yeast can be labeled as cake, active dry, rapid rise, and instant.  What do these names mean?
Published: October 2008
Dried Mushrooms 101
Be sure to look for large, thick pieces of mushroom—and don’t forget to smell the bag.
Published: August 2008
Egg Whites 101
What does a soft or a stiff peak look like? How will I know if I’ve over-whipped my egg whites?
Published: February 2008
Grains 101
Are cornmeal, polenta, and grits all the same thing?
Published: August 2006
Whisks 101
The two types of whisks to keep in your equipment drawer.
Published: October 2006
Parmesan Cheese 101
The best way to choose, store, and grate Parmesan cheese.
Published: August 2006
Grilling Vegetables 101
Grilling is the best way to cook many summer vegetables. Here's a list of vegetables we like to grill, with preparation information and timing.
Published: February 2006
Bread Crumbs 101
There are many different types of this simple ingredient.
Burgers 101
Published: August 2017
Burgers 101
A burger might seem quite simple to prepare, but not all burger recipes are created equal. Whether it’s for a pan-seared burger made on a stovetop, or a classic…
Published: October 2011
Cookie Decorating 101
There are hundreds of great ways to decorate holiday cookies—that's the fun part! Luckily, most of them are based on just a few simple decorating techniques. Th…
Published: June 2005
Washing Greens 101
Drying salad greens is just as important as washing them—here’s the test kitchen’s method for both.
Holiday Turkey 101
Published: August 2017
Holiday Turkey 101
The turkey is the most important part of your holiday meal. But it’s also the hardest to prepare. The legs cook slower than the white meat, which often turns ou…
Holiday Cookies 101
Published: August 2017
Holiday Cookies 101
The holiday season isn't complete without fresh-baked cookies. Whether you are looking to create easy-to-decorate family favorites, or want to bake gifts for fr…
Holiday Vegetables 101
Published: August 2017
Holiday Vegetables 101
Thanksgiving isn’t complete without the right side dishes. But what’s the secret to the perfect green bean casserole? And is there a way to make a memorable cra…
Holiday Pies 101
Published: August 2017
Holiday Pies 101
Making a pie is a lot of work, so it’s especially disappointing when the crust is tough rather than flaky. And a filling that doesn’t set up or turns out too st…
Holiday Potatoes 101
Published: August 2017
Holiday Potatoes 101
Potatoes have an important supporting role at the holiday table. But good potatoes can go bad if you don’t know how to cook them, or if you choose the wrong var…
Grilled Chicken 101
Published: August 2017
Grilled Chicken 101
From the heat of jerk chicken to the smokiness of classic barbecue chicken, grilled chicken is a summertime classic and a crowd pleaser. But while grilling chic…
Barbecued Pork 101
Published: August 2017
Barbecued Pork 101
Barbecue is the traditional low-and-slow cooking method used in pork ribs and pulled pork recipes because it provides ample time for fatty, tough cuts to become…
Chicken Salad 101
Published: August 2017
Chicken Salad 101
Chicken salad recipes are a summertime staple—and for good reason. Chicken salad recipes are versatile, and can be jazzed up to make adventurous versions like T…
Potato Salad 101
Published: August 2017
Potato Salad 101
Potato salad is a summertime picnic classic, and potato salad’s main components—potatoes, mayonnaise, and seasonings—are about as basic as they come. But over t…
Steaks 101
Published: August 2017
Steaks 101
Few foods are as enticing as a perfectly cooked steak. In this guide we include our all-time favorite steak recipes, as well as the cooking techniques you’ll ne…
Pork Chops 101
Published: August 2017
Pork Chops 101
We love the versatility of pork chops, and that’s why we’ve developed dozens of pork chops recipes—from pan-fried to sautéed pork chops, and from slow-cooked to…
Fried Chicken 101
Published: August 2017
Fried Chicken 101
You don’t have to be a Southern grandmother to know how to fry a chicken. Start with our core techniques for making fried chicken, and you can make a wide range…
Chili 101
Published: August 2017
Chili 101
Few dishes are more comforting—or more versatile—than chili. Over the years, we've created chili recipes for every taste, including beef chili, chicken chili, t…
Chocolate Cake 101
Published: August 2017
Chocolate Cake 101
What makes a great chocolate cake recipe? Start with good ingredients (yes, that means a lot of chocolate), add the right equipment, and understand core techniq…
Roast Beef 101
Published: August 2017
Roast Beef 101
It takes careful cooking to transform a large piece of beef into tender, succulent slices. To find the best ways to do this, we’ve developed dozens of roast bee…