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54 Helpful Cooking Tips

Passionate about chocolate? Here’s what you need to know to get cooking with this miracle ingredient.
Published: December 2017
Braising is the best way to turn a tough cut of meat tender. So how do you do it?
Published: October 2017
Whether you crave the spicy burn of hot chile peppers or want to avoid it, it pays to know the ins and outs of chiles’ incendiary qualities.
Published: August 2017
Foraged Greens
Edible abundance is all around us, but you have to know what to look for and when and where to look. Here are some of our favorite foods that grow wild in urba…
Published: April 2017
Louisiana Flavors
The roots of Louisiana cuisine reach deep into the soil of a dazzling array of cultures. There’s Cajun cooking, a rustic, hearty, game-heavy cuisine that has …
Published: February 2017
Blue Cheese
While all blue cheeses get their flavor from harmless blue mold, different types vary wildly. Here’s a guide to 12 funky blues.
Published: December 2016
Dried Herbs
Dried herbs can be more complex and flavorful than fresh. We use them in many dishes—and not just in a pinch.
Published: September 2016
Useful Scraps
The best way to eliminate food waste in your kitchen is to take a second look at what you might be discarding. Reconsider some of these gems and their untapped …
Published: August 2016
Tomato Products
Tomato Products
These versatile pantry items take many shapes and forms. Here’s a sampling of the ones we use most often.
Published: June 2016
Coconut Products
Coconut Products
While coconuts have been a sought-after food for centuries, today we consume their liquid and meat in a variety of forms. Here’s a guide to what’s what.
Published: April 2016
Fresh Cheese
Soft, supple fresh cheeses prove what all teenagers think they know: Older isn’t always better. Here are a dozen of our fresh, flavorful favorites.
Published: February 2016
It’s not just for guzzling. We use beer’s flavor and fizz in dozens of recipes.
Published: December 2015
Leaveners add lift and lightness to lots of different foods. But they work in different ways.
Published: October 2015
Fermented Foods
Fermented Foods
You might be surprised to learn that familiar items like bread, coffee, beer, and chocolate wouldn’t exist without fermentation. This ancient, natural process—w…
Published: August 2015
Supermarket Fish
Supermarket Fish
More than 27,000 types of fish exist in the world, but these 12 routinely appear in your local grocery store.
Published: June 2015
Fruit Condiments
Can you tell a compote from a chutney? A jam from a preserve? It’s easy to get confused since grocery store labels are often inexact. Here’s the real deal when …
Published: April 2015
Achieving the right consistency in a sauce, custard, pie, or jam takes a little knowledge . . . and some help from these common thickeners.
Published: February 2015
Cooking Wines and Spirits
Wines and other spirits can add acidity, sweetness, or complex flavor to an array of dishes—both sweet and savory. Here are the ones that we like to keep handy.…
Published: December 2014
In spite of its name, all-purpose flour isn’t the best choice for every task. Here is a primer on common flours and the best ways to use them.
Published: October 2014
Corn Products
The United States produces 32 percent of the world’s corn—three times as much as any other nation. With all that corn, it’s little wonder that we use it in so …
Published: August 2014
We use oils for many tasks in the test kitchen. But since no single oil is perfect for every task, we’re offering a handy rundown of basic oils and their uses.
Published: June 2014
There’s a whole world of radishes beyond the tipped-and-tailed kind that are sold in plastic bags at the supermarket.
Published: April 2014
More than just the yin to oil’s yang in salad dressing, vinegar can help shape a perfect poached egg and save many a dish from terminal blandness.
Published: February 2014
Umami Powerhouses
Umami, a quality of meaty savoriness that brings depth to many dishes, is widely considered the fifth taste. These 12 umami-enhancing ingredients boost the flav…
Published: December 2013
Salts and Peppers
Not all salts and peppers are created equal. Here are 12 we like to cook with.
Published: October 2013
Vinegar Pickles
Pickling in vinegar-based brine originated eons ago as a practical means of preserving foods. These days, everyone from star chefs to home cooks is doing it mai…
Published: August 2013
Essential Pork Cuts
Here are the 12 cuts of pork we use most often in the test kitchen, along with notes on how to cook them.
Published: June 2013
Shoots and Stalks
Come spring, shoots and stalks are everywhere. Here are a dozen that could end up in your kitchen and on your plate.
Published: April 2013
Herb and Spice Blends
Most cuisines around the world, including our own, have characteristic spice mixes. Here’s a look at 12 spice blends, old and new, home-grown and foreign.
Published: February 2013
All chocolate starts with the cacao bean. From there, different processing, flavorings, ingredients, and percentages of cocoa solids and cocoa butter can produc…
Published: December 2012
Cooking Cheeses
Whether crystalline or creamy, sharp or mild, blue or orange, cheese shows up in too many recipes to count here in the test kitchen. We’re profiling a dozen tha…
Published: October 2012
Fifty years ago, a plate of spaghetti constituted ethnic cuisine. Nowadays, Americans are getting to know noodles from all over the planet. How lucky are we?
Published: August 2012
You may think seeds belong in the garden, but one look around a well-stocked kitchen proves otherwise.
Published: April 2012
Cured Meats
Curing was invented as a method of preservation, but by happy accident, salt, sugar, smoke, and seasonings also work wonders on the taste and texture of meat. T…
Published: February 2012
Winter Fruits
In the 19th century, an orange in a Christmas stocking was a rare treat for American children. Nowadays, winter offers a wide variety of fruit. Here are 12 that…
Published: December 2011
Baking Spices
To make the most of your baking spices, follow our tips: Preground spices are convenient, but their flavors fade fast. 
Published: October 2011