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49 Helpful Cooking Tips

Published: April 2019
Slicing Against the Grain: What It Means and How to Do It
Tenderize tough meat correctly on the first try.
Published: February 2019
What Is Corned Beef?
What exactly is corned beef, and how is it made?
Published: October 2015
What is "Water Added" Ham?
Some hams have labels which read: “Water Added.” What does that mean, and are you paying extra for added water?
Published: August 2015
The Best Way to Tent Meat when Resting
Some say that tenting meat can ruin its crust. Is this true? Is there a “best way” to tent meat?
Published: April 2015
Ten Steps to Simple Meat Sauce
Meat sauce is often uninspired—or worse, features rubbery meat. Here’s how to make it right.
Published: April 2015
Vegetarian Bacon Fat Substitutes
Is there a meatless substitute for bacon fat?
Published: December 2014
Test Kitchen Tips for Any Breaded Meat Cutlet
Breaded cutlets promise a moist, tender interior and crunchy, crisp exterior. But to get there, you have to follow the rules.
Published: October 2013
Ten Steps to the Best Meatloaf with Gravy
Meatloaf is an American favorite, but it’s often no more than adequate. Learn how to make moist, tender meatloaf that never disappoints, plus a hearty mushroom …
Published: August 2013
Twelve Steps to Kansas City Barbecued Brisket
Good news: Even without a barbecue pit in your backyard, you can make smoky, succulent barbecued brisket at home.
Published: June 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: February 2013
How to Make Roast Beef with Gravy
Who says a hearty roast beef and gravy dinner has to be expensive? We get fantastic results with an ­inexpensive cut and just one skillet.
Published: February 2013
“Butt End” vs. “Shank End” Spiral-Sliced Hams
What's the difference between "butt end," and "shank end" spiral-sliced hams?
Published: December 2012
Why are Rare Steak Tips Sometimes Chewier Than Those Cooked to Medium?
Why are steak tips cooked rare sometimes chewier than those cooked to medium?
Published: October 2012
Twelve Steps to Meatballs and Marinara
Big meatballs usually have to be browned in batches, and they often sag under their own weight. We solve those problems and show you how to make marinara at the…
Published: February 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: October 2011
Short Ribs 101
What are short ribs?
Published: August 2011
How to Choose the Best Pork for Grilling
What's the best cut of pork for grilling? What's the difference between thick-cut and thin-cut chops? And is bone-in-or boneless better? Here are the test kitch…
Published: August 2011
Banish Tough Chops
Good news: pork no longer has to be dry to meet USDA-recommended cooking temperatures!
Published: August 2011
Substituting Milk in Burger Panades
Meatloaf and burger recipes often call for panades made with milk. Can I use another liquid?
Published: August 2011
Choosing Pork Chops
Sure, pork chops make for a family-friendly, easy weeknight dinner. But knowing what kind of chop (and what to avoid) is often the difference between a quick …
Published: June 2011
Choosing the Right Cut for Barbecued Ribs
With three cuts of ribs to choose from, which will be the best on the grill?
Published: October 2010
The Best Way to Reheat Lean Meats
What’s the best way to reheat lean meats, like pork loin or chicken breast?
Published: June 2010
All the world loves a sausage, so whether you grew up in Brooklyn or Bologna, you probably have a favorite.
Published: June 2010
The Right Cut of Pork Ribs
For more uniform cooking, start with spareribs that have been trimmed of the brisket bone and extra meat.
Published: October 2009
All About Pork Sausage
The test kitchen likes to use highly seasoned pork sausages to add meaty, spicy depth to soups, stews, stuffings, casseroles, pasta, rice dishes, and even meatb…
Published: August 2009
Knowing When a Steak is Done
What’s the best way to check a steak for doneness?
Published: August 2009
Burger Bulge
Making a shallow indentation in the center of the patty is the first step toward a great burger.
Published: August 2009
Hamburger Temperature Guide
Don’t guess on the temperature of your burgers—use a thermometer to determine doneness.
Published: August 2009
Brining Beef
We brine pork and chicken, but why not beef?
Published: April 2009
Butcher Shop: Lamb Chops
Not all cuts of lamb will break the bank.
Published: February 2009
Steak Shopping
Three mistakes to avoid when buying steaks.
Published: February 2009
Buying Brisket
Look for a brisket with a little fat attached.
Published: February 2009
Troubleshooting Meatloaf
Meatloaf has its challenges, but a bit of know-how can fix them.
Published: October 2008
Choosing Chops
What are the best choices for pork chops? Should you buy bone-in or boneless pork chops?
Published: April 2008
Quick Pork Cutlets
Here’s our method for creating quick pork cutlets from a tenderloin cut.