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52 Helpful Cooking Tips

Published: December 2018
How to Store Whole Nutmeg
Fresh nutmeg tastes much livelier than the preground jarred stuff. How should you store it?
Published: October 2018
How to Measure Grated Citrus Zest
When measuring grated citrus zest, should you pack it into a measuring spoon or keep it loose?
Published: August 2018
Garlic Powder vs. Granulated Garlic
Granulated garlic and garlic powder can be used interchangeably in most recipes; we tend to favor granulated garlic in our recipes because it's easier to work w…
Published: August 2018
Quick Visual Guide to 5 Mustards
Get to know your favorite zippy condiment.
Published: June 2018
What is Smoked Salt?
You’ve likely seen this available in your local grocery store. What is it, and how do you use it?
Published: April 2017
What is Kosher Salt?
What exactly is kosher salt, and why is it called for in some of your recipes?
Published: February 2017
Heating Things Up
Does hot salsa lose some of its spiciness when refrigerated?
Published: February 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: August 2016
Mustard Seeds
Can brown and yellow mustard seeds be used interchangeably in recipes?
Published: April 2016
Ground Bay Leaves
Why do recipes usually call for whole bay leaves and not ground?
Published: October 2014
Can Sweet Hungarian and Spanish Paprikas be Used Interchangeably?
What is the difference between sweet Hungarian paprika and Spanish paprika? Can they be used interchangeably?
Published: February 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: December 2013
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: October 2013
Salts and Peppers
Not all salts and peppers are created equal. Here are 12 we like to cook with.
Published: August 2013
Explaining Types of Mustard: Dijon, Yellow, Spicy Brown, Whole-Grain
Grocery stores are stocking more and more varieties of mustard these days. How many should grace your kitchen?
Published: August 2013
Sprinkling Minced Garlic with Salt
Chefs on TV often sprinkle salt on garlic when they chop it. Why?
Published: February 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: June 2012
Asian Condiments
The condiment shelves of Asian grocery stores can be mystifying. Don't let that keep you away. These sauces and pastes inject tremendous flavor into food with v…
Published: December 2011
Different Kinds of Honey
Supermarkets carry all kinds of honey (clover, buckwheat, tupelo, etc.). Some are quite expensive. What’s the difference? 
Published: February 2011
Removing Garlic Odor
We don’t have a cure for removing garlic odor from your hands, but these three options can help.
Published: October 2010
Substutions for Mace
If you don't have any mace on hand, will nutmeg work instead?
Published: June 2010
Chopping and Using Fresh Basil
When it comes to chopping basil, it pays to wait until the last minute.
Published: April 2010
Different Types of Salt
Can you tell the difference between table salt, sea salt, and kosher salt in recipes? When should you use each?
Published: April 2010
Tearing vs. Chopping Herbs
Why do some recipes recommend tearing fresh herbs instead of chopping them?
Published: April 2010
Freezing Garlic Cloves
If you don't use whole, peeled garlic cloves fast enough, can they be frozen?
Published: February 2010
Madras Curry Powder
What is Madras curry—and can you use it in place of regular curry powder?
Published: February 2010
“Blooming” Spices
What does it mean to “bloom” spices and what is the benefit?
Published: October 2009
Varieties of Dried Sage
Markets sell several types of dried sage. Are they interchangeable?
Published: August 2009
Dried Mexican Oregano
Do you really need to keep two types of oregano on hand?
Published: June 2009
Dill Seed or Weed?
When the flavor of fresh dill failed to assert itself, we headed to the spice aisle for extra dill flavor.
Published: April 2009
Easier Rosemary Chopping
Here’s a tip for keeping freshly chopped rosemary on the cutting board—and not all over your kitchen.
Published: April 2009
Garlic Microwave Magic
A quick zap in the microwave guarantees quick garlic peeling.
Published: February 2008
Peeling Garlic Made Easy
Need to peel a lot of garlic? Here’s a test kitchen shortcut.
Published: October 2007
Garlic Substitutes
What's the difference between garlic powder, granulated garlic, dehydrated minced garlic, and garlic salt? Are any of these ever an acceptable substitute for fr…
Published: August 2007
Paprika Primer
Paprika comes labeled as sweet, smoked, and hot. What's the difference, and can they be used interchangeably?
Published: August 2007
Caper Primer
What are capers, exactly?