Cooking Tips rss

Ideas, advice, and what to make now from the Chowhound community and CHOW editors.

What’s a Hecto-Smacker? Your Microwave, Demystified

How many kilo-whackers and hecto-smackers should your microwave produce? Get the lowdown on microwave oven jargon, from watts to frequency, and find out which units really matter—and what numbers your microwave should have to zap food and beverages fast.

Help! How Do I Cook Pearled Barley?

Pearled barley is hulled and polished to remove its bran, and cooks relatively quickly. Its earthy, nutty flavor and slightly chewy texture add interest to a variety of preparations, whether cooked risotto style or in soups, hot side dishes, salads, or even breakfast porridge.

Make Those Stovetop Grates Gleam Again

Find out how to safely clean your stovetop grates no matter what their state, including advanced methods to get rid of years of built-up gunk, all without damaging your grates or your skin. Learn what the pros use—the good stuff that's only available in restaurant supply stores, not your average grocery store.

Seeking: The Best Beef Stroganoff Recipe

With tender slices of seared beef and mushrooms in a sauce enriched with sour cream, it's no wonder beef stroganoff is creamy comfort food for many, given a lift with dill and lemon. See Chowhounds' favorite stroganoff recipes, including their special twists.

Aluminum: A Miraculous Material

Antique aluminum pans: trash or treasure? Find out why many 'hounds think aluminum pans are precious treasures worth putting to use in your kitchen.

Washing Leafy Greens the Right Way

Leafy greens like kale and collards often come to market with plenty of soil and sand still hidden among their leaves, so thorough cleaning is essential to a pleasant eating experience. Prepping a large volume of greens can seem daunting, but there are several ways to get the grit out without fuss, plus cool methods for quickly stripping off the tough stems.

How to Get the Gross Stuff Off Your Homemade Broth

Homemade stock is a revelation compared to the stuff you can buy at the grocery store, whether you're sipping the golden nectar by itself or using it to enrich risotto or sauces. Find out what equipment works best to skim the fat and scum from your broth, including advice on techniques to remove only the gross stuff and leave all the clear, fresh-tasting stock in the pot where it belongs.

Homemade Sausage Links Demystified

Making bulk sausage is pretty simple if you have a dedicated meat grinder or stand mixer with grinding attachment. But if you'd like to take the next step and stuff the sausage into casings, Chowhounds have lots of great tips on the best stuffing equipment, techniques, and key dos and don'ts for producing great sausages.

The Best Hot Chocolate for Enjoying the Snow

Make the most of the cold weather with the coziest beverage: rich, luscious hot chocolate. Find out which instant mixes are the best whether you like your cocoa sweet and milky or delectably bitter, and find out how they compare to more exotic options like drinking chocolate or spiced disks of Mexican hot chocolate. Plus, learn easy ways to make hot chocolate from scratch with your favorite chocolate bar. Let it snow!

Enameled Cast Iron: Secrets for No Stains

Is the inside of your enameled cast-iron pot not as clean as it used to be? Are there, in fact, giant stains all over the lovely ceramic coating? Find out how to get your enameled cast iron bright, clean, and new-looking without doing any damage to it.