1. When Grilling Pizza, Rethink the Dough: If you try to cook regular pizza dough on the grill, the pie will puff up in the center, making it difficult for toppings to cling to the surface. The center of the pizza also won’t cook through, so you’ll have less of a pizza, and more of a raw dough disc. Yuck! The key? Use less yeast. Less yeast equals less rise, resulting in a flatter grilled pizza.
2. Rest Before You Roll: When gluten strands first form in your pizza dough, they have a curly shape that forces the dough to snap back when you attempt to roll it out. As the dough rests, active enzymes begin snipping those strands into shorter pieces, leaving you with a more workable, rollable dough.
3. Only Buy Olive Oil Harvested Within the Last Year: After 12 months, the oil starts to go downhill, eventually becoming rancid. Also, buy olive oil that comes in dark green bottles. Clear bottles let light in, and that light damages the oil. Lastly, buy oil that comes from a single source. If the bottle says it’s made from oils from multiple countries, it means it’s probably industrial and made by mixing a bunch of different oils together. Not great!
4. Avocado Gadgets Aren’t Worth Your Money: We’re eating a lot of avocados in America—about a billion in total last year alone, which is twice as many as we ate a decade ago! A cottage industry of avocado gadgets has cropped up alongside the uptick in consumption. Few (if any) of those gadgets are worth your money, however, since none of the products we tested could accomplish all of the steps involved in cutting up an avocado. In the end, all you really need is a good chef’s knife.
5. For the Best Chicken Tacos, Overcook Your Thighs: Chicken thighs have pockets of fat, collagen, and connective tissue that break down during cooking and leave you with tender meat. They’re also able to withstand higher heat and longer cooking times—so you’re not in danger of overcooking, even when you cook them to 195 degrees, like we do in our recipe. (Technically, chicken thighs are cooked through when they hit 175 degrees.) At that higher temperature, that connective tissue and collagen converts to gelatin, which makes the meat even more shreddable than they are at 175 degrees.
Quote of the Week: “When I started working here 1,000 years ago, you couldn’t find chipotles in adobo sauce at supermarkets, but these days they’re very available. Now, chipotle chiles are simply jalapeños that have been smoked. So they have a really deep, earthy flavor. I like to think of them as the bacon of the vegetable world.” —Bridget Lancaster on chipotles
Can't wait for next week's episode? Get your fill with our past episode recaps:
- Season 17, Episode 22 Recap: How to Make the Best Paella
- Season 17, Episode 21 Recap: How to Make the Best Shrimp and Vegetable Skewers
- Season 17, Episode 20 Recap: How to Make the Best Pan-Seared Flank Steak
- Season 17, Episode 19 Recap: How to Make the Best Strawberry Jam
- Season 17, Episode 18 Recap: How to Make the Best Pork Roast
- Season 17, Episode 17 Recap: How to Make Sensational Beef Stir-Fry
- Season 17, Episode 16 Recap: How to Make Better Oatmeal Cookies
- Season 17, Episode 15 Recap: How to Make Better Chicken Marsala
- Season 17, Episode 14 Recap: How to Make Baked Alaska
- Season 17, Episode 13 Recap: How to Make the Best Frozen Yogurt
- Season 17, Episode 12 Recap: How to Make the Best Pantry Pasta Dishes
- Season 17, Episode 11 Recap: Taking on the Best of the Big Easy
- Season 17, Episode 10 Recap: How to Make the Best Korean Rice Bowls (Dolsot Bibimbap)
- Season 17, Episode 9 Recap: How to Roast Turkey and Boil Corn
- Season 17, Episode 8 Recap: How to Make the Best Ground Beef Chili
- Season 17, Episode 7 Recap: How to Make the Ultimate Sticky Buns
- Season 17, Episode 6 Recap: How to Make the Best Shrimp Scampi
- Season 17, Episode 5 Recap: How to Make the Best Cheese and Tomato Lasagna
- Season 17, Episode 4 Recap: Home-Corned Beef and Cabbage—and Shots of Sherry (Vinegar)
- Season 17, Episode 3 Recap: Crispy Chicken Breasts and Creamy Baked Potatoes
- Season 17, Episode 2 Recap: "Two Stews for Yous"
- Season 17, Episode 1 Recap: Cast Iron is Back!
What was your favorite part of this episode of America’s Test Kitchen? Let us know in the comments!