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39 Helpful Cooking Tips

Why You Should Use Bottled Lemon Juice in Jellies and Jams
Why do jam and jelly recipes often call for using bottled lemon juice as opposed to fresh? Wouldn't they taste better with fresh?
Published: February 2021
What Are Cotton Candy Grapes?
It's all in the name.
Published: April 2019
Florida Avocados vs. Hass Avocados
Florida avocados are big and smooth-skinned, unlike the more traditional Hass avocados. Can you make guacamole with them?
Published: December 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: October 2018
What's the Best Way to Freeze Fresh Peaches for Baking?
You can freeze peach wedges either peeled or unpeeled. They'll never taste as good as fresh ripe peaches, but they work well in baked goods and desserts.
Published: August 2018
Yellow Watermelon vs. Red Watermelon
Is there a flavor difference between these two types of watermelon?
Published: June 2018
The Best Ways to Use Asian Pears
How do Asian pears compare to other common pear varieties?
Published: October 2017
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
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
How to Cook Avocados at Home
Avocados are very sensitive to cooking times, here's how to get the best results.
Published: April 2015
Determining a Honeydew Melon's Sweetness Before Buying
How can I tell if a whole honeydew melon will be sweet?
Published: October 2014
How to Keep Leftover Avocados Green
How to Keep Leftover Avocados Green
It's quite common to use half of an avocado and save the rest for later. Is it possible to keep the leftover half from turning brown?
Published: April 2014
Substituting Avocado for Butter in Cookies and Cakes
Some recipes suggest substituting mashed avocado for butter in cookies. Does it work?
Published: August 2013
Explaining Red and Baby Bananas
How do baby bananas and red bananas differ from regular bananas?
Published: June 2013
Sulfured vs. Unsulfured Dried Apricots
Grocery stores will often carry both sulfured and unsulfured dried apricots. How do they differ?
Published: October 2012
Ripening Fruit
Bananas ripen on the counter. Is that true of any unripe fruit or vegetable that you buy?
Published: April 2012
Lemon Oil 101
What exactly is lemon oil? The package instructions say to use it in place of lemon zest.
Published: October 2011
Stemming Strawberries and Water Absorption
Will strawberries soak up water if the berries are stemmed before washing?
Published: June 2010
Dried Fruit
Almost any fruit can be dried (the process concentrates flavor and sugar), and these days, most of them are—from blueberries to cranberries to mangos. 
Published: October 2009
Plumping Dried Fruit
Use this simple technique to soften and plump dried fruit.
Published: October 2009
Pear Pointers
Tips on how to pick the perfect pear.
Published: December 2008
Substitute for Fresh Lemon Juice
If you don't have fresh lemons on hand, can any packaged products approximate the flavor of lemon juice and zest?
Published: December 2008
Rating Raisins
What’s the difference between dark raisins and golden raisins?
Published: December 2008
Freezing Zest
Can lemon zest be frozen for later use?
Published: June 2008
Tropical Fruit
The winter months bring a number of exotic fruits from tropical climates to supermarket shelves. Here are tasting notes for 12 of our favorites.
Published: February 2008
Juicing Limes
The flavor of Key limes and regular supermarket limes (called Persian limes) are almost identical—but there’s a big difference in squeezing time.
Published: June 2007
Melons come in nearly every shape, size, and color. What lies beneath the thick rinds of these fruits? To find out, we sampled 12 varieties that range from ever…
Published: June 2007
Storing Citrus
Do you need to refrigerate citrus fruits?
Published: June 2007
Fruit and Fire
Grilling caramelizes the sugars in fruits and gives them a complex, smoky flavor. But not all fruit belongs on the grill.
Published: April 2007
Citrus Fruits
Sweet, tart, and high in vitamin C, citrus fruits are favorites across the globe. We picked, peeled, and ate 16 varieties, some common, some obscure.
Published: February 2007
How to Freeze Berries
Most berries freeze very well—if you follow a few simple steps.
Published: June 2006
We tasted 12 varieties of fresh berries, some familiar and some exotic, to appreciate their unique flavors.
Published: June 2006
Slicing Citrus
When slicing oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits for salads, it's important to cut the sections free of the membranes, which are fibrous and bitter. H…
Published: December 2005
Juicing Lemons
Here are the test kitchen’s tips for getting the most juice out of lemons.
Published: October 2005
Apple Seeds
Is it true that the seeds in apples are poisonous?
Published: August 2005
Measuring Frozen Fruit
For recipes calling for frozen fruit, use this measuring method.
Published: August 2005