46 Helpful Cooking Tips

What Is Canadian Bacon?
What's the difference between regular bacon and Canadian bacon?
Published: January 2020
Slicing Against the Grain: What It Means and How to Do It
Tenderize tough meat correctly on the first try.
Published: April 2019
What Is Corned Beef?
What exactly is corned beef, and how is it made?
Published: February 2019
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: October 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
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: December 2014
Using a Foil Lid When Braising Meat
Some recipes call for placing foil over the surface of braising meat to yield a more tender result. Does this work?
Published: February 2014
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: June 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: February 2013
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: December 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: February 2012
Short Ribs 101
What are short ribs?
Published: October 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
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: August 2011
Banish Tough Chops
Good news: pork no longer has to be dry to meet USDA-recommended cooking temperatures!
Published: August 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: June 2011
The Best Way to Reheat Lean Meats
What’s the best way to reheat lean meats, like pork loin or chicken breast?
Published: October 2010
Well-Done Meat
Which cuts of steak are the best for cooking to well-done? And what's the best way to do it?
Published: August 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: June 2010
Salt Pork 101
What, exactly, is salt pork?
Published: February 2010
Cutting Across the Grain Explained
What does it mean to “cut across the grain” of meat, and why is it so important?
Published: December 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: October 2009
Hamburger Temperature Guide
Don’t guess on the temperature of your burgers—use a thermometer to determine doneness.
Published: August 2009
Hamburger Keys to Success
Three common mistakes to avoid in the quest for the perfect burger.
Published: August 2009
Well-Done Burgers Done Well
Adding a panade—a mix of bread and milk—to the meat mixture keeps even well done burger moist. 
Published: August 2009
Brining Beef
We brine pork and chicken, but why not beef?
Published: August 2009
Buying Brisket
Look for a brisket with a little fat attached.
Published: February 2009
Steak Shopping
Three mistakes to avoid when buying steaks.
Published: February 2009
Choosing Chops
What are the best choices for pork chops? Should you buy bone-in or boneless pork chops?
Published: October 2008
Quick Pork Cutlets
Here’s our method for creating quick pork cutlets from a tenderloin cut.
Published: April 2008
Ham Primer
How do city hams differ from fresh and country varieties?
Published: December 2007
Beef Steaks
The cut of meat you choose has everything to do with the flavor of the steak, as well as how you should cook it. This guide helps explain what you need to know.
Published: December 2007
Fork-Tender Meat
Here’s how to tell when your meat is “fork tender.”
Published: August 2006