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31 Helpful Cooking Tips

What is Nutritional Yeast?
What is Nutritional Yeast?
A staple in the plant-based community, this ingredient is perfect for adding cheesy flavor, without adding cheese.
Published: October 2021
Feel the Fire: Decoding Chili Sauces
Feel the Fire: Decoding Chili Sauces
What are the differences between sriracha, sambal oelek, and chili-garlic sauce?
Published: February 2021
How to Make Homemade Seasoned Rice Vinegar
Can you use unseasoned rice vinegar in a recipe that calls for seasoned rice vinegar?
Published: May 2020
Quick Visual Guide to 5 Mustards
Get to know your favorite zippy condiment.
Published: August 2018
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: February 2017
Mustard Seeds
Can brown and yellow mustard seeds be used interchangeably in recipes?
Published: August 2016
Getting to Know Vinegars
Getting to Know Vinegars
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: February 2014
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: December 2013
Salts and Peppers
Not all salts and peppers are created equal. Here are 12 we like to cook with.
Published: October 2013
Different Kinds of Honey
Supermarkets carry all kinds of honey (clover, buckwheat, tupelo, etc.). Some are quite expensive. What’s the difference? 
Published: December 2011
Baking Spices
To make the most of your baking spices, follow our tips: Preground spices are convenient, but their flavors fade fast. 
Published: October 2011
Removing Garlic Odor
We don’t have a cure for removing garlic odor from your hands, but these three options can help.
Published: February 2011
Substutions for Mace
If you don't have any mace on hand, will nutmeg work instead?
Published: October 2010
Chopping and Using Fresh Basil
When it comes to chopping basil, it pays to wait until the last minute.
Published: June 2010
Tearing vs. Chopping Herbs
Why do some recipes recommend tearing fresh herbs instead of chopping them?
Published: April 2010
“Blooming” Spices
What does it mean to “bloom” spices and what is the benefit?
Published: February 2010
Madras Curry Powder
What is Madras curry—and can you use it in place of regular curry powder?
Published: February 2010
Varieties of Dried Sage
Markets sell several types of dried sage. Are they interchangeable?
Published: October 2009
Dried Mexican Oregano
Do you really need to keep two types of oregano on hand?
Published: August 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: June 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: April 2009
Peeling Garlic Made Easy
Need to peel a lot of garlic? Here’s a test kitchen shortcut.
Published: February 2008
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: October 2007
Keeping Garlic Fresh
We offer three options for keeping garlic fresher longer.
Published: December 2005
When to Chop Herbs
Some herbs can be chopped ahead of time—but not these.
Published: August 2005
Shopping for Basil
Avoid basil sold in plastic boxes—it’s best to buy a loose bunch with the roots attached.
Published: June 2008
Drying Fresh Herbs
Here’s a method for quickly drying hearty herbs in the microwave. Caution—don’t try this with delicate herbs!
Published: April 2009
Dried Herbs
Here are the dried herbs we stock in the test kitchen, plus a few rules for using them in place of their fresh counterparts.
Published: February 2007
All About Allspice
What is allspice, and is it possible to mix together spices from the cabinet to make a quick substitution?
Published: April 2008
All About Mirin
We reach for this condiment when we want to add a sweet acidity to our Asian-inspired dishes.
Published: August 2007