52 Helpful Cooking Tips

Can You Substitute Onions for Shallots?
Here's what to do when you are in a pinch.
Published: October 2021
What Can You Do with Kohlrabi?
What Can You Do with Kohlrabi?
Here are some ideas on how to use this green.
Published: April 2021
Choosing Eggplants
Choosing Eggplants
Some believe they should choose male eggplants at the store because they are less bitter than female eggplants. Is this true?
Published: February 2021
The Easiest Way to Mash Butternut Squash
The Easiest Way to Mash Butternut Squash
If you hate having to peel and chop squash before mashing, there is an easier way.
Published: December 2020
Habaneros and Scotch Bonnets: What's the Difference?
Habaneros and Scotch Bonnets: What's the Difference?
Are habanero and Scotch bonnet chiles the same?
Published: June 2020
Can Freezing Kale Replace Blanching?
Frozen kale just isn't the same.
Published: July 2019
Different Types of Peas
Here are the three types of fresh pea pods you may see at the market.
Published: April 2018
Curly-Leaf vs. Flat-Leaf Parsley
Are curly- and flat-leaf parsleys interchangeable? We ran a series of blind taste tests to answer this question.
Published: November 2017
Microgreen Primer
What are microgreens? Are they the same as sprouts?
Published: June 2015
Onion Sizes Explained
Recipes often call for “medium” onions. What does “medium” mean in terms of volume and weight?
Published: December 2014
Baby Artichokes vs. Regular Artichokes
Do baby artichokes and regular-size artichokes cook the same way?
Published: December 2014
Corn Products
The United States produces 32 percent of the world’s corn—three times as much as any other nation. With all that corn, it’s little wonder that we use it in so …
Published: August 2014
There’s a whole world of radishes beyond the tipped-and-tailed kind that are sold in plastic bags at the supermarket.
Published: April 2014
Explaining New Potatoes
Are all new potatoes small? Are all small potatoes new?
Published: December 2013
Canned Diced Tomatoes vs. Hand-Cut Canned Whole Tomatoes
If a recipe calls for canned diced tomatoes and all you have are canned whole tomatoes, can you dice up the whole tomatoes and use those?
Published: October 2013
Vinegar Pickles
Pickling in vinegar-based brine originated eons ago as a practical means of preserving foods. These days, everyone from star chefs to home cooks is doing it mai…
Published: August 2013
Shoots and Stalks
Come spring, shoots and stalks are everywhere. Here are a dozen that could end up in your kitchen and on your plate.
Published: April 2013
Substituting White Sweet Potatoes for Regular
Some supermarkets sell white sweet potatoes. Can they be used interchangably with ordinary sweet potatoes?
Published: October 2012
How to Use Leftover Brine to Make Pickles
Is there any way to use leftover brine from a jar of store-bought pickles to make more pickles?
Published: February 2012
Comparing Red and Green Jalapeños' Heat
Do red jalapeños have the same heat as the green ones?
Published: October 2011
Freezing Onions
The big bags of onions you can buy at Costco sometimes go bad before you can use them all. We wondered, could we freeze them?
Published: April 2011
Taming Eggplant's Bitter Bite
Ever wonder why eggplant sometimes makes your mouth tingle? So did we.
Published: February 2011
All olives are harvested from October to January, whatever the variety. The time of their harvest determines their color and flavor.
Published: December 2010
Boiling Vegetables with Baking Soda
We’ve heard the claim that baking soda is sometimes used when boiling vegetables to preserve their color. We wanted to know if this really worked.
Published: December 2010
Rutabagas vs. Turnips
What’s the difference between a rutabaga and a turnip?
Published: February 2010
All About Sweet Potatoes
Depending on your desired dish, one of these popular supermarket sweet potatoes is likely right for the job.
Published: December 2009
Storing Chipotle Chiles
When a recipe uses just a teaspoon or two of chipotle chiles, here’s how to store the rest of the can.
Published: August 2009
Cucumbers Compared
What are the differences between English and American cucumbers? And what’s the best way to seed one?
Published: June 2009
Dicing Avocados
Because the soft, buttery flesh of ripe avocados bruises easily, cutting neat, even dice requires delicate handling. We have a few tricks that come in handy in …
Published: April 2009
Storing Asparagus
Here’s the best method for preserving the freshness of this delicate vegetable.
Published: February 2009
Dried Mushrooms 101
Be sure to look for large, thick pieces of mushroom—and don’t forget to smell the bag.
Published: October 2008
Microwaving Cabbage
Avoid a stovetop mess—microwaving softens tough cabbage leaves, allowing them to be easily removed.
Published: October 2008
Fresh Fennel Primer
How to handle this oddly shaped vegetable in the test kitchen.
Published: August 2008
Cutting Corn off the Cob
Cutting the kernels off ears of corn can be tricky, as the cobs can roll around on the cutting board. Here’s how we remove the kernels from the cobs.
Published: August 2008
Boiling Potatoes
Surprisingly, less cooking time led to better potato texture.
Published: June 2008
Seeding Summer Squash
The bitter taste and slimy texture of squash seeds can wreak havoc on sautés and soups.
Published: June 2008