Slideshow: Staff Picks: What's Your Achilles Heel in the Kitchen?

Poached Eggs
Poached Eggs
"I make a good fried egg and a decent soft-boiled one, but for some reason poached eggs elude me. I'm intimidated by the process, I'm weirded out by the loose-whites-in-water situation, and so I generally avoid making poached eggs even though I love to eat them." Maggie Hoffman, Serious Drinks editor

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Cornbread
Cornbread
"According to Matt, my taste-tester and guinea pig of all things that come out of our kitchen, it's cornbread that isn't dry. No matter what I do we're still slapping the butter all over it. One day I will master this. I'm determined." Jen Weinberg, Ad Sales Director

[Photograph: Elizabeth Barbone]

Poached Eggs, Again
Poached Eggs, Again
"I can't poach eggs. I've tried and tried (because what isn't better with a poached egg on top?) but the eggs are usually sucked into the vortex of the pot before I can get them out in one piece. To remedy, I bought these neat little poach pods that float on the top of the water and require zero talent, but I feel like I won't be a real cook until I can do it the real way." Carrie Vasios, Serious Sweets editor

Editor's note: Read this egg-poaching tutorial!

[Photograph: Sue Veed]

Deviled Eggs
Deviled Eggs
"One of my all-time favorite party foods but I can't seem to conquer the deviled egg. I almost canceled a party once because of the dozens of lumpy egg blobs on my countertop, with cratered surfaces and shell bits everywhere. I haven't attempted them again since. Maybe the eggs were too fresh? I've heard that fresh eggs can be harder to peel. At least there's always egg salad salvation when your deviled eggs are a hot mess." Erin Zimmer, National Managing Editor

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Rice without a Rice Cooker
Rice without a Rice Cooker
"The Japanese eat rice, and lots of it. Heck, our word for dinner—"gohan"—even means "rice." So you'd think that growing up in a largely Japanese household, I'd be an expert at cooking it. But here's a secret: Every Japanese household has a rice cooker. What does this mean? It means that even though I ate rice 4 to 6 times a week growing up, I never once learned how to cook it on the stovetop. To this day, it remains the one cooking task that no matter how many times I try, I just can't seem to get right.

I know, I know. Cover the lid. Keep it closed. Use low heat. Let it rest off heat. Rinse the rice. Don't rinse the rice. Blah, blah, blah. I've tried it all, many, many, many times over, and no matter what, my rice comes out too mushy, too dry, too burnt, too sticky, too loose, or some other variation of the infinite forms of imperfect.

Darn you, rice. Darn you to hell. I'm keeping my rice cooker close." J.Kenji Lopez-Alt, Chief Creative Officer

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Homemade Mayo
Homemade Mayo
"Despite the desire to take my BLT game to the next level, I've never successfully made mayonnaise." Paul Cline, Web Developer

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Bigger Egg Issues
Bigger Egg Issues
"I have an egg issue. Though I'm confident cooking just about any meat or vegetable, with eggs, I seize up and panic. Doesn't matter if the egg is fried, poached, or hard boiled; I'll find some way to screw it up. And if by some stroke of luck I manage to get the whites set and the yolk runny, I'll inevitably puncture the yolk trying to get it out of the pan. Numerous times I've realized I need help and that I should figure this out. Perhaps announcing online will finally guilt trip me into some serious action." Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago editor

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Chicken Breasts
Chicken Breasts
"Chicken breasts. I have a palpable, nausea-inducing, not quite rational fear of undercooked chicken, so I tend to cook white meat about 10 times too long. When it's just a single breast I can use a meat thermometer and allay my fears, but when it's in a stir-fry or something like that, I get so paranoid about cooking it too little that I cook it to hell, instead." Carey Jones, Senior Managing Editor

[Photograph: Josh Bousel]

Circular-Shaped Foods
Circular-Shaped Foods
"I have a hard time frying circular-shaped foods (burgers, pancakes, etc). I always get paranoid that I will burn something and end up horribly undercooking it. What can I say; I'm a baker at heart." Jessica Leibowitz, Videographer

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Sautéing Garlic and Onions
Sautéing Garlic and Onions
"So boring but, I can never seem to saute garlic and onions right. I know it has to do with when you add the oil and how high the heat is etc. etc. but they are either burned or undercooked or slimy with too much oil. And its terrible because sauteed garlic and onions are AMAZING." Leandra Palermo, Ad Sales and Marketing

[Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]