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For the Juiciest Bacon, Give Your Sous Vide Cooker the Night Shift

Thanks for the writeup Kenji, I too dismissed the sous vide bacon from Chefsteps as just doing sous vide for the sake of sous vide with no real advantages. I'll give it a try sometime, in fact this weekend since I just remember I have some pork jowl bacon in the freezer at home!

The Best Salad Spinner

@Northern Exposure You might want to re-examine the ratings on Amazon. If you load the "ZYLISS Swift Dry Salad Spinner, Large, Green" product page and the older model "ZYLISS Smart Touch Salad Spinner, Green" side by side, you will see that both pages have identical customer reviews. Amazon has this horrible habit of combining the reviews for different products together to give the appearance that there are more reviews and the only way to seperate the reviews is to filter them by the type that you want to see. In the past I've been annoyed when they did this with things like video games and movies where they merge all the different varieties (DVD/Blu-ray/stream or xbox/playstation) into one set of reviews. The way they are combining two completely different products in this case is pretty unfair to Zyliss.

Here's what I think happened. Sometime before June 29th, 2016 Zyliss released the new "Swift Dry" version of their salad spinner and in order to get some reviews on the new product page they offered up some salad spinners to Amazon Vine (not Zine) reviewers. I don't put too much stock in reviews where the product was given to the reviewer for free but because Vine reviews are clearly marked as such I do trust the Vine reviewers slightly more than the "I received this product for a discount in exchange for my 'unbiased' review" reviews that you see on many cheap no name product pages. If you filter out only the Size Large Color Green reviews (by clicking where it says "Size: Large | Color: Green" below a reviewers name then you can see that the reviews for only the Swift Dry version start on June 29th. There have been no reviews on the Swift Dry spinner of less than 4 stars and nobody mentions the durability problems that were seen on the older model of the Zyliss spinner.

Equipment Review: We Put ChefSteps' Joule Sous Vide Circulator to the Test

@Gator Pam, have you looked into the Nomiku Wifi at all? I can see their Tender app in the Windows Store and it shows it being available on PC, Mobile, and Hub. I don't have or know anyone that has a Windows Phone to test it with though. That being said it will probably be a while yet until you can actually get one in hand since they are taking an eternity to ship to all of their kickstarter backers and then they have to deal with existing pre-orders.

Anova had a stretch goal in the BT Precision Cooker Kickstarter to make a windows phone app as well but obviously they never got around to it. Joule is pretty much the only sous vide circulator that I've seen that doesn't have any manual controls so any of them would be fine if he doesn't need connectivity with his phone.

Equipment Review: We Put ChefSteps' Joule Sous Vide Circulator to the Test

The lack of an interface on the device is a deal breaker for me. I have a BT Anova and Wifi Nomiku and I haven't used the networking option on either since I got them. I tried them out just to see how it worked but in practice I just set the temp on the device. I'm sure I'd get used to having to use my phone/tablet to set the temp if the Joule was all that I had though. If I was wanting to purchase my first sous vide device, I would seriously consider this one but no way can I justify buying another device right now. I am glad to see that Chef Steps put out a quality product though, I expected nothing less from them.

Make This Now: Savory French Toast With Garlic and Parmesan

You are definitely not the last person to have ever had or thought of savory french toast. The closest I've ever gotten is using a seeded rye bread instead of white since I had some getting to the end of its useful life. I know you said you don't like sweets much for breakfast but I bet this recipe would be great with a good maple syrup too. Croque monsieur also crossed my mind while reading too.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous Vide Salmon

So basically I should just keep doing what I'm doing to cook salmon (120°F for about 45 minutes and then a sear in a pan). I do need to try your dry brine though since I've never done that before. Thanks as always Kenji

What Is American Cheese, Anyway?

Great article Kenji, I've always wondered if you ever get annoyed when you get comment after comment on article after article about the same thing. I guess you do, too bad this article won't stop those comments from coming!

High sodium levels aren't limited to just American cheese though of course since salt is pretty much always added during the process of making cheese. It may be less in many kinds of cheeses but I doubt that there are many cheeses that you could truly call "low sodium".

At $65, The Misen Chef's Knife is the Holy Grail of Knives

I'm not a Misen or Serious Eats shill or anything but just a veteran Kickstarter backer. KICKSTARTER IS NOT A STORE! They outsold their initial goal by 4300% so it takes a significantly higher amount of time to get everything put together. There are always extensive delays on any project that far outsells their initial goal like this. This is not an existing product where they just have to make a slightly bigger order, this is a new startup company that is trying to complete their product. Also, Misen has NOT stopped communicating at all. They had a project update barely a week ago and they continue to communicate multiple times daily in the comments section on Kickstarter.

How Hot Is Too Hot? Adam Savage and The Food Lab Sear Steaks to Find Out

@Shimbo I'm not Kenji but he cooked the steaks using a method of cooking called sous vide. Kenji used an Anova Precision Cooker immersion circulator (you can see it in the back left corner of the container) to heat the water and the steaks were vacuum sealed to keep them from getting wet. Kenji has published tons of articles on Serious Eats about sous vide cooking so you should check them out. The place to start would probably be "How To Get Started With Sous Vide Cooking" and "The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous Vide Steak" both on Serious Eats.

How Hot Is Too Hot? Adam Savage and The Food Lab Sear Steaks to Find Out

@mousemanb I'm pretty sure those are bags for the Oliso Pro Vacuum Sealer that Kenji was talking early this year on the following post:

He has probably mentioned it elsewhere too but I remember seeing it there for the first time. I'll consider that for my next vacuum sealer but I'll wait for my Foodsaver to die before going for it. I'll never be able to afford a chamber vac sealer unless they come WAY down in price!

How Hot Is Too Hot? Adam Savage and The Food Lab Sear Steaks to Find Out

Very cool that you got to do that with Adam Savage, he is totally a personal hero of mine too. I've thought about using the chimney for searing as well but never gotten around to it since I need to plan something else to use the coals for afterwards. I have had the idea over since I saw a Good Eats episode where AB actually cooks a steak (porterhouse I think) under and above a chimney starter.

The Food Lab: A Mind-Blowing Technique for Cleaning Deep-Fry Oil Using Gelatin

Very cool technique. I definitely never would have thought of doing this. Any idea how long the oil's life can be extended with this method at all?

The Food Lab: How to Pan-Fry Salmon Filets

@mlondeaux You might want to look at the Thermopop also from Thermoworks. Kenji recommended it when it first came out as a good budget friendlier alternative to the Thermapen. (Regular price is $29 and is on sale right now for $21.75 at

9 Ways You Might Be Ruining Your Knives

Ugh on #9, my cheap paring knife still has a bent tip from the time I tried to use it to pry something open. And you can stop teasing us with your Misen knife already! ;-)

The Essential Tools for Homemade Pizza

I always have trouble with my pizzas sticking to my wooden peel too so I've just been building my pizza on parchment paper and then taking the parchment paper out after a few minutes. I also just use tongs to pull the pizza onto my wooden peel since I don't really make pizza often enough to warrant a metal peel at all. Glad to see that I have pretty much all of the essential essentials. I need to find that pepperoni on the sheep pan pizza though, those pepperoni cups look awesome!

Nacho Showdown: The Sporkful's Dan Pashman vs. The Food Lab

Sorry Kenji but I'm not on your side this time. Piled nachos is definitely the way to go because I much prefer variety in bites over consistency. If you have trouble sharing nachos then I think there are bigger issues. I like the 1 hand 2 chip rule that Dan suggests because then that allows for you to pair a crunchy chip with a saturated chip so that together they can maintain integrity all the way to the mouth. I do have one argument against Dan though, mainly with the little pork and no sauce part. Some of the best nachos I have ever had are BBQ nachos from a local place that piles on the normal ingredients plus pulled pork, a bit of BBQ sauce (not a ton) and most importantly pit smoked baked beans all over freshly fried tortilla chips. It is not clean and neat but dang if it isn't the best plate of nachos!

Penne With Hot-As-You-Dare Arrabbiata Sauce

@J.R. Stevens You can probably use diced tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes but the sauce will probably end up chunkier. Diced tomatoes generally have calcium chloride added which keeps them intact longer during cooking. Whole tomatoes don't have that calcium chloride as often I think so the break down faster when cooked.

Knife Skills: How to Chop Capers and Olives

@Pheasantdog @MLeGower That was what I was coming here to comment on too! I'm happy to wait to get the quality but I want my knife!

Nice tip on the capers though Kenji, flattening them makes total sense now since you're chopping them anyway but I never thought of that before. I always just chase them around the board!

The Food Lab: Building a Better Egg McMuffin

I made sausage faux-McMuffins this weekend and it really was good! I have never been huge on the canadian bacon so sausage was a must and I used deli American cheese. Overall is was very good and I daresay better than the Micky D's version. I really think that a key is to wrap the sandwich and let it steam for a minute or two. That is definitely a step I've never taken before.

The Food Lab: Building a Better Egg McMuffin

Been looking forward to this one Kenji since you started teasing it a while back. Any recommendation on grocery store brand of English Muffins? Thomas's used to be my go to but the last few times I've gotten them they only been ok and that is assuming you separate the top and bottom halves without breaking one of them. Also, that thing about putting the sandwich in foil for a couple minutes is a secret that I've never tried before. I can definitely see how it would make for a closer approximation of the fast food breakfast sandwich though since you're pretty much always going to have the sandwich wrapped for some period of time.

I also agree with those of you saying that sausage > Canadian bacon. Bob Evans makes (or maybe used to make) preformed sausage patties that are "sandwich sized" and much bigger than the normal sausage patties. I haven't seen them for a while though and they were hard to find when I did see them.

22 Supermarket Items You Should Leave on the Shelf (and What to Get Instead)

@allez Kenji did mention "which means that unless you literally see those shrimp alive and kicking before you buy them" in his shrimp item so I think he probably agrees with you as long as the shrimp are literally right off the boat. My guess is that in ~98% of the country though, "fresh" shrimp at the seafood counter are probably IQF shrimp that has just been defrosted.

22 Supermarket Items You Should Leave on the Shelf (and What to Get Instead)

Regarding #2 and #3, better than bullion actually makes reduced sodium varieties of beef, chicken, and vegetable base but they seem to be hard to find. I still don't understand why companies put so much sodium in their regular broths though. I doubt most people are cracking into a can of broth for lunch or anything. I assume a vast majority of broth sold in this country is used in cooking so it is better to not have all that sodium cooked in.

Bread Baking: Crispy Rye Breadsticks

The rest of the instructions can be found on Donna Currie's blog Cookistry at:

I also emailed SE support about it

The Food Lab: The Long and Short Paths to Chicken Paprikash

Looking forward to trying the easier version very soon (and the more complicated one later). I couldn't agree more on your comments about paprika as well. For 30 years I've had paprika from the regular grocery store and I always thought it was just meant for coloring food without actually having any flavor. I started getting my spices from The Spice House a couple years ago and was shocked to discover that paprika really DOES have flavor, and a good flavor at that. I now have 3 or 4 different paprikas in my cupboard that I use for different purposes.

@Travelducky2 I don't think that will ever happen with fish sauce. Sriracha became popular because it tastes good and is a good amount of heat. Fish sauce on the other hand is not very good if you can actually taste it. It just adds more savory/meaty flavors to a dish but you shouldn't know it is in there really.

Creamy Garlic Chicken Spanakopita Skillet

@Bugster Is it the texture or taste of Feta you don't like? If it is the taste you don't like you might try the Mexican cheese queso fresco. It is kinda the same texture and non-melting properties of feta but it is more mild tasting.