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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.

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

@I'll Do The Dishes Later You probably want to pay more attention to the Kickstarter updates. Nothing has changed about their timeline at all and they are still hoping to start shipping by March 2016 as originally planned. Because of the high volume of knives they have to ship now they are also giving themselves a buffer of a month or two for unforeseen problems.

(FYI, no I don't work for Misen at all, I'm just a frequent kickstarter backer who has seen many people complain when their unrealistic expectations are not met by the project creator)

Ounces and Grams: Why Mass Is Not the Best Way to List Ingredients

I just want to see the USA move to metric for everything! Your little ** note for reference shows how ludicrous the imperial measurement system is. The fact you need a note for reference just shows how many people don't remember the units very well. I've much preferred the metric system since I learned it back in grade school but many Americans seem to take pride in still using the stupid imperial system and don't even want to think about metric.

Get Yerself a Thermapen for $69 Before 11/1!

Is it still a scam if the Thermapen is pretty much universally accepted as the best instant read thermometer? That's not just by Serious Eats but also Americas Test Kitchen and plenty of other cooking shows (like Good Eats). Sure it's probably overkill for a home kitchen like you said but if you can afford it and want an excellent instant read thermometer then you can't do much better. It is also worth noting that Serious Eats has been a fan of Themoworks products for a very long time and I doubt they've gotten monetary support the entire time.

Get Yerself a Thermapen for $69 Before 11/1!

I was hoping this was the Mk4 model in which case I'd be all over it but I already have one of this model. I wonder if my parents would use this at all if I got one for them. All they have right now is one of the super-slow digital readout thermometers.

Taste Test: We Try Every Flavor of Cheez-It Crackers

@Snacky18 This taste test was posted more than a year before the Extra Toasted Cheez-Its were a thing. They are definitely really good though!

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

@KUpchurch They have updated their Kickstarter FAQ (linked below) to include more info about manufacturing. It is indeed made in China but of course there is nothing there about costs.

Staff Picks: Our Favorite Kitchen Shortcuts

One nice little tip I figured out recently was a way to salvage the rest of a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce after you've used 1 or 2 in a recipe. I just put them onto a plate individually and then divide up the excess sauce. That goes in the freezer for a while till frozen and then I just put them into a ziplock bag for use later. I can't even guess how many times I've wasted the rest of the can after using a couple then putting them in the fridge to be thrown out later.

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

@Kevin_B It is in listed in two of the graphics but not in any of the actual (searchable) text at all.

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

Wow, I think we need to start calling this "The Kenji Effect" where Kenji endorses a project and it is fully funded within minutes. I totally missed out on the $45 pledge level but I've been wanting to get a chef's knife that isn't a Fibrox. It's just too bad the wait on this knife is so long but hopefully they won't fall behind to badly as so many KS campaigns do (especially when they are highly over-funded as it looks like this one will be).

The Food Lab: The Book Has Arrived

Congrats Kenji! My book is currently on the old brown truck for delivery today. It had better be waiting on my doorstep when I get home! I pre-ordered back in February I think when it first went up on Amazon. I've been thinking about this ever since then every time I looked at my open orders list. Glad it's finally here!

The Right Way to Toast a Bagel

@FreeRangeNan That's my issue too. I've been meaning to try making the Cook's Illustrated recipe for NY Bagels that they published a few months ago but still haven't gotten around to it.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous Vide Barbecue Pork Ribs

This is going on my definitely want to try soon list. I did some some pork ribs with a sous vide/grill finish a while back without these tips and they came out pretty great. They can only get better with Kenji's help. They were definitely missing the smokeyness I wanted but it never occurred to me to use a bit of liquid smoke.

How to Season and Maintain a Wooden Cutting Board

@Kenji Do these rules apply to bamboo boards as well or really just wooden boards?

@Ocean @Osomatic You probably already know about this but just in case you don't... You can actually keep up with the conversations easier if you turn on "comment response notification" on your profile. Turning that on will basically send you an email with the response every time a reply is posted on an article you replied to. It can generate a fair bit of email but I just have a filter in Gmail that sends all the Serious Eats messages to its own folder where I can read it whenever. It is also nice because it sends you an email if someone responds to a much older post as well as the recent ones.

Charcoal Versus Gas Grills: The Definitive Guide

I've never actually owned a gas grill but I've considered it a few times mostly for the reasons that Kenji says in the article. I like many aspects of charcoal grilling better but gas seems more convenient sometimes. I feel like I would probably grill more often if I had a gas grill actually. That being said, I won't spring for a decent gas grill over my current cheap weber grill until I get a house of my own. I'd be afraid of anything better than a cheap weber grill walking away where I currently live.

Sous Vide Your Way to the Juiciest, Most Flavor-Packed Corn on the Cob

@bdcbbq In the actual recipe, Kenji says to just trim the ends off the corn but not to shuck it at all. If TJBREW was following the recipe then he would have left the husk and silk intact. I probably will shuck and de-silk though next time I make it this way though since getting the silk off the hot corn is somewhat hazardous.

I wonder if the old trick my mother used to use might help at all with getting more flavor as Kenji is trying to acheive with cooking in the husk. She used to tell us to save some of the softer inner husks when we were shucking and de-silking the corn then she would put those husks on top of the water when boiling the corn. Transferring that idea to this recipe, I would save some of the inner husks and get rid of the rest and the silk and then put the saved husks in the sous vide bag along with the butter and other aromatics. It seems to me that would lend some flavor to the corn but at the same time you don't have to get rid of all the annoying silk from a rocket hot ear of corn.