Our Authors

The Food Lab: The Pressure Cooker Makes Short Work of This Authentic Texas Chile con Carne

Real Texas chile con carne is all about the beef and the chilies. In this version, we start with toasted whole dried chilies and puree them with broth and spices before adding beef chuck and cooking the whole thing down in a pressure cooker. 30 minutes later, you've got spoon-tender chunks of beef in a rich, complex chili-based stew. More

Step Aside, Old Chili Powder: How to Prepare Whole Dried Chilies for the Best Powder and Puree

Whether you're making real Texas-style chile con carne (no beans please!), a quick weeknight ground beef and canned bean chili, or even a vegan or vegetarian version, the best thing you can do to up your chili game is to leave those jars of pre-ground chili powder on the shelf. Starting your chili with honest to goodness real whole dried chilies will save you money while adding layer upon layer of complex flavor that you never thought was possible. Here's how to do it. More

Making Panela at a Colombian Sugar Mill is Still a Low-Tech Affair

Brown, unrefined sugar is eaten all around the world—Africa and Asia have their jaggery, Mexico has piloncillo, we have our fancy coffee shops with moist muscovado—but nobody consumes it the way Colombians do. Despite having the highest brown sugar consumption per capita in the world and a production of almost a million and a half tons per year, sugar production is still done almost 100% manually in mills like this one. For now, that is. More

The Food Lab: Introducing Lasagna Napoletana, the Meatball and Cheese-Packed Lasagna of Your Dreams

We all know about lasagna Bolognese, the Northern Italian casserole made with fresh pasta layered with cheese sauce and a slow-cooked meat sauce enriched with cream. But what if I told you that there was another lasagna out there that's every bit as decadent, involved, rib-sticking, and delicious? I introduce to you Lasagna Napoletana, a lasagna that comes stuffed with an insanely meaty and savory red sauce, small and tender meatballs with crisp edges, slices of sausage, and not one, not two, not even three, but four types of cheese. Are you ready to have your gut busted and your mind blown? More

Latin Cuisine: How to Make Colombian-Style Sopa de Albóndigas (Meatball Soup)

My wife's Aunt Gloria in Colombia makes a sopa de albóndigas—meatball soup—unlike any I've had before. In fact, according to her, it's not like any meatball soup she's had anywhere else either. This particular combination of beef with capers in broth served with fried potato sticks seems to live almost solely within the confines of her own family. This is a shame, as it's terribly delicious. More

How to Make Meatball Pizza

Growing up in New York, I'd never eaten a meatball pizza. Pizza is for eating out, meatballs are home cooking. It wasn't until I tasted the meatball pizza at Motorino and then at Best Pizza in Williamsburg that I discovered how great the idea is. But like all mashups, there's a bit of finesse to getting it right. More

In Defense of St. Louis-Style Pizza

Of the myriad styles of pizza we've got in this country, St. Louis-Style has got to be the most maligned.* Its thin, unleavened cracker crust bears no resemblance to the real dough that great pizza is built on. It gets loaded high with toppings that span all the way from edge to edge. It's so unbalanced that it has to be cut into squares just to be able to support its own weight. And let's not get started on that Provel cheese—if it can even be called cheese, am I right? And yet, ever since tasting for the first time I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I've finally figured out why I love it so much. St. Louis-style pizza is not pizza. It's a big, pizza-flavored nacho. Hear me out. More

The Food Lab: Rethinking Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff, when done right, is one of those magical dishes that acts and tastes like a stew, but is actually a quick-cooking dish in disguise. With just about 45 minutes in the kitchen, you can make a dish that comes packed with tender meat and rich, deep, rib-sticking flavors that taste like they were cooked all day. My goal: A beef stroganoff with the most tender, juicy beef around in a sauce that balances rich, browned flavors with brighter notes and most importantly, a creaminess that doesn't break or turn grainy under any circumstances. I decided to break down the process one step at a time to get there, starting with the meat. More

The Ethics of Foie Gras: New Fire for an Old Debate

A few years ago I wrote a piece called The Physiology of Foie: Why Foie Gras is Not Unethical which made its way around the internet and social media circles at the time. It's gotten tons of comments, most of them well-balanced, thoughtful, and conducive to open constructive debate. Some have been knee-jerk (from both sides), and some have been downright frightening (it's the only article I've ever written that has prompted actual death threats via email). News of the recent repeal of the California ban on its import and production has sparked up the debate again, so I thought it was a good time to address some of the arguments that have been brought up that I feel I haven't adequately addressed. Here they are. More

Use the Pressure Cooker to Make Full-Flavored Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup) In 30 Minutes

Pho bo—Vietnamese beef noodle soup—may be more popular in the states, but its cousin pho ga, made with chicken, is easier to make, and in my book, just as tasty. What if I told you that you could make a superb bowl of Vietnamese chicken noodle soup with rich, aromatic broth and fall-off-the-bone tender chicken, all in under half an hour? The pressure cooker comes to the rescue. More

The Food Lab: How to Make Potato Leek Soup the Easy and Easier way

Today I'm going to show you how to make two different versions of the same dish. They both use the exact same ingredients to produce similar end results. The first recipe for potato leek soup is the most involved, and it'll make just about the tastiest potato leek soup you've ever had. Light, creamy, packed with flavor, and soul-satisfyingly delicious. The second takes a fraction of the time and produces a soup with very similar flavor, but a slightly inferior texture. It's still something I'd happily serve to dinner guests any night of the week. More

Shaved Beets and Radishes Pack This Winter Greens Salad With Flavor

I love roasted beets, but they take a long time to prepare. A much faster way to enjoy their natural sweetness is to slice them paper thin on a Japanese mandoline. Tossed with a simple vinaigrette, they become an ideal addition to a salad of hearty winter greens like endive, frisée, and radicchio, their sweetness complemented by the bitter bite of the greens. Some shaved Parmesan, radishes, and toasted flax seeds finish this simple salad off. More

Last Minute Holiday Menu Planning? Let Us Guide You

I know how it is. You're working your butt off trying to tie up all the loose ends so that you can enjoy a stress-free vacation at the end of the year and before you know it, it's just days before your big holiday meals and you haven't even decided whether you're cooking prime rib, turkey, or ham! Never fear, we're here to help. More

The Food Lab: My 11 Favorite Recipes of the Year, 2014

I spend so much time cooking and thinking about what I'm going to cook next that I don't often get to look back at what I've actually done. This has been a pretty big year for me recipe-wise, with some fun breakthroughs, some delicious staples that have made their way into my everyday life, and other recipes that, while they may not be the simplest, are worth every second of the time and effort that go into them. Here are my favorites of they year. They aren't necessarily the most popular, but they were the ones I had the most fun developing and eating. More

The Food Lab: The Secret to Perfect Beef Tenderloin? The Reverse Sear Strikes Again

Whole-roasted beef tenderloin is a once-a-year celebratory dish that can be fantastic if done properly. The problem is, its extra-lean meat lacks flavor, not to mention how easily it dries out and overcooks. Our slow-roasting reverse-sear method ensures perfectly medium-rare meat from edge to center with a nicely browned, flavorful crust. More

How to Trim a Whole Beef Tenderloin for Roasting

Beef tenderloin is the most expensive cut of meat on the steer. At a good butcher or supermarket, a trimmed center-cut tenderloin can run you as much as $25 to $30 per pound! But there are ways to minimize that cost. The best way is to buy the tenderloin whole and untrimmed, bring it home, and trim it yourself. More

How to Tie a Butcher's Knot

A butcher's knot has one big advantage over a regular square knot: it's a slip knot, which means that once you tie it, you can adjust it very easily without needing an extra finger to hold the knot in place as you tighten it. More

Hot and Numbing Xi'an Style Oven-Fried Chicken Wings


No, it's 1 tablespoon. Why do you ask?

And no, the wings don't need to be rinsed before baking!

The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat


Yes, raises! I fixed that.

Upgrade Your Potato Skins With Beer-Cooked Onions, Beer-Simmered Brats, Beer Cheese, and Bacon

So excited to have you here Morgan. I'm looking forward to getting fatter with you :)

Hot and Numbing Xi'an Style Oven-Fried Chicken Wings


No need.



The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat


That's my error: Baking powder is slightly higher than neutral pH. Higher pH = better browning. I'll fix that.

The Food Lab: Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Wings With Xi'an Flavors Bring the Heat


Just so you don't get disappointed, they aren't quite like the ones at mission chinese. Similar heat and dry spices, but different flavor!

1-Hour Pressure-Cooker Texas-Style Chile Con Carne

@Doc Sportello

No, dried chilies! "Fresh" is a flavor note to differentiate from "hot" or "rich fruity," which are the two categories that follow. The recipe only calls for dried chilies!

Basic Chili Purée to Replace Chili Powder


Oops, my bad. Yield was off.

Step Aside, Old Chili Powder: How to Prepare Whole Dried Chilies for the Best Powder and Puree


Frying works! It's harder to make in advance though.




Nope, still use that for certain recipes. But this is meant to be a very basic puree that subs for chili powder. You can always introduce those other flavors as desired or as recipes call for it.

Step Aside, Old Chili Powder: How to Prepare Whole Dried Chilies for the Best Powder and Puree


Good point - I'll add it into the insturctions!


The heat is actually mostly in the ribs actually! But typically, chili powder is not hot at all, so I tried to keep this recipe pretty mild as well, so that it can be used as a substitute. If you like more heat, by all means use the ribs or seeds!

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters


Seeing this is the year of Back to the Future II, there will be no dust cover (those were from before we invented dust-proof paper). The eggs are not a for-sure thing though.


Wow, that's a surprise to me that it's already available! But, well, thanks for ordering! I'll make an official announcement for pre-order when whatever legal entity is supposed to say it's OK says it's OK :)

And I absolutely DO want your opinions. I'm in no way planning on designing anything by committee, but the Serious Eats community plays such a vital role in what I do, of COURSE I want to hear some ideas!

I'm not married to the eggs, though neither the veg wellington nor the cup noodles are in the book, so those can't be on the cover (there's not a huge amount of overlap between what's in the book and what's on the site - I wanted to make sure that when you buy the book you are really paying for something with great value).

@midtown Jimmi

Yes, I'd like for there to be one too! It depends on a number of factors, but I'll be advocating for it!

@santiago Cardona

Indeed. There's a big section on them!


Actually, it's going to be about 80% brand new material. Tons and tons of new, never-before-published recipes, photos, charts, graphs, experiments, etc. Should be fun!


The point you make about "there's nothing that says recipe" on the cover is one I've been thinking about a lot, though the book is between 900 and 1,000 pages with about 300 recipes, so it's actually more science/technique/writing than it is strictly recipes, so I have to find some kind of balance. Thanks for the ideas though!


Usefulness and longevity is my first priority. It's actually a sewn binding, but one specifically designed to be able to be opened flat. You'll be able to put it on a stand or flat on your countertop and press it open without ruining the binding!


Actually most of those recipes are not in the book! Though I do get your point. I have been thinking about other process-type shots that combine the structured testing element with something that's just more delicious than eggs, but really, eggs are so simple-yet-complex that, well, I think they represent what I do best. At least for me. Hmm.


The thing is, many many cookbooks have a drool-worthy picture on the cover. What I really want to show is that it's more than just recipes inside: it's technique and process and a manual for how to create the food you want to create. I'm not positive eggs is the right way to do that yet, but a single picture sells good food, and this book is supposed to be more than just that.

Argh. Still need to work on it.

P.S. "Better Home Cooking Through Science" is a play on the phrase "Better living through X," where "X" is usually some science-based term like "science" or "chemistry" or "physics," etc. It's a pretty common expression in the English vernacular.

How to Brown Butter


It really depends on the exact recipe, but for fiddly things like cookies and cakes, you'd probably want to add back about 12 to 15% water by weight to the butter.

Quick and Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken, Lentil, and Bacon Stew with Carrots

I use an 8 quart pressure cooker, but it'd fit easily in 5 or 6!

And yes, you can use a slow cooker, though it will not taste as good.

30-Minute Pressure Cooker Chicken, Lentil, and Bacon Stew With Carrots


I use a Presto 8 quart stovetop model as well as a Breville Fast-Slow Cooker electric version. Both work great and are inexpensive compared to the competition.

There are fancier stovetop cookers available that use a spring gauge instead of a jiggler to regulate pressure. Some people swear by them. I may well be converted, but for now the $100 difference in price and the fact that I've never had a problem with a pressure cooker with a jiggler has kept me happy where I am.

Quick and Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken, Lentil, and Bacon Stew with Carrots

@LGD and @superasiaone

Yes - you can make it in a Dutch oven. Follow the steps up to the end of step 1, add an extra 2 cups of chicken broth, then cover the Dutch oven and transfer to a 325°F oven and cook until the lentils are tender, about an hour. Continue with the second half of step 2 ("Using tongs...")

@Bill Woods

It just blends in!

The Best Slow Cooker Meatballs

@The Dome

You still get evaporation in a slow cooker. In mine, it's about a cup of liquid after 7 to 9 hours on low heat. It may vary depending on the specific cooker (the one I used for this recipe is a Hamilton Beach Stay-or-Go Slow Cooker), and it's not from taking out the meatballs: I've repeated this test a few times in the past. It's pretty consistent.

@Katie Potato

You're aiming for 140 to 145, though a little higher won't hurt too much.

Tender and Juicy Slow Cooker Meatballs

@Peter H

Gluten-free bread should work fine!


The advantage is having the sauce hot and ready when you get home so you can just drop in the meatballs and go. It also reduces a bit and develops some flavor as it cooks, though to be honest, if you're home (or don't mind leaving the oven on while you're gone), it'll come out better in a Dutch oven with the lid cracked in a 225°F oven if you want the best flavor. People sure love their slow cookers, though!


Once the sauce is simmering at low, 30 minutes is plenty of time to cook. It'll take longer if you're adding the meatballs to the cool cooker before turning it on, but I don't recommend that anyway.

Better Than Chipotle's Beef Barbacoa


It should work as written. Just cook at high pressure for about 45 minutes, check the meat, add more liquid, and continue cooking if it needs a little longer (it probably won't).

The Truth About Cast Iron Pans: 7 Myths That Need To Go Away

@Harry H

While what you're saying intuitively makes sense, some simple testing bears out the opposite conclusion. Place a cast iron pan on a burner and measure its temperature at various points (or more easy: place a round piece of parchment paper on top of the pan and watch its patterns of discoloration). Repeat with an aluminum or aluminum core pan. You'll see that the cast iron shows very clear hot and cold spots that match the pattern of the burner underneath.

In fact, pan manufacturers will sandwich a layer of copper or aluminum between slabs of stainless steel precisely because it distributes heat more evenly around the base of the pan.

There are some good photos of this effect right here.

Planet Meatball: 20 Meatball Varieties Around the World


So were we! Unfortunately plans for that fell through. Just too much stuff going on! But we'll get to them sooner or later. I love them!

The Best Slow Cooker Meatballs


I bet 140 degree sous vide meatballs would be great.

The Food Lab: Introducing Lasagna Napoletana, the Meatball and Cheese-Packed Lasagna of Your Dreams

There is a big difference between braised meats and sausages. Braised meets are high and collagen and other connective tissues, and those are the things that convert into gelatin, which in turn keeps braised meat moist. If you try and braise something like a New York strip steak or a tenderloin, it will most definitely get dry in the same way that a sausage does!

Perhaps I'm not describing it well enough, when I say that a sausage is dry, I don't mean that it doesn't have moisture, but I mean that the moisture that is inside it gets expelled very easily, sort of like wringing out the sponge. It's a very different experience from eating the sausage which has been cooked just to the point of doneness, where the juices are still trapped within it, and express themselves slowly as you chew.

As I said, if you're happy with sausages cooked a long time, then there's no reason to change what you're doing. But, having tasted them done both ways side-by-side many times, to me,I know which one I prefer. To each their own!

The Food Lab: Introducing Lasagna Napoletana, the Meatball and Cheese-Packed Lasagna of Your Dreams


If it works for you, then no need to change what you're doing. Perhaps we just have different definitions of dry or tough, or perhaps the specific sausages you use somehow break the immutable laws of the universe! We'll never know the real answer :)

The Food Lab: Introducing Lasagna Napoletana, the Meatball and Cheese-Packed Lasagna of Your Dreams


You're right about the holiday, my bad! I've edited the post.

Sausages are like any other meat. They turn tough and lose moisture (a measurable amount, it's not just subjective)! Type of sausage has nothing to do with it, it's plain old physics and chemistry.

@The True Adonis

I used a locally made fresh pasta. You can also use Niki's recipe if you want to get really ambitious. I actually like the flat, no-boil noodles *better* than the dry boil-then-layer noodles.

25 Game Day Snacks to Feed a Team


Those should actually work just fine transported and served later. The whiskey wieners you'll need to reheat, and make sure to let the chickpeas cool completely before packing.

The Serious Eats Guide To Pizza In Naples

A few months ago, my wife and I spent all of 24 hours in Naples on our way home from Sicily. It was probably the second-most pizza-packed 24 hours of my life (the first being when I took my Colombian brother-in-law on a whirlwind pizza tour of New York). We hit over a half dozen pizzerias over lunch alone, and a few more for dinner. Here now, I present to you the Serious Eats guide to Eating Pizza in Naples. More

Video: Serious Eats Cooks Peking Duck At Buddakan

Ever made a traditional Peking duck? Turns out it's a pretty involved process, requiring not only multiple steps but multiple days, cooking apparatuses, and spices. The end result: an incredibly crispy, juicy bird that's seriously delicious. Come along with Serious Eats's own Carey Jones as she learns how to make Peking Duck. Chef Brian Ray of Buddakan gives us the grand tour. More

60+ Holiday Snacks in 20 Minutes Or Less

Uh oh. The buzzer rings. Friends are coming over to spread holiday cheer and you panic. Serve frozen dumplings...again?! You can do better than that. Print out this list of easy-to-assemble, stress-free, mostly-sub-20-minutes-to-prepare munchies and paste it to the fridge. Here are 60+ dips, hors d'oeuvres, small bites, toasty snacks, sweet nibbles, appetizers, and more festive munchies to prepare in a snap. More

30 Cookie Recipes from the 2011 Serious Eats Cookie Swap

The Serious Eats Cookie Swap has become an annual tradition. We break out the Duane Reade tinsel and twinkle lights, and are forced to do a major office detox to make room for cookies. Many, many cookies. (OK, maybe a dozen doughnuts snuck in this year too). It was our third year swapping, and as per tradition, the tables were covered with butter-laden treats. Our NYC-based contributors really pulled out their ninja baking skills. Get all the recipes here. More

Serious Eats' Bacon Banh Mi

Our recipe for Bacon Banh Mi brings our favorite Vietnamese sandwich home, swapping out the usual array of cold cuts and charcuterie for bacon but staying true to the other elements that make this sandwich so balanced and irresistible. More

My All-Pie Thanksgiving Fantasy

When you think about Thanksgiving and you think about various elements of the Thanksgiving meal, it seems like you're just waiting through the big meal to get to the pie. I really believe this, which is why I always fantasized about an all-pie Thanksgiving. (Anyone with me on this?) At an editorial meeting about a month ago, we were at the office talking about Thanksgiving coverage and I shared this fantasy with the team. Knowing how much I adore and obsess over pie, the Serious Eats editors weren't too shocked, so we did the only thing we know how to do: make it happen. More

BraveTart: Make Your Own 3 Musketeers

Urban legend has it that some industrial candy snafu botched the names of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The tale has a certain logic. 3 Musketeers doesn't have three ingredients but Milky Way does. And the very name Milky Way recalls the smooth, uninterrupted creaminess found in 3 Musketeers. Those kinds of wonky urban legends ran amok in the eighties, but we have the internet now, so let's clear this stuff up. It's not a tasty tabloid tale of "Switched at Birth!" but rather "Murder, She Wrote." More

BraveTart: Make Your Own (Better) Soft Batch Cookies

When you first joined me in my quest to unlock the secrets of culinary time travel, I told you it would take equal parts science and magic to make the foods that could power the flux capacitor of the mind. I said, "leave the DeLorean in the garage, preheat your oven to one point twenty one gigawatts, and rev that Kitchen Aid to eighty eight mph. We're going back to the Eighties." And we did. But while there, what if some careless action altered our timeline? Could we, like Marty McFly, inadvertently create an alternate universe? One where the Keebler Soft Batch Cookie tastes freaking delicious? Friends, this isn't speculation. I have done such a thing. More

Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

This "Memphis-style" is my favorite to make at home—it takes the aspects of sweet tomato-based sauces I grew up on, but by dialing back the sugar and amping up the vinegar, creates a sauce where seasonings and spice are more defined and achieves a pleasing balance between the main defining aspects of a barbecue sauce. More

Boston: Fried Ipswich Clams at B&G Oysters

These are the only fancy-restaurant fried clams I think are really worth the cash ($14 half/$26 full). That they start with Ipswich bellies makes all the difference; these juicy, sweet, whole-belly behemoths are harvested from the mud flats off Ipswich, where experts claim that the particularly nutrient-rich soil gives the bivalves their superior, almost nutty flavor. More

Boston: Tamarind Bay's Lalla Musa Dal

As food aesthetics go, the murky, rust-brown, pebbly lalla musa dal at Tamarind Bay Coastal Kitchen can't compare to the restaurant's other specialties like the fennel cream-sauced cauliflower dumplings or the spiced lobster tail. But famed Indian chefs like Julie Sahni don't consider this dish "the most exquisite of all dal preparations" for nothing, and speaking in terms of decadence, it outclasses the rest by a long shot. More

Guide to Grilling: Planking

For all that I've grilled (150-plus recipes and counting), there's always plenty of uncharted territory. One of those areas: planking. There aren't usually many planking recipes in cookbooks, save the ubiquitous planked salmon. Put simply, planking is cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank's natural flavors. More

How to Make Bagels at Home

I don't use the word magical lightly, but there really is something wondrous about making bagels at home. Maybe it's the shape. I think most everyone understands a loaf of bread, but the round shape with a hole ... well, it seems like a whole lot more work than simply plopping some dough in a loaf pan. But it's not. Really. Try making just one batch of these, and I'm sure you'll have the process down pat. Put on your sorcerer's robe and follow along! More