Latest Comments

Spice-Rubbed Butterflied Smoked Turkey

How is it that smoking a turkey over low heat (225-275) takes 2.5-3.5 hours, but roasting a turkey at 500 and then reducing it to 300 takes 3-4 hours (both per SE recipes)? I encountered this dilemma when I smoked my first turkey last year, anticipating that the low temp would mean it would take 4-5 hours, and I was shocked when it was done in 2.5 hours.

The Secret to Bona Fide Southern Cornbread Is in the Cornmeal

"Cornbread needn't be overtly sweet, but it does need just enough sweetness to avoid tasting like the fabric of the universe has been torn asunder and you're hopelessly trying to lick the rift."

Love this phrase. It perfectly evokes that weird negative flavor from absent salt or sugar. I made oatmeal recently and forgot to put the pinch of salt in, and couldn't figure out for a while why my bowl tasted so aggressively like nothing.

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

The new MK4 model has some flashy features (like being fully waterproof instead of water resistant and the ability of the screen to rotate), but I believe both the MK4 and the "classic" have the same technical specs (3 second readings, same accuracy) so functionally they should be basically the same.

The Case for Bad Coffee

Great article. To those commenters who are focusing on either why the author is wrong to love cheap coffee, or why high-end coffee is a hipster scourge - you're missing the point.

Brussels Sprouts and Kimchi Are an Unlikely But Delicious Pair

I'm in the middle of making a giant batch of kimchi. As soon as it's ready, I know the first thing I'm going to try (besides eating it with a fork out of the jar).

What Type of Canned Tomatoes Should I Use?

I thought I read somewhere that crushed are best because, since there's no attempt to preserve structure, they tend not to have calcium chloride added. If that's true, it seems like inconsistency between brands shouldn't be an issue - just find a brand with a texture you like and stick with that one.

Forget Soaking. Use Your Pressure Cooker for Perfect Black Beans in Under an Hour.

I've always been nervous around pressure cookers due to the rumors that they can explode, but Kenji's recipes finally convinced me to get comfortable with ours, and I've made some excellent dinners in it. Then, a couple of weeks ago, a friend's pressure cooker exploded. Luckily he was out of the kitchen at the time, but the lid was embedded in the ceiling and the kitchen area around the stove is basically destroyed, like a mid-size bomb went off. The pressure cooker is back in the garage now, and I don't see myself using it again.

Ed Schoenfeld's Chinese Food History of New York

@PommeDG - I don't think "casual" in this context means "inexpensive." It refers to the vibe of the restaurant - no white tablecloths, informally dressed patrons and staff, menus designed to be flexible instead of a coursed meal (several small plates to share, a mix of entrees and small plates, just cocktails and snacks, etc.). The article doesn't say that the new places are cheap, just that the trend is towards casual dining.

The Best Carne Asada

I trust Kenji's assurance that the photo is indeed skirt, but I have to agree that I've never seen skirt that thick and square-edged before. Where I live, skirt's always very thin and kind of flat. I imagine different butchers/regions may cut it differently.

But more to the point... can't wait to try this recipe. @Jumex, I'm sure you could make this in cast iron (skirt does fine in nice hot cast iron pan), but it's going to smoke the bejeezus out of your apartment. Hopefully you have a hood, or at least a window right next to the stove and a table fan.

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

Wonder how this approach would work with a pork butt or a brisket?

Crimes Against Pizza: An Opinionated Guide to Not Messing Up Your Pie

Not overtopping the pie is all well and good when you have a good crust. But I was in Kansas City last weekend and ended up at a local "KC style" chain, and man did the "cracker style" crust suck. But they seem to know that, since all the pizzas are overloaded with toppings and cheese, which in that case makes them edible. It's all about going with the strengths and hiding the weaknesses of a given pie.

The Food Lab: The Best Meatloaf

This needs some chunks of cheese mixed in. Gotta bookmark the recipe for winter - not really thinking meatloaf right now when it's 90 degrees out, but come late fall this will be at the top of my list.

The New Rule of Ratatouille: Forget the Rules

I've tried, but I just can't seem to like ratatouille. It usually tastes bland and mushy, just a soft tangle of soggy vegetables and oil. I'll give this recipe a try - maybe I just haven't had a good ratatouille.

Let Halloumi Take Over Your Next Pizza Party

RagingRio, I feel the same. I went to buy some halloumi the other day to make vegetarian tacos, and it was $10.99 for 8 oz. at the normal supermarket (not Whole Foods, which I'm sure would be even more expensive). Love it, but too expensive to use regularly.

Forget the Sriracha: Grab Gochujang for These Pork Belly Kebabs

I've given up trying to grill vegetables and meat on the same skewer - they're never perfectly done at the same time. Instead I put veggies on their own skewers, so that you can time everything according to when it's done. You take them off the skewers at the end anyway, so no one at the table is the wiser.

Staff Picks: Our Favorite No-Shame Snacks for When No One's Looking

Kimchi, eaten directly from the jar standing in front of an open fridge. Try not to drip it onto your shirt because that stuff stains. And there's no hiding the smell of excessive kimchi consumption, so your family had better be OK with it.

Easiest Summer Ever: Figs, Melon, Jamón Serrano, and Basil

Oh you highfalutin' west coasters, with your "organic" this and "windowsill" that. I used cantaloupe from the supermarket, dried figs, shoe leather and grass clippings like a real east-coaster. Drizzled with some 10W-30. Delicious.

No Tools? No Experience? No Problem. How I Hacked an Ace Barbecue Smoker

@tdoyle1985, that makes more sense that you'd rest it in foil until it reached proper temp. But to be fair, the article makes no mention of this whatsoever - it says you cooked it till it reached 165-170, then served it. Maybe worth an edit mentioning the foil rest, to satisfy the pedants. But in any case, I think the article makes its point nicely.

No Tools? No Experience? No Problem. How I Hacked an Ace Barbecue Smoker

I think some of the commenters here are missing the point, that he wanted to build something for his dad - not buy something at Home Depot. I give him props for following through and building a functional smoker on the cheap. It may not be as good as a Smoky Mountain, but that's not really the point here.

I also agree with the consensus that a smoked brisket needs to be up around 200 degrees before it becomes tender enough to enjoy. The slices in the photo support this, as they're not at all falling apart around the edges or otherwise indicating that the connective tissue has melted. But hey, the author isn't claiming to be a BBQ expert and apparently they all enjoyed it, which is what matters in the end.

Tender Grilled Short Ribs

Just found 1" thick boneless short ribs at Costco, already cut into 6" long steaks, with marbling that looked prime (they were graded as choice). Salt and pepper and then grilled over high heat for a nice crust, med/rare throughout. Damn, I think I might have found my new favorite cut for grilling, and at $6/lb they're even affordable. Awesome.

The Best Charcoal Grills Under $500, 2015 Edition

@Max Good

You know, you're not wrong. You can't do a two-stage fire. And yet, it's never been a problem for me - I've never had anything overly charred because I couldn't move it, and so on. Maybe because the temp control is so precise, I don't know. Those Primos do look like the best of both worlds, but the Akorn was under $300 (including stand and side table) so I could get four of them for one Primo!

The Best Charcoal Grills Under $500, 2015 Edition

I'd second the inclusion of BGE knockoffs as "grills," not just smokers. I have a Char-Griller Akorn kamado that is the best grill I've ever used, in addition to being a fine smoker. I had it at 800 degrees last weekend to get a nice sear on some steaks, and at 250 the weekend before to smoke a pork shoulder.

5-Spice Bourbon Punch

This combines two of my great loves, Sichuan food and whiskey. I wonder if it might be even better with a high-proof rye, like Rittenhouse, to balance out all the simple syrup? And maybe adding a chili pepper or two in order to get some of that ma la thing going. Only one way to find out...

Why Raw Clams Are Making a Comeback in New England and Beyond

Just got back from Maine, where I enjoyed littlenecks along with oysters at Eventide. What an amazing place, definitely needs to be on any self-respecting seafood lover's itinerary if they visit Portland.

Smoked Char Siu Pork Shoulder Steaks

I made this recipe as written, except that I added garlic and a teaspoon of sesame oil to the marinade (since these are in my standard char siu recipe), and I left them on the smoker long enough to just hit the "pulled pork" stage, rather than slicing them as steaks (I like my pork soft).

It was a HUGE hit. Amazing flavor, like a dim sum party in a Kansas City smokehouse. My advice - make a huge pile of steam buns in advance (the oval kind that you fold over), and eat the pork with them. This is now my #1 go-to smoked pork recipe.