Latest Comments

The Food Lab Pronto: Soak Your Pasta for Easy Skillet Baked Ziti

I tried pre-soaking some small pasta for Mac n Cheese in warm salt water, it turned into a lump of dough.
I find it's REALLY important to use cold water, and be careful with thin pasta, or with pasta made from cheaper flour.

The Food Lab: For Easier Baked Ziti, Soak, Don't Boil Your Pasta

We keep pasta soaking in the fridge in a tub of salted water in the fridge. Grab a handful, add some butter, microwave with some sauce, and you have freshly cooked pasta in a couple minutes.
It doesn't seem to break down until 3 weeks in the fridge where the amount of starch at the bottom of the tub starts to look scary. Of course the heavier/thicker the pasta the longer it keeps before breaking down. Those little mexican shells made for soup seem to hold up really well.

The Food Lab: How to Make a Burger King-Style Whopper Fit for The King

Defile a whopper with cheese goop.... sad.

Flame broiled does not call out for cheese, it calls out out for lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and mayo. I'd skip the ketchup, too sweet.

Easiest Summer Ever: Tomato, Bacon, Mayonnaise, and an English Muffin

Sadly Thomas' changed their recipe to make them softer right out of the package, and extend the shelf life. They are now sort of pasty unless you toast them completely hard and dry.
My current favorite commercial English muffin is the Market Basket Premium. It doesn't have as much of the Thomas' taste, but it's much closer to an actual baked good than a failed science experiment.

The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Steak

Android 4.3 required?! Guess my 1 year old Chinese phone is no-go

Kenji's Best Fast Food Awards (A Totally Biased, Completely Incomplete List)

Sorry, but I've been finding McNuggets just as random as McDonalds Fries.
Sometimes they are crisp with a nice interior. Other times they are stale hard tough with a spongy dry interior.
The worst though are the rancid oil ones. They've got a serious quality control problem when the cooking fat is so far gone that it leaves a bitter tannic coating in your mouth, nasty.
The real shock is how well they heat up, just a 1/4 of oil in a fry pan, a minute or two each side gives you crunchy nuggets better than you ever get fresh.

How to Make Sichuan-Style Wontons in Chili Oil

Whenever I've had this in restaurants it was always too sweet for my taste, and completely overwhelmed the flavor of the wontons or dumplings. I think I would prefer it sauce on the side, and cut way back on the sugar.

This No-Knead Olive-Rosemary Focaccia With Pistachios Takes Just 15 Minutes of Prep

I've made this 6 times now, and I do NOT get a soft sponge like the picture unless I increase the water. With the less water I got a very tight crumb like white bread. I'm now using 380g water with 500g flour, and the results are excellent, large open crumb, chewy texture like a good ciabatta, incredible outside crust.

I've also stopped bothering with the forming step, I don't want to mess of flour all over the counter, and who cares if it's perfectly smooth?

I dump the dough right into the greased pan, push/pull it to spread out a little without deflating too much, then cover for an hour. I immediately refill the bowl with fresh ingredients (then I don't have to wash it!).

After the hour or two of proofing, I add toppings, set oven to 550F, and it finishes final proof while the oven warms up.

This No-Knead Olive-Rosemary Focaccia With Pistachios Takes Just 15 Minutes of Prep

I love that lots of items are in weight. Sadly, not the oil?
I hate to dirty a measuring cup, so I put the cast iron skillet on the scale and added 26g of oil for the bottom.

This No-Knead Olive-Rosemary Focaccia With Pistachios Takes Just 15 Minutes of Prep

I wish you had a picture of the dough after mixing, but before rising. I followed your recipe 500g flour, 325g water, but the result is not wet, I had trouble getting all the dry bits integrated into a ball.

Taste Test: British Digestives

Sad there is no mention of how McVitie's have screwed with their recipes to reduce "saturated fat", and salt. McVitie's Ginger Nuts have been ruined by this food police action.

The Food Lab: How to Cook Sous-Vide Turkey Breast With Extra-Crisp Skin

I really don't want to use two different cooking methods for the breast vs thighs.

If I want to sous-vide the thighs, what temperature for how long?
Searching the web, I see lots of recipes for 140F for 24 hours, but the results are unappealing to traditional eaters (RED!!!).

The Food Lab: How to Make Extra Creamy Squash Lasagna

Adding maple syrup too? Cheesy sweet lasagna for Desert.

Turn Your Pasta Into Ramen With Baking Soda

Has anyone tried this with presoaking pasta?
I've had some excellent results putting dried pasta into cold water in the fridge for as long as a week. Then drain the slightly starchy water, add a little fresh water and salt. Microwave until it changes color, and takes on the desired texture. I bet if you presoak in baking soda water you'd end up with something like fresh ramen noodles.

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

Whole tomatoes are less ripe, they choose the hard ones to pack as whole.
That's why you often find hard yellow tops on whole canned tomatoes, but not in canned crushed tomatoes.

The Food Lab: The Easiest Foolproof Crispy Pan-Seared Fish You'll Ever Make

Why no love for non-stick skillets? I know you picked cast iron as your emergency kitchen in a box choice. But most people have at least one non-stick skillet (if only for eggs). They are called non-stick for a reason, perfect for lean proteins like fish, chicken breasts or eggs.

When I last moved, and had NOTHING in the kitchen, I picked up a cheap non-stick skillet and spatula set at Walmart so we could have eggs the next morning. I still use that spatula years later (the skillet wore out in couple years).

The Food Lab Turbo: How to Make Lighter Tuna Noodle Casserole With Just One Pan (and No Knives!)

What's next? "Hamburger Helper made scratch, made delicious".

Hard for me to get over canned tuna. I loved sardines, kippers and other good canned fish. But tuna is chalky bone dry, like wood that has been soaked in seawater until flaky.

How to Build a DIY Home Carbonation Rig

How do soda dispensers carbonate on the fly? I don't want to carbonate exotic liquids, I just want to rig up seltzer on tap.

Does Refrigeration Really Ruin Bread?

I wish you could repeat this test with gluten free bread.
The crystallized starches in gluten free bread (usually rice), do not soften up easily. Taking refrigerated gluten free bread and toasting it will give you a strange combination of toasty exterior, and stale interior.

I've found I have to microwave a single slice of gluten free bread for a full minute in a 1000W microwave. I also have to spray it with water to keep it from drying out during the zapping. Blast a slice of wheat bread for a minute, and you'd have a hunk or hard leather. But the gluten free comes out soft and pliable ready to be finished in the toaster!

Bake the Book: Teeny's Tour of Pies

loquat - it's so much work cleaning the loquats, tiny is a lot less work to get that fantastic peach apricot sort of deliciousness of loquat pie.

Don't Like Deep Frying At Home? Try the Philips AirFryer, a Convection Oven on Steroids

There are fryers that rotate the food through a much smaller fat reservoir. The catch is, it can only handle small loads.

It really does work, but oil is cheap, a lot cheaper than a fancy fryer.

My problem with deep frying at home is the smell and greasy steam.

Perfect Quick-and-Easy French Toast

Your plain sandwich white fell apart because you used too much milk. Try something closer to a dozen eggs to 1 cup of milk. That is enough for 18 small slices, which gives about 2/3rds of an egg per slice of bread.

It's tricky to handle moving a fully soaked piece of plain sandwich white from the bowl to the pan, use two hands or it will fall apart.

We serve it with butter and cinnamon sugar since maple syrup or preserves overpower the delicious slices of custardy bread.

Make sure you salt the custard mix!

Testing the Five-Second Rule, Lime Prices Skyrocket, and More in Food Policy This Week

The whole high fiber means less colon cancer was disproved FIFTEEN YEARS AGO. Nurses in the huge 1999 study who ate more dietary fiber did not have a lower incidence of colon cancer. Seems the followers of Kellogg, and his bowel obsession still can't let go.