What You're Cooking: The Most Popular Posts of 2018

Your favorite techniques, recipes, and guides of 2018.

Vicky Wasik

It's been an exciting year here at Serious Eats. Though we said a few sad farewells to members of the Serious Eats family, we also welcomed a host of new talent. Regular readers will have noticed the additions of culinary editor Sasha Marx and editorial assistant Elazar Sontag, but we've also been joined by several behind-the-scenes players: Video editor John Mattia, video producer Joel Russo, and designer Maggie Lee have all been essential to making Serious Eats look and feel the way it does. Our fearless new office manager, Grace Chen, keeps us in line (not always an easy job) and makes sure we always have enough snacks (they go very quickly). You can check out the whole Serious Eats team if you want to give some faces to our names.

But enough about us. Over the past year, the site has garnered millions of pageviews from millions of users like you. As we dig into testing recipes and editing features for the new year, we're also revisiting the most popular dishes, techniques, and guides of 2018. From mastering Italian cuisine to perfecting your brownies (it's possible), here are the posts you clicked on and cooked from most.

  • Toum Is the Garlicky Eggless Mayo That Goes With Everything


    How to Make Toum (Lebanese Garlic Sauce)

    Serious Eats Team

    It's no surprise that toum was one of your favorite recipes this year. The creamy and powerfully garlicky spread, a staple of Lebanese cuisine, tastes good with just about everything. Like mayonnaise, toum is an emulsion of oil and water, but where mayo is stabilized with an egg, toum relies on the emulsifying powers of garlic. Use it as a marinade for chicken, a spread for sandwiches, a soup-enhancer, or pretty much anything that can benefit from a dose of creamy texture and garlicky flavor.

  • The Skillet Cookie: Yet Another Reason to Love Cast Iron

    Emily Dryden

    There are few things easier to make or more delicious to devour than a chocolate chip cookie, but this enormous chocolate chip skillet cookie might just be one of them. Classic chocolate chip cookie dough baked in a cast iron pan gets crisp around the edges, and a few teaspoons of malted milk powder impart an extra layer of rich, toasty flavor. The only thing better than an enormous slice of this cookie is a warm slice topped with an equally huge scoop of ice cream.

  • For Killer Steak au Poivre, Divide and Conquer

    Vicky Wasik

    Steak au poivre is usually the kind of dish you order at an old-school French restaurant—those peppercorn-encrusted, medium-rare steaks topped with creamy, peppery sauce can be hard to replicate at home. Thanks to Daniel's recipe, though, we can all make steak au poivre that's just as good, if not better, than the one at our favorite French bistro. Think one pan, perfectly tender and pink meat, and a rich, crème fraîche–laden sauce, no hassle required.

  • 20-Minute Broiled Shrimp With Harissa and Beer, No Plate Required

    Vicky Wasik

    These quick broiled shrimp with harissa and beer are as easy as they are flavorful. The harissa, a punchy North African chili paste, plays a main role in this dish, pairing perfectly with butter and slightly bitter and hoppy beer. After the shrimp are tossed with the beer-harissa mixture, they're spread on a sheet pan and broiled for just a few minutes. It's a meal as good for a fancy party as it is for a quick weeknight dinner.

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  • Ginger and Sesame Combine in This Spicy-Tart Mezcal Cocktail

    © Kelly Puleio 2018, resized for publication

    We've spent the last year quenching our thirst with this refreshing and spicy cocktail. Smoky mezcal is balanced by fresh lime juice, fresh ginger juice, and just a few drops of sesame oil. While adding sesame oil to a cocktail may sound bizarre, it adds a nutty, savory note.

  • Make Better Brownies With Brown Butter (and Double the Chocolate)


    How to Make Glossy Fudge Brownies

    Serious Eats Team

    Stella said it best: "Brownies get no respect." So this year, she did a public service and created a recipe that deserves nothing but the highest praise. Brown butter adds a nutty richness to the chocolate flavor, and foamed eggs lighten the batter. Genius tweaks include the extra cocoa powder, which replaces some of the flour, and the aluminum pan that helps the brownies bake quickly and evenly. We're sure these brownies will keep getting the respect they deserve. (For something a little more shelf-stable, check out her DIY brownie mix!)

  • How to Really Use an Instant Pot and Other Multi-Cookers

    Vicky Wasik

    It seems like 2018 was the year of Instant Pot everything. People used their multi-cooker to make cake, yogurt, and even bread. But an Instant Pot isn't the right tool for everything. It has certain functions that work better than others, and there are definitely some dishes best made more traditionally. Here, Daniel goes into depth, expanding on exactly what your Instant Pot is and isn't good for.

  • The Best Chef's Knives

    Vicky Wasik

    There's no kitchen tool more important than your chef's knife. And yet, it's common to end up at a friend's house and find that every knife in their drawer has about as much edge as an antique butter knife. A chef's knife is what you'll use to dice onions, smash garlic, and butcher meat, so you should have the best one possible. We extensively tested 27 chef's knives and rounded up our top picks. No more dull, chipped, awkwardly weighted knives for you.

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  • How to Cook Dried Beans

    Salt being added to a pot of beans. Vicky Wasik

    This was the year you put your can opener to the side and tackled dried beans. Sure, canned beans are convenient, but when it comes to flavor and texture, they can't compete with their freshly cooked counterparts. Here, we guide you through all the most pressing bean-related questions: Should you soak them? Salt them? What should go in the pot? When are they done? Follow Daniel's advice and you'll have fresh beans on-hand whenever you want them.

  • The Essential Steps to Mastering Italian Cuisine

    Vicky Wasik

    Congratulations, you mastered Italian cuisine this year! Or at least, you got started. In our guide to cooking the most fresh and flavorful Italian fare, we go over everything from choosing the right produce (go to the farmers market, and cook with the seasons), to how you should be approaching tomato sauce, pasta, ragù, risotto, and artichokes. As you get more comfortable with these tips and techniques, we have all the Italian recipes you'll need to show off your newfound abilities.