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In Defense of the Scooped-Out Bagel In Defense of the Scooped-Out Bagel

If you’re visiting New York City for the first time and having your first bagel, it’s certainly cause for excitement and wonderment. How did the baker produce this incredible textural mashup of chewy inside and crunchy outside? It might seem ludicrous to scoop this masterpiece out, leaving behind a sad, hollow corpse.…

What Kitchen Tools Do You Bring on Vacation? What Kitchen Tools Do You Bring on Vacation?

Hello, and welcome back to What’s Cooking?, the open thread where you get to share your brilliant thoughts, advice, recipes, and opinions on all things food-related. This week I want to talk about summer vacations, rental kitchens, and the things we bring to make cooking in them easier.

Care for Your Cast Iron With a Mister Bottle  Care for Your Cast Iron With a Mister Bottle 

Applying a thin coat of oil to your cast iron after cleaning is an essential step to keeping it pretty and functional. There’s nothing wrong with pouring it straight from the bottle, but you can over-pour and, if you don’t fully wipe up the excess, end up with sticky residue.

How to Safely Reuse Food Packaging How to Safely Reuse Food Packaging

Wasteful packaging is an inescapable part of drawing breath in a capitalist society but, for a variety of reasons, most people can’t alter their food choices based solely on the materials that contain it. This is why I reuse food packaging whenever I can: sure, it cuts down on waste, but I also get to stock up on…

Your Apartment Needs a Chest Freezer Your Apartment Needs a Chest Freezer

Stocking up on staples is a great way to stretch a budget and minimize waste, so a good chest freezer is a boon to the budget-minded home cook. Sadly, common misconceptions about their energy usage and footprint size discourage the folks who would benefit the most from a chest freezer—apartment-dwellers with decrepit,…

Make Doing the Dishes Easier by Using a Tub   Make Doing the Dishes Easier by Using a Tub  

Doing the dishes—or “washing up” as the Brits call it—is the worst part of cooking and feeding yourself at home. Though I have developed little tricks for motivating myself, few things make the task of washing cookware in a single, undivided sink easier than the humble dish tub.

'Shining Your Sink' Will Make Your Life Better 'Shining Your Sink' Will Make Your Life Better

Kitchen sinks are usually thought of as something that you clean things in, not something that needs cleaning itself, but Organizational guru Marla Cilley—also known as the Fly Lady—swears that a sparkling sink is the key to a happier, more organized kitchen.

Get Your Kitchen Company-Ready in 10 Minutes Get Your Kitchen Company-Ready in 10 Minutes

I like company. I don’t even mind unexpected, last-minute, “hey, I’m in your neighborhood” company. In fact, if I am home, I am almost always ready to receive guests, but my kitchen is another story. But even if there is a pile of dishes in the sink and a weird smell hovering in the air, I can get it in decent shape…

Store Your Plastic Wrap in the Freezer Store Your Plastic Wrap in the Freezer

Plastic wrap is perhaps the most infuriating, but necessary kitchen item in existence. Though buying the good stuff at a restaurant supply store makes it less infuriating, where you store it can also affect how difficult it is to handle.

Save a Podcast for Washing Dishes Save a Podcast for Washing Dishes

I like to wash dishes. It’s one of my few responsibilities that doesn’t require any mental effort. You might not like washing dishes. You might try soaking them in a bad-faith act of procrastination. Here’s an idea: Pick one of your favorite podcasts, and only listen to it when you wash the dishes.

Plain White Vinegar Is the Dishwashing Hero You Need  Plain White Vinegar Is the Dishwashing Hero You Need 

Fat makes food taste good, but greasy food has a way of lingering in the air—and on the dishes—long after a meal has ended. If you’re sick of finding oil slicks on dishes you could have sworn were clean, you owe it to yourself to fill a spray bottle with vinegar and keep it near your kitchen sink.

You Don't Have to Soak Your Dishes  You Don't Have to Soak Your Dishes 

You wake up in the morning, stagger to the kitchen to brew some coffee, and that’s when the smell hits you. It’s robust, wretched, and it’s coming from your sink—dirty dishes. The night before you filled some crusty bowls and pans with water under the pretense of cleaning them later on, but you forgot and now you’re…

Remove the Knobs From Your Stove Before a House Party Remove the Knobs From Your Stove Before a House Party

Try as you might to get people to hang out in the living room, the kitchen is always the most happening spot at any given house party. It’d be fine if guests sat in chairs, but people like to lean, and some of them like to lean on the stove.

Store Organic Peanut Butter Upside Down to Avoid an Oily Mess Store Organic Peanut Butter Upside Down to Avoid an Oily Mess

Organic peanut butter is tasty stuff, and it can even be part of a healthy diet as long as you don’t eat too much. But when you store it for a while (or in some cases, when you first buy it), the oils separate from the rest of the butter and rise to the top, which requires a vigorous stirring before you can spread…

Yes, You Can and Should Make Chicken Liver Mousse Yes, You Can and Should Make Chicken Liver Mousse

As a meat eating human, I always try to eat as much of any given animal as I can, even if that means removing its face from its skull. As such, I’m a big fan of offal-centric applications, particularly the surprisingly cheap and easily executed chicken liver mousse.

How to Use Liquid Aminos How to Use Liquid Aminos

If you’ve ever seen a bright yellow bottle with two happy looking old people on it, you’ve probably wondered exactly what are Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Basically, it’s an unfermented, soy sauce-like product made completely from soy beans and water (meaning it’s wheat free) and it is delicious.

How to Clean Burned-On Gunk Off Your Instant Pot Insert How to Clean Burned-On Gunk Off Your Instant Pot Insert

Sealing a bunch of food in a pressure cooker such as the Instant Pot means you can’t really stir the contents, which can lead to a bit of scorching from time to time. This isn’t a huge deal, but it can lead to some unsightly burned-on gunk. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to get off, you just need to enlist a good friend.

Why You Need Measuring Tape in Your Kitchen Why You Need Measuring Tape in Your Kitchen

For better or worse, cooking will always involve a certain amount of measuring. Usually these measurements are either by mass or volume, but sometimes dimensions come into play, and I am terrible at estimating dimensions.

How to Peel and Slice a Mango

My love for mangos is deep and eternal, but there is no denying that they are slippery little buggers, which makes them a pain to peel. Fortunately, there are two easy ways to peel the gorgeous, golden fruit, neither of which require any single-use, fruit-specific tools.

How to Kill a Lobster in the Most Humane Way Possible How to Kill a Lobster in the Most Humane Way Possible

In an attempt to consider the lobster and its welfare, Switzerland has banned the practice of boiling them alive. According to USA Today, the new law stems from research indicating lobsters do feel pain, which makes death by boiling especially cruel. (This is a fair take.)

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