Cooking Techniques

Short cuts and fixes, and all the tricks of the trade from fixing cooking blunders to perfecting the recipe with that little extra, are in this category. Make your life a little easier and cook like a pro by exploring this category.

10,245 Questions
Cooking Techniques
Frying and Sauteeing Foods

Should I boil chicken before frying?

No. Frying is faster than boiling and tastes better. If done properly, not much oil is taken on by the chicken. Look for some good recipes online.

Cooking Techniques

How hot should the grill be to cook pork ribs?

Strictly speaking, ribs shouldn't be grilled; they should be barbequed. The reason is that grillage is a hot, fast cooking method. Ribs are tough and contain a lot of connective tissue. It takes considerable time to convert the connective tissue into collagen, which is tender and, if you try to cook that long over a flame, you get pure carbon :}.

Instead, pile the coals in the barbecue on one side and leave the ribs on the other. Control the burn using the vents and keep it covered almost all the time. The grill should smoke some, as the smoke will flavor the ribs. Plan on adding fuel about once every half hour.

If you stick an instant-read thermometer into the cover of the BBQ unit, a temp of 225F is good. Lower, and cooking time increases. Much higher than 250F and you've left the land of low-and-slow BBQ.

Starting raw, consider cooking ribs by this method for a minimum of 3 hours and as much as 8 hours, depending on the temp, amount and thickness of the ribs, etc. You don't want the meat to fall off the bone -- but you want close to that.

One last word: Apply sugar containing sauces near the end of this processes or they'll burn.

Cooking Techniques

How do you cream a mixture as in a baking recipe?

In baking, sugar and solid fat are beaten together vigorously until the grains of sugar can no longer be felt when touched. This process is called "creaming." The fat can be butter, lard or shortening. Oil can be substituted in some recipes but it will not "cream" in the same way as fats that are solid at room temperatures.

Cooking Techniques

Will potatoes cook faster if water is boiling faster?

Yes, they do. This is due to a property of convective heat transfer known as turbulent flow. Turbulent flow brings more molecules of hot water into contact with the molecules of potato over a given time period thus transferring more heat to cook the potato faster. Heat transfer at the molecular level occurs at a very high rate of speed so fluid dynamics of the boiling water has a great effect on the transfer of heat. Less turbulent flows, like simmering water, will transfer less heat than a rapidly boiling pot over the same time period.

Cooking Techniques

What happens when you microwave aluminum foil?

It crackles and pops. You would probably have to get a new microwave if you attempted this at home.

Cooking Techniques
Cooking Times and Temperatures

How long do you boil potatoes for mashed?

About 20 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. The way to test their doneness is to insert a sharp knife into a few of your potatoes and lift them up out of the water. If they fall off the knife, they're done.

Cooking Techniques
Weight and Mass

2 oz equals how many cups?

(I'm assuming you mean liquid ounces here.) There are eight ounces in a cup. 2 ounces is 1/4 of that number, or 1/4 of a cup. For those who can't find their quarter cup measure, there are two tablespoons per fluid ounce, so that's four tablespoons of liquid.

Cooking Techniques

What can I add to my spaghetti sauce to make it not so sweet?

Raw peeled potato will draw sweetness from the sauce

Cooking Techniques
Cooking Times and Temperatures
Beef and Veal

How long to cook a hip of beef?

A hip of beef is usually a very large cut of meat. Over 50 pounds. If that's what you mean see related links for a long discussion on the method and variations in cooking such a large cut.

Herbs Spices and Seasonings
Cooking Techniques
Bay Leaves

What happens if you eat bay leaf?

Actually eating a bay leaf is unpleasant, it tastes awful, but its not poisonous to eat. The bay leaf is used in soups and stews to impart flavor into the dish, but should always be removed prior to service so it isn't eaten. If you want to make sure you are able to find and remove the bay leaf from your soup or stew, you can make a sachet out of cheesecloth, tie it off with food safe string, then have the string go over the edge of the pot enough that you can grab it and remove it when cooking is finished. (Its essentially like an herb teabag, the cheesecloth allows the flavor of the bay leaf to come out and mix in with the simmering soup, but keeps the leaf from falling into the soup.)

Dried bay leaves remain quite stiff in certain preparations, and so consuming them whole may be ill-advised, as they may cause abrasions in the digestive system.


As listed above, it is not a good thing. You may become sick. It can get stuck in the digestive system, since it does not break down. It is not like a leave off your yard tree, which can become soft if it sat in your gut. The bay leaf, no matter the substance it is cooked it, still maintains it shape and a fairly good stiffness. So, if you develop a lingering gut ache, see your doctor.

Cooking Techniques

How can you avoid for your cakes not to rise and create a little mountain on top?

The reason that the cake forms a dome on top is that the sides cook faster than the middle, so when the middle cooks, there's nowhere for it to to go but up. You can lower the baking tempterature and bake for a slightly longer time. I usually bake at 325 F until the cake tests done.

You can put an upside-down flower nail into the center of the cake. Spray it with nonstick cooking spray first, put it in the pan, and then pour the batter in. It will act as a heating core and help the middle cook a little faster. When you turn the cake out of the pan, remove the flower nail carefully---it will be very hot. It leaves a small hole in the cake, invisible once it's frosted.

You can also use bake even strips. They're fabric strips that you soak in water and then fasten around the outside of the pan before putting the cake in the oven. I've never tried them though. The flower nail method works well for me.


Wrapping wet strips of clean cotton fabric around the outside of the cake pan works very well in preventing domed cake tops. Synthetic fabrics should NOT be used, as they can melt or give off unpleasant odors at baking temperatures. Strips of old T-shirts, torn bed linens or twisted gauze all work well. The strips should be thoroughly wet, wrung gently, then secured around the cake pan before pouring in the batter. Be careful to tuck in the ends of strips so they do not hang loose or touch hot elements.

this is correct but remember cloth catches on fire

Cooking Techniques
Weight and Mass

How many yams in a pound?

Depends on the size of the yams. Ones I cooked today weighed about 1 pound each.

If you're truly talking about yams, the more accurate question would be:

How many pounds in a yam, since the real thing is truly enormous at up to 5ft long, 6 inches high, and 150lb.

Sweet potatos are not yams. They are actually of a totally different family of tubers, but on the average they run anywhere from 4oz to 18oz.

Food & Cooking
Cooking Techniques

How do you take a lid off a pot with pressure?

If you can not open a pot let the pot cool, if it is a pressure-cooker the rubber may be ruptured JUST LEAVE until completely cooled. If it is just a stuck lid you may be able to pry it off, with a knife. Just be sure to pry it off on a side of the pan so any steam that escapes will not hit your face or hands.

Cooking Techniques

How long do you parboil brats?

Approximately 15 minutes at a slow boil

Food & Cooking
Cooking Measurements
Cooking Techniques

How do you correct too much mustard in a recipe?

That really depends on the dish/recipe, but sugar will offset too much mustard

Cooking Techniques

Can you beat the cake batter without an electric beater?

yes, cake batter can be beaten with a whisk, spoon, fork or spatula, or any other convenient utensil.

Food & Cooking
Cooking Techniques

What is a list of moist heat cooking methods?

Moist Heat Cooking Methods:

  • Steam
  • Stew
  • Braise
  • Saute
  • Boil
Waste and Recycling
Cooking Equipment
Cooking Techniques
Frying and Sauteeing Foods

Can you reuse oil after frying shrimp?

You can reuse oil after frying anything, but its generally not recommended. You should try to use oil only once, if you can. Reheating oil actually causes it to release toxins, they're not good for you, so you should try to avoid this if you can.

Ans 2 - You can re-use oil adequately if it hasn't been burned. I generally put my oil through a paper coffee filter after each use. This will give you 7-10 more uses before it's useless.

Cooking Techniques

What is lukewarm water?

Water which is just warm to the touch. Not warm enough to scald.

Cooking Techniques

How do you cook strawberries?

Very slowly and with sugar to taste. Wait until the syrup becomes the consistency of - well syrup - and you're done.

Cooking Techniques

How do you divide cake batter into portions?

If you're talking about dividing the batter into pans then it easiest the pour the batter right from the bowl into the pans. Make sure the the batter is at the same level in each pan so that the cakes rise to the same level. And if one is slightly bigger than the other than you can always cut scraps off of it.

Then again if you're dividing batter into muffin tins to make cupcakes, it's better to use 2 soup spoons (one to scoop and one to be help under the first to catch any drops that may fall) or an ice cream scoop. Hope this helped

Car Buying
Cooking Measurements
Cooking Techniques

How many cups of flour is 750 grams?

That is approximately 6 cups of flour.

Cooking Techniques

How do you make heavy cream from milk?

The simple answer is, you can't. The more complex answer is, as far as baking is concerned, there is no substitution, however, if you need to substitute for heavy cream in a cooking application, say a white sauce, a cream sauce, fettucine alfredo, that can be done. For each cup of heavy cream called for in the recipe, add three tablespoons of butter to one cup of milk.

While this would be problematic for baking, as far as making a sauce, I've done this substitution myself in an alfredo sauce, and it worked fairly well.

Grocery Shopping
Cooking Techniques

Where can you buy J Hippy hot dogs?

Made in Denver Pa by Denver Meats company.

Can be found here.

The Country Store

3110 Mount Joy Rd.

Mount Joy, PA


Darrenkamp's Markets

Elizabethtown, Mount Joy and Willow Street


Kiefer's Deli @

Lancaster Central Market

Green Dragon

New Easter Market

Roots Market

York Central Market


Old Country Deli @

Lancaster County Farmer's Market

Williamstown, NJ

Redner's Market

423 North Reading Road

Ephrata, PA 17522

Phone: 717-738-1696

Shaw's Market

101 North Main St

Manheim, PA


Sensenig Meats

6999 Cannery Rd

Hanover, PA


Strasburg Creamery

1 West Main Street

Strasburg, PA


Weavers Market

Adamstown Store

2610 North Reading Road

Denver, PA 17517

(717) 484-4302

Chickens and Roosters
Cooking Techniques
Cooking Poultry

Is chicken skin fattening?

yes that is the most fattening part of a chicken.


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