Sarabeth Levine, author and owner of Sarabeth's, makes her case for baking with real vanilla, and demonstrates some cost-saving measures.
Nicole Garrett, executive baker at SusieCakes, shares this holiday tip for how to fix a cracked cheesecake. Here's a cheesecake recipe for you to start cracking yourself!
CHOW Senior Food Editor Jill Santopietro demonstrates two approaches to twineless turkey trussing (say that three times fast).
Former CHOW food editor Jill Santopietro shows you how to avoid buying special equipment for cookie cutting: Use common kitchen items instead!
CHOW Senior Food Editor Jill Santopietro smartly advises people not to buy equipment they won't use regularly. A meat mallet is just such a piece of equipment.
Former CHOW Senior Food Editor Jill Santopietro knows not to throw her bird directly into a roasting pan, where the pan juices may get lost. Instead, she improvises when she finds herself without a roasting rack.
How to Polish Silver Without Silver Polish
Jill shines up the silver for her holiday table using toothpaste.
Jeff Potter, author of Cooking for Geeks, fancies up his brownies by baking them in oranges.
Former CHOW.com Senior Editor Lessley Anderson has a simple but surprising tip that will keep your coffee powerful, even as the ice melts.
San Francisco-based Shakirah Simley, owner of Slow Jams, does not encourage the use of store-bought pectins. Ditch the synthetic stuff and make your own.
San Francisco-based Shakirah Simley, owner of Slow Jams, will make your next canning session easier with this tip about quick jar sterilization.
San Francisco–based Shakirah Simley, owner of Slow Jams, suggests using sugar infused with lavender or vanilla to give your jams a little more complexity. Experiment with other herbs, too.
CHOW Kitchen Editorial Assistant Christine Yue Gallary shows you how to make the fancy chocolate and cheese shavings that you can use on recipes like this one.
Bartender at San Francisco's Heaven's Dog and owner of Small Hand Foods, Jennifer Colliau will blow your mind with this bartender secret: You do not need to boil your simple syrup. In fact, it's preferable not to! Jennifer shows you how to make simple syrup using cold tap water in this video.
Jennifer Colliau, bartender at San Francisco's Heaven's Dog and owner of Small Hand Foods, loves using mint in her drinks, but she warns home bartenders against using wooden muddlers with this delicate herb. Use a spoon instead, lest you end up with a drink that tastes like toothpaste. This tip will come in handy when you're making your next Mojito.
If a fire escape is the closest you come to a backyard, it shouldn’t stop you from smoking. Former CHOW.com Senior Food Editor Jill Santopietro says that turning your wok into a smoker doesn’t take much effort. All you need is aluminum foil, a round cooling rack, and finely ground wood chips, available online or at hardware stores or some cooking supply stores. If you don’t have wood chips, you can use a 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup rice, and 1/4 cup oolong tea leaves mixed with 2 tablespoons water for more of a tea smoke. Indoor smokers take note: Open your windows and remove your smoke detector (but don’t forget to put it back when you’re done). Find plenty of smoking recipes and other tips here!
Former CHOW.com Senior Food Editor Jill Santopietro recommends that you smoke all sorts of things: fish, cheese, salt, and, of course, meat (see our recipes). And you don’t need a fancy smoking device: You can smoke food on a basic kettle grill. It’s really easy. Watch the video, or see it all step by step (plus instructions for smoking on an outdoor gas grill).
Master sausage-maker Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats has seen too many sausages explode on the grill when eager and hungry cooks throw the meat down on high heat. To avoid such fat-splattering mishaps, he recommends that you poach your sausage first. You can then grill it—or just eat it poached.
Julie Chai, associate garden editor at Sunset magazine, explains why compost is an essential component for achieving good soil for edible plants.
Jamie Purviance, author and grillmaster, knows that everyone wants to push the food around while grilling, but he urges you to fight that desire. Less movement equals more flavor.
CHOW.com's Suzy Brannon explains how she came up with her fizzy concoction of Prosecco and sorbet, and then shows how to prepare it just right!
CHOW.com's John Birdsall shows how he makes perfect salted almonds for cocktail hour at his house—all you need is a paper grocery bag.
Susan Feniger, chef at Street restaurant in LA, cofounder of Border Grill, and author of Susan Feniger's Street Food, introduces her favorite salted lassi drink based on her travels in India. And she adds her own special twist to make the traditional yogurt drink even more refreshing. Want to make this salted lassi? Click here for the full recipe.
CHOW.com's John Birdsall shares an easy way to use up leftover rice based on a tip from his Filipino mother-in-law.
If your interest in chocolate is starting to fizzle, Maxime Bilet, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine, shows how you can add Pop Rocks and puffed rice cereal to chocolate for an easy, unexpected treat that both kids and adults will enjoy. (Click here for Maxime's "Exploding" Chocolate recipe.)
CHOW.com's Suzy Brannon shares a quick test to use on your baking soda to tell if it's still good for baking, or if it should be put to other uses, like cleaning.
CHOW.com's Suzy Brannon demonstrates a simple test to use on baking powder to avoid any kind of disaster while making baked treats!
On your way to class and don't have much time to make your iced coffee? Boston University student and CHOW.com intern Austin Pohlen shares an easy way to avoid diluting your coffee while still chilling it quickly, so you stay on schedule. This special College Edition CHOW tip is part of a series aimed at helping students on a budget with food and entertaining while living away from home.
There's no better way to start your day than with some crisp, tasty bacon. (Just ask Michael Scott from The Office.) Boston University student and CHOW.com intern Austin Pohlen shows us how an investment in a grilling machine can vastly improve your breakfast prospects in the dorms. This special College Edition CHOW tip is part of a series aimed at helping students on a budget with food and entertaining while living away from home.
Modernist Cuisine's Scott Heimendinger shows off a cool trick from their latest cookbook, Modernist Cuisine at Home, to create fizzy, carbonated grapes using a whipping siphon.
Have a mouse pad, but not using it? Boston University student and CHOW.com intern Austin Pohlen shows how to repurpose it. This special College Edition CHOW tip is part of a series aimed at helping students on a budget with food and entertaining while living away from home.
CHOW.com's Suzy Brannon shares a simple and effective trick for slice-and-bake cookie dough to get perfectly round cookies that look like they just came from the bakery!
Olive oil has a surprising number of uses beyond just the culinary. Boston University student and CHOW.com intern Austin Pohlen reveals how carrying a small container of olive oil can save you in some awkward situations. This special College Edition CHOW tip is part of a series aimed at helping students on a budget with food and entertaining while living away from home.
Freezer burn ruins ice cream's soft texture and fresh flavor. Ban it for good with one of two easy methods, demonstrated by CHOW.com's Paige Hansen.
Microwave popcorn is easy, but it can get expensive and it's not the healthiest study snack either. Boston University student and CHOW.com intern Austin Pohlen knows a simple way to make popcorn that is cost efficient and healthier for you! This special College Edition CHOW tip is part of a series aimed at helping students on a budget with food and entertaining while living away from home.
As CHOW.com's Roxanne Webber explains, a clothes hanger can be very useful in preparing your next kitchen creation.
Products for face or skin care can add up in cost. Boston University student and CHOW.com intern Austin Pohlen reveals an alternative solution that's probably already in your kitchen: olive oil! This special College Edition CHOW tip is part of a series aimed at helping students on a budget with food and entertaining while living away from home.
Ever find yourself biting into a pepper that's just a bit too hot to handle? As you scramble to find a glass of milk to soothe the burn, consider this simple trick from CHOW.com Assistant Managing Editor Deborah Lewis. It'll buy you some time to track down a more lasting cure.
A scratched DVD that skips can easily ruin your evening. Luckily there's a quick fix. Austin Pohlen, Boston University student and CHOW.com intern, shows how a little peanut butter can get you out of a sticky situation. This special College Edition CHOW tip is part of a series aimed at helping students on a budget with food and entertaining while living away from home.
After purchasing an ice cream maker, most people realize they just don't use it that often. Amy Wisniewski, food editor at CHOW.com, uses our Frozen Coco Loco recipe to show how your ice cream maker can be used in an alternative way: to make a frozen cocktail.
Food spoils, but it doesn't have to go so quickly. Boston University student and CHOW.com intern Austin Pohlen knows a nifty trick to make this staple snack last over a week longer than its expiration date. This special College Edition tip is part of a series aimed to help students on a budget with food and entertaining while living away from home.
Cooking in college is nearly impossible, but Boston University student and CHOW.com intern Austin Pohlen knows a nifty trick for how to fix that problem. This special College Edition tip is part of a series aimed to help students on a budget with food and entertaining while living away from home.
Ever receive a bad bottle of wine as a gift? CHOW.com's Meredith Arthur shares a clever, simple tip on how to transform a glass of bad Chardonnay into a delicious cocktail. (Click here for our wine cocktail recipe.)
Have some overripe fruit lying around? CHOW.com's Suzy Brannon has the answer: a vinegar shrub. To make your own old-timey treat, see our Peach Shrub recipe.
Forget cupcakes! Cake pops are the trendier and more adorable way to serve desserts at parties. With the help of Suzy Brannon, baking aficionado and product manager at CHOW.com, they're also now easy to make! To get started on your own batch, see our Cake Pops recipe.
This technique for pitting plums from Spring Warren, author of The Quarter-Acre Farm, will come in handy when you need plums for pies, chutneys, tarts, or just eating!
Craving that barbecue favorite corn on the cob, but stuck in the office all day? Don't worry, CHOW.com's Meredith Arthur shows you how to quickly and easily make fresh corn on the cob using a microwave.
Summer fruit is amazing. Summer fruit flies are annoying. In this quick and easy CHOW Tip, CHOW.com's Roxanne Webber shares how to make a great homemade fly trap that won't fill your house with harmful chemicals.
Running out of fuel for your gas grill can bring your barbecue to a halt. CHOW.com's Blake Smith demonstrates how you can estimate your remaining propane without using a fuel gauge.
Corn kernels always go flying when you cut them off the cob, but it's easy to keep them in check with this simple trick from the CHOW Test Kitchen's Christine Gallary. All you need is a bowl, a paper towel, and a short knife. When you're ready to try out this technique, put it to use in our Tomato, Tomatillo, and Corn Salad recipe.
Have to pit a bunch of cherries, but don't own a cherry pitter? CHOW.com's Roxanne Webber shows you how to use a common household item to do the trick. For more info on alternate ways to pit a cherry, see these Chowhound discussions.
CHOW.com's Blake Smith shows how the simple technique of cutting a spiral pattern into your hot dog before grilling it will not only improve the wiener-eating experience, but will also transform the dog into a conversation starter.
In this CHOW Tip, Herbivoracious author Michael Natkin shares his simple recipe for a tasty dessert: a milk shake made with chocolate ice cream and stout beer. (Click here for Michael's Stout Chocolate Malt recipe.)
Maxime Bilet, coauthor of Modernist Cuisine, says that instead of waiting up to two hours to decant wine the traditional way, you can improve the taste of wine in seconds with what he calls "hyperdecanting." Aerating wine this fast is great for bolder, younger wines, but Bilet notes that this technique probably shouldn't be used on more delicate wines like a 1982 Lafite.
CHOW.com Copy Chief Deborah Lewis learned this ecofriendly CHOW Tip the hard way.
Devotees of sweet, spreadable Marshmallow Fluff can rejoice. Shauna Sever, author of Marshmallow Madness!: Dozens of Puffalicious Recipes, demonstrates how to make your own marshmallow creme for Fluffernutters, cookie sandwiches, and other treats. Click here for her recipe.
Take advantage of National Strawberry Month and create your own strawberry soda. Karen Solomon, author of Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It: And Other Kitchen Projects, shares this simple recipe just in time for summer. (Click here for her Homemade Strawberry Soda recipe.)
Popsicles aren't just for kids anymore! In this tip, Karen Solomon, author of Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It: And Other Kitchen Projects, shares a nifty recipe to add a little zip to your favorite summertime treat. (Click here for her Salted Margarita Cream Pops recipe.)
Most people toss out the fibrous outer shells of pea pods like they're garbage—but they're not! Christine Yue Gallary, associate food editor at CHOW.com, shows how, with just a little effort, the pods can be used just like the peas.
Tired of steaming and roasting asparagus? In this CHOW Tip, Amy Wisniewski, food editor at CHOW.com, shares a great, easy way to quickly prepare raw asparagus to liven up your salads.
Harold McGee, author of Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes, loves ice cream. Here he shares a quick and easy way to make it using freezer bags—no ice cream maker required! (And here's Harold's Ice Cream in a Bag recipe in case you want to try this at home.)
CHOW.com Food Editor Amy Wisniewski shares a simple technique for carving a leg of lamb. It's easier than carving a turkey! (And here are three Easter leg of lamb recipes you could practice your new carving skills on.)
Each Easter season, people flock to the grocery store and pick up marshmallow Peeps. Shauna Sever, author of Marshmallow Madness!: Dozens of Puffalicious Recipes, shows you how to make your own marshmallow chicks and other holiday shapes. Here's her marshmallow recipe to get you started.
Margo True, food editor for Sunset magazine, knows what you're doing wrong when you make hard-boiled eggs. You're boiling them hard. Stop it!
Karen Solomon, author of Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It: And Other Kitchen Projects and Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects (among other books), bakes cakes in canning jars; these portable single-serving desserts are great for gifts or perfect for picnics. If you want to try it, here's her recipe. Try our Strawberry-Blueberry Crisp Baked in a Jar recipe too!
Instead of spending money on a new garden apron that's going to get dirty, Spring Warren, author of The Quarter-Acre Farm, recycles an old pair of jeans instead—making an apron without any sewing.
CHOW.com's Lisa Lavery, a former bartender, knows the key to a good pint of Guinness is all in how you pour it. In this tip she shares an awesome method for getting that perfect, creamy head from a can of Guinness without worrying about glass angles or how fast you pour.
Shauna Sever, author of Marshmallow Madness!: Dozens of Puffalicious Recipes, dreams in marshmallow. She shares how to make these sweet, fluffy, puffy treats in your own home. (Click here for the recipe.)
If Russell Jackson, chef-owner of the now-closed Lafitte in San Francisco, were stranded on a desert island, he would want just one thing: foie gras. If you share his passion, you can use this quick, easy method for canning goose liver to ensure you're adequately prepared for the unthinkable.
If you prefer your eggplant fried but want to avoid turning it into a grease bomb, Margo True, food editor at Sunset magazine, has a simple, useful tip.
Karen Solomon, author of Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It: And Other Kitchen Projects, shows us that a few pennies' worth of ingredients, a blender, and some patience are all you need to make your own creamy rice milk or horchata.
Though some may argue that nothing can replace the beloved taste of bacon, Margo True, food editor at Sunset magazine, shows that prosciutto can be a healthier and tasty alternative.
Russell Jackson, chef-owner of the now-closed Lafitte in San Francisco, knows that chopping onions can be a real pain in the eye sometimes. In this CHOW Tip he shares a few ideas that might make your onion prep a bit more bearable. Check out this story from The Kitchn if you don't quite buy the bread-in-the-mouth bit.
Brownies are one of life's great pleasures. In this CHOW Tip Marisa Churchill, author of Sweet & Skinny, shares a few easy ingredient substitutions so that indulging in brownies doesn't necessarily mean having to indulge in bigger pants. Here's her recipe so you can make her Double-Chocolate Brownies yourself.
In this CHOW Tip, Spring Warren, author of The Quarter-Acre Farm, shows us that you don't need tomatoes to be in season to make a fresh-tasting tomato sauce.
We all know that a perfect slice of cake just tastes better. Here Lisa Lavery, CHOW's kitchen editorial assistant, shares a quick and easy method to ensure that you have the best-looking (and -tasting) slice of cake possible.
Alice Medrich, author of Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, shares two easy ways to kick your peanut butter cookies up a notch. (And if you want to try this yourself, here's the recipe.)
Meringue mushrooms are a whimsical addition to a yule log or cookie plate. Alice Medrich, author of Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, shows how to create realistic mushrooms from a basic meringue recipe. (If you want to make these yourself, here's the recipe.)
Alice Medrich, also known as the First Lady of Chocolate and the author of Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, ditches the double boiler for this superior method of melting chocolate.
Harold McGee, author of Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes, knows that we don't always use a dozen eggs all at once. He shares a nifty way to test your eggs and separate the old from the new.
If you expected all of the alcohol to evaporate out of your dinner entrée, then you may be in for a surprise. Mark Scarbrough, coauthor of Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them, fills in the details.
Bruce Weinstein, coauthor of Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them, shows that you can actually cook a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving and it will turn out just as well as a thawed bird.
Mark Scarbrough, coauthor of Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them, sets the record straight on the widespread myth that eating turkey makes you sleepy.
You overcook your Thanksgiving turkey and the breast meat is all dried out. No problem! Roxanne Webber, senior features editor at CHOW.com, shares an easy way to make your turkey juicy again. For more Thanksgiving video tips from CHOW, see If You Break It, Fake It: How to Avoid Thanksgiving Cooking Disasters.
You carve into your Thanksgiving turkey and discover that the meat is still raw. You could put the whole bird back in the oven, but it still needs a lot of time to cook and your hungry guests want to eat now. Christine Yue Gallary, associate food editor at CHOW.com, shows you how to speed up the cooking process on an undercooked turkey. For more Thanksgiving video tips from CHOW, see If You Break It, Fake It: How to Avoid Thanksgiving Cooking Disasters.
Amy Wisniewski, food editor at CHOW.com, saves the house from burning down and the sweet potato casserole from ruin all with one simple trick. For more Thanksgiving video tips from CHOW, see If You Break It, Fake It: How to Avoid Thanksgiving Cooking Disasters.
Timing all the dishes for your Thanksgiving dinner can be tricky. Amy Wisniewski, food editor at CHOW.com, has a quick, easy solution to reheating mashed potatoes without drying them out or burning them. For more Thanksgiving video tips from CHOW, see If You Break It, Fake It: How to Avoid Thanksgiving Cooking Disasters.
You floured your counter, but your pie dough stuck anyway. Lisa Lavery, kitchen editorial assistant at CHOW.com, shares two simple ways to lift your pie crust up without starting over. For more Thanksgiving video tips from CHOW, see If You Break It, Fake It: How to Avoid Thanksgiving Cooking Disasters.
Christine Yue Gallary shares three easy ways to fix lumpy gravy. For more Thanksgiving video tips from CHOW, see If You Break It, Fake It: How to Avoid Thanksgiving Cooking Disasters.
Goat butter has a creamier texture and a more salty and savory flavor than the cow butter we all know. Mark Scarbrough, coauthor of Goat: Meat, Milk, Cheese, suggests using goat butter while baking to add complex flavors to your baked goods.
Harold McGee, author of Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes, shares a handy way to speed your pasta dinner along. Plus it's ecofriendly!
Joe Yonan, author of Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One, is tired of seeing half-empty cans of beans just covered with aluminum foil and stuck in the fridge. He has a better way to save those leftover canned beans.
Joe Yonan, author of Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One, uses leftover corn husks and cobs to make corn stock.
Jeni Britton Bauer, founder of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, shares a quick, simple way to make ice cream at home without an ice cream maker. You can use this vanilla ice cream recipe as a starting point: Leave out the vanilla beans and make the base through step two, then follow the steps Jeni outlines here.
Joe Yonan, author of Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One, conjures up dinner from the remains of a potato chip bag. You can too. (Here's Joe's recipe for his Spanish tortilla.)
Maxime Bilet, coauthor of the epic 2,400-page book Modernist Cuisine, shares an incredible technique for making an omelet fit for a modernist chef. To try to make this omelet at home, start with some powdered whole eggs and CHOW's recipe for duxelles mushroom paste. Measure your duxelles, then read the directions on the package of powdered eggs. You'll need to treat the amount of duxelles as the amount of water needed to hydrate the eggs, and then figure out the equivalent ratio of powdered eggs in order to have at least 4 ounces of paste per omelet. Place the duxelles and the powdered eggs in a food processor, process until smooth, and use this as the mushroom paste in the omelet. Obviously, this omelet technique is not for the faint of heart, but check out the results in the video! Incredible.
Maxime Bilet, coauthor of the epic 2,400-page book Modernist Cuisine, spent years working with the sort of high-end machinery young cooks dream about. He also figured out how to translate some of the techniques he learned for the home kitchen, like this clever sous-vide salmon trick.
Donna Sky, owner of the Love & Hummus Co., knows that hummus, if not handled properly, can become the world's ugliest appetizer. In this CHOW Tip she shares a quick idea for how to present hummus to guests in a pretty package.
Donna Sky, owner of the Love & Hummus Co., shares a quick tip for those of you who make hummus at home. In fact, two tips: One is that dried beans are best. And that old tin of baking soda may have just found a whole new purpose ...
Don't saw your celery. Don't stab at your sprouts. Cut the way Jeffrey Elliot (who literally wrote the book on knife skills) shows you in this video.
In a word, no. Jeffrey Elliot, who literally wrote the book on knife skills, explains why.
In the space of 45 seconds, Jeffrey Elliot, coauthor of the Complete Book of Knife Skills, shares five knife safety tips that will keep you Band-Aid-free in the kitchen.
Jeffrey Elliot literally wrote the book on knife skills. The difference between injured amateur and suave pro rests with the play button.
Tess Masters, a blogger who goes by the nickname The Blender Girl, specializes in vegan and vegetarian blender recipes. She manages to dirty her blender several times a day, so she knows a thing or two about how to clean it easily and efficiently.
Tess Masters, a blogger who goes by the nickname The Blender Girl, specializes in vegan and vegetarian blender recipes, but her expertise is not limited to blended food! Here she makes dinner in her rice cooker using just a few simple ingredients.
Tess Masters, who also goes by the nickname The Blender Girl, is a blogger who specializes in vegan and vegetarian blender recipes. She suggests that lemonade shouldn't be limited to lemon juice: She throws the whole lemon, peel and all, into her blender and makes a healthy, frothy, refreshing drink!
Grace Young, author and contributing editor at Saveur magazine, helps you troubleshoot your rusty-wok problems from the point of view of a wok-thetician.
Grace Young, author and contributing editor at Saveur magazine, says the wok is the perfect popcorn popper. A bonus to making popcorn in a wok is that you're helping season the pan every time you make a snack!
Grace Young, author and contributing editor at Saveur magazine, proves that the carbon-steel wok is a nonstick pan by frying an egg in hers.
Margo True, food editor for Sunset magazine, points out that the spice of a chile cannot be predicted. She shows us a way to test a chile's heat from the safety of your own kitchen. Many tongues have been saved using this tip.
Stephanie Dean, test kitchen coordinator for Sunset magazine, shares a great tip on how to make weeknight pizza for your family. Or yourself. Or whoever is hungry.
Jason Fox, executive chef of San Francisco's Commonwealth, grills meat on cedar paper—it gives the food a smoky, wood-grilled flavor. He recommends getting cedar paper online or at your local Asian grocery.
Jason Fox, executive chef of Commonwealth in SF, is a squid enthusiast, and enthusiastically shares how to clean the slippery cephalopods.
Jason Fox, executive chef of Commonwealth in San Francisco, says guests are always asking him how he makes the simple vegetarian soup he serves at the restaurant. So he showed us! How nice.
Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk, uses eggshell magnetism to collect the broken shards after cracking eggs into a bowl.
Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk, urges you to reconsider your soap usage on cutting boards. Who wants soapy residue?
Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk, gives you an option (beyond composting) for old lettuce.
Tips and tricks to improve your culinary skills and expand your food and drink knowledge.
Take 5 is a video series that explores a city’s thriving dining scene, hosted by our very own Joey Skladany. We feature five restaurants in five different categories, hand-picked by five local celebrities and influencers.