“Do I really need to preheat my oven?” That’s a question I hear a lot. The short answer is yes. The moment you turn your oven on, it starts getting hot, but most take a full 20 minutes to be fully preheated—even if the indicator light (or chime) says it’s ready sooner.
Food writer Michael Ruhlman recommends having side towels, a thermometer, a large wooden spoon, a sharp knife, and a cutting board for all your roasting needs.
When you set your oven to 350˚F, do you believe that it is an absolute and uniform measurement of temperature? Or 180˚C, for that matter?
One might respond to news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that there are now more single people in America than there are married folks by publishing a “Cooking for One” article, featuring casseroles baked in tiny ramekins and more eggs than any sane person would want to eat. But cooking for one shouldn't require fancy tricks. Here's why.
Ah, eggplant: It is a fickle lover indeed. When treated right, it’s creamy and earthy—a standout star in dips and purées, as well as roasted and grilled dishes. But don’t give it the love it demands, and you’re left with a bitter, insipid, and limp veggie that’s picked over instead of devoured.
We prefer boneless, skinless chicken thighs to breasts—we find that the thigh has so much more flavor. In fact, Bon Appétit senior associate editor Alison Roman finds that thighs actually cook more quickly than breasts do when they’re boneless and skinless.
So says Cathy Whims, the chef of Nostrana and Oven & Shaker in Portland, Oregon, and a six-time James Beard Foundation nominee for Best Chef Northwest.
“You could even make the crappiest grill pretty great with minimal investment,” says Adam Perry Lang, restaurateur and grill man extraordinaire. “Most of the things that make a grill great are dictated by the user.” We recruited Mr. Perry Lang to tell us how to dust off dad’s old tailgating grill and make the best damn steak (or burgers or grilled chicken) possible. 1. From Bad to Grate “Two of the most important things on a grill are the grill grate and the airflow dampers,” says Perry Lang. If your grill grate is overly rusted or broken, you have to be careful—that metal can end up in your food. “It’s probably one of the least expensive things on a grill, so I encourage people to change their grill grates.” As for the dampers—the little holes you can open and close on the lid and the bottom of your grill—they control your heat and airflow.