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Alton Brown shares genius tip for cooking steak

Alton Brown is known for his quirky personality and kooky — yet incredibly helpful — cooking tips. So when he posted a picture of a steak covered in mayonnaise to his Instagram account, fans knew it was worth looking into. (Remember when he told us to cook meatballs in an egg carton? Or how about juice a watermelon with an immersion blender?) Brown captioned the photo: “I didn’t have any oil or butter so..” https://www.instagram.com/p/Bn45Aa-HXwX/ It turns out that coating meat with mayo is actually nothing new to savvy chefs of the world. After all, mayonnaise is just eggs and oil, so the condiment can actually add more flavor to steaks and seafood than olive oil can do alone. This trick has also been used by grilled cheese masters to develop a crispier exterior. They mayo actually raises the smoking point, so the sandwich can be kept on the griddle longer, allowing…

10 mistakes you probably make when brewing coffee

You drink a few cups every day, so naturally, you consider your coffee making abilities above average. But regardless of how long you’ve been making morning coffee, you probably often overlook a few of these steps. Fix these 10 flaws with your process and you’ll make the best, boldest, most delicious cup of joe you’ve ever brewed. Mistake #1: You don’t use water that is hot enough Professional coffee shops always reach the ideal 195º to 205º temperature window for brewing, and that’s part of the reason their product tastes so great. Water temperatures in this range extracts the most flavor from the grinds. While you probably can’t make your commercial pot get any hotter, you can switch to the French press/pour over method, where you basically just pour hot water over ground beans and steep for four minutes. A French press will only run you about $30, but it…

How to make a buttermilk substitute at home

Buttermilk is one of those annoying ingredients you either have too much of, or you don’t have at all. It’s usually sold in cartons larger than you need, so leftovers sit in the fridge for weeks. By the time you need it again, the milk will have gone bad. If you’re tired of this endless bad buttermilk cycle, do not fret. There is a solution! Make your own. A bit about buttermilk Buttermilk is an acid, so recipes that call for it won’t turn out right if you just use plain milk. You need a substitute with the same acidity as buttermilk. This acid is usually required to create a reaction with baking soda or other leavening agent in the recipe. Regular milk just isn’t acidic enough. Substituting with plain milk will also produce drier, less flavorful baked goods and can reduce the rise on your muffin tops, biscuits or other…

How to open a pomegranate

Pomegranates have deliciously tart seeds called arils that peak in season from August to January in the Northern Hemisphere. Their bright color, elegant arils, and complex flavor make them a popular addition to holiday recipes. They can top smoothies, salads, or other veggie side dishes, or try them as a delicious fresh centerpiece on your cheese or charcuterie board. When you buy prepackaged arils, you’re spending a lot of money for a fruit that can spoil rather quickly. If you’re looking to add pomegranate arils to your table this year, consider harvesting them yourself. Of course, if you’ve ever tried to cut a pomegranate without a little know-how, you’ve probably made a merry red mess on your kitchen countertop. There is an expert trick to seeding these fruits. All you need is a knife, a bowl of water, and of course, a pomegranate. Here’s 7 steps for opening a pomegranate…

Pineapples are this year’s hottest carving trend: Here’s how you do it

After a lifetime of carving pumpkins, maybe you just need to mix things up a bit this year. Pineapples might not scream Halloween, but the tropical fruit works really well as an alternative to traditional gourds. Here are a handful of examples people have shared on social media: https://www.instagram.com/p/Barc8BoDVrd/?tagged=pineapplecarving https://www.instagram.com/p/BayOahpDPE9/?tagged=pineapplecarving https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba6rZ_Oll4H/?tagged=pineapplecarving This one even brings a bit of original Halloween back into the picture by using an orange glowing light in the middle. https://www.instagram.com/p/BacnvTjg9h4/?tagged=pineapplecarving Pineapples certainly do have more of a festive feel when fruity drinks are being served: https://www.instagram.com/p/9hXhBgsMpO/?tagged=pineapplecarving https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba7YPd5gFVd/?tagged=pineapplecarving Pumpkins have the advantage of smooth exterior skin, meaning you can get more detailed with your design. With pineapples, the prickly skin means your options are a bit more limited. But they’re easier to cut and carve than you might think. If you haven’t sliced many whole pineapples in your life, once the center fruit is removed, the exterior…

Is plastic better than wood?: The cutting board debate

Whether you cook three times a day or three times a year, you probably own a cutting board. It’s a kitchen staple with one simple job, but without it, you wouldn’t have anywhere to cut, chop, dice, or slice your meats, apples, and onions. While you may know you need a cutting board, do you know when you should choose a wooden board over a plastic one, or vice versa? After all, anything your food touches can be a source of contamination and foodborne illness, so kitchen tools and care are no small decision. As it turns out, there are some major differences between boards you should know before you head to the store. Wood versus plastic For most of history, chopping blocks then cutting boards were all made of wood. But the invention of modern plastics in 1907 meant that plastic utensils slowly began making its way into people’s…

Here’s how to pick the best watermelon

Watermelon is the happy fruit. It conjures images of childhood, sunny picnics and pool parties. But, one bite into a mealy, hard melon and all of the memories dry up, just like that first, terrible bite. There are, of course, ways to use less than wonderful watermelons, for example, smoothies and salsas. But when you want to bite face first into a big, juicy slice, only the ripest melon will do. The best way to avoid this underripe melon problem is to purchase the perfect melon in the first place. Here is what you need to know about picking the best watermelon: 1. Weight is wonderful No matter if it’s small or large, the best watermelon will feel heavy for its size. This weight is a sign that it’s full of water — aka. juicy flavor and not grainy fiber. Pick the heaviest one you can find. 2. Seeing spots Watermelons rest on…

How to brew the perfect french press coffee

French press coffee might look intimidating, but if you can drop a plastic pod into a Keurig, you can easily brew a great cup of French press. It’s totally worth waking up a few minutes earlier to use this flavorful method and save yourself from buying those expensive machines and wasteful K-cups. Experts estimate that every year, coffee drinkers are trashing enough single serving coffee pods to circle the planet between 10 1/2 and 12 times. But your freshly ground coffee beans produce zero waste and actually work as great compost among other things. There is no wasteful paper filter involved in the process (although you can compost this paper, you probably don’t), which allows the oils in the coffee bean to stay in your cup and give you a more satisfying serving of coffee. Are you ready to make the best brew you’ve ever had? It’s as easy as spooning coffee grinds to your French…

Stop bacteria from building up in your knife block

How to Clean a Knife Block Your floors, fridge, countertops and even oven make in on to your regular cleaning checklist, but there’s one surface in your kitchen you have probably never even touched. Consider your knife block. Sure, your knives are clean when you stow them in the slots, but dust and other debris can accumulate in these small spaces anyway. Despite our usual disregard for them, knife blocks should actually be washed and sanitized monthly if use frequently. Moisture can lead to mold and bacteria build-up, so to avoid larger cleaning issues, wash knives after each use and dry each thoroughly before sliding back into the knife block. Sanitize a knife block by following these simple steps: Step 1: Remove any knives stored in the block and set aside. Turn the block upside side over the sink and shake lightly to remove large debris. Step 2: Use a…

How to perfectly cook a pot of rice

It’s one of the most commonly consumed foods in the world. It’s also seemingly one of the simplest to make. So how is it that we are still perplexed over how to make a perfect pot of rice? Sure, you can purchase a rice cooker, but that will run you from $30 to $200. And unless you’re cooking rice every day, it could just become another cumbersome appliance. Cooking basic, fluffy white rice, where each grain is separate and slightly firm, is possible if you know a few pro tips. Step 1: Rinse or soak your rice Rinsing rice in cold water helps for two reasons. Some rice mills outside of the U.S. may coat the grains in glucose or talc, so this step is extra important for imported rice. Although safe to eat, the coating could cause your rice to become downright gluey if not properly rinsed. Rinsing will…