Skill Builder: Knife Skills 101

I treat knives as the second most dangerous implements in the average kitchen. (Microplanes and mandolins hold the top spot.) When using a knife, I’m always thinking about the “failure mode.” If it slips, or something goes wrong, how is it going to go wrong? Where is the knife going... Read more »

Skill Builder: Kitchen Equipment (Part 2)

In this second Skill Builder installment on Kitchen Equipment, Cooking for Geeks author Jeff Potter discusses more essential tools and their use. Next up: Knife play! -Gareth Measuring Cups and Scales In addition to the common items used for measuring (e.g., measuring cups and spoons), I strongly recommend purchasing a... Read more »

Skill Builder: Kitchen Equipment (Part 1)

In this installment of Food Skill Builder, our guest geek chef, Jeff Potter, discusses some essential kitchen tools (ooh… tools) and tips for their proper use. In part 2 (tomorrow), we’ll look at measuring, timing, weighing, storing and similar tools. And, some knifing techniques! -Gareth Regardless of your needs, a... Read more »

Skill Builder: Jeff Potter’s Yogurt Lab

One of the great things about learning food science is the need to test everything. I say "need" because, in truth, it's a lot of fun to geek out over the details and try various experiments that I wouldn't normally try. Take yogurt. Everyone is familiar with it, but how... Read more »

Skill Builder: Hello, Kitchen!

Jeff Potter’s book, Cooking for Geeks, is based on a simple premise: “We geeks are fascinated by how things work, and most of us eat, too.” Food month here on MAKE is built upon that same idea. We’re going to be excerpting from Jeff’s book over the next few weeks,... Read more »

“Sous Vide” Cooking: The Basics

“Sous-vide” is fashionable French for a method of cooking that involves longer cooking times at lower temperatures and reduced atmospheric pressures. It means, literally, “under vacuum.” Commonly, food is sealed in plastic vacuum bags and cooked at temperatures well below the boiling point of water for dozens of hours, although... Read more »