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75 Quick & Easy Secrets from the Test Kitchen

Food Safety Savvy

  • Remember the four basics:

  1. Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often.
  2. Separate. Don't cross-contaminate.
  3. Cook. Cook to proper temperatures.
  4. Chill. Refrigerate promptly.

  • Be sure to use raw eggs within 3 to 5 weeks of purchase; consume hard-cooked eggs within 1 week.
  • Vent one edge of plastic wrap when covering still-warm dishes to let steam escape.

Can't Live Without 'Em...

Here are the top 10 tools guaranteed to make your cooking life easier.

  1. Fat separator measuring cup

    Why: Removes fat quickly from soups and sauces.
  2. Good set of tongs

    Why: Doesn't pierce meat, so juices are sealed in.
  3. Nonskid cutting board

    Why: Stays in place for efficient dicing and slicing.
  4. Small offset spatula

    Why: Ensures a professional flair when frosting cakes.
  5. Kitchen shears

    Why: Streamlines basic tasks like snipping herbs, trimming fat from meats, even slicing pizza.
  6. Silicone spatula

    Why: Won't scratch nonstick pans.
  7. Instant-read thermometer

    Why: Indicates in a flash when your food's cooked to the right temperature.
  8. An extra box of baking soda

    Why: Puts out any small fire that flares up.
  9. Large skillet or saute pan with lid

    Why: Lets the cook make enough for a crowd -- the 12-inch size is the most versatile.
  10. Serrated knife

    Why: Slices bread, cake layers, and tomatoes as thin as you want them.

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