Ask the Test Kitchen

Hot Pepper Warning

Why is it that we are warned not to touch hot peppers, yet we use them in our recipes? How do they affect our stomachs? —H.R., Hauppauge, New York

Hot peppers have been eaten in many…

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How Long Can Appetizers Sit Out?

How long can appetizers that require refrigeration sit out? - J.S., Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Test Kitchen: Party foods left out for too long offer the perfect environment for bacteria growth,…

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How to remove popovers without sticking.

I have found that it is hard to remove popovers from the pan without having them stick. Should I remove them when they are hot or cool? —H.B., Boston, Massachusetts

For best results,…

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Imitation Crabmeat

Can I substitute imitation crabmeat made with whitefish in recipes calling for crabmeat, such as crab cakes? Real crabmeat is just so expensive. Thanks for all your good advice. —K.C.,…

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Instant Pudding Mix

A lot of recipes call for a package of instant pudding mix. Can I use sugar-free instant pudding mix instead? —S.R., Indianapolis, Indiana

Our Test Kitchen has found that it can be…

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Is It Done Yet?

Some cheesecake recipes say to bake until the center is just barely firm. What is a good yardstick to use when judging that condition? —M.L., Walnut Creek, California

Judging the…

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Italian Sausage

When recipes call for Italian sausage, I'm not sure if they mean sweet or hot Italian sausage. Which should I use? —G.H., Monroe Township, New Jersey

When a Taste of Home recipe calls…

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Italian Seasoning

Some recipes call for Italian seasoning. I have not been able to find it. Can you help me?—E.G., Agawam, Massachusetts

Italian seasoning can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery…

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Jarred Minced Garlic

I've noticed minced garlic in jars in the produce department of my grocery store. How much should I use for one garlic clove, and does the flavor taste the same as fresh garlic? —N.G., Des…

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Keeping Meat Warm

Many recipes say to brown meat, then remove and keep warm. How do you keep the meat warm when you're using the skillet to cook other ingredients? - M.S., South Euclid, Ohio. Test Kitchen: Great…

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