Hot Food Hacks Posts

How To: Don't Have a Special Cupcake Pan? Here's How to Bake Cupcakes and Muffins Without One

Love or hate 'em, you've got to admit that cupcakes really had their moment. They started rising in popularity back in 2003 with the opening of Crumbs Bake Shop in Manhattan, and quickly became one of the most annoyingly ubiquitous food trends to date. Seriously. Type "cupcake" into Google. While I wouldn't turn it down if you put one in front of me (red velvet, please), I can't say that I was particularly disappointed to hear that the cupcake trend is coming to an end. I'm more of a cheeseca...

How To: Clone KFC's Nashville Hot Chicken

What began as a regional specialty has turned into a national trend that looks like it's here to stay: Nasvhille hot chicken has caught on like wildfire, with hot chicken restaurants popping up across the country—not to mention the 8 hot chicken restaurants that you can find in Nashville alone! The history of this Deep South dish is fascinating, and you can read more about it here.

How To: Skip the Oven—Microwave Your Fish

Fish are delicate, flaky, and can be damn tricky to cook; more often than not, you end up with a hard, dry block of flesh that makes your taste buds sad. And the best ways to cook fish that you know of—c'mon, who doesn't love a fried fish—take way too much effort for you to bother with on a weeknight. Or maybe you're looking for a healthier way to enjoy fish that doesn't require batter or frying at all.

How To: Cut a Cooked Steak the Right Way

There is no greater food to master than steak. If you can make a steak that's only marginally better than your neighborhood Applebee's, you'll still have friends waiting outside your door for steak night. And if you can make steak as good as that expensive gourmet steakhouse you went to for your birthday? Well, your popularity is about to increase dramatically.

How To: Truss a Chicken (Or Any Other Whole Bird) With or Without Any String or Twine

You've probably seen someone in your family truss the turkey on Thanksgiving before roasting it, even if you don't recognize the word. To truss a bird or roast just means to wrap it up as compactly as possible before placing it in the oven, and it's usually done by tying it with string. Trussing a bird is a tradition that's been around for a long time, and a lot of home cooks do it religiously even if they don't know why. It's a highly debated topic with fierce supporters on both sides, but f...

How To: 10 Reasons You Need to Add Cinnamon to Your Coffee

Creamer, milk (whole or skim), sugar, or even butter—you've probably added at least one of these to your coffee to improve its taste at some point. If you're looking for something different, though, try a new twist with a dash of cinnamon. This sweet, sharp spice can do so much more than improve coffee's taste, and I've got 10 examples for you to consider.

How To: The Easiest Way to Smoke Food Without a Smoker

There's something primal about the smell of smoking food. Somewhere deep in the recesses of our souls, we remember a time when humans only ate by the fire. Or perhaps that's just something I tell myself. Either way, it's hard to smell smoke and food and not feel like you should be eating. And, as chef Edi Frauneder said in a recent Saveur article, "Grilling is convivial. There's something about this act of coming together over an open flame that just says vacation."

Hot vs. Cold Brew Tea & Coffee: Which Ones Are Better for You?

Cold brewing tea and coffee are all the rage, and for good reason: they're idiot-proof. I, personally, am a total dunce at brewing coffee. It either ends up strong enough to peel paint from a car or so weak that you can see through it. Meanwhile, I have friends who inevitably brew green tea to the point where it's painful to drink it.

How To: Make Copycat Trader Joe's Spices at Home

The spice selection at Trader Joe's is both inexpensive and truly top-notch. According to their site, they deal with some of the highest-quality spice manufacturers in the world and, in working with them directly, they eliminate hidden costs spent on promotions, brand-building, and advertising. This allows the customer to experiment with new flavors and build up their spice rack—without the usual limiting factor of high cost. If you don't have access to a Trader's in your culinary neck of the...

How To: Make Homemade Jerky Without a Dehydrator

Jerky is one of the tastiest snacks in existence. It's packed with richness, saltiness, and spiciness, and it's one of those things that you can't stop eating once you start. It's also fairly expensive, unless you're opting for the gas station variety which is… er… jerky in the same way that Folgers is coffee.

How To: Make Your Own Dippin' Dots Ice Cream with Liquid Nitrogen

Dippin' Dots are a fun way to enjoy ice cream, but the price tag is not so fun. Plus, the company filed for bankruptcy last year, so they may not be around much longer. The good news is that you don't need them—you can make your own at home with some ice cream and liquid nitrogen. Redditor hypoid77 posted instructions on how to make your own DIY Dippin' Dots Maker out of a Styrofoam cooler, a couple two-liter bottles, a thumbtack, and some liquid nitrogen. Use the thumbtack to poke a 3-inch p...

How To: Turn Spaghetti into Ramen

Ramen has always been a go-to meal for frugal foodies, college students, and anyone else who loves a soothing, cheap, and easy meal. And while instant ramen is delicious (and can easily be improved), making a simple homemade ramen is even better, and nearly as easy.

How To: 10 Quick & Easy Herbal Drinks That Relieve Aches & Pains

When a headache strikes, I reach for the nearest painkiller. Forget closing my eyes, laying down, or even applying an ice pack—I seek the quickest and most immediate relief possible, and normally that comes in the form of pills. However, fast relief can be found from another, more natural source: herbal beverages. So if you're tired of popping pills when you have aches and pains, try some of these herbal drinks out instead.

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