Improve Your Rank in the Kitchen

Master these 50 kitchen skills and recipe so you can be a Five-Star Foodie. 

  • Flavored Popcorn

    Microwave Popcorn

    You did it! You mastered a basic staple for any home cook. Now kick it up a notch with a few fun add-ons to get your kernels really popping.
  • Fresh Coconut Cake
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Crack a Coconut

    Get in touch with your inner islander to make a cake that's truly drool-worthy. You'll use both the liquid and the flesh in this recipe, so nothing goes to waste. Plus, you get to crack open a coconut!
  • Mary Ann's Pimiento Cheese
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia Degaris Pursell

    Master a “Signature Dish”

    Our dream for you is that someday you overhear someone mentioning how they made "Michelle's Dip Recipe" and that everyone at the table knows exactly what they're talking about. Take a bow, Michelle! Pick a recipe you love, master it, and then share it with friends and family.
  • Creamy Scrambled Eggs
    Photo: James Carrier

    Scramble an Egg

    Impress your brunch company with perfectly scrambled eggs. If you've ever enjoyed a breakfast on a plane or at a hotel buffet, you'll agree that's no small task. The steps are few and simple; learn them and use them!
  • Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue
    Photo: Ellen Silverman; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Whip a Meringue

    Repeat after us: Stiff Peaks. If you can remember that, you'll know when your meringue is ready.
  • Making a Piecrust

    Make Pie Crust

    Want to know the secret to making perfect homemade pie crust every time? We have it. Luckily, we love to share!
  • Strawberry-Lemon Baked Alaska
    Photo: Sunset

    Make Baked Alaska

    If you've never made one of these classic confections, you'll be tempted now.
  • Crown Roast of Pork
    Leo Gong, Randy Mon

    Truss a Crown Roast

    Follow our step-by-step instructions to master this show stopping main dish.
  • Hollandaise Sauce
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Make Hollandaise Sauce

    This silky, buttery Hollandaise sauce transforms simple dishes into something special. Our main tip? Stir constantly until thick.
  • Pam's Country Crust Bread
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

    Make Yeast Bread

    We love grandma's method of hand-kneading, but sometimes a stand mixer just produces more consistent results. For a beginner, we think it's a great way to go for your first yeast bread recipe.
  • Creole Deep-Fried Turkey
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Lydia Degaris Pursell

    Fry a Turkey

    Tips abound for this holiday favorite. Defrost the turkey first. Don't overfill your fryer. Only deep fry outside!
  • Cookie Base
    Photo: Laurie Frankel

    Make Cookies From Scratch

    Master a basic cookie recipe that can become your signature. Once you know it well, you can dress it up to celebrate any gathering.
  • Southwestern Omelet
    Randy Mayor

    Flip an Omelet... In the Air

    It's true what they say--flipping an omelet is all in the wrist. We suggest starting with a good nonstick skillet and going slowly with a spatula to keep any wayward omelet bits from landing on your counter.
  • Lemonade Layer Cake
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Melanie J. Clarke

    Make a Layer Cake

    This popular layer cake is a fan favorite on Pinterest. Check out these tips for making and icing a layer cake. It's easier than you think.
  • Homemade Pappardelle Pasta with Mushrooms, Green Peas, and Asparagus

    Make Homemade Pasta

    Break out your fancy attachments! Making pasta at home isn't hard, but it can be time consuming. We suggest using all the tools you have at your disposal, like the smooth rollers of your pasta machine.
  • Fresh Yogurt
    Photo: Annabelle Breakey

    Make Yogurt

    You can make easy yogurt at home: Made fresh, it's nothing more than milk with a few tablespoons of storebought yogurt stirred in, which, after several hours of sitting around, turns all of the milk to yogurt. It's a little more complicated than that, but not by much. We'll walk you through it.
  • Roasted Chicken Stock
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

    Make Chicken Stock

    Roasting the chicken and vegetables browns the chicken and caramelizes the vegetables, lending a deeper, richer flavor—and color—to the stock and your sauces. Bonus: You can freeze any extra for up to six months.
  • Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza
    Oxmoor House

    Cook Pizza on the Grill

    Forget the oven. For a smokey flavor and crispy crust, grilled pizza is the way to go! The cleanup is so simple, you'll wonder why you never thought of this before.
  • Caramelized Onion-Stuffed Baked Potato
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Bake a Potato

    We're making this one easy for you. Did you know you can bake a potato in the microwave? You can! And it will save you almost an hour, so it's the perfect weeknight dinner solution.
  • Banana Crème Brûlée
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Sarah K. Johnson

    Perfect Crème Brulee

    If breaking out the blow torch frightens you, then this recipe is for you. Make this eye-catching dessert using your new best friend, the broiler.
  • Basic Grilled Steak
    Lee Harrelson

    Grill a Steak

    We've got five simple steps to ensure that you grill the perfect steak for your guests. Prepare to be called Master of the Grill.
  • White Chocolate Cookies 'n' Cream Fudge
    Oxmoor House

    Make Fudge

    Turn off your oven; there's no baking when making fudge! Mix your ingredients well then let them chill until set. Grandma will be proud!
  • 1-Hour Spanish Chickpea Soup
    Photo: Jamie Chung; Styling: Ariana Salvato

    Use a Pressure Cooker

    With a pressure cooker, you can start with dried beans and have a savory soup in one hour. So long, overnight soaks!
  • Zesting Citrus

    Zest Citrus

    Perfect for zesting citrus peels or grating cheese, a handled grater is swift to clean and more knuckle friendly than the old box grater. Plus, there's nothing like the smell of freshly zested cirtus.
  • Grilled Spice-Rubbed Whole Chicken
    Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Cook a Whole Chicken

    Cooking a whole chicken is easier and more delicious than you might expect. Skip the store-bought variety and try this whole chicken recipe tonight. Don't forget to remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken.
  • Preparing Winter Squash

    Peel a Butternut Squash

    Before you start peeling and chopping a winter squash such as butternut squash, place it in the microwave oven and microwave at HIGH for about 2 minutes for a medium-size squash. This will make the squash easier to slice. After that, peeling is easy with our simple tips.
  • Fried Chicken Wings
    Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Buffy Hargett

    Fry Chicken

    Alex soaks chicken twice in the egg-milk mixture and double-dredges in the highly seasoned flour for a superior crust. We think Alex is brilliant!
  • <p>Holiday Dinner Hang-ups</p>
    Photo: Judith Haeusler/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Cook Thanksgiving Dinner

    Sometimes the easiest way to learn how to do something is by figuring out what not to do. Trust us, these are seven steps you don't want to miss.
  • <p>Making a Roux</p>
    Photo: Lee Harrelson

    Make a Roux

    The first rule in roux making? Don’t try to rush the process—if the roux burns, throw it out and start again. Believe us; if you burn a roux, nothing you add to it will help. Try, try again!
  • Deglazing Pork Tenderloin

    Deglaze a Pan

    Deglazing is a technique that’s classic, simple, and a quick way to add great flavor to foods. It starts with the tasty brown morsels that are left in the pan after you’ve cooked meat. Yes, that's right. Those bits aren't trash; they're gold.
  • Good Gravy intro

    Make Gravy

    From giblet-laced versions straight out of Grandma's recipe book to quick five-ingredient recipes, we have gravies to suit every kind of cook and palate. Pick a favorite and let's get started.
  • Pomegranate Margaritas

    Halve (or Double!) a Recipe

    Tread lightly when doubling or halving recipes. Most do so with ease (think soups, side dishes, dressings), but some items, like baked goods, are more a science than an art. When baking bread, if the recipe makes two loaves and you only need one, simply freeze or gift the second one. Trust us.
  • Double Chocolate Soufflés with Warm Fudge Sauce
    Becky Luigart-Stayner; Leigh Ann Ross

    Perfect a Soufflé

    Soufflés are not as tricky or fragile as you might think. Our rule? Open the oven door only when needed to check on the progress – not just because you are curious to see how they look!
  • Stovetop Red Beans and Rice
    Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Amy Burke

    Cook with Dried Beans

    Dried beans are easier on the wallet and on your sodium count. Not sold yet? They're also super easy to work with; they simply need a little soak before you get started.
  • Easy Refrigerator Pickles
    Randy Mayor

    Pickle Produce

    Refrigerator pickles are easy to make, and there's no need for kettle steamers, special jars, and vacuum-tight lids. Plus, unlike store-bought pickles, these scrumptious homemade pickles are low in sodium.
  • Knife Skills
    Photo: Lee Harrelson

    Use Every Knife in Your Block

    Let's start with the Chef's knife. A Chef's knife can be your most versatile kitchen tool. See our collection of how-to videos demonstrating the many ways you can use this knife.
  • Greek Pasta with Meatballs
    Oxmoor House

    Cook Homemade Meatballs

    Homemade meatballs are simple to make and are bursting with flavor. Enlist pint-size chefs to help according to our age-appropriate directions.
  • Making Whipped Cream

    Whip Cream

    Whipping cream is easy when you start with the right tools, namely ice cold beaters and a chilled steel bowl. Say farewell to the store-bought stuff!
  • Cedar-Plank Salmon
    James Baigrie

    Cook Fish on a Plank

    Grilling fish on soaked wooden planks ensures moist, mildly smokey fish. Try it once, and you'll be hooked.
  • Roquefort Cheesecake with Pear Preserves and Pecans
    Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Mary Clayton Carl

    Toast Nuts

    Toasting nuts brings out their rich flavor. Bake them in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet. Be careful not to overbake; when you can smell them (about 8-10 minutes), take them out of the oven.
  • Steamed Lobster with Parsley Emulsion
    Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Cook a Whole Lobster

    If this is your first time to cook a whole lobster, the following steaming method is easy, and you do not have to handle the live lobster.
  • Chinese Potstickers
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Make Chinese Dumplings

    These take a little time to prepare, but the authentic flavor (and bragging rights!) are well worth it.
  • Caramelized Onions
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr

    Caramelize Onions

    Anyone who says caramelizing onions is quick is lying. The process takes about 20 minutes, but that ensures that the rich, robust flavor of the dish really shines through. Make a large batch; you'll want to eat them on everything.
  • Making Biscuits

    Make From-Scratch Biscuits

    The devil is in the details when making biscuits. Stop a couple of times during kneading to press the dough with your finger. When it springs back, stop kneading.
  • Peeling and Mincing Garlic

    Mince Garlic

    To mince fresh garlic, begin by separating the head into individual cloves with your hands. From there, you'll do a little work with a sharp knife to release the amazing flavor of fresh garlic.
  • Peeling, Deveining, and Butterflying Shrimp

    Devein shrimp

    When cooking any shrimp, regardless of where you bought them, make sure they're deveined. If they aren't, we'll show you how to do it.
  • Basic Deviled Eggs
    Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro, Laura Zapalowski

    Make Deviled Eggs

    The filling for Southern-style basic deviled eggs is nothing more than egg yolks, mayonnaise, mustard, and sweet pickle relish. You'll swear there's a secret ingredient we're leaving out, but we promise that it really is that simple.
  • <p>How to Poach Eggs</p>

    Poach an Egg

    Do you know how to prevent the egg whites from getting ragged or “feathered”? It's easier than you think.
  • Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts
    Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr

    Stuff a Chicken Breast

    Looks elegant, right? Your guests will never know how little time this dish took you.
  • Dirty Martinis

    Make a Dirty Martini

    Shaken or stirred? Vodka or gin? We see merits in both methods of chilling and believe each person must make the vodka-or-gin decision on his or her own. You'll just be an informed guide to their cocktail conclusions.
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