The Top 10 Most Helpful Cooking Tips of 2013

Read through these tips and you’ll up your spice knowledge, learn some MacGyver-esque tricks, and even be able to make a more jolting decision about which type of coffee to reach for in the morning. Conquer all 10 and you’ll be a cooking problem-solver in no time.

#10: What’s the Difference between Sweet, Hot, and Smoked Paprika?

Some recipes call for sweet paprika. Others call for hot or smoked. Most just say “paprika.” So what’s the difference between all of these? We go behind the bottle to decipher how this commonly used spice is labeled.

#9: No Cheesecloth? No Problem. Here Are 2 Alternatives.

What’s a cook to do when you need to strain something but don’t have any cheesecloth? Turn to one of these alternatives using things you probably have lying around the house.

#8: Are Cocoa and Cacao the Same Thing?

Can one letter change make such a big difference? Is cacao just a fancy way to say chocolate? The answer is here.

#7: How to Keep Kale Chips Crispy for Longer

Kale chips were the snack food rage of 2013 but one of our biggest problems was that you had to eat them as soon as possible. Otherwise, they turn soggy. We’ve figured out an ingenious way to keep your kale chips snacktime-ready all week.

#6: How to Turn Fresh Bread into Stale Bread

Bread pudding, French toast, and panzanella recipes typically call for day-old or stale bread instead of fresh bread so they soak up the liquid in the dish without turning overly soggy. If you only have fresh bread, here’s how to turn it “stale” in 15 minutes.

#5: Vegetable 101: Broccolini vs. Broccoli Rabe vs. Rapini

These green veggies are labeled differently at every grocery store. Is there actually a difference? We answer that question and more here.

#4: Gluten Free Baking: How to Substitute Coconut Flour for Regular Flour

Coconut flour has become a favorite flour substitute in gluten free baking for it’s nutty taste and soft texture. Here’s how to substitute it for all purpose flour in any recipe.

#3: Does Light Roast or Dark Roast Coffee Have More Caffeine?

Reaching for the darkest java you can find to get your morning jolt? You might want to reconsider that decision.

#2: The Best Way to Cook Bulgur Wheat

Some instructions call for boiling bulgur wheat. Others call for steaming or just soaking in hot liquid. We show you how to make a perfect pot of bulgur every time.

and drumroll please…

#1: How to Steam without a Steamer Basket

Our most sought-after tip of 2013 shows you how to turn any pot into a steamer without the need for an actual steaming basket. Put on your MacGyver hats.