'Best Guess' Cooking Temperatures

High  8.0 – HI  
Med High 5.0 – 8.0  
Medium 3.0 – 5.0  
Med Low  2.0 – 4.0  
Low/Simmer LO – 2.0


Miniature Spoon Terminology       

Tad   1/4 teaspoon  
Dash 1/8 teaspoon  
Pinch   1/16 teaspoon
Smidgen 1/32 teaspoon  
Drop   1/64 teaspoon


Measurement Equivalents - Liquid Measures       

1 Cup  1/2 pint   8 fl oz 236.5 ml
2 Cups  1 pint   16 fl oz 473 ml
4 Cups  1 qt  32 fl oz 946 ml
2 pts 32 fl oz 1 qt .946 ltr
4 qts 1 gal 128 fl oz 3.784 ltr


Measurement Equivalents - Dry Measures       

3 tsp 1 tbsp 1/2 oz 14.2 gm  
2 tbsp 1/8 cup 1 oz 28.35 gm  
1 dsp 2 tsp 2/3 tbsp    
4 tbsp 1/4 cup 2 oz 56.7 gm  
5 1/3 tbsp 1/3 cup 2 2/3 oz 75.6 gm  
 8 tbsp 1/2 cup 4 oz 113.4 gm  
12 tbsp 3/4 cup 6 oz 170 gm  
16 tbsp 1 cup 8 oz 1/2 lb 226 gm
32 tbsp 2 cups 16 oz 1 lb 453.6 gm
64 tbsp 4 cups 32 oz 2 lbs 907 gm



For Substitute
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch 1 tbsp flour
1 oz unsweetened chocolate 3 tbsp cocoa + 1 tbsp fat
1 cup honey 1 1/4 cups sugar + 1/4 cup liquid
1 cup buttermilk 1 tbsp cider vinegar or lemon juice + enough milk to equal 1 cup 
1 cup sour milk 1 cup plain yogurt or 1 cup evaporated milk + 1 tbsp vinegar
1 cup half and half 1 cup evaporated milk


Steak Thermometer Cooking Temps

NOTE! The meat continues to cook for a few minutes after you remove it from the heat.
RARE:  130-140 degrees
MEDIUM-RARE:  140-150 degrees
MEDIUM:  150-160 degrees
WELL DONE:  160-170 degrees


Clarify Butter       

  1. Melt butter over very low heat

  2. Skim off what comes to the surface

  3. Slowly pour off the oil part into another container

  4. Discard the solids  

Boiling Corn

Never boil corn for more than 3 minutes.  Be sure to place the corn in boiling water, and do not add salt.  You will find the flavor is much better than cooking for 10 minutes or more.  Corn will never get soft, no matter how long you cook it-it will only lose its taste.

Like Poached Eggs?

Add a few drops of vinegar to the water. It will help keep the egg whites from separating.

Brown sugar a solid rock?

Has your bag or box of brown sugar turned hard as a rock? Try this helpful hint:  Place a slice of fresh bread in the package of sugar and close securely.  Let set for a few hours and your sugar will be as good as new!

Fresh Egg Test

Fill a bowl or pan with cold water and add some salt. Place the egg in the water.  If it sinks to the bottom, it is fresh. If the egg rises to the top, the egg is no good.

Choosing the right cooking oil

  No Heat Low Heat Med Heat MH Heat High Heat Characteristics and uses
Almond, refined x x x x x Clean, neutral flavor and a high-heat wonder.
Avocado, refined or unrefined x x x x x Neutral flavor, lovely texture for dressings. Wonderful for searing meat, whipped potatoes and stir-fries.
Butter x x x     Flavor varies depending on origins. Best blended with other oils for a higher smoke point to prevent burning.
Canola, refined x x x x x Neutral flavor, good all-purpose oil.
Canola, unrefined x x       Mild flavor, vibrant orange color.
Canola-olive oil blend x x x x x Convenient for cooks who like olive oil but want higher heat tolerance.
Coconut (virgin/extra virgin), unrefined x x *     Flavors range from neutral to mild. Good in soups, stews, curries and baked goods.
Ghee (clarified butter) x x x x   Clarifying butter removes moisture and particles to give higher heat tolerance. Often used in Indian cooking.
Grape Seed, refined x x x x x Clean, neutral taste. Emerald green color.
Macadamia nut, unrefined x x       Nutty, buttery flavor.
Olive (extra virgin) unrefined x x *     Wide range of flavors, depending on origin. Ideal for cold dishes, salads, pesto and dipping bread.
Peanut, refined x x * *   A classic for tempura, fish, stir-fries and Asian dishes. Potential allergen. Heat tolerance can vary greatly.
Safflower, refined x x x x x Mild flavor, good all-purpose oil.
Sesame, refined x x x x x Adds light sesame flavor to seared meats, stir-fries.
Sesame (including toasted), unrefined x x       Highly aromatic, nutty, best in dressings and sauces.
Sunflower (high oleic), refined x x x x x Neutral, all-purpose oil, good source of vitamin E.
Sunflower, unrefined x x x x x Rich flavor, best in cold dishes, good source of vitamin E.
Vegetable shortening (palm fruit), refined   x x x   Flavorless, good for vegan baked goods. Not hydrogenated (no trans fat).
Walnut, refined x x x x   Adds a hint of walnut flavor to salads, marinades and sautés. Potential allergen.
* Heat tolerance of these oils can vary more than others, so check labels for manufacturer recommendations. If smoking occurs, lower heat to avoid consuming unhealthy, damaged oils. See "Frequently asked questions" about smoke point of oils.

Should I heat oil to the smoke point?

If oil smokes in the pan, discard it. The temperature is too high. Clean the pan and start over at a lower temperature.  The point to where oil smokes signals that the oil has been damaged and potentially cancer-causing properties have formed.


Which oils are genetically engineered?

Soy, corn, canola and cotton are the most common genetically modified organism (GMO) crops and all are cooking oil sources. To avoid GMOs, choose oils that are certified organic or verified by the Non-GMO Project.


Can I use olive oil for all of my cooking?

Extra virgin olive oil deserves its reputation as an healthy culinary oil. It contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and phenols — protective compounds that provide numerous benefits. But to maximize the health benefits, we recommend using it raw for salads and dips or for lower-heat cooking.


I've heard I should not use canola oil. Why?

It is true that more than 90 to 95 percent of the canola grown in the United States is GMO, but all canola oil sold at PCC is either certified organic or Non-GMO-Project Verified. Canola was bred from rapeseed, which 30 years ago contained elevated levels of erucic acid considered harmful to humans. Today's canola contains less than two percent of this controversial fatty acid.

 Storing oils

Air, heat and light cause oils to oxidize and turn rancid. Natural oils should smell and taste fresh and pleasant. If in doubt, throw it out! Studies indicate that rancid fats may promote cancer and heart disease.

For maintaining quality of flavor and nutrition, it is best to store oils in an airtight glass bottle in a cool, dark place. For oils that will sit unused for longer than one month, storing in the refrigerator is ideal.

 Types of oils

Natural fats contain varying ratios of three types of fats: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.


Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and very stable. They resist oxidation, so they often can tolerate higher temperatures.


Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and generally the least stable for cooking. They oxidize easily and are found in safflower and sunflower oils, if not labeled for high heat or "high oleic."


Monounsaturated fats also are liquid at room temperature and generally are more stable than polyunsaturates. They're found in canola, nuts and olives.


Pressed vs. chemically extracted

PCC buyers seek out culinary oils that are mechanically pressed from the seed without using chemical solvents. These also are referred to as "expeller pressed."

·         Olive, avocado and walnut oils, for example, are from soft fruit or nuts that need only expeller pressing and centrifuging. They may be labeled "cold-pressed."

·         Hard oilseeds, such as soy or canola, usually require some pre-treatment such as steam before pressing but the brands at PCC still do not rely on chemical solvents.

·         In contrast, mass-market oils generally are extracted with toxic solvents such as hexane. These oils then undergo harsh treatment to remove the solvent. More chemicals, very high heat, and straining are used to deodorize and bleach the oils — rendering them inferior in taste, fragrance, appearance and especially nutritional quality.


Unrefined oils

Unrefined oils are filtered only lightly to remove large particles. Some, such as sesame or olive oil, may appear cloudy or have visible sediment after sitting. This does not compromise quality.

Unrefined oils have more pronounced flavors, colors and fragrances than refined oils. Like unrefined whole grain flours, unrefined oils are more nutritious and have a shorter storage life than refined.

Unrefined oils are best used unheated in dressings or with low heat sautéing or baking. Their natural resins and other beneficial particles burn easily and develop unpleasant flavors and unhealthful properties if overheated. If you choose to bake with unrefined oils, expect the flavor to be more pronounced.


Refined oils

Naturally refined oils are more thoroughly filtered and strained than unrefined, usually with some additional heat but without harsh or damaging chemicals. Refining reduces the nutrient level and flavor. It also removes particles and resins and makes naturally refined oils more stable for longer storage, more resistant to smoking, and a good choice for high-heat cooking and frying.

Refined oils recommended for high-heat cooking and deep-frying are "high oleic" safflower, sunflower, and peanut oil. These oils are from varieties high in monounsaturated fats, which are well-suited for high heat.


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