The Absolute Best Way to Marinate Chicken

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She’s boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackl…

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She's boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles marinated chicken.


I used to think that marinades were pointless. Or, more accurately, I wasn’t really sure what they did for flavor—blame the honey mustard craze of my youth. I wasn’t sure how or why I might employ one to lock in moisture when I could simply dry brine. So more often than not, I skipped them.

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The Rise of the Swiffer Empire

It was 1999. On televisions everywhere in America, an exasperated woman appeared to be shaking years’ worth of dust from a fusty, worse-for-wear mop. In the background came a bubbly ’70s voice, intoning catchy lyrics: “This old mop makes me shake; that…

It was 1999. On televisions everywhere in America, an exasperated woman appeared to be shaking years’ worth of dust from a fusty, worse-for-wear mop. In the background came a bubbly ’70s voice, intoning catchy lyrics: “This old mop makes me shake; that old vacuum makes me ache; this old rag draa-aaa-aaags me down.”

And then, a green cardboard box filled the screen, as a smiling woman and her daughter uncased a newfangled cleaning tool. “This box rocks: The radical new Swiffer sweeper. So simple to assemble,” said the narrator. The commercial cut to a dance-y cleaning montage with an equally catchy song about the new tool. And the rest really was history.

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What Does Unicorn Flavor Actually Taste Like?

Tenth Helpings is a humor column from our culture critic, Ella Quittner.
I am a Child of the ‘Corn. I was born in 1991 in Long Island—not on, never on—and so I spent much of my youth perusing the Lisa Frank section of our local Rite Aid. Once every fe…

Tenth Helpings is a humor column from our culture critic, Ella Quittner.

I am a Child of the ‘Corn. I was born in 1991 in Long Island—not on, never on—and so I spent much of my youth perusing the Lisa Frank section of our local Rite Aid. Once every few months, I was permitted to buy a pack of stickers, with which I would decorate everything from the plastic-sheathed diary I toted around but rarely wrote in, to the wall of my bedroom closet.

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The Absolute Best Way to Make Cheeseburgers

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She’s boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackl…

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She's boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles cheeseburgers.


At 1500 West Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California—an otherwise unassuming corner—if you look down at your feet, you might be surprised to find a plaque that reads as follows:

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What on Earth Is Nic Cage’s Favorite Pasta Shape?

It happened so fast. With the click of his cursor, Nicolas Cage ruined my life. Or at least several of my afternoons. While participating in an Ask Me Anything on Reddit on Saturday, April 9, Cage described something so unhinged, it fully consumed me. …

It happened so fast. With the click of his cursor, Nicolas Cage ruined my life. Or at least several of my afternoons. While participating in an Ask Me Anything on Reddit on Saturday, April 9, Cage described something so unhinged, it fully consumed me. And the thing was this: “square tube pasta.”

More specifically, he wrote in response to a question about his favorite noodle shape, “I once went to an Italian restaurant in San Francisco about 25 years ago with Charlie Sheen because they had square tube pasta and he was very interested in trying square tube pasta and we did and we loved it so much we went back the next day to try it again.”

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The Absolute Best Way to Make an Egg Sandwich

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She’s seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall, tasted enough stuffing for 10 Thanksgivings, and mashed so many potatoes she may ne…

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She's seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall, tasted enough stuffing for 10 Thanksgivings, and mashed so many potatoes she may never mash one again. Today, she tackles the egg sandwich.


The breakfast sandwich has been around for far longer than you or your hangover.

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The Hands-Free Cleaning Hack for Those Stubborn Burnt Bits

I clean to procrastinate.

So it was bittersweet when, a few years ago, by way of dinner party chaos, I accidentally discovered a trick that both dissolves all of the burnt build-up on my dirtiest dishes with ease, and is nearly completely hands-free. …

I clean to procrastinate.

So it was bittersweet when, a few years ago, by way of dinner party chaos, I accidentally discovered a trick that both dissolves all of the burnt build-up on my dirtiest dishes with ease, and is nearly completely hands-free.

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Snacks Have Lost Their Damn Minds

It was the spring, of 2021 and Avi Bonnerjee, a 35-year-old Brooklyn resident, was shopping for groceries. While perusing the pasta shelves, something caught his eye: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mac ’N Cheese.

“The package had a very cool cheetah on it, which…

It was the spring, of 2021 and Avi Bonnerjee, a 35-year-old Brooklyn resident, was shopping for groceries. While perusing the pasta shelves, something caught his eye: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Mac ’N Cheese.

“The package had a very cool cheetah on it, which seemed like a weird way to sell macaroni and cheese, or any food. And it was bright red, with Guy Fieri–style imagery of flames,” he recalls. “I felt compelled to buy it.”

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The Absolute Best Way to Bread Chicken

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She’s boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackl…

In Absolute Best Tests, Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She's boiled dozens of eggs, mashed a concerning number of potatoes, and seared more Porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles chicken cutlets.


Most chicken cutlets one encounters in the wild are pretty good. The average one wears an armor of crunch that’s seasoned heartily enough to play smokescreen for any dryness inside. Usually doused in a sauce, or pressed between two halves of an Italian roll, or blanketed by melted American cheese, breaded chicken is the form of cooked poultry Most Likely To Be Fine, whatever the circumstance.

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The Absolute Best Way to Make Juicy Pork Chops

In Absolute Best Tests, our writer Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She’s boiled dozens of eggs, seared more porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall, and tasted enough types of bacon to concern a car…

In Absolute Best Tests, our writer Ella Quittner destroys the sanctity of her home kitchen in the name of the truth. She's boiled dozens of eggs, seared more porterhouse steaks than she cares to recall, and tasted enough types of bacon to concern a cardiologist. Today, she tackles pork chops.


My fiancé and I disagree about a lot of things, but none comes up more regularly than the pork chop. To Nate, it is the perfect dinner. To me, it is usually a disappointment.

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