The Absolute Best Way to Cook a Hot Dog, According to So Many Tests

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

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


One Sunday in February 2014, at Seattle’s Fremont Market, six customers spent $169 apiece on a hot dog unlike any other.

Read More >>

The Great Layer Cake Mystery of 2020

Tenth Helpings is a humor column from our culture critic, Ella Quittner, illustrated by Olivia de Recat.

The Beginnings: A Trail of Cake Crumbs
“Hit me with a Two,” I said, jogging into the kitchen, mask dangling off my face. Read More…

Tenth Helpings is a humor column from our culture critic, Ella Quittner, illustrated by Olivia de Recat.


The Beginnings: A Trail of Cake Crumbs

“Hit me with a Two,” I said, jogging into the kitchen, mask dangling off my face.

Read More >>

15 Breezy Memorial Day Desserts Anyone Can Pull Off

After all the barbecues, burgers, beach trips, and backyard hangouts, what’s the best way to end Memorial Day weekend? With a sweet treat, of course. But not just any sweet treat—one that’s easy enough to put together in the hubbub of the big weekend; …

After all the barbecues, burgers, beach trips, and backyard hangouts, what's the best way to end Memorial Day weekend? With a sweet treat, of course. But not just any sweet treat—one that's easy enough to put together in the hubbub of the big weekend; one that's tasty and carefree enough to help you ease back into the most dreaded of Tuesdays.

These 15 simple dessert recipes fit the bill, for Memorial Day and, frankly, all summer long. Check 'em out and let us know if you give any a try.

Read More >>

The Absolute Best Way to Boil Eggs, According to So Many Tests

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

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


Humans have been boiling eggs for a very long time.

Read More >>

The Absolute Best Way to Brown Mushrooms, According to So Many Tests

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 roasted more broccoli than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles mushro…

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 roasted more broccoli than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles mushrooms.


On September 19, 1991, Helmut and Erika Simon—two German tourists traversing the eastern ridge of the Fineilspitze peak in the Ötztal Alps—stumbled upon something unexpected: a dead man.

Read More >>

Perfecting the Art of Breadfacing

Tenth Helpings is a monthly humor column from our food culture critic and Absolute Best Test-er, Ella Quittner, and illustrated by Olivia de Recat.

The idea behind a sensory deprivation tank is straightforward. Remove a person’s access to external s…

Tenth Helpings is a monthly humor column from our food culture critic and Absolute Best Test-er, Ella Quittner, and illustrated by Olivia de Recat.


The idea behind a sensory deprivation tank is straightforward. Remove a person’s access to external stimuli like noise and light so that they may achieve therapeutic relief. The idea behind submerging one’s eyes, nose, face, as well as parts of one’s neck and scalp into various loaves of bread isn’t quite as straightforward—but for some, produces comparable results.

Read More >>

The Absolute Best Way to Make Croutons, According to So Many Tests

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 croutons.


On the wall of a café in the historic district of Moscow, not far from the Elektrozavodskaya metro station, hangs the portrait of a young woman. She stares into the eyes of whoever passes her canvas, lips parted merrily to reveal just her upper incisors. Strands of hair whip across her forehead and nose as if she’s caught in a gust of wind.

Read More >>

The Absolute Best Way to Cook Kale, According to So Many Tests

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 roasted more broccoli than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles kale.

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 roasted more broccoli than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles kale.


Kale has lived a thousand lives.

Read More >>

The Absolute Best Way to Make Peanut Butter

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 roasted more broccoli than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles peanut…

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 roasted more broccoli than she cares to recall. Today, she tackles peanut butter.


This was the year the peanut peaked.

Read More >>

15 New Year’s Food Traditions From Around the World

We have a very, er, specific New Year’s Eve food tradition in my household.

It’s an elaborate shrimp tree, and my mother and I spend hours constructing it each year. There’s the day-of, panicked search for the correctly shaped and perfectly sized foam…

We have a very, er, specific New Year's Eve food tradition in my household.

It's an elaborate shrimp tree, and my mother and I spend hours constructing it each year. There's the day-of, panicked search for the correctly shaped and perfectly sized foam cone, which somehow always gets tossed away during the year prior. There's the painstaking affixing of curly kale leaves to said foam cone (once procured), in the style of a full Christmas tree. There's the careful preparation of a perfectly seasoned cocktail sauce. And then, just before our New Year's Eve party starts, there's the pinning of each individual shrimp to the tree, using colorful toothpicks, to look like a wrap-around garland.

Read More >>