Baked Potato?

How do you guys cook your Baked Potatoes?

I’m looking for something other than throwing them in the microwave for 10 mins and putting butter / bacon bits on them.

Any ideas?
Coat outside lightly with oil, sprinkle kosher salt on it, 350 degrees in the oven for 1 hour. (Alton Brown style)

I end up putting butter, pepper, pepperjack cheese, and tearing up some turkey bacon ontop. Sprinkle some Frank’s Red Hot on it as wel.

I’ve also done broccoli and cheese before in the past as well.
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Chicken

I love to cook. I’m pretty decent- I’m still living with my parents and attending high school. I like to think I can cook better than both my parents and ESPECIALLY better than my two siblings.

Chicken is by far my favorite meat; this is because it goes so well with so many styles. I’m looking for some new suggestions in cooking.

With the aforesaid having been said, please post your favorite chicken recipe. Give a little insight on how it will taste, what it tastes like, how healthy* it is, etc. I personally love the taste of buffalo sauce, garlic, mesquite BBQ, and some others. I also love the taste of cheese, peppers, onions, etc. Thanks in advance!
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Help with cast iron pan?

Hey all. I have a Lodge 12" cast iron pan as well as a pair of small cast iron pans that I inherited from an aunt. The two that I inherited feel smooth as glass across the bottom and are amazing. Hardly anything sticks and they are so easy to clean. The new pan, on the other hand, is rough along the bottom and everything sticks. When I’m done cooking in them, I just put a little oil and kosher salt (a la Alton Brown) and scrub around. I can get most out, but there is still a thin layer of burnt stuff that I just can’t scrub off. Is this normal? Is it going to take a while before it is as good as those other pans or is it not going to get like that?
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Please help! v.can’tcooktosavemylife

I want to learn to cook, and I want to learn to love it. Right now, the state of affairs looks like this:

– I can make pasta (premade sauce ), rice and vegetarian stir fry. That is all. I tried meat a few times but it always comes out tough and stringy.
– I currently find cooking boring and a waste of my time, which I’m sure isn’t helping things.

I think the only reason my weight hasn’t soared is because I tend to avoid classic junk food (soda, candy bars, chips, etc) and would rather not eat than expend the effort. Obviously that last bit is some flawed thinking. I’m reasonably bright and creative in other areas, so I’m sure I can learn to cook and love it. I think I need a kick in the right direction.
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Good Eats fans

Are there a lot of Good Eats fans on OT? I keep stumbling on people repeating Alton Brown in various cooking threads. I’m a huge fan because I find it is the only show that teaches you how to cook instead of just giving you a recipe.

What things have you picked up from the show? I’ve certainly become a fan of cast iron cookware after watching the show. I’ve made some awesome fried hamburgers which is a savior since my condo complex doesn’t allow us to have grills or open flames on our balconies.
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Best article on cooking steak that I’ve seen in a while

This is well worth the read. I used to be a grill cook at a top restaurant in Ann Arbor and now I feel like an amateur compared to the guys in the back of the house of Morton’s and Peter Luger.

Here’s the original article if you have a WSJ online sub:

The Search for the Perfect Steak
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Espresso Machine Reccomendations?

Anybody have any suggestions for a 2 cup filler, euro made espresso machine? Thanks
Hey Threeclaws,
I’m a professional barista so usually pull shots on our shop machine, a Nuovo Simonelli, so I don’t have much experience with home machines. However, one forum I’m on () has many home users. Most of them like the Rancilio Silvia and usually pair it up with the Rancilio Rocky grinder. Check out the coffeegeek forums, I think they’ll be helpful in your search. Also, a good site to buy the machine from is Whole Latte Love ()
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Best way to cook fish?

I’ve gotten pretty handy at cooking steak, poultry, and pork, but have never tried cooking fish.

I have a pair of Mahi steaks I plan on cooking tomorrow – pointers? Recipe suggestions? Anything I should know about cooking fish that’s different from cooking dry land meats?
depends very much on the fish (I am no expert either, but based on my successes/failures).

first off, don’t keep it long or its going to get funky–i tend to cook it the day i buy it. likewise for leftovers–don’t plan on having any.
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Does anyone have a good bran muffin recipe?

I’ll check Betty Crocker and Alton Brown’s books tonight.
Thank you! I have none of those books I used to hang out with a few people in MLT in high school
Okay, Alton says :
"If you’ve read my Gear book, you’ve seen a earlier version of this recipe. I liked it then, but I like it more now…hey, that’s how it is with recipes. Sure, some stay the same, but more often than not they evolve. Oh, and you’ll no doubt notice that although these are muffins, they’re not included in the Muffin Method section. That’s because these devices possess a texture more like a cake. So while Carrot Cake is a muffin, Bran muffins are cakes.
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Help with terra cotta

My question is this:

Are terra cotta pots, planters, lids, bases from your local hardware store (Ace Hardware for me) lead free? Or should I worry about using said items (ie smoker made of terra cotta planters, pizza stone via a planter lid/base)
I’ve made one of the smokers that Alton Brown demonstrated. Since it doesn’t make contact with the food in any way, I can’t see where there could be an issue. The pizza stone idea would be a different story, though I doubt Alton would steer us wrong. If you’re still concerned, I think you would need to contact the terra-cotta manufacturer to find out more.
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