What Cooking Questions Do You Have?

Photo by Romulo Yanes

Every week, home cooks send me a steady steam of troubleshooting questions to my general inbox. Recent questions have included:

“Why is my mayonnaise runny?”
Answer: either you’re adding the oil too fast and it never emulsified, or it broke—both of which will inhibit proper thickening. Either way, start with a new egg, and use the not-emulsified earlier attempt in place of oil. It’ll wind up super-rich. See HTCE, pages 41-42.

“What’s the difference between bread dough and pizza dough?”
Answer: Not much. Pizza dough usually has a little olive oil in it, but you can consider them interchangeable. You cook them differently, of course.

“How do I clean after cooking?”
Answer: With patience, care, and a light heart.

My team and I would like to answer your cooking questions here on markbittman.com, because chances are if you have a question, others do, too. Send ‘em along, either by leaving them in the comments, or by writing us at mark@markbittman.com.

Posted in Behind The Scenes


  1. Sheila Toffell said...

    Hi Mark. In your veggie book you have a recipe for black bread. It calls for bran cereal. 100% bran not flakes. Do you mean the original Allbran? If not, what type / brand? I live in NJ so no biggie with what I can buy.


    • Kerri Conan said...

      Hi Sheila, Thanks for writing. Mark’s contributor Kerri Conan here…yes for that recipe it’s all bran or similar. You know the little pellets (for lack of a better term). That’s a great little bread. Enjoy it!

  2. Donna Bednar said...

    I would like your recipe for preserved lemons. Thank you very much!

  3. stuart itter said...

    Brining is recommended everywhere. So, you brine a pork chop overnight. It absorbs a considerable amount of liquid. Now, saute it. Browns poorly and lots of liquid comes out-slightly steaming the meat. Do your recommend brining, say pork chops, are any special steps to be taken to control the liquid absorbed, and aren’t you steaming it when sauteeing.

  4. Christina said...

    I WANT my cupcakes to dome–up but not out like a mushroom cap. How can I make them dome?

    • Emily Stephenson said...

      Hi Christina,

      Only fill cups 2/3 of the way full: a mushroom cap indicates there was too much batter to begin with!

  5. Ttrockwood said...

    I would love a post with what mark packs to eat on an airplane- i know he travels often and i’m always at a loss as to what i can make that is ok at room temp for a few hours, not too pungent, and is vegetarian without loads of cheese.

  6. Marilee Kinsella said...

    Yes! I do have a question. I read a NYT article yesterday where you wrote about using a Multicooker/Pressure Cooker. You wrote, “So, I gotta say, try this: Take a not-too-big cauliflower, broccoli Romanesco, or regular head of broccoli, and put it in a pressure cooker with two tablespoons of good oil, one tablespoon of water, and some garlic, chile, and salt. Cook until high pressure (it’ll get there fast) for three minutes. Quick release, and check that out.”

    Now did you mean add one tablespoon of water IN ADDITION TO the cup or so that’s needed for the unit to come to Pressure, or JUST one tablespoon of water?

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