Jim the Home Cook
Jim the Home Cook is the creator of Home Cook World. Here, he shares his best cooking tips, how-to’s, recipes, and equipment for people who like to cook and eat at home.

Black Pepper vs. White Pepper

Black Pepper vs. White PepperDidier Descouens (via Wikimedia Commons)

Pepper is the culinary spice made by grinding peppercorns, the dried berries of one of 3,600 species of small trees, shrubs, and herbs in the Piperaceae plant family. The species in this family are pantropical, which means they grow throughout the tropical regions of the earth.

In order of magnitude, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Brazil, and China are the world’s biggest producers of pepper. They produce respectively 163, 89, 53, 42, and 31 kilotons of pepper per year (1 kiloton = 1,000 tons).

How to Clean Your Knife After Cutting Raw Meat

Chef's knife

A friend once got so sick after eating out at a local restaurant, she had to be hospitalized. The doctor told her it was salmonella—a type of bacteria that’s commonly found in food like poultry, eggs, and others. Turned out the kitchen staff hadn’t followed basic hygiene practices and had cut raw meat with the same knife and on the same board as they sliced her salad.

Then, cross-contamination happened. Cross-contamination is when bacteria and other microorganisms get accidentally transferred from one food to another. And it’s not just specific to restaurants; your home kitchen and home cooked meals are just as vulnerable. This is why kitchen hygiene is important for every home cook.

We use cooking knives to cut raw meat, slice and dice fruits and vegetables, and chop spices. I don’t know about you, but my chef’s knife is my most used cooking tool in the kitchen. This is why it’s so critical to sanitize your knife after every use to avoid cross-contamination.

In this post, we’re going to look at what kitchen hygiene rules you should follow to keep your knife clean and safe after cutting raw meat.

Should You Use Different Cutting Boards for Meat and Produce?

Should You Use Different Cutting Boards for Meat and Produce?Aksenya /Shutterstock

Cutting boards are must-have kitchen tools for home cooks. They protect your knives and keep your counter clean. They also have another function that’s often neglected: to protect your food from cross-contamination.

Raw red meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread bacteria to other foods. Because of their pores, cutting boards can be a friendly environment to these bacteria (on some occasions, even after they’ve been washed). If you use the same cutting board for meat and eggs as you do for produce and cheeses, you can transfer bacteria to them. This is called cross-contamination.

Should you use different cutting boards for meat and produce? Yes, you should use one cutting board for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, and another one for produce, cheeses, and ready-to-eat foods. This way, you can avoid cross-contamination.

All You Want to Know About the Hero Sandwich

All You Want to Know About the Hero Sandwich

The hero sandwich is one of New Yorkers’ all-time favorite foods. Sliced meat, cheese, and veggies inside a large Italian bread roll makes for a delicious and filling meal any time of day.

If you’re curious to see some facts about the hero sandwich, you’re reading the right post. Who created it? Why is it called that way in the first place? How can you make a hero sandwich at home? What’s the difference between a hero sandwich and a sub, grinder, hoagie, wedge, spuckie?

Stop Making Sticky and Slimy Pasta: Here’s How

Stop Making Sticky and Slimy Pasta: Here’s How

There’s nothing like a plate of Italian pasta for you and your family to cozy up after a long day. And the simplest, most authentic recipes usually take only minutes to make. But there’s the thing… If cooking pasta is so easy to do, why are there so many ways to get it wrong?

One question home cooks ask is, “Why is my pasta sticky and slimy?”

Your pasta noodles can come out sticky and slimy if you haven’t filled your pot with enough water and/or if you’ve cooked them for too long.

Sticky and slimy pasta is bad for you. Overcooked pasta has a higher glycemic index than pasta that’s been cooked just enough, a.k.a. al dente.

The higher the glycemic index of the noodles, according to Livestrong.com, the faster your body will digest them. Which will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, making you feel slouchy and tired.

Pasta that’s been cooked just enough has the opposite effect on you—acting as a source of energy for hours on after you’ve eaten it.

In this post, I’m going to share with you a list of four mistakes to avoid, so that your pasta noodles never come out sticky and slimy again.

Keep on reading if I’ve got you curious.