Kitchen Tricks and Tips From Our Expert Cooks
How to Supercharge Spices
Think the key to three-alarm chili (or any other flavor-packed dish) is dumping in tons of spices? Not so. It’s actually all about timing—and earlier is generally better. When spices are heated directly in oil right at the beginning of the cooking process (while you sauté, say, onion and garlic), they “bloom,” becoming toasty and richer tasting. If you wait to add the spices until just before the dish is done, they won’t release their powerful flavors—meaning your chili will be bland or bitter, rather than full of fire.