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10 Foods You Should Put in the Fridge Right Now

10 Foods You Should Put in the Fridge Right Now


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After a trip to the supermarket, you want to make sure that the foods that you bought stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible. You get home and get your food stored in their proper place. But are you really putting things where they should go?

Click here for the 10 Foods You Should Put in the Fridge Right Now (Slideshow)

There are some things you know absolutely need to be refrigerated, no doubt about it. Groceries like cheese, milk, and yogurt are placed in your fridge with no worries However, there are foods that appear on shelves that you may not think need to be refrigerated It’s important to know what should stay in the pantry and what should go in the fridge.

Refrigeration, which means temperatures should be at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, is an important tool to keep some foods fresh. All food is derived in part by something that used to be a living being, plant or animal, so the natural process of decay begins as soon as the item isn’t living anymore. Refrigeration slows the growth of bacteria that causes food to rot, especially in your least processed, non-preservative filled foods. That same bacteria can also make you severely sick, so leaving some foods out of the fridge is hazardous to your health. Besides safety, refrigerating certain foods maintains their flavor as well.

To make sure that you save money, time, and keep yourself healthy, we’ve compiled a list of foods that should always go in your refrigerator.

Meat Broths

Unopened, a box or can of chicken or beef broth can last for up to a year stored in a cool dark place. However, once you open it, you need to store any leftovers in the fridge right away, or else it will start to go bad. You can leave leftover broths in the fridge for 4 to 5 days after opening.

Applesauce

If you’re making your applesauce at home, store it in the fridge and it will be good for a week to ten days. For store-bought canned or jarred varieties, they are strictly refrigerate after opening. Once they are exposed to air, bacteria will begin to grow.

Click here to find out what other foods need to go in your fridge.

This post was originally published on June 12, 2014


10 Things You Should Throw Out of Your Fridge Right Now

Does opening your fridge inflict terror and guilt? While you should try to avoid food waste as much as possible, sometimes things are just past the point of no return. You can feel good about getting rid of these 10 things in your fridge without a second thought. You’ll be doing yourself and your fridge a favor by making room for things you can actually consume. A clean fridge packed with delicious ingredients is something you can look forward to seeing.

1. Slimy Greens and Herbs

When that bag of greens sitting in the back of the fridge starts to get slimy, there’s no hope for using them in any recipe.

2. Soulless Lemons

I always pick up extra lemons at the grocery store, but sometimes I forget I have them or just don’t get around to using them. When your lemon gets hard and juiceless, you’re going to have to toss it.

3. Shriveled Ginger

It doesn’t matter how well you store ginger, at some point it is going to go bad in your fridge. When it gets all wrinkly and sad-looking, it’s time to toss that extra knob into the trash.

Photo courtesy of Christine Gallary

4. Expired Condiments

If you’re anything like me, you have a bunch of half-used condiments lurking in the fridge at any time. That BBQ sauce you have from last summer? It has to go. That fancy bottle of Worcestershire sauce that you’ve had for the last three years? Don’t even think about keeping it.

5. Random Food Gifts You’ll Never Use

So your friend brought you back a needs-to-be-refrigerated food product from their trip that’s just been sitting in your fridge for the last year. If it doesn’t bring you joy and you can’t give it away, it’s time to toss it.

6. Mystery Leftovers

If you have no recollection of when you cooked something (was it last week, or last month?), maybe it’s time to get rid of it. Can’t even tell what the container has inside? Definitely time to get rid of it. The sniff test will do wonders for that super-old container of chicken tikka masala.

7. Anything with Mold

This one is a no-brainer. If anything has mold on it or is visibly rotten, just toss it. It’s past the point of a smell or taste test.

Photo courtesy of Christine Gallary

8. Box of Chicken Broth You Opened Last Week

Got leftover stock? You have two options: The first is freezing it for later use, and the second is to use it up within about four days in the fridge. If you left it in the fridge and forgot to use it within that timeframe, you’ll have to toss it.

9. Stale Leftover Takeout Rice

So you had all the best intentions of making congee with your leftover takeout rice, but the first day went by, and then the next, and now it’s been something closer to a week. You’re not going to make congee anymore — you should just throw the leftovers out.

10. Raw Ground Meat, Poultry, and Fish After 2 Days

Maybe you thought you’d have time to cook a beautiful filet of fish one night, but something came up. And then something came up for the next couple nights and you forgot to put it in the freezer. While I know this can be a huge bummer for your wallet and the environment, it’s probably best to get rid of it.


10 Foods You Should Never Refrigerate

Our first instinct when we get home from the grocery store is to get everything put away so we can finally sit down and relax. Sometimes, depending on how stressful the shopping experience was, this means putting perishables in the fridge before throwing ourselves on the couch for a few minutes. The problem? Some of us are refrigerating foods that don’t belong in the cold.

Not all perishable foods need to be refrigerated. Products like milk, cheese, eggs, butter, and meat should end up in the fridge right away because they will spoil. Some of your other favorites seem like they belong in the fridge, but the cold temperatures will actually alter the taste and alter the texture. Some foods actually stay fresh in room temperature environments whereas putting them in the fridge may cause them to rot faster.

Here’s a quick checklist of 10 foods you should not be storing in the fridge:

    1. Honey has a very long, stable shelf life. Putting it in the fridge will cause it to thicken and crystalize, making it harder for you to pour when you want to use it. Keep it in a tightly sealed container and it will do just fine in your cupboard.
    2. Tomatoes don’t ripen in the cold and keeping them in the fridge can change their texture. Keep unripe tomatoes on the counter until they are ripe enough to use.
    3. Unripe avocados won’t ripen in the fridge. Don’t put them in the fridge until they are ripe and, even then, make sure you use it within a week or it will go bad.
    4. Melons like cantaloupe or watermelon don’t need to go into the fridge until they are cut. Leaving them on the counter will keep the flavor fresh and might even preserve the antioxidant content.
    5. Nuts absorb odors from your refrigerator, altering their flavor. The only benefit of storing them in the cold is that the natural oils don’t go rancid as quickly, but you can keep them just as fresh by storing them in an airtight container in your cupboard.
    6. Garlic heads should be stored in a cool, dry container with a bit of ventilation and the cloves should be used within 10 days of the head being broken. The only garlic you should store in the fridge is the pre-packaged peeled, whole or minced garlic you purchase at the grocery store.
    7. Apples will stay fresh longer when left out of the fridge — They look really nice out on display, too. Don’t throw them in the fridge unless they’ve been there for a week or two and you simply aren’t using them fast enough.
    8. Bread can go in the fridge, but it tends to dry out and become stale. If you are really worried about it going bad, put it in the freezer instead and just defrost what you need. Otherwise, leaving it on the counter or in the pantry is just fine.
    9. Potatoes should always be stored in a cool, dark place. Placing them in the fridge will cause the starch to convert to sugars, making them rot faster.
    10. Coffee beans need to stay dry. Putting coffee in the refrigerator exposes it to condensation and can alter the flavor. Keep your coffee in a dark, airtight container for best results.

    Remember, safety comes first when it comes to food storage and lifespan. No matter how you’ve stored it, be sure to toss anything that doesn’t look or smell right when you go to eat it!


    10 Superfoods You Have In Your Fridge Right Now

    Superfoods are the hottest ticket in your quest for health. But what is a superfood?

    According to Google, a superfood is “a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.”

    So quinoa, raw cacao, acai berries, kale, goji berries, and spirulina are the only superfoods – right? All of these foods are, in fact, incredibly nutrient-dense and good for the body, but they usually come with a hefty price tag thanks to food companies being able to toss the ‘superfood’ label on the front of packages. The word ‘superfood’ has become synonymous with overpriced foods, so we wanted to give you a list of 10 undercover superfoods you may already have in your fridge or pantry and that won’t run your wallet too thin.

    Eggs

    Eggs truly are little powerhouses when it comes to their nutritional value. One single egg contains 6% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A, 15% of the RDA of riboflavin (vitamin B2), 9% of vitamin B12, and they also contain calcium, choline, selenium, folate and potassium. Eat your eggs! Remember: pastured, fresh eggs from free-roaming chickens have an entirely different nutrient profile than generic eggs, or even free-range eggs! Look for the ‘pastured’ label. The yolks should be a deep orange, and the outer shells might vary in colour, too. These are an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids to keep your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio in check. Plus, the taste is out of this world!

    Water

    Sounds silly categorising simple water as a superfood – right? Well, at the end of the day, we’ve gotta give props to the stuff! Fun fact: water is THE most common nutrient deficiency. If you’re looking to take your health and nutrition to the next level, getting your hydration levels on point is a fabulous starting point. It is cheap, easy and we are made up of water, so we need to be hydrated if we want our body to function properly. Proper hydration ensures our organs are functioning to their full capacity, it keeps our joints lubricated for more efficient movement and less pain overall, it fills us up, it aids the body in detox, and it helps us prevent dehydration symptoms like headache, fatigue, dry skin, and more.

    Broccoli

    Broccoli contains phytochemicals such as sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol which help to keep your liver detox systems ticking along nicely. When our liver is working right, our body can properly flush out the ‘bad’ stuff. As little as half a cup of broccoli contains 56% of the RDA for vitamin K and a whopping 65% of the RDA for vitamin C. Broccoli’s many minerals include calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. Plus, it’s a good source of folate. Finally, it’s fibrous which helps keep us full for longer, and keeps things moving smoothly in the digestive system. Broccoli really is a little hidden superfood in your fridge!

    Pot set yoghurt

    Fermented foods are ALL superfoods if you ask us here at Happy Body Formula. The good bacteria is a cornerstone of proper gut health which impacts everything from digestion to mood balance. Yoghurt is a great way to get additional nutrients and probiotics in your diet if you can tolerate dairy. Make sure to buy yoghurt that is ‘pot set’ – this means that the yoghurt has been allowed to naturally ferment in the pot, which produces the highest count of beneficial bacteria. Don’t fall in the trap of buying the ones that are loaded with sugar and flavours! Stick to a natural flavour and add your own berries and a little honey if you need some sweetener. One cup of natural yoghurt can contain 30% of the RDA for calcium and 20% of the RDA for vitamin B2! If you’re feeling brave, try out making your own at home with some quality probiotics for a starter.

    Tomatoes

    Don’t discount your regular old little tomato in the superfood stakes! Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C and cooked tomatoes are a particularly good source of lycopene, which is a brilliant antioxidant, and arguably the most powerful of the carotenoids. One single cup of cooked tomatoes will give you 91% of the RDA for vitamin C! They are also a good source of vitamin A. Try to use tomatoes when they’re in season as both nutrient profile and taste profile is better. Check out this sheet pan meal featuring spiced cod, brussels sprouts, and blistered cherry tomatoes.

    Tinned sardines

    Who has a tin of sardines hiding in the back of the pantry? I know we always did when I was growing up as a kid. If you haven’t given ’em a shot since childhood, don’t be put off! Sardines are a fabulous source of the beneficial omega 3’s – EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are considered essential fatty acids because the human body cannot produce them. They are an essential component in cell membranes, promote a healthy immune response, and regulate inflammation. Tinned sardines are also a rather rare food source of vitamin D, and a single 92 gram tin has 63% of the RDA for vitamin D! Besides sunshine, this might be the best way to get your vitamin D levels up – a very common deficiency!

    Beef and liver

    Beef and liver are great sources of zinc. Zinc is essential to the body and is used in over 200 enzymatic reactions. If you want to have good health, make sure you are getting adequate levels of zinc as it is needed for everything from good digestion to glowing skin. A tiny 100 grams of beef will give you 26% of the RDA for zinc. Moreover, they’re both good sources of iron! Finally, grass-fed beef and liver both contain a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids – a very important “forgotten” nutrient. When it comes to omega-3s, it’s all about balance and quality over quantity. Make sure you choose grass-fed AND finished beef, as its nutrient profile is far more impressive than conventional beef. That’s where its superfood status stems from!

    Fresh and dried herbs

    Don’t underestimate herbs as a superfood! They contain large amounts of phytochemicals such as caroteniods, which help to boost the immune system. They are also packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals – particularly vitamin A and C and manganese. Dried herbs will also add a little extra calcium to your diet. Herb gardens require little space, effort, and money to begin. Take advantage of the warmer months and grow your own. You can easily blend them into olive oil and freeze in ice cube trays for easy, off-season use, or dry your own to bottle up. Fresh herbs are tastier and more nutritious than old herbs. Clean out the spice cabinet and keep it stocked with new herbs to get the most bang for your buck!

    Garlic

    Foods like garlic (and onion) are rich in sulphur which helps to keep your liver in top shape and assists your phase II liver detox pathway. Garlic also contains allicin which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Get some garlic regularly in your diet if you want to keep the colds at bay and boost your immune system. In fact, one of the best immediate remedies for a sore throat or respiratory infection is a raw clove of garlic. Skip the harsh cough medicine for this bitter ‘pill.’

    Lemon

    Lemon is such a versatile food in the kitchen and it also has some impressive nutritional properties. One lemon contains 139% of the RDA for vitamin C and good levels of calcium, copper and vitamin B6. Lemon juice in water is a perfect way to start the morning before breakfast to get the digestive juices going – and this way you are getting two superfoods at once! Skip OJ for a fresh squeeze of lemon in the AM and forgo the sugar rush. In fact, this is one of the most important healthy habits we stress in our 30-day Happy Body Formula program!

    The point of this little exercise is to show you the nutritional power of all healthy whole foods. You don’t need to buy expensive hip foods to obtain good health – just stick to the real, whole foods. They are all superfoods in their own right and you can be eating them every day. Share this blog post on Pinterest from here.


    Both approaches are based in fact and there are justifications for both. They aren&rsquot even really incompatible. Let&rsquos remember the refrigerator was invented for this specific reason: To keep food cold so that it can be stored longer.

    Your refrigerator must work much harder in order to maintain or restore the &ldquocold&rdquo level inside when a particularly hot item is placed in it. The warmer or hotter the food is and the larger the amount, the longer the refrigerator needs to get back to the temperature is it originally set to. On the other hand, bacteria do develop quickly. The USDA calls the temperature range between 40°F and 140°F, under which average room temperature (between 64°F and 75°F) falls, the &ldquoDanger Zone&rdquo. Do not leave cooked foods in room temperature for more than 2 hours or 1 hour if the temperature is consistently above 90°F

    Hot food may slightly reheat food in its vicinity that is already refrigerated, reducing the storage time of these items. The steam coming from hot food also The steam of warm food will lead to condensation, which forms water droplets or even ice on the back of the refrigerator.


    31 Foods You Should Always Have In Your Kitchen

    My freshman year of college was the only time in my life when all daily meals were made for me by someone — with the exception of my formative baby years, of course. Since then, I've always had a kitchen to cook crafty late-at-night meals. Like most Millennials, I started with basic breakfast dishes and variations on mac and cheese, then I moved on to complex meat prep and even soups made from scratch. I have yet to try desserts or baking, simply out of shear fear of having to follow recipes to the T.

    Being able to cook for yourself is a very satisfying feeling. Every time I make something tasty for the first time I feel a sense of accomplishment. Look Ma, I did it! As weird as it may sound, I've always felt the most independent when cooking for myself or my friends. As a writer I do not get a lot of physical labor thrown my way, so in a sense, cooking is the closest I can get to cutting down a tree and building a house.

    Since graduating from college and living on my own I've come to learn some important nuggets of wisdom that I would like to share with you all. In particular, I want to share the items you should always have in your fridge and pantry to successfully adult. While some items will seems like obvious choices, my reasoning for having them at all times could help you out of a few jams. My goal is to have you saying: oh we can totally make that right now! Bonus — this list is also helpful to anyone who is on a budget like myself.

    Fridge

    Pro tip: It is very important to keep you refrigerator organized and clean. Items that have expiration dates coming up or are highly perishable should be kept closer to the front of the shelf — easily accessible to you. That way you remember to use it and not be wasteful by throwing out perfectly good food.

    Milk Or Other Dairy Products

    Milk, yogurt, and cheese are what life is all about. You will constantly be using these items and buying more. Make sure not to store milk on the fridge door — at least not if you have roommates. My milk has gone bad quicker because the fridge door was constantly being opened and closed.

    Breakfast, lunch, or (PLOT TWIST) dinner. Eggs are a super food. Always keep them above any heavy items and make sure to check the box before buying them for expiration dates and broken shells before purchasing.

    Peanut Butter & Jelly

    Once opened you can keep them for quite a while in your fridge, so stock up and save.

    Baking Soda

    This will be your lifesaver when it comes to stinky food items. Baking soda sucks up the odors that sometime penetrate your cheeses and butters. No one wants a fishy smelling cheese. Arm and Hammer sells convenient boxes that you replace every 30 days. (I tend to replace mine less because I'm cheap and broke at the moment.)

    Sauces On Sauces on Sauces

    Always have a variety of sauces on hand. Even badly prepared food can get a dose of goodness out of a bottle. Soy, teriyaki, salad dressing, ketchup, and mustard will last a long time and really pull their weight, especially jazzing up meals on a budget.

    Coffee

    Storing this in the fridge will keep it delicious for you.

    Bread

    I've found that I can keep my bread from going stale for an extra two weeks by keeping it in the fridge instead of the counter.

    Snacks

    Pickles, olives, and other things in jars can keep for a long time, and serve as a munchie saver.

    Fruits and Vegetables

    Yes, they're expensive, but they're a surefire way to avoid scurvy! If you want them to last longer, consider buying whatever happens to be on sale that week and then moving it to the freezer.

    Butter

    . Is everything to me. It keeps for a long time, and even if you're not a butter person, you'll always have some random butter-related baking emergency, I guarantee.

    Leftovers or Precooked Meals

    If you live with other people and have limited fridge space, I suggest pre-cooking all of your meals for the week. That way you leave room for the perishables you haven't used and know exactly what you need to buy.

    Instant Dough

    Biscuits or pizza. No matter what your choice, it will be fast and easily accessible.

    Freezer

    You should defrost your freezer every once in a while to keep it working well. Remember to move things around and away from the back wall where it is the coldest to keep your items from getting freezer burn.

    Chicken/Fish/Meat

    Any extra meat or fish that you do not end up using should be put into plastic bags and placed in the freezer. That can delay your next shopping trip by a few days and save you money.

    Frozen Meals

    Sometimes you don't want to cook, and that's OK. Sometimes your friends come over and you need to entertain. Either way, frozen meals are nothing to be ashamed of. Stores usually have good deals so you can stock up and just keep them in the freezer for a long time.

    Frozen Snacks

    Ice-cream is a gift, so keep it in the freezer at all times.

    Grapes

    Put frozen grapes in your alcoholic drinks to avoid diluting them — TRUST me.

    This is (hopefully) a given, but you never know when an ice-mergency will arise.

    Onions

    Keeping them in the freezer an hour or two before using them helps curtail the tears when you cut into them.

    Pantry

    You can do whatever you want with this part of the kitchen. It's not as sensitive as the fridge, so use it as a creative outlet.


    10 Ingredients You Should Always Have in Your Kitchen

    It’s a Tuesday night and you’re feeling anxious about what you are going to whip up for dinner when you get home. You want something filling but with a little bit of greenery, right? Maybe some cheese sprinkled on top? Parmesan?

    Well, you’re in luck, because if you keep these ten ingredients around, you’ll never run into this problem again. Not to mention, more than half of these items were recommended by a couple of local Brooklynites who know a thing or two when it comes to running a kitchen. Crown Heights’ own Chef Lawrence Lumetta of Mayfield and restaurant owner Yiming Wang of Williamsburg’s Birds of a Feather weigh in on their pantry must-haves.

    If you don’t have a carton of eggs in your fridge right now, put them at the top of your grocery list. These babies are an essential in the kitchen, as they can be prepared in so many different ways. “My go to recipe if I don’t have anything and I’m in a pinch is spaghetti carbonara or cacio e pepe. Simple, easy and delicious!” says Lumetta. Get the recipe.

    2. Tomatoes (fresh or canned)

    The first thing that comes to mind when you see canned tomatoes is probably pasta, right? Do not underestimate their versatility, because they can be used for so much more! Try out this shakshuka recipe, which will make use of a lot of the other ingredients on this list as well. Get the recipe.

    Who doesn’t love cheese? This creamy ingredient can be sprinkled, sliced, and placed on practically anything and it’ll taste delectable. When asked about his top items to keep in the kitchen, Lumetta says “if salt doesn’t count, I would go with a good quality Parmesan cheese.” Try this easy chicken recipe to experience dairy in its best form. Get the recipe.

    4. Scallions and Onions

    Onions may sound like a boring pantry staple, but the root veggies are key to adding flavor. Scallions, which Wang has on hand “at any given moment,” can enhance any Asian dish, including a simple and traditional, albeit delicious scallion pancake. Get the recipe.

    5. Rice or Quinoa

    As long as you have a grain in your cupboard, the world is your oyster. Rice and quinoa can act as a solid substitute for most pasta dishes, and are ideal alternatives for those with gluten sensitivities. This cheesy spinach pesto bowl won’t have you missing noodles, that’s for sure. Get the recipe.

    6. Canned Tuna

    A solid source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, this stinky ingredient is actually a good one to have on hand. In contrast to the last recommendation, we actually encourage the use of noodles (and lots of them) with this tuna bake recipe. Get the recipe.

    Butter lettuce, romaine, spinach, kale, take your pick of greens. They’re all healthy and super handy when you need a helping of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in your diet. A smoothie is a great way to satisfy this craving in a pinch. Get the recipe.

    Vinegar is a great condiment to keep in stock. Due to its multitude of varieties, you can use it in so many ways. Wang always has a bottle of zhenjiang vinegar at Birds of a Feather. “It has an intense and unique aroma. For me, it’s a must,” she says. Craving meat? Try the ingredient out on some ribs. Get the recipe.

    There’s something so satisfying about making popcorn on the stovetop. It’s a great low-calorie snack and you can top it with anything from fresh herbs (cilantro is Wang’s favorite) to cheese to cinnamon. Get the recipe.

    10. Chicken or Tofu

    Whether you eat meat or not, some form of protein is important to keep in your refrigerator. Chicken and tofu are pretty different when it comes to texture, so it’s actually not as easy as you think to substitute tofu for chicken. Here’s a yummy recipe that’ll let you enjoy tofu for what it is: spongy, delicate, though able to take on any dish’s flavor. Get the recipe.


    Are you and your family trying to eat healthier or are you looking for budget-friendly options? Maybe you only have an hour to meal-prep, so you need quick and easy ideas. This page has all that and more, all in one place. Run by a team of wellness fanatics dedicated to providing easy-to-follow healthy prep-and-freeze meals and much more, you and your family are surely in good hands.

    Meal-prep grocery lists, recipes and tips tailored to your family.


    The 25 Best Things to Cook with a Cast-Iron Skillet

    The limits of a cast-iron skillet are typically one of two things: a general lack of imagination or foods with exceptionally high acidity. This guide fixes one of these things.

    Cast-iron skillets suffer from an image problem. Because they are so adept at one thing &mdash like, say, cooking steak &mdash the creativity and vision to do other things are clouded.

    Admittedly, this guide, which spans the best things to cook in your new (or old) cast-iron skillet, does include steak but not to the exclusion of all else. You&rsquoll also find pies (maybe too many pies), Dutch babies, cornbread, tortillas and fancy-sounding French desserts.

    Like with any recipe, approach these as starting points, not scripture. Don&rsquot like apple pies? Use pears. Think the ingredients on the pizza recipe are subpar? Cool, just don&rsquot use them. Go wild, just know the cast-iron skillet hanging in your kitchen excels at far more than searing meat.

    Thick Cut Steak

    Penned by the great J. Kenji López-Alt himself, this recipe is authoritative, concise and helpful. If you want even more details, check out the connected guide, and absolutely do not skip the comments section, where the author drops insight morsels in reply to dozens of reader questions.

    Bacon

    There are only three things one needs to know about cooking bacon in a cast-iron skillet: start in a cold pan (the meat will seize and become needlessly tough otherwise), know when to pull it and understand that it&rsquos good for the cookware itself. Bacon is often the food recommended to christen a new skillet because of its high-fat content and ability to get a good foundation of seasoning built up.

    Cornbread

    Use the recommended Anson Mills for a heightened cornbread if you want, but the real magic of this recipe from Garden & Gun&rsquos cookbook is the first two steps. Preheat the oven, put your fat-covered skillet in and only when the skillet is ripping hot do you dollop the batter in. This is the path to a crunchy crust and a fluffy, magnificent interior. Throw some butter on top when it&rsquos done and you will have become an honorary Southerner.

    Dutch Baby

    Literally blend up all five ingredients (which you almost certainly have in your pantry and fridge right now) and throw the mixture in a skillet to bake. It&rsquos a fluffy, simple treat for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner (if you&rsquore into that). Bonus points for cooking some fresh fruit down in wine or simple syrup and slathering on the top.

    Country Ham with Redeye Gravy

    If there&rsquos anywhere in the US that cast-iron cookware didn&rsquot go out of style in the middle of the 20th century, it&rsquos probably the South. And if the South is to be called great at anything, it&rsquos turning cheap ingredients into worthy food, and that&rsquos exactly what this recipe is all about. Making redeye gravy amounts to shallow frying pork (you could easily do this with bacon instead of country ham), dumping extra-bitter black coffee into a skillet full of the fat, tossing a bit of sugar in and thinning it out with water. The result is bold, rich, slightly sweet and unbelievably satisfying.

    Fried Eggs

    This person&rsquos mom knows what&rsquos up. Fried eggs are perfectly doable in a cast-iron skillet, and if you head to Youtube and search some variation of &ldquofried egg cast iron&rdquo you&rsquoll find a mountain of videos from the cast iron community showing off their pans. Why? Developing the level of seasoning to cleanly fry and flip an egg is something of a mark of pride for the cast iron enthused, which makes this a recipe best reserved for the brave or the experienced.

    Cholocate Chip Cookie Cake

    Baking doesn&rsquot get as much airplay as well-seared meats (it doesn&rsquot photograph as well), but it might be the cast-iron skillet&rsquos greatest strength. Cookie cake is taken from a crumbly grocery store buy for a toddler&rsquos birthday to a crispy, fatty, melty treat yourself dessert.

    Pizza

    Again, the secret to absurdly even and crispy crusts in the preheating of the pan before the application of the to-be crisped (pizza dough, in this case). This recipe is more of a guide than anything, meaning beyond the basic technique and timings of the dish, you get to pick the ingredients (hot tip: pancetta is an incredible pizza topper).

    Shepherd&rsquos Pie

    Here&rsquos a hot take for you: Shepherd&rsquos pie is one of the Mount Rushmore recipes of fall cooking. That is to say, it belongs right up there with the greats &mdash beef stew, chili, chicken pot pie and so on. The benefits of making it in a skillet as opposed to some chintzy Pyrex nonsense is fairly clear &mdash the heat from the base of the skillet will be such that the base of your pie will caramelize and form another mini crust of fats and sugars from the filling.

    Cobbler

    I don&rsquot trust people who don&rsquot like cobbler. It&rsquos basically a pie shortcut where you get to skip all the fuss of getting the perfect bottom and top in favor of throwing a bunch of delicious things together and baking them for half an hour. The even, consistent heating of the skillet does wonders on the crust, too.

    Hashbrowns

    You may start noticing a theme here &mdash cast-iron skillets are the kings of breakfast. If you make yourself or your loved ones hashbrowns in a non-stick skillet you are doing a disservice to both the potatoes wasted and your loved ones &mdash they&rsquoll get crispier in cast iron and cook through just as easily. Just make sure to squeeze out as much water as you can before throwing them in.


    How Should You Store Your Pie?

    If you’re getting ahead of the game and baking pies in advance of when you want to serve them (or, should you find yourself with the exciting and rare predicament of having leftover pie), you may be wondering: What is the best way to store pie? How long can it sit out on the counter and when does it need to be refrigerated? Well, that depends.

    The pie experts at Pillsbury suggest covering custard and cream pies with plastic wrap before refrigerating for up to two days. This is backed up by the USDA, which also recommends throwing away all perishable foods after they’ve been left at room temperature for more than two hours, since bacteria grow rapidly between the temperatures of 40ºF and 140ºF.

    But the folks at Betty Crocker argue it’s OK to keep fruit-filled pies at room temperature, as long as it’s for two days or less after that, the pies should head into the fridge.

    Our advice? Be sure to refrigerate cream, custard, pumpkin, mousse, chiffon, or any other pies containing eggs or dairy as soon as they’ve cooled completely they’ll keep for up to two days. (This includes savory pies like quiche, of course.)

    Fruit pies can stand at room temperature for two days. If you need to store them longer, wrap them in plastic and put ’em in the fridge for up to another two days—but we hardly think they’ll be around that long.

    What About Freezing Pies?

    You can successfully freeze many kinds of pie, including fruit pies, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie, but more delicate mousse and custard pies will not fare well. Neither will meringue.

    When freezing pie, we advise wrapping well in a layer of plastic, then a layer of foil, to be sure it’s protected from freezer burn. It should last for a few months.

    Reusable Gallon Freezer Bags, 4 for $15.99 on Amazon

    If you're trying to get away from plastic, reusable silicone bags are another storage option for frozen pies.

    Check out our favorite Thanksgiving pies, and all our other pie recipes, plus intel on how to bake multiple pies at once.

    Related Video: How to Make an Easy Pumpkin Pie