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CNET to the Rescue: Hacking Thanksgiving

What's a geek to do with a houseful of Thanksgiving guests? Apply science to the meal prep, of course. We tell you how, with "Cooking for Geeks" author Jeff Potter and Chow's Roxanne Webber.

This week, a very special pre-Thanksgiving episode, "Hacking Thanksgiving," with two special guests: Jeff Potter, the author of "Cooking for Geeks," and Roxanne Webber of our sister site Chow. Today's show is for you if you can re-flash a router but always burn the biscuits. If you can assemble a PC from the motherboard up blindfolded but go screaming to your own mama when it's time to boil a chicken. Get the idea? Listen up if you want to bring leet skillz to the kitchen.

Also, I'm sorry to announce that CNET to the Rescue regular co-host Josh Lowensohn isn't going to be a regular on this show anymore. Josh is now on the Microsoft beat on the News team, which is a full-time gig to say the least. Josh will be back from time to time to talk about Microsoft tips, but I'll have rotating co-hosts on to replace him.

We will return to regular tech topics next week with the first of our rotating hosts, Kent German, who covers mobile phones and cellular carriers. If you have a tech question on this topic for CNET to the Rescue, CALL US to get on next week's show: 877-438-6688. No question is too basic. Or e-mail

Now playing: Watch this: CNET to the Rescue Ep. 24: Hacking Thanksgiving


Episode 24: Hacking Thanksgiving

In the kitchen with Jeff and Roxanne
Why is turkey so hard to cook?

Secrets to successful turkeys.

I'm not much of a cook, but I just found out that I'm hosting Thanksgiving. Make it easy for me.

Best nerd cooking tips?

Related reading...

Kitchen questions
Rafe: Why aren't more people using induction cookers?


@Alphatude: It seems like all my clear large measuring cups are inaccurate, what can I replace my Pyrex with that gives correct measurements?


Kenny: Why does heating a pan up minimize sticking? I always believed that it was because the microscopic scratches in the pan were sealed in by the expanding metal around it. But I recently read something refuting that claim, saying that the scratches also expand with the surrounding metal. But it didn't provide the "actual" reason why food sticks less to a heated pan. Perhaps I'm missing something?


Obligatory tech question
Duncan: I work to deliver health care in rural Nepal, but we're fundamentally limited by the lack of our host (pbworks) providing us with offline capability. In any case, we have been looking for an online/offline wiki solution to migrate to so that we can more efficiently work on the wiki offline, but we are persistently stumped. This does not seem to be technically the most impossible thing. An example of a seamless online-offline transition and automated syncing is Evernote version which I know you've written about before. Though Evernote is not a wiki, the ability to live in the online-offline worlds effortlessly is exactly the kind of wiki app that we are looking for. Though some brands do offer semi-offline access, nothing we've found really helps. So here's a question that at least this reader would be interested in: Why is it that the wiki market is dead to offline access?

Rafe: Unfortunately it's much more complex that you might think. The problem is reconciling changes that could happen to the wiki among multiple offline users. Lotus Notes, and I believe Microsoft SharePoint, allow some form of reconciliation, but they are serious and expensive enterprise apps. Standard online-only wikis are simpler since they don't have to deal with sync -- everybody just works on the same online version of the documents.