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Go beyond your current knowledge

You've got boiling water and microwaving down. Are you ready to expand your cooking skills?

There's sous vide, slow cooking, pressure cooking, grilling, broiling and more to try. Don't be intimated, this guide will cover some of the trickier terms and their corresponding appliances

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET


Broil means to cook something quickly using direct heat from above. Think of it as grilling upside down, because that's exactly what it is.

Most ovens can broil, but the broiler is often located in different areas. Here's how to find out where your broiler is.


How to broil

Once you locate your broiler, here's how to use it correctly.

Published:Caption:Photo:Brian Bennett/CNET

Slow cooking

Slow cooking is known as the "set-it-and-forget-it" style of food preparation. It involves cooking at a steady temperature (usually between 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit or 93-148 degrees Celsius) over several hours.

Basically, you put vegetables, meat, sauces, or whatever you're planning on having for dinner in the slow cooker in the morning, turn it on and leave it. When you come back in the evening, your meal is cooked to perfection. 


Slow to succulent

If you have very few cooking skills, this is the appliance for you. Meats come out moist, vegetables come out tender and sauces aren't scorched.  

While slow cooking is almost foolproof, there are some guidelines you need to learn. Here's how to convert regular recipes for slow cookers and some tips to get you started and here's our slow cooker top pick for 2018.

Published:Caption:Photo:Colin West McDonald/CNETRead the article

Pressure cooking

This is my favorite appliance of all time. Think of pressure cooking as slow cooking's speedy little brother. 

It has the same level of set-and-forget capabilities, but it cooks everything super-fast because it uses pressure to raise the temperature inside the pot above the boiling point.

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Instant Pot

For example, a tough piece of meat (like the brisket above) that would take all day in a slow cooker takes only a few hours in a good pressure cooker like an Instant Pot. Plus, the meat comes out tender and juicy.

Here's how to use one of the most popular pressure cookers on the market, the Instant Pot.

Published:Caption:Photo:Brian Bennett/CNET

Convection baking

Convection baking is when hot air circulates around food, surrounding it with heat. 

Convection ovens work much like regular ovens, but instead of just heating from the bottom, a fan blows the hot air around the food, making it cook evenly throughout at a speed that is around 25 percent faster.

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More convection perks

Because convection ovens circulate air, they cook food more evenly, so you end up with evenly browned chicken or perfectly cooked cookies.

Here's everything you need to know about buying a convection oven.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Air frying

Air frying is pretty much what it sounds like. You put food inside of an air fryer and it blasts the food with circulating hot air. 

In the best of circumstances, the food item comes out nice a crisp, as if it were fried. Basically, air fryers are countertop convection ovens.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Air frying appliances

We found a few air fryers that live up to the hype and some that are huge letdowns. Here's what we found on our hunt for the best air fryer.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET


When you imagine grilling, you probably think of barbecuing outdoors. 

Basically, grilling means to cook food using direct or radiant heat from a heat source, either above or below the food. Traditionally, that means using a flame or coals for heat, and cooking food directly above it with a grill grate.

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET

Different types of grills

There are built-in grills on stove tops, gas grills, electric grills and more. If you're on a budget, or have limited space, you can get an electric grill for your countertop, like a George Foreman Grill or a Cinder Precision Grill.  

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Sous vide

While the word itself may be confusing, cooking sous vide really isn't. 

The term is French for "under vacuum." The entire cooking process involves keeping vacuum-sealed food at a constant, specific temperature while it cooks.

To do this, you need a special appliance called an immersion circulator. When set in a container of water, it heats that water to your specific temperature and circulates it. You then drop in your vacuum-sealed food, such as a steak, and it will cook slowly to the perfect doneness.

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Immersion circulators

There are several different types of appliances you can use for sous vide cooking. 

Here are three more advanced sous vide units that we think you'll like.

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
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