Absolute Best Tests

The Absolute Best Way to Cook… Everything

From Thanksgiving stuffing to chewy cookies, Ella Quittner has determined the perfect cooking techniques for so. many. things.

August 15, 2023
Photo by Ella Quittner

Since she started writing her column Absolute Best Tests in 2019, Ella Quittner has been fearlessly tackling some of our toughest cooking quandaries. In each installment of the long-running series, she goes to extreme lengths to answer a seemingly simple question: What is the best way to make a given dish? Through tests and trials, she applies her painstaking (but also delightfully wry) research to everything from hot dogs to boxed cake mixes—all in the name of making your home cooking experience better and more seamless than ever.

Whether you’re cooking up steaks for a crowd, attempting homemade potato chips for the first time, or looking to refine your repertoire of desserts, we’ve compiled all 41 of Ella’s tests right here.

Apps, Snacks & Sides

Too often overlooked, side dishes deserve the same care and attention to detail as the rest of the meal. These guides turn what’s often treated as an afterthought—think grilled vegetables or mashed potatoes—into the main event.

Mains & Proteins

From dried chickpeas and pasta to juicy pork chops and chicken nuggets, Ella has left no stone unturned when it comes to the stars of our meals. What method yields the crispiest bacon? How do you boil an egg with the perfect yolk consistency? Is grilling really the best way to make a cheeseburger? For the answers to these questions and more, check out Ella’s 18 tests for the best proteins and main dishes.


Say goodbye to store-bought sauces and spreads. Making your own isn’t hard, especially since all of the variables—from the best way to emulsify mayonnaise to the cooking method that yields the tastiest jam—have already been put to the test.


Whether you’re impressing guests with homemade lava cakes or taking advantage of berry season with strawberry shortcake, these six installments of Absolute Best Tests focus on arguably the most important meal: dessert.

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Anabelle Doliner

Written by: Anabelle Doliner

Staff Editor