The Kitchen Basics Quiz

By: Monica Lee
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
The Kitchen Basics Quiz
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Some people open a refrigerator and see stale bread, a dozen eggs, and say there's nothing to eat. While others open the refrigerator and see ingredients for french toast dusted with a little cinnamon and sugar for added flavor. And if they see some jam left in the jar, along with a slice of ham and Swiss cheese, then it's a Monte Crisco sandwich. Yes, if you know your way around the kitchen, you'll never be hungry. And with all the different ways to bake, broil, slow cook, poach and saute, something tasty is bound to result from your mix of ingredients. 

What exactly are the basics? Well, it's the simple knowledge of how to keep yourself fed, stimulate your palate and clean-up in a breeze. We're not asking whether or not you know how to use 10 different spices and seven different pans to make a meal. This quiz will assess whether you can do the minimum to put a nice dinner on the table. For instance, can you make a roux, know how to separate eggs, or when to salt meats?  Find out your level of aptitude for appliances as well as the depth of your culinary jargon. If you don't like the outcome, you can always make something simple - like dinner reservations. 

The recipe says to whip egg whites. What tool do you use?
An immersion blender.
A hand mixer.
A whisk.
All of the above.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The idea of whipping egg whites is to get as much air in them as possible. This makes whatever you are combining them with light and fluffy.

Advertisement

You are boiling spaghetti. What do you cook it in?
A frying pan.
A stockpot.
A double boiler.
A sheet pan.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You can’t boil pasta properly if there isn’t enough room in the pot. So you need a big, deep pot, called a stockpot.

Advertisement

What ingredients do you need to make a roux?
Olive oil, garlic and diced onions.
Flour and butter.
Shortening and powdered sugar.
Tomatoes and oregano.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Roux is used as a thickening agent for gravy, sauces, soups and stews. Flour is added to any type of fat, including butter, bacon drippings, oil and shortening.

Advertisement

You need to scrape the batter from the sides of a bowl. What is the best utensil to use?
A pair of tongs.
A serrated knife.
A slotted spoon.
A spatula.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

After you use this broad, flat, blunt bladed instrument for scraping the sides of the bowl, use it to spread the batter evenly in a baking pan.

Advertisement

Approximately how long should you simmer chicken stock when you make it from scratch?
5 minutes
50 minutes
5-10 hours
2 hours
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This is with a stock pot, not an instant pot! When it comes to intensifying the flavor of your chicken stock, the longer the better, but no longer than 10 hours.

Advertisement

Which of these should you do when making pasta?
Boil water and add pasta gradually so the water continues to boil.
Stir the water often once the pasta has been added.
Don't add salt or oil to the water.
All of the above.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Unless the recipe calls for it, there is no reason to add oil and salt to pasta water, which only adds unnecessary sodium and fat. Pasta cooks perfectly in boiling water alone.

Advertisement

What type of kitchen equipment do you need to bake cookies?
Frying Pan
Bunt Pan
Baking Sheet
Grill
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although baking pans or sheets are perfect for baking cookies, they can also be used to bake vegetables and other foods. And, if you cover the pan in parchment paper prior to baking, clean up will be a breeze.

Advertisement

You need to strain pasta. What kitchen equipment do you need?
A double boiler
A colander
A grater.
A pair of tongs.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Use a colander to strain pasta, clean produce like berries, or rinse canned beans. It's a "must-have" in any kitchen.

Advertisement

You need to mince some onions. What does that mean?
To finely chop.
To cut into big chunks.
To cut in half.
To mash.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Mincing is to cut up, or grind, food into very small pieces, typically in a food processor or with a sharp knife.

Advertisement

You want to puree soup and make smoothies. Which of these should you purchase?
A microwave.
An instant Pot.
An immersion blender.
A barbecue grill.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although immersion blender is correct, you can also use a regular blender, or food processor, to puree soups and make smoothies.

Advertisement

Season, truss, then cook. What are you making?
A casserole.
A roasted chicken.
Tiramisu.
A cocktail.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You're roasting a chicken. To truss the bird, cross the legs and tie them together with kitchen twine. Then lift the wing tips up and tuck them under the bird.

Advertisement

When do you salt a steak?
A day before it is cooked.
Right before it is cooked.
An hour before it is cooked.
It is never salted before it is cooked.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

According to food&wine.com, season steaks and pork roasts right before searing. However you should season lamb shanks the day before they are braised.

Advertisement

You want to rearrange vegetables on the grill. What utensil do you want to use?
A pair of tongs.
A big spoon.
A spatula.
A butcher knife.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Whether you're serving salad or rearranging meat on the grill, use tongs to keep a good grip on the food.

Advertisement

You have a pan of boiling water, a splash of white wine vinegar and a slotted spoon. What are you making?
Curdled milk
Pudding
Stew
Poached eggs
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This is all you need to make poached eggs. Once the water is boiled, it takes less than 3 minutes to make. Remember to stir the water to create a gentle whirlpool which helps the egg white wrap around the yolk.

Advertisement

What's the most common way to separate egg yolks from egg whites?
Use a knife to cut them apart.
Let the white fall into a bowl as you pass the yolk between the eggshell halves.
Use a yolk sucker device.
Separate them after they are cooked.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Break open an egg into two halves, and pass the yolk several times between the halves, letting the white drop down into a bowl underneath.

Advertisement

When your guest wants his or her steak cooked "medium", what do they want?
Dark red in color with juice flowing.
A pink color with a little juice flowing.
Only a trace of pink color but not dry.
No pink in the middle with no juice flowing.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you cook a steak medium, it will feel firm and springy to the touch. Whereas a rare steak will feel soft and spongy with slight resistance.

Advertisement

What does "au gratin" mean?
French phrase meaning meat served with its cooking juices.
A dish topped with cheese or a mixture of breadcrumbs and butter, then boiled so the top is brown and crispy.
A liquid made by cooking vegetables, poultry, meat, or fish.
A cooking method in which meat or fish is rubbed with Cajun spices, is cooked on a high heat.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Gratin is a widespread culinary technique in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust.

Advertisement

Why is it a good practice to brown your meat before adding it to a stew or chili?
To make the flavors easier to combine.
To add a minty flavor to your final dish.
To keep the meat moist and tender.
To make the meat easier to digest.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you brown your meat, you cook it quickly over high heat, causing the surface of the food to turn brown. This sears in the moisture or keeps the interior from drying out.

Advertisement

How would you describe a "simmer"?
A cooking method in which food is placed in a steamer basket over boiling water in a covered pan.
Keep the liquid at a temperature low enough that tiny bubbles just begin to break the surface.
Quickly fry small pieces of food in a large pan over very high heat while stirring.
Mash a food to a smooth, thick consistency.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If not watched carefully, simmers can easily become rolling boils. Adjusting the heat and stirring helps keeps the temperature just below a boil.

Advertisement

Which cut of beef is perfect for a slow cooker?
Sirloin steak.
Loin steak.
Top round steak.
Chuck roast.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The chuck roast contains connective tissue made of collagen and can be a little tough, but provides great flavor when cooked over a long period of time.

Advertisement

How long should you rest a cooked steak?
5 to 10 minutes.
20 minutes.
1 hour.
Overnight.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A cooked steak should rest at room temperature for at least five minutes and ideally around half the cooking time – it will stay warm for up to 10 minutes.

Advertisement

Should you wash lettuce before you make a salad?
Yes, you don't know what has touched it.
No, it will wash away the nutrients.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It’s a good idea to always wash lettuce and other leafy greens before you eat them. Soaking lettuce in water does not wash away any nutrients but could wash away a food-borne illness.

Advertisement

What is a zester?
An instrument that removes only the colored portion of the peel.
A potato peeler that is used on lemons and limes only.
A strainer used for mashing berries.
An instrument that crushes garlic cloves.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A zester has tiny cutting holes on one end that creates threadlike strips of peel when pulled over the surface of a lemon lime or orange.

Advertisement

What does "stir frying" mean?
A cooking method that needs a steamer basket.
To stir and fry small pieces of food in a pan over very high heat.
Burn or scorch a food with intense heat.
Cook food gently in liquid at a low temperature.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

When you stir-fry you quickly fry small pieces of food in a large pan over very high heat while stirring.

Advertisement

You are dredging food in flour. What are you making?
Mac and cheese.
Tuna casserole.
Fried chicken.
Apple pie.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Dredging is when you lightly coat a food with flour, cornmeal, or breadcrumbs before frying or baking.

Advertisement

What is an egg wash?
Just what it sounds like, you wash an egg.
To poach an egg.
Egg yolk or egg white brushed over baked goods before baking.
Making a soft boiled egg.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

An egg wash is an egg yolk or egg white mixed with a small amount of water or milk. It's brushed over baked goods before baking to give them gloss and color.

Advertisement

What does "au jus" mean?
To juice a lime or lemon.
To blend (and juice) various vegetables in a blender.
To make a fruit smoothie.
To serve meat along with its cooking juices.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Au jus" is French phrase describing meat that is served with its own natural cooking juices.

Advertisement

What is it called when sugar is heated into a golden brown liquid?
Browning
Searing
Caramelizing
Basting
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

To caramelize, you heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a clear syrup ranging in color from golden to dark brown.

Advertisement

To sharpen a kitchen knife, you might use which of these?
Knife Sharpening Steel.
Whetstone.
Electric Knife Sharpener.
All of the above.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Using a sharp knife will make your food taste better. Precisely cut food will cook at an even rate for a delicious final dish.

Advertisement

What does it mean to prepare meat "blackened"?
Seared so the meat stays moist.
Rubbed in Cajun spices and fried.
Browned to look appetizing.
Cooked well done.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Blackened is a cooking method in which meat or fish is rubbed with Cajun spices and cooked in a very hot cast-iron skillet.

Advertisement

How do you minimize tears when cutting an onion?
Use a sharp knife to cut the onion.
Cut the onion in cold water.
Cut the root last.
All of the above.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

By using a sharp knife you'll release less of the enzymes into the air that bother your eyes and make them water. The same thing will happen when you cut onions in cold water. Or cut the root last—it has a higher concentration of enzymes.

Advertisement

When carrots are to be "julienned", what does that mean?
Diced finely.
Cut in half.
Cut into matchstick-size pieces.
Cut into quarters.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Julienned carrots are cut thinly into ⅛-inch thick strips, creating uniform matchsticks. This allows for uniform and quicker cooking than when cooking a whole carrot.

Advertisement

How do you tell a watermelon is ripe?
Knock it with your knuckles.
Smell it.
Scratch the rind.
Make sure it is dark green.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Give it a knock with your knuckles. A muffled hollow thud means it's sweet, and a higher-pitched ringing sound means it is unripe.

Advertisement

Why do most recipes call for salting eggplant slices before cooking?
It draws out bitter juices from the eggplant.
It firms up the flesh so less oil soaks into it.
The salt adds flavor.
All of the above.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Besides adding flavor from the salt, it draws out juices, which, particularly for older eggplants, can be bitter. It also tightens and firms up the flesh, making the eggplant less likely to soak up as much oil.

Advertisement

What happens if you cook an egg (in the shell) in the microwave?
You get a cooked egg.
It will explode.
The whites will cook, but not the yolk.
The yolk will cook, but not the whites.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Do NOT cook an egg in its shell in the microwave. It will explode.

Advertisement

You Got:
/35
Featured