Just because an octopus has eight legs doesn't mean it's eight times the effort to cook. An octopus dish gone wrong is terribly rubbery and chewy, but, if done right, the recipe should come out expertly tender. There are so many theories about how to tenderize octopus—from rubbing it with salt to beating it on a rock—but the true answer is just patience. First, octopus needs to be braised low and slow and then it can take a trip on the grill or in a pan for a last-minute sear. Following Food & Wine's guide to cooking octopus will make you a master of this ingredient.

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