Mad Genius Tips

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How to Make 5-Minute Brownies, Without an Oven [Video]

If there's one thing we've learned from Food & Wine’s resident Mad Genius Justin Chapple, it’s that the waffle iron is a vastly underappreciated dinner appliance. Use it to make waffle iron hashbrowns or kimchi potato cakes.

How to Make Kimchi Hash Browns in a Waffle Iron [Video]

“I thought there could be nothing better than waffle hash browns,” says Food & Wine Deputy Test Kitchen Editor Justin Chapple. “That is, until I added kimchi.”

Never Flip an Omelet Again with This Trick [Video]

In many kitchens the waffle iron is a sadly underused piece of equipment. “We go buy one thinking, ‘we’re making waffles on Sunday,’” says Senior Test Kitchen Editor Justin Chapple. “But then we don’t. And then we never do.” But just because you aren’t the waffle-making machine you thought you’d be is no reason to get rid of your waffle iron. Justin gives his a second life making omelets—Denver omelets, specifically.

Solve an Annoying Cookie Problem Using Nothing but Dental Floss [Video]

Food & Wine Mad Genius Justin Chapple is back this week to scare you straight. “Imagine this nightmare,” he says. “You’ve just spent all afternoon making whoopie pies and when you start to take them off the baking sheet…” He paints a grisly scene: “One by one, they’re crumbling, and they’re sticking, and they’re falling apart.”

Watch: How to Make Better Muffins with a Paper Cup

Food & Wine Deputy Test Kitchen Editor Justin Chapple is back this week with a bold claim: “The best muffins are covered in streusel.” However, according to our favorite Mad Genius, “there is a problem: if you get the streusel all over the pan, the minute it hits that hot oven it will start to caramelize.” The potential pitfalls of streusel—which, though delicious, is essentially a very burnable mix of flour, sugar and butter—might keep some people from putting forth the extra effort.

Watch: 3 Unexpected Uses for Nonstick Cooking Spray

“It’s no secret that nonstick cooking spray comes in handy when you’re baking,” says Food & Wine Deputy Test Kitchen Editor Justin Chapple. “You can coat loaf pans, or pie plates, or even muffin tins.” But if you're not baking every single day, you may not need to use it all that often.

But no need for that can to sit on the shelf unused. There are plenty of non-pan coating ways to use cooking spray. Here are three Mad Genius Tips that prove cooking spray is one of the most versatile tools in your kitchen:

Watch: The Most Fun You Can Have Pitting Olives

Food & Wine’s resident Mad Genius is back this week to address one of life’s many small inconveniences: olive pits. We always love those beautiful, big green olives that come in a bowl at a fancy wine bar, or an expensive jar of imported Kalamatas—but what if there was a way to make eating them just a little bit less annoying?

How to Use a Bundt Pan to Make Cocktails

“The last thing you want to do at your next party,” says Food & Wine Deputy Test Kitchen Editor Justin Chapple, “is get stuck mixing drinks all night.” If you’ve spent all that time planning the party, you shouldn’t also be forced to play bartender for all your friends. His solution? Mix up a giant bowl of punch beforehand! Large-format cocktails are huge these days (pun intended)—and they can be a secret weapon to make entertaining a lot less stressful.

How to Make Burger Patties Without Getting Your Hands Dirty

Dealing with frozen hamburger meat is unpleasant stuff. Just picture it: an impenetrable lump that never seems to fully defrost, no matter how hard you try. You put it in the fridge, run water over it, hack at it with an icepick—all to no avail. It happens every grilling season.

But you’re in luck—because you’ll never have to suffer those lumps again. Justin Chapple, Food & Wine’s Deputy Test Kitchen Editor and full-time Mad Genius, has a fix.

How to Make a Giant, Gooey, Pull-Apart Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Justin Chapple, Food & Wine Test Kitchen Deputy Editor and our resident Mad Genius, is back with an offer you can’t refuse: “What if I told you I could make you love grilled cheese even more than you already do?”