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5-star cooking tips



  • scooterdawgscooterdawg Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
  • scooterdawgscooterdawg Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    edited June 2019

    So here's a question for everyone: do you fry at home? And if so how? Turkey fryer outside? Shallow fry in a skillet? Deep fry?

    I will admit that frying is one thing I've only dabbled in. My mom has always maintained that frying is time consuming, messy, smelly, and should be left up to the pros. To an extent I don't disagree. When I see a recipe for something that calls for deep frying like it's just a simple step I roll my eyes(happens a lot with recipes for Chinese). Only pro chefs have a preheated deep fryer with clean oil on standby.

    On the other hand, french fries are legitimately one of my favorite foods. I have more thoughts on them than is probably healthy and I'm very particular about them. So you'd think I'd be all about making my own...and I have but it's not worth the effort really. Until I have a kitchen where I have a built in deep fryer, industrial exhaust fan, and one of those fry cutters you put on the wall and pull down on, I'm stuck going to the places that meet my standards.

    I think I might like to try frying chicken the old fashioned way: shallow in a cast iron, maybe even with crisco. Anyone still do that?

  • FirePlugDawgFirePlugDawg Posts: 5,480 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Cold oil, hot pan - food don’t stick

    Is true. Heat pan first, then add room temp oil

  • mattmd2mattmd2 Posts: 2,384 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    Don’t know if this is widely known/done, but the secret to the best mac and cheese is a bit of powdered mustard.  

    Also, I use mayo in my mashed potatoes vs milk/cream or sour cream. 
  • mattmd2mattmd2 Posts: 2,384 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    Have you tried an air fryer?  No pan full of messy oil to get rid of.  May not be quite as good as the real thing for deep fried chicken, but cooks the heck out of some fries and wings.
  • scooterdawgscooterdawg Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate


    I haven’t tried an air fryer yet. If I wasn’t already a bit short on cabinet space I probably would have as wings and fries are the two things I’d probably use any kinda fryer for.

    Good call on the mustard powder. I don’t have a clue what exactly it adds but that and a splash of hot sauce or some creole seasoning are in most good Mac and cheese recipes.

  • dawfanfromalabamdawfanfromalabam Posts: 1,082 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    Simple reverse sear for steaks

    mustard base on ribs

    bake bacon on inverted cookie sheet 

    pepper, salt, garlic for fried chicken

    roast for soup. Never the “stew meat” sold at grocery 

  • scooterdawgscooterdawg Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I was actually meaning to mention that if you like bacon you should start cooking it in the oven but do tell about the cookie sheet. I just use a half sheet pan usually.

    Great call on the stew meat. I like chuck in my stew so I buy a roast and cut it up. Usually cheaper too.

  • JoeClarkJoeClark Posts: 422 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate
    For boiling eggs that you’ll have to peel, 
    place the eggs in the water AFTER it has boiled and they will be easier to peel. 

    If you’re baking salmon and don’t like the white gooey stuff (which, IIRC, the tissue holding the flesh together) it can’t get above a 225 internal temp. 

    Buy better salt. The shape of the salt flake changes not just the flavor but how it hits your palate while eating. 

    Buy fresh spices. Spices go bad in a few months so you’re not getting optimal flavor with the old can of your favorite seasoning from 3 years ago. 

    Duck Fat makes everything taste better. EVERYTHING! (And crispy Brussels sprouts) 

    Great tips in here - especially the food thermometer one. 

  • michaelcarvellmichaelcarvell Posts: 6 admin
    edited June 2019

    One of the passions of my life is cooking. Just started cooking about five years ago, and took some classes here and there. No. 1 on my shopping list will always be a cooking thermometer (Thermapen, something like it). No. 2 is an Instant Pot (more on that later). No. 3 is chef's knife. I got some fancy knives as gifts (I don't use any but the chef's knife). But if I had to buy one, it would be this Victorinix for $30 because it gets all the great reviews ...

    And to sharpen a knife, you can always take it to Williams Sonoma. I know, high dollar, but 1st one is free (once per year), then $5-10 per knife. I only use my chef's knife, so I get that sharpened 1-2 times per year.

    Happy cooking!

  • michaelcarvellmichaelcarvell Posts: 6 admin
    edited June 2019

    This person knows what he's talking about. Thermoworks makes two good instant read thermometers - $85 Thermapen and $35 ThermoPop. I had a ThermaPen, but it stopped working shortly after my father-in-law -- for reasons still unknown -- stuck it in a grill flame. That's a no-no. Since I had a ThermoPop already in my possession, I started using that and it has worked well. Maybe a few seconds slower than the ThermoPen, but that's the only difference I can tell. Oh yeah, doesn't look as cool as the ThermoPen.

  • scooterdawgscooterdawg Posts: 3,066 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    So it is my mom's 70th birthday today...kinda crazy really. But anyway, I went over and cooked dinner for her tonight and wanted to make something special for dessert. I decided to try a Creme Brulee because I'd never made one before and I highly recommend.

    I bought the torch(butane kitchen torch) for $25 at a cooking store. I could have found one for cheaper online OR at a hardware store but it was last minute. You can get a butane or even propane torch at Home Depot. Anyway, that and some $2 ramekins and I was good to go.

    It was really not particularly difficult OR time consuming to make the cremes: cream, sugar, egg yolks, salt, vanilla. Anyway, just watch a video and it's very easy. You can cook them in advance and should as they need to set in the fridge but then they're good to go with the torch and serve whenever AND you could take them somewhere as I did.

    The torching is obviously fun and makes a nice demonstration. Tasted great too. I think people are scared off at buying the torch and ramekins for just one thing but it's not that much and is a showstopper. I need to find a woman to cook for and impress now. 😉

  • KaseyKasey Posts: 28,869 mod


    couldve bought the rumikins a time a thrift store for 30 cents each and used two bic lighters at the same time. Dum millenial

  • tfk_fanboytfk_fanboy Posts: 2,821 ✭✭✭✭✭ Graduate

    I might try that this weekend. I already own a torch; it is what I use to light my grill.

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