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u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

> Where do you suggest learning this? What do you think of my idea of hiring a culinary student to give me private lessons?

In nearly 10 years of professional cooking I have never met a culinary student with hands. Unfortunately, I cannot explain it more than having the right attitude, with there "always being room for improvement" and "oh he's asian." My first chef and cooking job told me I had "heritage knife skills." You are on the right track with Shun and simply wanting it. I can post some demo videos eventually, when I sober up and have more in my pantry than onions (I work ~80 a week between two kitchens, I don't eat much at home).

> I don't have any friends who work in the food industry, where would you suggest meeting such a person (similar question as above)? I would buy a whetstone, but I have no idea how to use it properly. Also, most of my knives are from Shun, and I know they have a service where you can send them off to get them sharpened for free. I haven't done this yet (knife set is pretty new). Would you suggest this?

Shun is good people, but I resharpen my knifes everyday for use in a professional kitchen, with volume ranging from cutting three bunches of celery to 100 lbs of onions on top of service--I don't like to play with dull knives. And it is a skill you never really lose, though I wore a hole in my finger the last time I sharpened knives, but I sharpened knives for the entire staff and was fairly drunk at the time--maybe you shouldn't be friends with us, unless you like waking up to a pile of dishes and beer cans in the morning... Once again, I would be willing to sharpening technique on youtube, but I'm certain there are videos of it there, "Japanese knife sharpening."

> I enjoy cooking and I absolutely find it cathartic and meditative. However, I have time constraints. I have a job, hobbies, chores, occasional medical problems that sap my energy, and I have to cook ALL my meals. I feel like I spend too long prepping vegetables as it is now. I realize for some recipes that getting perfect cuts is important, but 90% of the time, I would like to just go faster. Do you have any tips for this?

For me, speed come with knife sharpness and monopolizing a single cut. So if you have to julienne a ton of onions, do not try to do one at a time, cut them in half, clean/peel them all, then focus on the julienne so you are repeating the same motions over and over vs attempting different angles and having to move finished product into a container or off the cutting board.

> One major thing I have going for me is that I have great resources in terms of grocery and kitchen options.

>I'm not sure if you are familiar with the Seattle area, but we have an amazing variety of grocery stores/markets here. There is a farmers market every day, Pike Place market, Amazon Fresh (delivery), multiple organic co-ops, Costco, multiple Asian grocery stores, specialty international food stores, Cost Plus World Market, Whole Foods, upscale grocery stores, regular grocery stores, etc. etc. I can get pretty much any ingredient. The problem with most of the produce is that it might be sprayed with the pesticide that I am allergic to. CSAs only work if the produce comes exclusively from certain farmers that don't use this pesticide. When that stuff is in season, I buy huge quantities directly from the farmer and load up my chest freezer.

This makes me happy, but I was happy anyways since I had a few after work. In terms of recommended reading, I suggest looking into pickling assuming you are not allergic to citrus, even so you can probably still use refined vitamin C. Here are three pickling Amazon links: Balls. Can. Ferment, sorry, couldn't resist the urge.

Something else I borrowed off one of my ECs: On food and cooking, Harold McGee.

Another to add to your library: Food lover's Companion

Food is great in that it is a kinesthetic science, a lot of great cooks are also great "scientists" they just don't know it, they are just doing it by "feel, taste and smell." This is where organization and precision come in--know your objective/hypothesis and continue with experiment procedure from there, speed is a measurement: how long, how fast, etc, etc. "If you don't measure you cannot improve." I feel like recipes are more or less, just successful lab reports.

Since you mentioned vegetarianism I feel like I can discuss my on and off relationship with veganity. I do try to build muscle from time to time and so it is hard for me to ignore the nutrient/protein density of tasty decaying animal flesh. But generally in terms of vegetables and fruit there are few exceptions to them having more benefits apart from them being consumed raw: namely Goitrogens.

So this may lead you, as well as it lead me for a time to a "raw/vegan" diet. I dunno though, I get stuck between it and "Paleo" and sometimes just eating raw meat--I cannot tell if I am just becoming lazier as a cook or if I am making strides my personal health.

Back onto topic of sorts:

> My kitchen is already pretty good. I have a nice gas stove, which I feel makes a big difference. We are planning a remodel to enlarge the kitchen.

Hrmm, I am at odds with enlarging for the sake of "bettering," I feel like you can get away with great results with little space and a little ingenuity, but with great precision. I have a portable induction cook-top, a juicer, a blender and a shitty built-in electric range/stove, just missing a dehydrator, PID temperature controlled water bath, a blow torch, vacuum sealer and I wouldn't be too far from a NY test kitchen--I feel like I could feed a hundred people, no problem without using the electric ranges: it comes down to organization. You are one person, trying to feed yourself and your family at any given time, make prep easier for yourself by doing much of it at once or at least eliminating a step or two, prep for half the week or prep for the next step, for example: celery--strip all of it away from the root, throw it in water and save it for later, this keeps it springy and passively washes it; I was taught a long time ago to not drain root vegetables but rather pull them from a bath of water, in that the dirt sinks and stays at the bottom rather than being agitated and back on the vegetables after straining; then you can come back to cut it in any variety you wish. I've kind of made a habit out of bathing veggies vs spraying/rinsing, of course there are exceptions, things that you will peel anyways, that spot of dirt that needs scrubbed and that we need "RIGHT NOW."

The problem I have with recipes is the objectivity in creating "the dish," most of the time, my creations or "specials" come from leftovers or something that is on the verge of being completely useless. Simplicity is king. At my one restaurant we had some black beans that were starting to smell fruity (which is normal, but no one had a planned use for them), a few onions and peppers, some spices, a quick roast then blend with some lemon juice/vinegar and we had a black bean salsa, which I tried to pair with some fish and roasted tomatoes but everyone just wanted the salsa with chips--whatever, I'm Asian, I don't know.

So rather than filling your refrigerator with a dozen half eaten dishes, fill your refrigerator with an endless possibility of dishes: prepped greens for salads; portioned meats for cooking; pickled items for accoutrements, garnishments or just adding that extra acidity; gutted/peeled veggies or fruit--you picking up what I'm laying down?

From there you can experiment with single servings: a celery leaf salad--balsamic vinegar, pickled radish, mustard greens, olive oil, crushed red, salt, julienned carrots, diced red onion and toss in a soft boiled duck egg if you feel the urge. Professional cooking is just a hodgepodge of "stone soup" that everyone has grown to like and accept, everyone has something to add and or learn from.

Restaurant dishes are designed to sell. Try to keep in mind the overt commercialization and not take the small successes you have in just enjoying a simple salad with some boiled eggs, while not getting sick, for granted. Good health tastes great, don't let anyone tell you hard boiled eggs and some celery sticks isn't a meal--"It is until I eat again!"

Speed is just an increase in efficiency in carrying out the procedure. You'll get it, just know what you want and are doing first, then be deliberate. I'll help out best I can.

u/LuckXIII · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary
  • Ah this is actually a big topic.
  • For a hone, you have three options. A basic grooved steel, a ceramic rod, or a diamond coated steel. The grooved (most common) and the diamond will hone your edge but will also sharpen for better and for worst your edge at the same time due to the courseness of the grooving / diamond coating. The ceramic will do the same, however because it's smooth, it's usually designed to give you a very fine grit at most in it's "sharpening" process ie removes as little metal as possible, maybe at most polish the edge a bit which favors most nicer knife owners. For a western style knife such as yours, and especially stamped blade with a low hardness, your edge usually will roll and fairly often and thus a hone is actually best for you to own and use on a somewhat daily basis. I recommend any non diamond, grooved steel although I find that diamond steels grind far too much metal at inaccurate angles (due to the very wild free hand motion of steeling) but does help give you a quick toothy edge. My personal one of use is ceramic.
  • As for sharpening, while I don't like pull through or machine sharpeners at all and personally use stones, I don't exactly recommend them for you. The reason is I just don't see the time spend hand sharpening on stones worth the blade/blade material. That is, your knife isn't designed to hold an extremely keen edge, nor is it designed to hold an edge for an insane amount of time, thus for me, when I use a nox or a stamped blade a pull through or a machine sharpener is fine by me. As recommended the accusharp , or any of the decent chefchoice sharpeners will work very well for you. However if you want to progress and learn, then I recommend a low to medium grit combo stone. Say 600 and 1000/2000 so that if you feel like it, you can reset the bevel and then give your knife a decent working edge.
  • Now say if you upgrade to nicer blades, then by all means stones is the way to go if not an Edge Pro system. Reason for it is that your paying for very nice metal on your blade and thus the very aggressive grinding actions of machine and pull thru sharpeners hurts your investment far more than helps it. Further more, you control the angle and the fineness of your blade. Have Super Blue core steel? Hap40? Bring that sucker down to 9-10 degrees a side with a 20k mirror polished edge. I like to see a machine do that. Plus, usually, with these 'nicer blades' your often running into Japanese knives. J knives are usually made with pretty hard metals, hrc 60+ which does not work with many steels on the market since J knives aren't designed for that to begin with. J knives are designed to have keen, hard , steep edges that are meant to be held for a long time and most likely to chip than roll so whenever it's time to touch up, it's by stones only.
  • Anyways thats likely more than you ever wanted to know, so to answer your OP, for a steel I recommend the Tojiro Sharpening steel, if you prefer the ideal of a diamond steel giving you a toothy edge while your hone then a DMT fine will suit you. If you want your hone to just hone and not sharpen, then the Idahone fine is pretty much everyone's favorite.
  • For sharpeners the AccuSharp is my favorite pull thru sharpener, the Spydero sharpmaker wasn't too bad and any of the common electric sharpeners will give you a working edge pesto pesto "pro" or get a basic combo stone
u/Garak · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I was about to list out all my favorite resources, the ones where, looking back, I can point to as being the bedrock of all the cooking knowledge I've cobbled together over the years, and I noticed they have one thing in common: PBS. The cooking shows that air on PBS (and their companion materials) are just awesome. They're not gimmicky, they don't have puppets or catch phrases, but they're reliable. There are other great sources of food knowledge, but if somebody's on PBS, you know they're the real deal.

If I had to learn it all over again starting today, here's what I'd be looking at, in rough order:

Martha Stewart's Cooking School

Martha's got a great new show and companion book to go along with it. The reason I'd start here is because it's structured the way you want it: an emphasis on technique, with clear goals for each lesson. Just about every one of your topics listed above is covered in here, and the recipes are almost secondary. Like, a show or chapter will be about braising, not about boeuf bourguignon. Pretty heavy emphasis on French and European cuisine, but some nice forays into other cuisines, too. Covers all the basics: equipment, stocks, sauces, cuts of meat. Lots of good reference sections, too, like charts on cooking techniques for different rices and grains.

It's mostly pretty traditional stuff. No "hacks" or "science", but she will occasionally throw in some neat updates to a traditional technique. In particular, her hollandaise method is the best I've ever come across. Almost completely traditional, double-boiler and all, but she uses whole butter instead of clarified. Really easy and probably tastes better, too.

Incidentally, most of the substance of the show probably comes from editorial director for food at Martha Stewart Living, Sarah Carey, who happens to have an awesome YouTube channel.

Julia Child

Julia needs no introduction. She made French cuisine accessible to us servantless American cooks half a century ago, and I don't think anyone has done it better since. You'll want to watch every episode of The French Chef you can get your hands on, and also grab a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

You could start with Julia, but her show seems to focus on the recipe first, followed by the technique. So Julia's episode on boeuf bourguignon will be about boeuf bourguignon. She'll teach you all about technique, too, of course, but I think it's easier to start with Martha if you want a run-through of the basics of a technique.

Jacques Pepin

Probably the most talented cook to ever appear on television. The man elevates mincing an onion to an art form. Probably the best shows of his are Essential Pepin, Fast Food My Way, and Julia and Jacques Cooking at home (which used to be on Hulu, if you have that).

Every show he'll cook through a bunch of recipes, and he'll make these off-the-cuff comments on why he's doing what he's doing. How to peel a carrot. How to puree garlic with a chef's knife. Adding a splash of water to a covered skillet to steam the contents from the top while cooking them from below.

There's also a lot of his older stuff on YouTube that will show particular techniques: parting and deboning a chicken, preparing an omelet, and so on. He's remarkably consistent, so if you just watch enough of his stuff you'll get the spiel on every topic eventually.

Jacques does have a compilation of technique, but frankly I think Martha's is better. The photography in Jacques' book is pretty poor, and he devotes an awful lot of space to techniques that have probably been out of fashion for forty years. That said, there's a lot that's still useful in there, so it's worth at least checking out from the library.

(By the way, while you're at it, you should read My Life in France and The Apprentice, Julia's and Jacques autobiographies, respectively.)

There's a lot more to learn, but if you start with Jacques, Julia, and Martha, you'll have a rock-solid foundation upon which to build. Once you've got the basics down, my favorite new-fangled cooking resources are Serious Eats and ChefSteps.

Happy cooking!

u/fancy_pantser · 11 pointsr/AskCulinary

I think you are starting from the wrong place if you think it will be like Texan chili [con carne]. Mole negro and soft cheeses are the main culinary exports of Oaxaca and they are fantastic. This is one of my two favorite culinary regions in Mexico!

Mole negro
First off, the famous mole negro using the regional pasilla de Oaxaca pepper (aka "chile negro" when dried). There are many recipes for that; find one that has ingredients you can pick up at your local Mexican supermarket or order online. You can cook meat (often chicken) in it or use it to make enchiladas enmoladas. They're soft, cheesy, and the rich, black sauce has a great pepper flavor but also a complex mixture of spices that lend subtle notes to the flavor like a fine wine. Every abuelita in Oaxaca has her own special variation on the recipe.

Traditional meal: nopales + meat + oaxaqueño cheese + guajillo sauce
Another personal favorite coming straight out of restaurants in Oaxaca is often called the Conquista Plate. As you can see, a thin steak over grilled cactus, Oaxaca cheese and chile guajillo sauce. The cactus is nopales; learn to love it's mild flavor, as it's in tons of authentic Mexican dishes. Guajillos are a fairly mild chili with a distinct, tart taste. They're also used all over Mexico so you should be able to find them pretty easily. Oaxaca is famous for cheese, so you can also easily find that in most Mexican markets.

Recipe for the sauce (use only guajillos and ancho). You can find your own instructions on grilling nopales and the steak or whatever meat you want to go with it. That red sauce can basically go on anything.

Chile verde: more like a SW "chili"
Although it's not from further south than Chihuahua and Sonora and has become a staple in New Mexican cuisine, chile verde is probably going to be the best marriage of rich Mexican sauces and a more traditional southwestern US "chili" where chunks of tough meat are stewed or braised in the sauce until tender. I've tested and approve of this recipe as a basic starting point. However, in The Food Lab, Kenji goes into detail about why it's better to let this dish braise in the oven. Here is his final recipe, which is amazing and pretty simple once you get through it a couple times (and usually provides leftovers for days). I do believe he is a bit misinformed (in the book, in particular) about how unique Hatch chilies are; the exact same chilies are widely available as "Anaheim peppers" in addition to other sub-cultivars of the classic "No.9 chile". But I digress.

More about chile verde and SW food
I collected about a dozen cookbooks when living in NM trying to find more chile verde recipes to try. Two more recent ones I highly recommend are New Mexico Cuisine: Recipes from the Land of Enchantment and Red or Green: New Mexico Cuisine. For authentic Oaxaqueño recipes, I have only read Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy but it's very good and sub-divides the region to give you a sampling of coastal seafood, cheese from the mountains, and about a thousand mole recipes!

Finally, I want to say I agree with your friend: Tex-Mex is a mistake and traditional Mexican food is where the good eats are at!

u/dsarma · 14 pointsr/AskCulinary

I'm a very visual learner, so I got good by watching Julia Child. She regularly peppers her shows with advice about how to get good at something, and how to customise a recipe when things go wrong, or when you want to switch things up a bit. She's got a decidedly French leaning, but French food is a very good place to start anyway. The full set of DVDs of The French Chef can get had for about $50 from ebay.

There's an episode where she was featuring four recipes for potatoes. She was trying to make a potato cake type of thing. She'd added plenty of butter to the pan, and threw in the boiled lightly crushed potatoes. She didn't let it set for a very long time, but tried to flip the whole thing over in one piece. Half of it ended up on the stove. Without skipping a beat, she scooped it off the stove, threw it back in the pan, and said the iconic line "When you're alone in the kitchen, who's going to see?" She then proceeded to dump it into a dish, throw in a load of cream and a few cubes of cheese, and instructed you to let it hang out under the broiler so that it gets bubbly and crisped up. She mentioned that you shouldn't ever apologise for how something came out, and just carry on as if that new thing is what you'd intended all along.

Whenever she had the ability to do so, she'd show you how to do something from scratch, including how to filet a fish, how to separate out a whole chicken, and how to break down larger steaks into serving sized portions. And, because you're watching her do it all for you, you get an idea of what it is you're looking for, step by step.

Another great resource (although their recipes are white, and tend towards the bland) is America's Test Kitchen's TV Show cookbook. On the show itself, they don't go into technique very much, but they certainly do so in the book. There are large, colourful pictures about how each step of the cooking process should look, and hundreds of recipes to try out. They thoroughly test out each recipe repeatedly, using tools that the average home cook will have access to, and taste test the results. It's an excellent resource to have on hand. You can generally find it used for about $20.

If you're curious to try out baking your own bread, I cannot highly recommend enough Bread by Eric Treuille.

It has HUGE full colour photos of the final product, and lots of foundational advice about the art of baking bread. They discuss various flours, how to combine them into an existing recipe, and the effects they have on the final loaf. It's one that I turn to whenever I have a craving for home made bread, and it's never lead me wrong.

If you want SOLID advice about how to quickly build up your cooking repertoire, Mike Ruhlman's Ratio is your best bet.

He realised that most basic recipes can be broken down into ratios, so that if you need to scale up or scale down, you can do so very quickly. His technique to teach you how to get comfortable with ratios is very good.

Another EXCELLENT place to start learning to build your own recipes is Julia's Kitchen Wisdom.

She gives some basic techniques on foundational recipes, and then tells you how to tweak the recipes to work with whatever you've got on hand. It's less a by the books recipe compendium, and more of a philosophical understanding of how recipes work, and what flavours should go together.

Speaking of flavour. Get The Flavour Bible by Karen Page.

There are hundreds of ingredients, and the things that go well with them. Instead of giving you a recipe, it gives you ideas of things to combine together, so that they go together in delicious ways.

If you are going to get a ruler, go ahead and get a kitchen ruler:

It's small, but it has a TON of great information on it. Very useful to gauge whether or not you're hitting your marks for whatever size you're aiming for.

u/jecahn · 9 pointsr/AskCulinary

This is going to be the opposite of what you want to hear. But, you asked for it and I respect that. I think that there's no substitute for going about this old school and traditionally. The good news is that you can mostly do this for yourself, by yourself.

If you're disinclined (due to time or for another reason) to enroll in a culinary program get yourself either The Professional Chef or Martha Stewart's Cooking School

I know what you're thinking, "Martha Stewart? What am I? A housewife from Iowa?" Fuck that. I've been fortunate to have met and worked with Martha Stewart she's smart enough to know what she doesn't know and that particular book was actually written by a CIA alum and very closely follows the first year or so that you'd get in a program like that. It starts with knife work and then moves on to stocks and sauces. This particular book has actually been criticized as being too advance for people who have no idea what they're doing so, despite appearances, it may be perfect for you. If you want to feel more pro and go a little deeper, get the CIA text but know that it's more or less the same info and frankly, the pictures in the MSO book are really great. Plus, it looks like Amazon has them used for $6 bucks.

These resources will show you HOW to do what you want and they follow a specific, traditional track for a reason. Each thing that you learn builds on the next. You learn how to use your knife. Then, you practice your knife work while you make stocks. Then, you start to learn sauces in which to use your stocks. Etc. Etc. Etc. Almost like building flavors... It's all part of the discipline and you'll take that attention to detail into the kitchen with you and THAT'S what makes great food.

Then, get either Culinary Artistry or The Flavor Bible (Both by Page and Dornenburg. Also consider Ruhlman's Ratio (a colleague of mine won "Chopped" because she memorized all the dessert ratios in that book) and Segnit's Flavor Thesaurus. These will give you the "where" on building flavors and help you to start to express yourself creatively as you start to get your mechanics and fundamentals down.

Now, I know you want the fancy science stuff so that you can throw around smarty pants things about pH and phase transitions and heat transfer. So...go get Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking THAT is the bible. When the people who run the Ferran Adria class at Harvard have a question, it's not Myhrvold that they call up, it's Harold McGee. While Modernist Cuisine always has a long, exciting complicated solution to a problem I didn't even know I had, when I really want to know what the fuck is going on, I consult McGee and you will too, once you dig in.

Another one to consider which does a great job is the America's Test Kitchen Science of Good Cooking this will give you the fundamental "why's" or what's happening in practical situations and provides useful examples to see it for yourself.

Honestly, if someone came to me and asked if they should get MC or McGee and The Science of Good Cooking and could only pick one and never have the other, I'd recommend the McGee / ATK combo everyday of the week and twice on Tuesdays.

Good luck, dude. Go tear it up!

u/ChefGuru · 9 pointsr/AskCulinary

I'll throw my vote in for a sharpening stone. If he doesn't already have a nice sharpening set, maybe consider getting him something like a nice diamond sharpening stone; I've seen them for $50 or less.

Tools are always nice. Here are some suggestions to think about:
~ microplane grater
~ Japanese mandolines can be fun to have around.
~ Fish spatulas can be a handy tool.
~ Does he have a good quality peeler? Everyone has a "normal" peeler, but I like to have a good quality horizontal peeler, like one of these, to use sometimes.
~ Does he do a lot of baking? If so, maybe some silicone baking mats for his baking sheets, or maybe some parchment paper.
~ Does he like to use fresh citrus juice very much? Does he have a citrus reamer?
~ Does he like to use fresh garlic? Maybe a garlic press?
~ Silicone spatulas?
~ Does he have a pepper grinder for fresh ground pepper?
~ Does he have a set of mise en place bowls or something to use to keep his stuff organized when he's working?
~ Does he have a scale? You can find plenty of options for home-use digital scales that can weigh up to 11 or 12 pounds, and use either pounds, or grams (if he's doing anything metric.)
~ Something like a good quality cast iron pan can be a lifetime investment, because if they're well cared for, he'll be able to pass it on to his grandkids someday.
~ A dutch oven will always be useful to serious home cooks. The enameled cast iron type are very popular, but they come in many different sizes and shapes, so keep that in mind when picking one out.
~ Knives are always nice. Paring knife, utility knife, serrated slicer, etc.

Those are just a few suggestions that popped into mind. Good luck, I hope you find something nice for him.

u/Spacemangep · 4 pointsr/AskCulinary

A good knife is a very personal thing, like a religion. Some people belong to the church of Whustoff (like me), others the Church of Henckel. Even some will claim no church allegiance and say that This Victorinox is the best chef's knife. Really though, it's a straight matter of personal preference.

Most high quality knives don't differ all that much. They manufacturing and forging methods are basically the same. What's left is looks, weight, feel, and other things. There is no objective answer to the question "what shape handle is preferable" as it will depend on how big your hand is, what kind of grip you use, and other things like that. My chef's knife is a Whustoff Classic 8" wide Chef's knife. I bought it after going to a local cookware store and personally holding and trying out every chef knife they had in stock. For me, the 8" size is good, but the extra width gives the knife a good heft that I really enjoy, especially because my primary knife before that was a large butcher's knife. I also like the way the handle is shaped, as it feels good in my hand.

Being of the Church of Whustoff, I will recommend the Whustoff Classic line of knives. But to be honest, the blade will be very similar to the comparable Zwilling Henckles chef knife. These are both very traditional knife designs, and your preference will likely be decided by how they feel in your hand. Other brands exist, though, I don't know too much about them. Global, for example, makes extremely sharp, extremely lightweight knives. I tried some out at the store, but didn't really like they way they felt. Not enough heft for my purposes.

For size, I would recommend getting the standard 8" knife. It is the most common size, and it is probably the most versatile as well. I liked the feel of the 10" knives I tried, but I think their length is not for everyone.

TL;DR go to a store where you can try all their knives and get the one that feels best for you.

u/drumofny · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

I can't say enough about how awesome [seltzer bottles] are. I picked up a couple vintage ones from ebay that I use. There are a ton of ways you can go, but making variations on simple syrups is a great approach. A basic simple syrup is equal parts (volume wise) sugar and water. You put it on the stove until it first starts to bubble and then kill the heat. At this point you can add herbs and let them steep for an hour or so and then strain the syrup and press on the herbs. I've had great success with mint, basil, thyme and lavender. You can also use citrus zest; I find a microplane to be essential for this. Ginger is also great for a simple syrup and I use the microplane for this as well.

Another great technique is muddling. You take some fruit and/or herbs and muddle them together. I prefer a plain wooden muddler with flat ends.

Here are some recipes; you have to experiment with quantities, but here are the ingredients:

Basil cranberry soda: cranberry juice, seltzer water and basil simple syrup.

Peach and basil soda: muddle peaches with basil, add seltzer water and basil simple syrup.

Blueberry and thyme soda: for this I puree the blueberries and run it through a strainer and then add thyme simple syrup and seltzer water.

Strawberry and mint soda: For this I chop and macerate both the strawberries and mint (add some sugar to the chopped strawberries and let them sit; it vastly improves the texture and flavor of the strawberries) and then puree it. I've also done this with cardamom instead of mint with the addition of orange zest gathered with a microplane. You then puree this and seltzer water.

Chai soda: I infuse a simple syrup with cardamom, ginger, black tea, cloves, nutmeg and smashed cinnamon sticks. I use four times the amount of black tea I would use to brew a cup of tea. Add seltzer water and you are good to go; a little whole milk can be a great addtion as well. A basic recipe follows:

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

8 bags of lipton tea opened and the tea is then emptied

6 cardamom pods; crushed with a spoon

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon of cloves

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

2 cinnamon sticks; crushed into dime size pieces

Watermelon mint soda: Purreed watermelon, mint simple syrup and seltzer water.

Peach ginger soda: Macerate the peaches, puree them, add ginger simple syrup and seltzer water.

Blueberry lavender soda: Pureed and strained blueberries, lavender simple syrup and seltzer water.

There are a ton of ways you can go with this sort of thing. Sometimes some fresh lemon or lime juice can help balance the acidity. Have fun. Enjoy the fruit that is in season. Create your own fun drinks. Cheers.

u/justanothercook · 28 pointsr/AskCulinary

I would highly recommend the victorinox as a first knife. It's a great knife and it's cheap. There are better knives in the world, but none I've met give you a better quality:money ratio. Learn with the victorinox - your first knife will take some abuse as you learn how to control it, and it's better to ding up a $30 knife than one that costs $100+.

Keeping your knife sharp is also a high priority. I would also recommend getting a knife sharpener like the Accusharp. You can run this over your knife a few times after each use and it will stay in top condition. This will take the guesswork out of sharpening. For a pricier knife, I wouldn't recommend actually sharpening a knife after every use since it takes off a tiny bit of metal each time, but the victorinox is cheap enough that this is not a major concern; you could sharpen it after every use for a few years before destroying the knife, which is more than enough time for you to learn knife skills.

Once you have more experience, you can buy a butcher's steel and a sharpening stone to perfect your sharpening technique which will be easier on your knife, and eventually you can splurge on a fantastic knife based on what feels comfortable to you. But starting off, the victorinox and the accusharp are a great, affordable kit that will put you leaps and bounds ahead of what most people actually have.

u/awksomepenguin · 0 pointsr/AskCulinary

A good knife is always a good idea. That being said, there are knives out there that are cheaper than the one you're looking at. I have the Victorinox Fibrox 8" and I love it. From the first cut I made with it, I knew I had a good knife. It's a solid knife for a home cook. If you still want the santoku style blade, Victorinox also makes one with a Granton blade for about 1/4 the price.

One other point: if you do get a good knife, make sure you have a good place to store it. You don't want to just put it in with the rest of your cooking utensils; it will get all beat up and blunted very quickly. The best option is a heavy wood block with slots to put the knives in. But you can also get something like this. I have one that has slotted foam at the end to stick the knives in. Other maintenance items like a honing steel and a whet stone are good to consider as well.

u/rjksn · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

If you've watched the videos, how are you always readjusting the food? They clearly show it.

I'd get an easier knife if you're slipping though, maybe the Victorinox Fibrox. I'm just a home cook, who's gotten more into cooking the last couple years, but doing prep work and watching videos really helped me.

Besides a sturdier easier to hold knife, maybe look at your cutting board. How big is it? I'm always awkward when it gets small. I just got a custom ~24x22" board and it's frakking heaven.

But if you're constantly readjusting, accept that nothing will be perfect just keep going. I doubt cooks worry about getting the last little slice of something, or the perfect cut every time. Yes, they're better than you and me but probably through repetition. Cooking isn't a slow paced job, my neighbour who's a cook used to always laugh at me about how perfect I would try and get things. I'm more precise now, while caring less[ Edit].

I think what's helped here is that by not being so stressed, but still concerned, I've gotten into a rhythm or flow with cutting things.

u/Qodesh-One · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

Jacques Pépin New Complete Techniques

The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Become a Great Cook

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

From here you can move on to:

Institut Paul Bocuse Gastronomique: The definitive step-by-step guide to culinary excellence


Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia, Completely Revised and Updated

These are all great resources. Also look for culinary school text books and always youtube.

The resources are out there and with everyone having a different way to learn and adopt information the variety in options is tremendous. Good luck and keep cooking. If you have any questions please reach out and if I can help I will.

u/lobster_johnson · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

Keep in mind that there's a huge difference between box graters! Most graters are stamped metals, meaning that it's made with machine that takes flat sheets of metal and punches out the teeth so they stand out at an angle. This is your typical grater that you find everywhere.

Unfortunately, the teeth aren't very sharp as a result, and grating something with this grater will ultimately tear, not slice, your food.

What you want is a grater where the teeth have been etched. This process involves chemically photo-etching the surface of the metal into a triangle shape, like that of a knife edge, before the teeth are punched out. It was pioneered in the 1970s, I believe, by a company called Microplane. The result is a grater with super sharp teeth that last many, many years of use.

Microplane makes really good graters. I have this handheld microplane, and this zester. Both great and will easily deliver lots of grater cheese without much muscle power. I use the wider microplane to grate directly over dishes. One of its benefits is that you can rest it on the table, at a slight angle, and use a pushing motion to grate. This requires less muscle power than pushing the cheese down the side of a box grater.

For grating larger amounts of cheese ahead of time, I use this amazing Cuisiart box grater, which also has etched teeth. The Wirecutter has been naming it the best grater for years, simply because it is superb.

A pro-tip: If you're not tall, put the box grater on a chair or something lower than your average countertop. You want to be pushing down. If you put a box grater on a countertop, your arm will have less leverage.

Some people like cranked rotating gadgets. I don't like them, for a couple of reasons. First, these things usually have multiple parts that need to be cleaned — a friend uses one that has three parts (drum, handle and the lever that closes down on the cheese to push it down). It's finicky to clean, and I hate cleaning it.

The second reason is that the action of turning the rotating handle while simultaneously forcing the cheese down is just not good physics — you have one force pushing down and the other pushing laterally. The only way to get good traction is to rest the thing on a table. You can also get table-mounted nut-grinder types of gadgets, but they need to be clamped to a tabletop or similarly sturdy surface.

Finally: Blenders can grate cheese. I don't know about small personal blenders like Nutribullet, but a higher-powered one like a Ninja can certainly grate soft and hard cheeses really well.

u/SSChicken · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

Ive got these but it looks like they're not on amazon anymore. I think most well rated quick read thermometers should be just fine though. I'm not a huge fan of the fork style, they don't seem as quick as the ones like I just linked. this one looks great, but ive never used one

For grilling or cooking in the oven I use my iGrill all the time. I had an original and it broke on me, but then I picked up the 2 after seeing them at CES (before Weber bought them) and hearing how it was all new etc. etc. and its been rock solid for me since. Ive picked up a few minis for friends for Christmas as well and they all unanimously love them. I see the 3 is out now, but I have no experience with that.

Edit Looks like the igrill 3 is just crappier and only works with some grills. How dumb is that. If you're going to get one in that case, get an iGrill 2 or a mini

u/turkeybone · 7 pointsr/AskCulinary

As everyone is/will be quick to answer, one of the best values out there is the Victorinox Fibrox.

It's not flashy, it's not forged in the blood of peasants, but it works great and does exactly what you want/need it to. I've worked in restaurants and I use a fibrox half the time at home.

The next level I guess would be a Wusthof/Henckels/Global/Shun, which are made a little better, look nicer, and have some personality to them. They are in the price range you mentioned, but there are definite differences to them that are best explained by you trying them out rather than me saying Wusthofs are "rounder" than Henckels, Globals are light and slippery, etc.

After that you start getting into the more high-end stuff, usually $150 and (much) up. My starting point (and one of my favorites) in this would be a Misono UX10.

Of course, everyone's opinions will vary... but not really on the Victorinox. I don't think I've seen anyone NOT like that knife yet. And it's $40 or less.

u/barnacledoor · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

You really need to take some photos and describe it better. How heavy is the pan? Is it light enough for you to wave it around in the air? If not, it might be cast iron. A 12" cast iron skillet weighs around 8lbs (going by these details on the Lodge pan on Amazon).

What color is it on the outside? Cast iron will be black all the way around. What material does it seem to be made of? Aluminum is very light and often pretty thin. I doubt it is stainless steel because the inside being black would mean it is just really dirty.

Did you ever wash it? Will that stuff that you can scrape off wash off with a good scrubbing?

Have you asked your mom? Most pans have specific ways that you need to care for them to keep them in good shape and to work their best. For example, you shouldn't use metal utensils in Teflon coated pans because you'll scratch the non-stick surface. Also, you shouldn't let cast iron pans sit around wet because they'll start to rust and they need a good season to perform their best.

u/ellamental78 · 0 pointsr/AskCulinary

Good on you! My first thoughts in thinking of your budget is a decent food processor, which should be in the $20-$30 range. If she's already got knives, maybe a couple of nice cutting boards. Also, you can never have too many wooden spoons, ;) Seriously though, just look for a pack of bamboo ones, and she will not be disappointed. I recommend a good [meat thermometer]( ProAccurate-Quick-Read- Thermometer/dp/B0021AEAG2/ref=sr_1_2/188-1708874-0568330?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1381121596&sr=1-2)
As far as herbs and spices go, get her some saffron and vanilla beans. Look into some different spice blends too, according to your own tastes. I hope I helped.
As a wife myself, those are what I would like in my own stocking! Good luck to you!

u/IonaLee · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Also you know, thinking about this, here's my best advice for you:

Try to move away from the idea of needing "recipes" and think about cooking more holistically. You don't really need a recipe for a roasted chicken. You need a chicken and an oven and a basic idea of time/temp. After that it's all in what you like? Coat it with olive oil? Sure. Add lemon pepper? Sure. Use BBQ rub? Why not! Stuff the inside with an onion and some rosemary? Go for it. Use butter rather than olive oil? Absolutely.

So much of cooking is not about adhering to recipes but understanding the basics of how to cook and then applying your own tastes.

A fantastic book, if you're really interested in learning how to cook w/out having to rely on recipes all the time is this one:

The book takes 20 cooking techniques - things like braising, frying, baking, sauteeing, and explains how and when you would use them. He does provide recipes in each category, but overall you learn how to apply the techniques to just about anything and it really opens your understanding of how to cook ANYTHING.

u/chocolatefishy · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

Ratio by Michael Ruhlman ( - My absolute favorite at home cook book, hits everything you're looking for I think. Has baking and cooking recipes

Baking by Hand ( - More technically complicated, but still great. One of my go to books when I'm looking to learn something new. Mostly breads, but some pastries too

How to Cook Everything (Vegetarian) by Mark Bittman ( - this is the dark horse, you'd be surprised how much he includes in these books. Pizza dough recipe is the bomb.

u/DocFGeek · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

We usually source all of our hydrocolloids from Chef Rubber since our school gets a discount, since we order in bulk for a lot of the pastry specialty students. Fairly decently priced for first time experimenters. They don't get into very specific hydrocolloids (like the three different types of Carrageenan, or two types of Methylcellulose) but they give you enough to work with.

Willpowder is a good source to find some more specific hydrocolloids, and a few recipes. However, they don't supply some of the tools you'd need, as Chef Rubber does.

L'Epicerie is another source for the VERY specific needs in mind, at the highest quality, and price.

As for literature, Khymos is still our first stop to shop on knowledge. They do a very good job on this blog of finding, and sharing information from professionals using MG methods, as well as point you to printed literature on the subject. If anything, we like to take ideas from the blog, and then tinker with them to make something else using the same process they show.

One thing I can't stress enough in playing with MG, is know and understand flavour. Every single member of our club has a copy of the Flavor Bible and usually the second thing looked at after we get an idea bouncing around.

u/joonjoon · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

300$ is top of the line stuff, you should be able to find stuff under 100$ pretty much everywhere. Have you checked Amazon, Walmart or similar? For example I have a no name SS from Macy's I bought almost 15 years ago and it cooks perfectly, still in pristine shape. I think I paid like 30 bucks for it.

Otherwise if you want a one size fits all nonstick pan to hold you over, Cook's Illustrated rated T-Fal their top pick. It's 26 bucks on Amazon US. It's a great pan!

u/BriefcaseHandler · 4 pointsr/AskCulinary

Checkout the victorinox line. They don’t have a full tang and it’s a fibrox handle but it’s very sharp, feels good in the hand, and it’s easy to sharpen. Plus it’s cheap, I enjoy this knife as much as my Japanese and German steel.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP

u/oobacon · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

If you haven't read/studied [Harold McGee] (, that'll set you up with a solid foundation for knowledge.

As for skills, that's on you to practice. Definitely subscribe to quality content from quality sources that help keep the passion alive and learn from that. Buzzfeed Tasty is probably the best way to injure yourself over mediocre slop if you were to mimic them (Although I think I've seen one set of hands use a knife safe and proper.)

u/Cyno01 · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

Mercer and wusthov are both fine knives, but if you want the most bang for your buck, you really should buy individually. That doesnt mean you cant get a nice matching set though. Copying and pasting this from a thread a few weeks ago.

>The Victorinox ones are probably the best value around. Thats speaking as someone >who owns several hundred dollars worth of mostly Shun and Mercer knives.
>All you REALLY need is a
>Chefs Knife
>and a
>Pairing Knife
>to start with, those will handle about 85% of anything your ever need to do, but if you >want to expand i would get a
>Boning knife
>Bread knife
>And dont forget a honing steel.
>And MAYBE a pair of shears.

They wont come all together in a nice box, but no reason you couldnt get a nice block too and just wrap the whole thing...

u/Lemina · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I'm not sure if it's exactly what you're looking for, but I enjoyed Ratio:

It doesn't really focus on flavors, but it does explain why certain ingredients are used in specific ratios to create certain types of food, e.g. bread, cookies, stocks, sauces, custards. I really enjoyed it.

u/rockstarmode · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

I have a King water stone, and have used it to put new edges on blades that have been neglected for years. IMO once you have the right tools, technique is where you should be spending your time. You might want to take a look a Global's knife sharpening technique video. The technique in the video tends to work best on knives with relatively flat blade profiles (Global makes Japanese knives), but I've adapted it to work with my western knives relatively easily.

Edit: Wow, downvotes? Great job people

u/glassFractals · 23 pointsr/AskCulinary

I got a 12" Lodge cast iron skillet off Amazon for $17 bucks a few months ago. It's pre-seasoned and fantastic, and Lodge is a great brand. Ships free too. I absolutely adore it.

Check it out:

u/Guazzabuglio · 25 pointsr/AskCulinary

The Flavor Bible gets thrown around a lot, but for good reason. It's a great resource when trying to formulate your own recipe. It focuses on things like which foods have affinities for other foods, seasonality, and sensations different foods have. It's a great thing to page through when you have whatever the equivalent of writer's block is for cooks.

u/kasittig · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I like Ad Hoc At Home for relatively simple food done very well. It will help teach you to respect good ingredients while opening your eyes to some interesting flavor combinations.

I also have On Food and Cooking, which is dense but will teach you about food so that when you do pick up a "super fancy" recipe you may have a chance of actually understanding what the chef is doing and why.

And, of course, there's Ruhlman's Twenty, which is also very informative but is much more accessible than On Food and Cooking.

u/tsdguy · -1 pointsr/AskCulinary

Not that I'm an expert but I think you're going about this wrong. Find yourself a good cheap knife (I think most of us here would recommend the Victorinox Fibrox series) and then find an automatic knife sharpening device.

Personally I recommend the Accusharp draw type sharpener. It has two tungsten carbide sharpeners set at the proper angle. You just drag through the unit a couple of times and your knife is 90% as sharp as if you spent 20 minutes using a stone.

Once you have a working knife system (and some extra cash) you can go ahead a purchase a bit of a better knife and some stones you like in order to develop your sharpening skills.

u/43556_96753 · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I'd suggest this thermometer:

They make cheaper and (much) more expensive ones. I have several. This is the best value. Fast and accurate.

If your boyfriend is into cooking and will also get use out of the thermometer you can upgrade to the Thermopop (~$35) or the best of the best Thermapen ($80) found on the website.

u/SomeGuy09 · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

Cook's Illustrated recommended this one as their best value:

I have the 10-inch version and love it. I only have four knives: that one, a paring knife, bread knife, and fileting knife. I probably use the chef's knife 6 days a week and am only finding I need to sharpen it now after about 2 years of use.

I believe the rule of thumb for chef's knives is that you should use the largest one you feel comfortable with.

u/who-really-cares · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

If you want a fool proof method, get an edge pro (or similar knock off) system.

If you want to learn to free hand sharpen, get a King 1k/6k water stone.$30

These are not the best stones in the world, but they are a good price point to get into it.

You get to pick the angle you want! But its VG-10 steel so it can go pretty steep, 15 deg would probably be recommended. Watch some videos to get a good idea of what you are doing, and how to hold an angle. You could also get an angle guide if you want.

You don't need a flattening stone right away, but you will eventually. A cheap ish option is to buy a low grit (140 is sometimes recomended) dimond plate and use it. $30

Lots of videos.

u/ciaoshescu · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

It might not sound like it makes sense what BaconGiveMeALardon said, but it's true. If you can get your hands on Modernist Cuisine then you can read more about cooking with woks. To sum it up, you need a lot of heat all the time. The Veggies on the bottom cook really fast, as soon as they are in contact with the metal. If you aren't careful, you can burn the food easily. That's why wok cookers always toss the food in the air, that way the hot steam also cooks the veggies higher up while at the same time not letting those on the bottom burn. Here's a pic I found from the book detailing the way a wok cooks food. You have to basically heat up the skillet to around 750 °C / 1400 F, and for that you need a flame 25 times more powerful than a typical home appliance can offer.

For a long time I tried to figure out a way to get wok cooking done at home. I thought of buying a portable wok cooking system hooked up to a propane tank. That was too much of a hassle, though. I will have to enjoy woked meals in restaurants, I suppose.

u/drew_tattoo · 43 pointsr/AskCulinary

On Food and Cooking is pretty popular when it comes to understanding the transformations that foods undergo. It's not a cookbook per se but it's pretty heavy on the science of stuff. I used it as a sole resource for a short paper I wrote in eggs a couple semesters back. It might not be the most enjoyable read but it sure is informative.

u/NoFunRob · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

The mandoline is the right answer, though I would encourage anyone to try to use a good chef's knife. Thin slices, then fan them out on a cutting board & take thin strips off the thin slices. For the quantity a home cook needs, this is probably fine & the knife skills one gains are invaluable. Oh, heck..... just by the cheap Benriner mandoline. They are great for the money.

u/tychosmoose · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

If you don't have strongly defined needs/preferences, I would get something like this:

Solid knife, good one to use while learning about knife care. Maybe you will be happy with it for a long time. Or maybe you will learn what you want in a fancier knife later. Keep it simple until there is a good reason to pay more.

u/revjeremyduncan · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I recently bought a Solicut First Class chef and paring knife set, and I love them. I've been using them a lot for a little over a month without sharpening the blades, and they will still shave the hair on my arm with ease.

I researched heavily before I bought mine, and it seems that Shun and MAC brand knives are among the most loved buy those with experience. The Mac chef knife with dimples had slightly better reviews than the one without

The Victorinox is an excellent chef knife for under $30 if you budget is tight.

EDIT: Btw, I went with the Solicut knives, mainly because they were cheaper. From what I learned though my research, Solicut is just as high quality as Shun or MAC, but they are advertised less. A savings with gets passed on to the customer. I also like the handles of my knives better than the others.

u/xiaodown · 5 pointsr/AskCulinary

It's toast. Don't buy another one; replace it with this pan, the T-Fal oven safe 12" non-stick. It's recommended and used by America's Test Kitchen. I have one, and I love it, but it's also $28, so when it dies in another 2 years, I won't cry when I have to buy another one.

I learned this lesson with my Scanpan 9" skillet, which lasted a good 5 years or so before getting so scratched up that it's not really non-stick anymore, but that cost $75. Buy a good one, but buy cheap, and assume it's disposable and replaceable on a ~2-3 year cycle.

u/throw667 · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

I wanted to cook but was unable to take time off to attend a school. I'd been enraged with a crap meal in an expensive countryside resto at a dinner for someone, so the next day I went up the High Street and found THIS.

I wasn't smart on cooking but I realized as I think you do that learning technique rather than reciting recipes is the way to a happier kitchen future.

After that, I eventually got an edition of THIS. It helped expand on, but not replace, the lessons from Cordon Bleu.

I went through those before this day of Internet videos and information sharing occurred; you are a beneficiary of more modern times being able to search for a solution to your problems.

I wanted to ask a question about your relationship, but hesitate. I mean, (blushing) how much stock do you put into your ability to please your husband with cooking? I only offer that as a point of consideration as a long-time married man. Restaurant-quality food at home won't make or break a marriage (although horrendous food at home can contribute to a break-up); other aspects of a marriage more than compensate for the quality of home-cooked food. Take it from a long-time married person. An offer of a PM stands, and best wishes in your journey to moving your already-good home cooking to a higher standard.

u/weather_the_storm · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

It doesn't have quite that special gift feel to it, but this is America's Test Kitchen's best chef knife for like 30 years in a row.

u/jmottram08 · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I want to argue against it.

Getting a proper edge is almost impossible without a guided stone setup, and even then you can't get the best general purpose edge, because it involves 2 different angles on each side (double bevel).

Cooks Illustrated (pretty much the gold standard for the prosumer chef) recommends either a simple hand sharpener, or an electric one that can put a good tripple bevel edge on a knife.

The reality is that its 2014. We have better ways to sharpen knives than by hand with a stone. Yes, a stone does work. No, its not the best or even the ideal situation by a LONG shot.

u/heyitslongdude · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

For an everyday home kitchen use, spending an extra $100 or $200 won't do much for you. Some brands are really nice and they can keep their edge so you don't need to sharpen it as often, but you can still do the same with a decent one. Just don't go to Walmart and think you found a good knife. You can find a decent Wustoff knife online or even better, at your local restaurant supply store.
As for whetstones, they work but for me personally it does take quite a bit of time and you can get the same affect from using something like this

u/wangston1 · 7 pointsr/AskCulinary

Ikea makes a really good non stick for 25$ or so. It has all the things you described.

Also the tfal prof 12.5 has a thicker bottom and does a great job. It's also around 25$.

If used both and enjoyed both. The Ikea one is much heftier. But the tfal pro is very slick and makes the perfect French omlette.

Edited: 7 years is a good life span for a non stick. Mine last a year to two years depending on how much I abuse them. So 25$ ever 1.5 years puts you a little behind your 100$ u year investment.

Edit edit:

Ikea pan with lid


T-fal Nonstick Fry Pan, Professional 12-Inch Nonstick Pan, Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator, Black, Model E93808

u/GiantQuokka · 49 pointsr/AskCulinary

So your whetstone isn't going to actually sharpen much of anything. The grit is way too coarse to actually get an edge. It's good for repairing a chipped edge and such or reprofiling a knife if you want to change the blade angle. Then you need something finer to finish the job and get it actually sharp.

This is the stone I use. It does a pretty good job. Although the one I got was pretty far off of being flat and I had to flatten it. It's probably not a common issue since the reviews didn't mention it.

u/prosequare · 10 pointsr/AskCulinary

I'd recommend a victorinox 8" chef knife with fibrox handle, like this

From the same brand, I'd grab a bread knife, a paring knife, and maybe a 6 inch utility. That will cover 99% of anyone's knife needs.

Then grab a sharpener. This kind works well:

You see a lot of hate for this type of sharpener around here because it removes more material than a stone. However- for someone who doesn't want to spend a ton of time and money using special water stones and sharpening jigs, it gets the job done very well. We used them in the restaurant kitchens I worked at. Quick and easy.

You might also get a honing steel.

Keeping knives sharp can be as simple or involved a process as you want. Being a master sharpener is not a prerequisite to being a good cook.

u/Methuselbrah · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Im not an expert but I would say poor ventilation is your issue. The humidity in ovens seem to very greatly. From what I have experienced, electric ovens tend to be completely dry, whereas propane or natural gas ovens have that little bit of humidity present. Gas ovens usually have those ports on the bottom on each side right above the burners and the vent is usually located in the back above the racks.

Also, I've seen better results with these ovens when cooking on a much higher heat.

Humidity is vital in bread baking for browning and crisping as well as other aspects of baking. There is a good book you can get that would it explain it in a more scientific way.

u/numeralCow · 0 pointsr/AskCulinary

I believe the Thermapen is the gold standard for a normal instant digital meat thermometer but it's about $90. I bought a $15 CDN thermometer and its been great. My first one went haywire and they replaced it for free with a three year warranty.

u/chalks777 · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

The warped bottom you can't really fix. If you have a gas stove, it probably won't matter much, but it's annoying for sure. The other stuff... you can try some bar keeper's friend, or you can try the boiled salt water again... assuming you actually pay attention to it. What you're doing is basically deglazing the pan. I typically do that every time I cook, makes cleanup a breeze and sometimes is great for an awesome pan sauce.

u/NoraTC · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

The The Flavor Bible pushes dill, cilantro and mint (a combo for which which I do not care, personally) and dill, cucumber and salmon as their headliners.

My personal favorite with dill in an onion flavor, so I would think about a kalonji (nigella) seed tarka/tempering poured over the veg and under the salmon. I have a mustard oil source that I trust to fry the kalongi seeds, so I would use that oil to fry the seeds; if I did not I would fry black mustard seeds with them in a neutral oil. It will really set off the dill and create a lot of flavors in the combinations.

Bitter is the other way to make the sweetness work with the dill to good advantage. I would consider coarsely chopping a bunch of black walnuts and toasting them to mix with the roasted veg bed to up the bitter and provide textural contrast if you like bitter direction better.

u/the_video_is_awesome · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I already own a decent skillet, a frying pan and a cast-iron skillet (at least I think it is, it looks like this).

I want to be able to boil rice/potatoes/pasta, saute veggies, cook a steak/hamburger, make pasta sauces, stew/slow cook, make sauces, ... You get the idea. These tasks are all pretty basic, so I think you do pose a good question if I'd need all those pots.

Would it be a good idea to get these pots:

  • Standard pot
  • Stockpot (also useable for stew/simmer/slow cook?)
  • Sauce pan
u/Zombie_Lover · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

This is what I have always done. It cleans them well. I have also used Bar Keepers Friend and had great results. I have the cheap Orgreenic pans and have been using them for the last three years or so and they still work great. My only real complaint about them is that I wish they were a bit thicker.

u/nanuq905 · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

The Sweet Home highly recommends this one as it is really cheap compared to the Thermapen but works nearly as well.

Now where are my bonus points?

u/TiSpork · 11 pointsr/AskCulinary

Read about building flavor profiles.

There are a couple of good books on the market: The Flavor Bible and The Flavor Thesauraus. They both have a lot of information on what ingredients go well with each other.

Also, learn by doing. Try things you think may go together well, even if it's not conventional. Even if the things you try don't come together, you can still learn from it. Try to understand WHY it didn't work (cooking method, flavor profile, preparation all have an affect), think about what you can do to correct the mistake, then implement that the next time you try that dish. I don't own a copy of it myself (yet), but Cook's Illustrated Magazine's The Science of Good Cooking would probably help in that regard.

In general, I consider Alton Brown, Cook's Illustrated/Cook's Country, America's Test Kitchen, and Julia Child to be very reputable in the information they convey.

u/breadispain · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

The Flavor Bible is an excellent resource for this. You look up an ingredient and it shows a general "scale" for commonly paired ingredients. There are no recipes, but if something piques your interest there's the whole Internet for that :)

u/getoffmyfrontpage · 13 pointsr/AskCulinary

Lodge Cast Iron Skillets are great but you have to make sure you clean them immediately afterwards.

For something more practical (and cheap), take a look at these guys (depending on what size you are looking for. You can sautee something, throw it in the oven, and when they start to get ugly, take some Bar Keepers Friend and go at it. It will look good as new in no time. P.S., please don't pay $5 for BKF, it is at your grocery store for only a dollar or two.

Edit: Here is a test of this one vs. the expensive All Clad version.

u/Haggis_Forever · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

If she doesn't have a copy of McGee, it is worth picking up. Otherwise, you can't go wrong with The Joy of Cooking.

Or, like BBallsagna said, anything by Rick Bayless.

u/ZootKoomie · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

The last time we had this discussion the CDN DTQ450X ProAccurate Quick-Read Thermometer came up as a more affordable alternative. I bought one and have found it not too bad. It only has ice water calibration and it's not quite as quick as you'd ideally like, but otherwise I'm happy with it.

u/lindsayadult · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Not gadgets, but look into the Modernist Cuisine books:

Obviously not all at once because of cost, but look into maybe getting a kindle and the digital version or something similar 😂
Or just go to a store, browse through the books and look for neat gadgets to get (as suggested in the books).

u/DoctorWongBurger · 4 pointsr/AskCulinary

Get the Victorinox on Amazon, I was skeptical about it being a "cheap" knife but it's amazing, it sped up my prep time for dinner and I can make a huge meal so much faster now with it.

u/FoieTorchon · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

Vicotrinox Fibrox 8" chef's knife... super versatile, super durable. I got mine about 12 years ago and it's still kinda my go to...

u/UrbaneTexan · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I'm surprised so far no one has mentioned Larousse which is generally my go-to along with The New Best Recipe for more generalized fare.

I generally don't cook from cookbooks, but I do use them for inspiration or fundamentals.

u/berthejew · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

On Food and Cooking is a great way to learn what pairings and what flavors work together. Hope this helps!!

u/ChefDaddyandDaughter · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Honestly ... I love my cheap ass Victorynox Fibrox. I just take care of it with regular sharpening on a Japanese wet stone. (Stone was more expensive than the knife) I have had this knife for nearly ten years through many brutal kitchens. Pair it with a nice steel to keep the blade straight between sharpening and it becomes an awesome cheap knife.

As for a whole set? Honestly ... I only use my chef knife. Rarely I will pull out a boning knife because my chef knife does a fine job. My pairing knife usually only ends up being used to open packages. A scalloped edge knife is good for bread but little else. My slicer only comes out if I am doing some carving in the front of house.

PS: Rachel Ray uses santoku knives ... Dont be like Rachel Ray.

u/AdrianStaggleboofen · 20 pointsr/AskCulinary

Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques and Larousse Gastronomique are both great resources for classical dishes and techniques. Much of classical French cooking is based around stocks and sauces (the 5 mother sauces, and their extensions) and finesse in cooking, i.e. precise cuts, elaborate platings, etc. Something like cooking a french omelet, a piece of fish a la meuniere (get real french and do it with skate wing or dover sole), or if you're into pastry, a simple pâte à choux or genoise, are good starting recipes. With those two books and a few recipes to practice should get you started.

u/vohrtex · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I like this grinder. It has a little pocket in the top to hold you nutmeg and is smaller.

It is a savory spice, I like it with mashed potatoes and with savory custards. The Flavor Bible highlights apples, braised beef, chicken, chowders, chocolate, dried fruit, pumpkin, souffles, and lamb, amongst many others.

It mixes well with cinnamon, allspice, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and mace, which is the dried skin of the nutmeg.

u/charnobyl · 14 pointsr/AskCulinary

I personally like books by Ruhlman like techniques or ratio they aren't too chefy for me and are easy to read.

u/scrufflemuffin · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

That's actually kind of useful, with it listing the ingredients under each link as "+cumin", "+cilantro", etc.

Another helpful resource for your bookshelf: The Flavor Bible, which is a directory of ingredients, each listed with recommended complimentary flavors.

u/StumpedByPlant · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Definitely not a professional. I just want to give him something that is solid and will last a long time. I was thinking of:

Victorinox Fibrox and a BearMoo Stone.

That being said, if a Wustof is better in the long run, I'm not adverse to getting one of those with a sharpening stone.

u/Kitae · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

It's a pretty basic recipe. Try the one in this book! It's bulletproof works every time. Also this is just an incredible book...Buy it now and thank me later ;)

u/fishsupreme · 17 pointsr/AskCulinary

You could get a Wusthof Classic 8-inch chef's knife for $80.

If you're not willing to spend even that much, there's a reason this Victorinox Fibrox is the #1 seller on Amazon. It's stamped and has a nylon handle that feels cheap, but it works, it's well balanced, it can hold a good edge, and it'll last.

u/mmarin5193 · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

The flavor bible might be a good resource for you.

It gives nice flavor combinations and what works well together.


u/vespolina12 · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I used this book:

it has a lot of step-by-step basic techniques with pictures, and some scientific explanation. it doesnt have as much personality as the books mentioned by other commenters - i think it's intended as a cooking school textbook - but it's pretty comprehensive.

u/rockinghigh · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I would look at this book:
Paul Bocuse: The Complete Recipes
It contains many recipes for traditional French dishes like onion soup, sole meunière, bœuf bourguignon.
As far as techniques go, I found this book to be the best:
The Professional Chef
Especially the section on stocks. It also has a lot of French recipes.

u/yesgirl · 46 pointsr/AskCulinary

Try The Flavor Bible! It helped me go from using recipes to making dishes on the fly out of what I had on hand and helped me come up with new recipes based on exciting food combinations I read about.

u/whenthepawn · 9 pointsr/AskCulinary

I read in [Ruhlman's Twenty] ( by Mike Ruhlman that you should soak the chicken in water for the same amount of time you overbrined it. EDIT: I've made [his] ( brine for pork, but used pork loin in the oven and it and it came out great.

u/desertsail912 · 5 pointsr/AskCulinary

I think the general consensus on those sharpeners is that they don't work really well. From other knife sharpening posts, the products I've heard most about are the swing arm type of sharpeners, like this, stationary angled sharpening stones like this or getting fancy whetstones, like this.

u/geeklimit · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Has anyone had a bad experience with an AccuSharp? At $9, it's supposedly one of the best values out there, and I can verify my knives are sharper than I was able to get them and stay sharp for a reasonable amount of use, but it does seem to take a lot of metal off rather easily, so I have to be overly careful.

u/trpnblies7 · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Has anyone tried the Thermowand? It seems to be a fairly new product marketing itself as a lower-priced competitor to the Thermapen. The reviews on it seem pretty positive. I really would like a good thermometer, but just can't bring myself to spend so much on a Thermapen.

u/Wawgawaidith · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

I bought The Flavor Bible last year for my wife and myself. It's a very thorough guide to pairing flavors. Really well organized. A bit overwhelming at first, but we really enjoy it now.

Edit: Put in name of book...

u/eatupkitchen · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Take a recipe you've followed a few times and then do it differently. Start with something small like dicing instead of slicing something. Then try using chicken stock or wine instead of water. Do something you know you're not supposed to do but you're not sure why. Maybe have a fire extinguisher on hand.

Buy a bag of onions and a sack of potatoes. Look up the difference between a chop, slice, dice, etc. Practice those methods. Then cook those onions and potatoes different ways at different times and temperatures. How does a diced potato cook in the oven at 500 degrees or 300 degrees for 10 minutes? What happens when you toss the potato in oil? Does adding salt prior to cooking change the outcome? Form a hypothesis and determine why your hypothesis was right or wrong after you run the experiment.

Just like anything in life, if you want to learn about it, study it. Some people learn better from books. Others from doing. It's frustrating but I appreciate my failures in the kitchen. It means I learned something that day. As far as books go, I'd recommend The Professional Chef. It's a little advanced but it covered a lot of the basics.

I'd also add that if you're able to follow recipes you already know how to cook. "Knowing" is relative.

u/tardnoggle · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

I also completely agree with /u/buttunz, The Professional Chef is a must have if you're planning on a career in the culinary field. What I like the most about the Cuisine Foundations text book is all the pictures of the knife cuts. It really helped me improve my knife skills.

u/flumpis · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Thanks for the detail! I currently have one of these guys which does a good job for my beater knives, and I use a honing steel for my chef knife (haven't had to sharpen it yet), but I'd imagine a whetstone might do a better job and not remove as much of the blade material as what I have. I can't find any good resources online discussing this.

u/albino-rhino · 8 pointsr/AskCulinary

I would stronlgy recommend Jacques Pepin who is wonderful.

u/Apocalypse-Cow · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

You can't go wrong with the Victorinox Fibrox. It's great bang for your buck.

u/winkers · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

When I was looking for a new digital thermometer, I was a little put off by the price of the Thermoworks. I think they are great devices but I just didn't want to spend $100. I also was weighing the difference between the models, like you.

But then I found the Lavatools Javelin.

It had everything I wanted and was only $25. I gave it a shot and it's been in my pocket while cooking ever since.

u/ahenkel · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

I know a lot of people swear by the Victornox Fiborox series

Personally I bought a cheap Shun Wasabi chef's knife. Mostly because I like the single edged thinner japanese style, it was 35 bucks and I live 45 minutes from where I can take it and get it resharpened or repaired free.

u/271828182 · 15 pointsr/AskCulinary

Harold McGee is pretty much the standard tome for a scientific approach to the cooking process. If you can get through most of On Food and Cooking you are doing pretty damn good.

The only major step up from that would be the more exhaustive and much more expensive, 50 lb, 6 volume set called Modernist Cuisine

Edit: words are hard

u/bigtcm · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

> So if you sharpen a cheap knife with a good quality sharpening stone, it will still be able to cut as good as a expensive knife, but won't hold its sharpness for long because of the cheaper metal used in it?

It depends on the construction of the knife. I've had some cheap knives that struggle to cut a banana (okay, maybe a tiny bit of an exaggeration), but I've had cheap knives that will split hairs. The point I was trying to make is that price doesn't always determine the sharpness and quality of the blade. Some steel simply won't sharpen, no matter how long you grind it on a stone...I can't speak very well on the particular composition and make up of the steel, but I just know that some blades just simply don't get sharp.

For example, these kiwi's and this victorinox that are mentioned in this sub quite frequently are both solid knives that are incredibly sharp, will maintain their edge for quite some time, and are very cheap. I've used them both before and were quite satisfied with them. Conversely, I've had some knives that were given to me, bought from Chinatown as a novelty gift that literally warped and eventually cracked while I was rinsing it off under hot tap water.

As for the sharpening stone, you also need to know how to properly use it or it's useless as well. I haven't the slightest idea, so I just get my knives sharped by someone else.

u/splice42 · 10 pointsr/AskCulinary

It's not free, but The Flavor Bible is pretty much what you want.

u/mc_1260 · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

Are you talking aboutOn Food and Cooking?Also a great book!

u/pease_pudding · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

Just start buying spices and building up your store cupboard, then it gives you all the options you need when its time to cook.

Mostly its just through experience that you learn which flavour combinations work. If you consume lots of cookery shows (tv/youtube), you will gradually pick it up without even realising.

Failing that, there is always The Flavour Bible, which is an excellent book

Also watch some Asian cookery youtubes, Indian cuisine in particular has mastered the use of spices.

u/HydroDragon · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

This book is amazing if you really want to learn the this and that of culinary arts. It's the place I learned about various starches for the first time.

u/greaseburner · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

>I was thinking of getting a victronox set of some sort

Do this. This one specifically. It's the best knife you will ever buy for the money.

>but I saw a Japanese knife at the grocery store for 20 bucks that I thought looked ok.

Don't do this.

As far as how to spot quality, it just comes down to reading about the knife. Metal quality and build quality are the two key things that go into overall knife quality. But a 'good' knife depends on your own preferences on weight, handle, bolster, blade curvature and a few other things. Don't just go out and drop a few hundred on some Shun from Williams-Sonoma or whatever. Get a feel for what you need in knife first.

u/adawait · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I'm fairly new to this myself and was told early on to check out the Victorinox line. Very inexpensive, great balance with a great handle. They come sharp, too.
I own the 10" but will prob get an 8" as well.

u/murckem · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

Hard to say without knowing what he already has. Assuming he has knife, cuttingboard, pans etc, maybe a stick blender like this:

Or a mandoline like this:

Those are two of my favorite odds and ends that make life easier but took me a while to purchase them because they weren't necessary per se

u/throughtheforest · 4 pointsr/AskCulinary

Invest the $15 in a microplane. Seriously AMAZING. Garlic minced, lemons zested, ginger grated in an instant!

u/jaf488 · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

The Flavor Bible

A great resource for budding cooks, or just as reference.

u/thelivingbeat · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

I'd go with Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife 40520, 47520, 45520, 5.2063.20
Or Wusthof Silverpoint II 8-Inch Cook's Knife

Great all around knives.

u/mombutt · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

I finally bought the T Fal Professional after watching the Test Kithen guys use it for years and claim how great it is. I'm pretty mad that I hadn't one a few years ago. And it's only $28

Here's their review of Pans

u/Septotank · 13 pointsr/AskCulinary

The Victorinox Fibrox 8 inch chef’s knife is only $36 on Amazon and is consistently rated top honors by America’s Test Kitchen. It is sharp, keeps an edge, and even though I own a Wusthof I usually end up reaching for it first. It’s not $80-100 but I still can’t recommend it enough!

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP

If you’re looking for something reliable and sharp for daily use (and aren’t yet sure-about/familiar-with high end knives), look no further.

u/KDirty · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

You'd be surprised; milk is exceedingly resilient to heat. You can literally cook all the water out of it without the proteins denaturing.

At higher heats it becomes easier for the milk to spoil, but there still generally needs to be an acid.

If you're interested in food science at all.

u/Booyeahgames · 8 pointsr/AskCulinary

The Flavor Bible

This book helped me a lot, and I refer to it often when I want to change a recipe or just come up with something with what I have on hand. The first chapter has a very abbreviated discussion on flavors, but the majority book is just a cross-referenced index of ingredients, what their flavor is, and what things complement it well.

u/blueturtle00 · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

These are what I use, I've got the 400, 1000, 5000

If those are too expensive Amazon has a pretty decent 1000/6000 stone for beginners

u/williamtbash · 7 pointsr/AskCulinary

Can someone tell me if I'm doing something wrong? Bought this Lodge Cast Iron about 7 months ago. Cook in it almost every day. Lots of bacon. Generally my method of seasoning is after I finish cooking I wash the skillet in hot water and use my scrubber, dry with a paper towel, put back on the stove until it heats up a bit, and then rub in a thin layer of some standard vegetable (soybean) oil. A few days I spent oiling the skillet and heating it in the oven at 525 degrees about 3 times a day for a few days. It is definitely a little bit seasoned but just not the way I want it. After I wash and dry it it seems a bit dry. From what I've read I am not getting the same results and I would think after all this time it would be better. Any advice?

u/rodion_kjd · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

I would say that in the most broad way of looking at things, high quality items aren't put on 85% off clearance. You never go to the Rolex store for an 85% discount, you never buy a Porsche at 25% off, etc. In addition it is rarely in your best interest to buy a "set" of knives because you'll either pay way too much or way too little and end up with some stuff you won't need.

From what I can tell from a little bit of google they're hammered knives that will run in a set of 3 for around $70. They're more than likely okay but the general consensus around here is the Fibrox is the knife to buy if you just need a general kitchen workhorse for the home cook.

Those Seki Tobei knvies look cool but my guess is that's their most distinguishing features.

u/woo545 · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

I have All-Clad. Pick up some Barkeeper's Friend it'll clean up the pans fast!

Also, medium heat for steak is a little low. I have an electric range and end up setting 7 out of 10. Basically, let the pan heat up. Then toss a few drops of water into the pan. If the water dances around on the surface, then it's ready for your oil and within a few seconds of heating up the oil, the steak.

u/akx13 · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

What about Professional Chef by CIA or On Cooking by Sarah R. Labensky? I've never tried them but I've heard of them and would like to hear confirmation before spending a lot of dough on these expensive textbooks.

u/Jbor1618 · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

While I do not own it myself, I have heard lot's and lot's of praise of
The Flavor Bible

u/JordanTheBrobot · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

Fixed your link

I hope I didn't jump the gun, but you got your link syntax backward! Don't worry bro, I fixed it, have an upvote!

u/blackout182 · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

I highly recommend this non-stick pan. It was featured in Cook's Illustrated magazine as their top pick for inexpensive non-stick pans.

u/EtDM · 8 pointsr/AskCulinary

The Larousse Gastronmique is a whole lot of fun to poke through. Tons of information on ingredients, restaurants, and chefs, although it does sway heavily toward French cuisine. The newest edition is pretty expensive, but the Older editions can be had for not too much cash.

u/neatoni · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

you might enjoy investing in this book

u/sacundim · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

> I kind of disagree on this point. What is a "good" knife? One that has Wustof, Henckels, or Shun somewhere on the blade? Does a beginner really need full tang? Can most people distinguish between a stamped vs a forged blade? What about cheap black plastic handles vs intricate wooden ones?

Popular opinion has it that this is a good chef knife, and it's under $30.

Asian markets here in the Bay Area also often have Chinese-made knives that are decent and cheap.

u/zapatodefuego · 8 pointsr/AskCulinary

This gets recommended a lot:

It will wear quickly and King is budget brand but it should work well as a first stone/set.

u/seainhd · 8 pointsr/AskCulinary

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

u/lime_in_the_cococnut · 14 pointsr/AskCulinary

> *On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of Cooking[1]

I use this one and its full of good info. You could basically call it cooking-for-engineers.

u/HikerMiker · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

Check out most books by Michael Ruhlman. Twenty is a good one especially.

u/frizbplaya · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

There's a cookbook called ratio that talks about ratios of inredients to get good flavors.

u/girkabob · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

T-Fal has a few different lines of pans. I got this one a couple years ago and it has a nice heavy bottom.

u/MrMentallo · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

It doesn't matter what kind of food she likes, this will apply. If she is wondering how mayonnaise binds together, this will explain why down to the molecular level. This is an indispensable resource.

u/reverendfrag4 · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

Oh dude. Get a thermometer. I like this one.

Without a decent instaread thermometer in your kitchen your hands are tied. You will find a million uses for this. You can get your oil hot enough (I don't think you're frying hot enough. 325-350f for chicken, depending on cut and what kind of crust you're going for. I go more towards 325 on the oil temp and cook my chicken towards 160-165 at the bone), you can test all your meats for correct doneness. It's an essential tool. I can make do without a decent chef's knife or a good spatula, but the thermometer? I carry that one with me when I go visiting.

Also get a kitchen scale. They cost about the same 20-25 bucks.

u/Fr4mesJanco · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Maybe you're looking for something like this?

u/uid_0 · 48 pointsr/AskCulinary

I would recommend The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. It covers a lot of techniques and dishes-out the science behind them.

u/Odos_Bucket · 5 pointsr/AskCulinary

A mandoline with the right blade would probably do the job. Maybe something like this.

u/gingenhagen · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Lifehacker talking about Victorinox, if you like that sort of thing.

Here is it on Amazon

u/landragoran · 7 pointsr/AskCulinary

unless i'm mistaken, this knife is often recommended as a good first knife by cooking schools to new students. it's cheap and sturdy, apparently everything a newish cook could want in a chef's knife.

u/gray314 · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Not sure if this meets your needs but I find this gadget quite handy when prepping veggies for certain dishes.

u/deadzip10 · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

Stopped by to say exactly this. Honestly, I just enjoy browsing the thing for things I hadn't thought about.

Here's a link to Amazon.

u/Shortymcsmalls · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

You'll see these knifes recommended around here quite a bit:

Victorinox 10 inch

Victorinox 8 inch

Also got the recommendation from America's Test Kitchen, scroll to the bottom to check the video:

u/glinsvad · 11 pointsr/AskCulinary

Also known as cooking by ratios. Ruhlman's ratios comes highly recommended.

u/Madkey · 5 pointsr/AskCulinary

[This Knife] ( came highly recommended in a different thread. I have not used it personally though.

u/pyrogirl · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

If this is the sort of thing that interests you, you need a copy of Harold MeGee's On Food and Cooking.

u/Barking_at_the_Moon · 5 pointsr/AskCulinary

So far as I know, anodizing is a process that doesn't work on stainless steel pans - anodizing is basically induced oxidization ('rust') of aluminum. The anodized surface is kind of non-stick, though many anodized pans are also coated with additional non-stick materials. Anodizes surfaces can scratch pretty easily, too.

Both pans are 'safe' to use over high heat, though thermal shock can warp or crack them - one of the reasons that cast iron is preferred for intense heat. Slow to heat, slow to cool (never from the range to a sink, for instance) will help prevent damage. That's pretty much the same advice for any pan, however.

There are concerns (read: arguments about) how some of the pans with additional non-stick coating handle high heat, the material may degrade and (here comes the controversial part) offgas some material that you don't want to be inhaling.

If cast iron pans cost $100 in Oz, I'm going to start exporting them. They're relatively cheap in the States - you can buy a decent quality 12" Lodge pan for less than US$20, including shipping...

u/say_oh_shin · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

You won't really be able to learn from a reddit post. If you are serious about wanting to know what pairs well, I'd suggest picking up a copy of The Flavor Bible

u/waste_of_paste · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

Cooks Illustrated recommended this Victorinox 8" chefs knife over several forged carbon knives. Victorinox Fibrox 8-Inch Chef's Knife

u/Forrest319 · 2 pointsr/AskCulinary

I've seen a couple I like, but where's La Technique by Pepin. Or more likely, one of the updated versions.

u/tartcouplet · 3 pointsr/AskCulinary

I get your need for speed, so I'll let you in on my trick. Plus, it knocks out another rule of the kitchen: never own anything that performs only one job.

Get yourself a Microplane grater. A coarse one. This one.

Peel your cloves of garlic, then grate them into nothing. Be careful once it gets down to the nub, or you're going to lose some finger skin. Takes five seconds, you have perfectly minced garlic, and you can use it for all kinds of other stuff: mincing ginger or onion, grating cheese, zesting. They come in a bunch of sizes, too.

u/squidsquidsquid · 6 pointsr/AskCulinary

Benriner is my personal favorite. OXO has too many parts and I don't like dragging it out of the cupboard. Don't love the Borner either- it feels flimsy, even if it might not be. Serious Eats did this review, though: Best Inexpensive Mandoline

u/CephiDelco · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

I second Keller's Ad Hoc At Home. Probably #1 on my list.

Also huge props to Andy Ricker's Pok Pok cookbook. I've only dipped my toes into this world but it has already changed the way I look at cooking.

As a reference book, Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is invaluable.

u/stimber · 4 pointsr/AskCulinary

I've done the same thing and no long term damaged. Clean with Bar Keepers Friend and it will be good to go for many more years.

u/rogueblueberry · 23 pointsr/AskCulinary

On Food And Cooking is a MUST in any kitchen, maybe the only non-recipe-dedicated cookbook you'll ever need. The culinary school I took a few classes at recently, the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC, highly recommends this; even Per Se, the #1 restaurant in the US, #6 in the world, keeps a tattered copy in their restaurant. With 800 pages, it explains so much of the science, history, and tips behind practically everything culinary related that you need to know. The book is really a staple.

Cooking for Geeks is similar, but I feel OFaC is more all-encompassing.

u/IndestructibleMushu · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

You wont be able to afford decent copper with that money. Cast iron is always cheap. I would just go with a Lodge and cook the more acidic things in her nonreactive crap pots and pans until she can afford better cookware.

u/RBMcMurphy · 0 pointsr/AskCulinary

I've got one of these that I love-- quick and easy and sharpens well.

With decent knives, you should be honing more often than sharpening to make them last longer-- but if you just use cheap kitchen aid knives and dont care as much about longevity, a periodic quick sharpening should do the trick.

u/indiebass · 4 pointsr/AskCulinary

Seconding. This book is indispensable when it comes to learning the basics of how taste and flavor go together, and how to work with them. For the record, it is by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.


u/mikesauce · 1 pointr/AskCulinary

The only comment this thread needs, except for this one with the link.

u/Due_rr · 33 pointsr/AskCulinary

The food lab. You can also buy Modenist Cuisine at Home.