Top products from r/Cooking

We found 786 product mentions on r/Cooking. We ranked the 5,796 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/Cooking:

u/SuspiciousRhubarb4 · 2 pointsr/Cooking

You and I are probably similar. I had never cooked before spontaneously deciding I was going to cook all of my own food from scratch on my 37th birthday. I also spent HOURS slaving away on often so-so dishes and felt discouraged. I pushed through that initial 2-3 month window of crappiness and now I'm 2.5 years into cooking 6 days a week and it's been life changing. That said, I still don't LIKE cooking, but I don't mind it, and I love the feeling that I finally know what I should be eating.

I think it was J. Kenzi Lopez Alt who said that good food is the result of:

  1. Good Recipe
  2. Good Ingredients
  3. Good Equipment
  4. Good Technique

    Good recipes: I can't believe there's 41 comments and no one's mentioned Budget Bytes. She is the queen of pragmatic, low cost, fast-enough, from-scratch, healthy weeknight dinners. For your first couple of months of cooking try focusing on just her recipes. They're beginner friendly and very well written.

    At least until you develop the sense of what makes recipes good, avoid YouTube, gif recipes, Pintrest, and the obnoxious blogs full of too-well-staged-photos. They're interested in views and shares, not cooking.

    Here's some other sites that produce consistently good food:

  • Simply Recipes: Traditional American food
  • Skinny Taste: Very similar to Budget Bytes, great weeknight meals
  • Serious Eats: Great food, but tends to be pretty hardcore in ingredient & technique requirements. They probably make the best version of your favorite dish. Save SE for a weekend meal once you're more comfortable cooking.

    Here's some confidence building fantastic recipes:

  • Baked Chicken with Artichokes and Tomatoes (Budget Bytes)
  • Stuffed Pepper Soup (Skinny Taste) (Substitute marjoram for oregano for if you don't want to buy marjoram)
  • Spicy Tuna Guacamole Bowls (Budget Bytes) (Here's a great guacamole recipe if you want to make that from scratch too)
  • Greek Chicken Wraps (Budget Bytes)
  • Greek Turkey and Rice Skillet (Budget Bytes)
  • Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Dressing (Budget Bytes) (if you grate the garlic in to the dressing with a microplane you don't NEED to blend the dressing; just whisk it)
  • Easy Teriyaki-Glazed Salmon, Cucumber, and Avocado Rice Bowls (Serious Eats)
  • Sweet Crunch Winter Salad (Budget Bytes) (WAY better than it sounds)
  • Skillet Chicken Fajitas with Avocado (Serious Eats)
  • Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet (Budget Bytes)
  • Chicken in Peanut Sauce (Budget Bytes)
  • [Skillet Chicken Puttanesca (Simply Recipes)[https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/skillet_chicken_puttanesca/]
  • Chipotle Chicken Chili (Pioneer Woman)

    Good Ingredients: In the beginning I found that cooking was often way more expensive than I'd ever imagined. That was in part because I hadn't built up much of a pantry (oils, vinegars, spices, other condiments), but the main reason was because I was shopping a supermarket. For both cost and quality reasons, each week try finding a new market in your area. In particular, look for ethnic markets frequented by people of the biggest ethnic culture in your area. The asian, mexican, and middle eastern markets in my area have better quality food for quite seriously 50-75% less than a supermarket. The closest supermarket charged $7/lb for prepackaged ground beef. The mexican place nearby charges $3/lb for ground beef they grind themselves.

    Speaking of ethnic markets, try to find an ethnic market with a dry goods section where you can scoop out as much of an ingredient as you want into bags for cheap.

    If you live in a metropolitan area find a Penzeys. They sell spices that are much higher quality than a supermarket for about 25-50% less than supermarket prices.

    You're going to need tons of chicken broth. Until you inevitably start making your own large batches in a pressure cooker a year from now, stick with Better Than Bouillon(https://www.betterthanbouillon.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/BTB_Package_8oz_Roasted_Chicken_Base-2017.png). It's cheaper and better than the crap you get from a can or carton.

    Good Equipment: The most important thing is a sharp knife. Here's the $27 knife everyone usually recommends. Even if you already have a knife, it's probably dull if it's not new and you haven't sharpened it; get it sharpened or buy a new one for now. Learn to hone it before or after each use.

    Go to a kitchen supply store, Smart & Final, or Amazon and get a couple of 1/4 sheet trays ($4?), ten or so bar towels ($1 each), and a prep bin ($4) so that your prep area looks like this. Also get a bench scraper ($5). The 1/4 sheet trays keep your ingredients organized and ready to go. The prep bin saves you from having to keep a trash can nearby and keeps things tidy. The bench scraper is a time-saving godsend for moving stuff around. A proper prep station alone will probably cut your cooking times by 10-20%.

    Good Technique: Once you have an organized prep station and you get your workflow down, the biggest time saver is going to be knife skills. Onions & garlic will be your most commonly chopped items, so watch several videos and make sure that each time you chop one of those it's meaningful practice. To avoid cutting yourself: get a sharp knife, while cutting always consider what would happen if your knife slips, and every time something awkward/unusual happens, take a small pause before you continue cutting.

    The art of home cooking by recipe really comes down to heat management. Get an infrared thermometer for $20, they're incredibly valuable when starting out. For the vast majority of sauteing, turn your pan to medium high (just guess) and measure your pan with that thermometer until it's around 300 then pour in whatever oil you're using. Keep checking them temp with the thermometer until that oil is around 330-360 then toss in your meat or vegetables. If you wait a few seconds, slide the food out of the middle of the pan, and check the temp again you'll see it's in low 200's because the food saps the heat out of the pan. Your goal is to keep that heat in the 300's. Note that as the food heats up the pan will get hotter quicker, so as you're learning keep monitoring that pan and get used to the sounds it's making so eventually you'll manage heat through sound & instinct.

    The last thing is: use more salt. If you're cooking a recipe that looked great, and got great reviews, and it doesn't seem like you made any big mistakes yet it's still bland, it's because you didn't add enough salt 100% of the time. It took me a while to realize that when I add salt to a dish someone else has made, they had already put a good amount of salt in it. So when salting a dish that makes four portions, you're not going to just shake in some salt from a shaker, you're going to pour in a teaspoon or more.
u/gaqua · 15 pointsr/Cooking
  1. A good, sharp chef's knife. Nothing fancy, I use a Dexter that I got for like $20 and have it resharpened. You can get a lot nicer, but you don't have to. The first kitchen I ever worked at (20 years ago) used knives almost exactly like this.

  2. A good meat thermometer. I use this one which works similarly to a ThermaPen but without the ridiculous ~$90 cost.

  3. A good cast iron skillet can be pretty versatile. Cast iron holds heat very well, which means that it's great for stuff like searing steaks.

  4. Some cheap, non-stick frying pans. I recommend getting cheap ones because once the coating starts coming off (and it always does at some point, it seems) you're going to throw them away and get new ones. You can spend $300+ like I did once and get high-end stuff like All-Clad or whatever, but even if you're super careful and use only wood and silicone utensils to cook on it, it'll still start peeling its coating, and then All-Clad will say you used metal silverware on it and your warranty is invalid, blah blah blah, and that's more hassle than you need. Just get cheap ones.

  5. Now THIS is where you can spend some legit money. A tri-ply, high quality frying pan without a non-stick coating. These are great for making pan sauces while you cook, etc. I made a chicken, garlic, and olive oil with a red wine vinegar based pan sauce with this pan (well, and some baking dishes) that was incredible. All-Clad is the industry standard but the Tramontina stuff is 1/2 the price or less and built to near the same level of quality.

  6. A nice, enameled Dutch Oven, whether it be from Le Creuset or Tramontina, these are the best for stews, soups, chili...etc. Hold heat forever, well built, and easy to clean.

  7. A good fish spatula, which I almost never use to cook fish. It's actually just the best shape for omelets, eggs, whatever. Flipping anything in a pan with a utensil like this is awesome.

  8. A thick ceramic baking dish for making things like lasagna or casseroles or even just roasting meats/veggies.

  9. Believe it or not, cookie sheets covered with heavy duty aluminum foil are how I do a lot of my oven roasting of small things, like diced veggies or potatoes. They work perfectly and being so large they're able to be spread out so they get roasted on all edges for a little extra flavor. Brussel sprouts & diced bacon in a cast iron skillet to start and then dump them onto this and blast them in the oven at 425 for 15-20 minutes and you'll have a great side dish.

  10. No matter how careful you are, you're going to get something caked on or get a dish so dirty you think it's uncleanable. For that, I recommend Barkeeper's Friend which is an awesome powdered cleaner. Add a little water, use a paper towel and this stuff to make a paste, leave it in the pan for a few minutes, then rinse. I have yet to see this fail. Awesome stuff. Saved some pans.


    There are lots of other things I use daily:

u/doggexbay · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Congrats! It's the tool that'll make the single-biggest difference in your cooking: a good knife can be used for many more tasks than a bad one, you'll be more accurate with your prep, and you'll just be more effective in the kitchen because you get more enjoyment from using it!

Re: your other post about the chef's knife, there are obviously a billion options at every price point, but there are also some sure-fire safe places to start. German knives like your Wusthof that use Solingen metal are deservedly popular. Solingen is a city in Germany that's famous for making knives, swords, scissors, razors, everything. Seki City is the Japanese equivalent. You can nerd out about this stuff all day long, but the only important bit is that Seki steel holds a sharp edge just a little longer than Solingen. Anthony Bourdain recommended Japanese knives for home chefs for this reason; not because they're better, they aren't, but because casual cooks are less likely to take frequent care of their equipment than cooks who use it every day for their job. You take care of your German knives? They're wonderful.

Wushtof and Henckels are the most visible German brands; Global is probably the Japanese brand most US shoppers are used to seeing. Moving up a bit in price, but without getting unreasonable, are Shun and Mac, two very good Japanese brands. I have knives by both—an 8" santoku-style Shun and a 10" French-style Mac. You'll almost certainly be able to find both on deep sale for Black Friday, if you need to give your parents a hint ;). At the other end of the price spectrum, possibly the single-most popular chef's knife in the US that didn't come in a set as part of a wedding present is the Victorinox Fibrox 8" or 10". Professional cooks who don't bring their personal knife collections to work use these. They cost about forty bucks and they're awesome. They don't look awesome. The handles are molded plastic, the blade tangs don't have a sexy reveal all the way down like any of the other knives we're talking about here, and if you let yourself get bothered by this sort of thing—which is OK, people do—they can feel like something you'd use if you were working back of house at The Golden Corral. But. Like most staples in any industry, there is a reason that everyone, everyone uses them. They're sharp, reliable, inexpensive and easy to replace if needed. I honestly recommend that every home cook have at least one, even if you also have a fetish-level artisan kitchen knife collection, because you never know when you're going to need to break down a raw chicken and finely slice a head of fennel at the same time. In fact I tend to compulsively order their 3.25" paring knives anytime I need to bump a purchase over the free-shipping threshold on Amazon, because I know you can never have enough of the damn things. They're like flashlights or AA batteries.

That's a lot of text in defense of a cheap knife, but those other knives sell themselves, and TBH a lot of it's overkill. Between my Shun santoku and my Mac, I recommend the Mac for two reasons. One, the Shun is just way thicker than the Mac, and regardless of which knife you go with that's something to consider. If the top of the knife is more than a couple of millimeters thick, then it doesn't matter how sharp it is; it's going to give you a headache when you try to slice something that's taller than it—like a large squash or a really big sweet potato, for instance. The Mac is a much slimmer knife, which makes it more useful. Two, the santoku thing is kind of a fad. Blame the Food Network, I guess. Santoku knives attempt to sit the fence between French-style knives and Chinese chef's knives. Chinese chef's knives are cleavers and are, to be fair, the Swiss Army Knife of knives. They do everything. They are badass. But unless you're going to go full-tilt with a proper Chinese knife (just about anything that Dexter-Russell makes, by the way, is legit) then just get a French chef's knife. It's worked the way it works for as long as it works for a reason. The santoku's height is meant to simulate a cleaver, meaning in practice that you can safely turn it on its side and bang it with your fist to smash something like garlic. French chefs have been doing that just fine for centuries.

Depending on the size of your hands (you said you're a teenager, so you're probably still growing) I think an 8" knife is probably great for you. 10" is more the norm in a professional kitchen, but even 7" is usually more than enough for anything you're going to come across at home. If you don't feel like waving around a sword, go with one of these.

Welcome to your new addiction!

u/keakealani · 1 pointr/Cooking

You sound exactly like my fiancé. He's gotten better, but when we first started cooking together, I was always a little worried because he didn't seem to understand any of the basic kitchen skills I took for granted.

Although you've mentioned your girlfriend is too stressed/busy to cook, consider finding a time where she's actually free, and ask her to walk you through cooking a meal. Like she can demonstrate something and then you finish up, or she can be the one reading the recipe to you, and you just ask if you are unfamiliar with a term/concept or need help executing a task. That is good because then you'll also sort of learn to do it "her way" and she won't come in later to be like "why the heck are you chopping onions like this?? ahhh" (exaggeration there, but still.) Some people are very particular about kitchen things...

Definitely also recommend Good Eats and other cooking shows. There was a YouTube guy named something like "Bachelor Chef" that was really good and entertaining, and geared toward simple recipes for bachelors (or in your case, younger men with a limited skillset in the kitchen). Videos are good because then you just follow what they do and you begin to know what things look like (the difference between a chop, mince, and julienne, for example).

It might be helpful to pick up a cooking dictionary/glossary. My "cooking bible" is "Joy of Cooking" which has a pretty comprehensive index and list of terms, plus basic recipes for almost everything imaginable. Even in the age of the internet, a few hard-copy cookbooks are nice to have as a quick reference, especially if you don't have an ability or desire to bring your computer into the kitchen.

But anyway, just familiarizing yourself with a lot of the terms that appear in a recipe (such as sauté) and knowing basic measurement techniques and conversions (3 teaspoons to a Tablespoon). Oh yeah, and abbreviations for measurements, although most of them are fairly logical.

But really, just go out there and do it. Start small and/or semi-homemade; someone else mentioned doctoring a pasta sauce - that's a great start. Then begin to branch out, adding more and more different ingredients. Also start to develop your palate - be able to taste a sauce and figure out what flavors it needs to be better (if it's too bland, maybe it needs salt? But maybe it actually needs a little sweetness to balance the tartness of another ingredient). That's an invaluable skill as a home cook, because you can actually make a dish you love instead of someone else making something you sort of like, but would have changed.

u/thenemophilist23 · 3 pointsr/Cooking

I see some good advice people have already given you.

Here's mine:

  1. Read recipes just for the sake of reading them: If you take pleasure in cooking, then reading recipes will be fun as well. Even if you don't make them, it gives you some general knowledge about cooking and different processes. It's a bit like picking up another language by watching movies or listening to music. Every bit helps. I have some cookbooks on my nightstand.

  2. Books and resources I highly recommend:

    Buzzfeed's food section - lots of good advice and recipes there, amazing walkthroughs and tutorials, too, for all levels

    Epicurious's Quick and Easy Section

    Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals Jamie Oliver has a book and series out, showing you how to make an entire meal in 30 minutes. Sure, I think it might take you about an hour instead of 30 minutes, if you're new to cooking, but this series is geared towards simplicity and speed, while not making any compromises when it comes to cooking. The food IS delicious indeed. It's also full of great food hacks, useful even for advanced cooks. Get the book, I recommend it. (He also has another one, Jamie's 15 minute meals, with even simpler ones)

    Nigel Slater's Real Food and/or Appetite Two great books which show you how to cook simple, basic things at home, with a great twist. Bonus points: The guy is an amazing writer.

    Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything This one is a classic. Get it.

    Mark Bittman also has a famous series on youtube for the NYT here Check it out


  3. Clean your workspace and prep your meal before you begin cooking. It will save you lots of time and frustration.

  4. Clean as you go along. Nothing is more frustrating than cluttering your kitchen with dirty bowls and utensils until you have no space to move around. You spill something? Wipe it now.

  5. Taste your food as you cook it. Goes without saying that you don't taste things like raw chicken until it's cooked, but taste and adjust seasonings always.

  6. Master the basics first. I'd recommend mastering simple things like cooking eggs, grilled cheese, soups, pasta first. Then move on to more complex things, like doughs, etc.

  7. Don't be afraid of herbs and spices. Read up on what the basic classic combinations are, then go crazy and experiment. You'll get the hang of it soon enough.

  8. Eat what you've made, even if it isn't great, and think about how you can improve it next time. Is the bread too tough? Maybe you've added more flour than needed. Too bland? Add more salt next time, etc.

  9. If you go into baking, be extremely careful with substitutions. Baking is an exact science, unlike cooking (mostly), so it's not very forgiving to swapping ingredients at leisure.

  10. Weigh your ingredients (esp. when baking)

  11. ENJOY and share your food with the people you love
u/feralfaucet · 1 pointr/Cooking

Epicurious is a good source for recipes online. You'll want to stick with recipes that have a lot of reviews and have 4 to 5 stars, so you know that the recipe is a good one. One common frustration for new cooks is that they fail to make good tasting dishes, but don't realize that the main problem is that they're working from bad recipes. Keep in mind that you'll want to stick to dishes with 4 to 8 ingredients and not too much prep work when you're first starting out.

Make recipes from Mark Bittman's minimalist column on the New York Times web site. There's a printed recipe and an instructional video for each one. He's entertaining and most of the recipes only have a few ingredients, they're also delicious. His cookbook, "How to Cook Everything" is a great all-purpose cookbook to have around.

You need to get past the pay wall to print the recipes from the New York Times, but that involves hitting the "X" or "Stop Loading" button in your browser window a second or so after the page loads.

Learn the basics of using a chef's knife, to make your slicing go more quickly and safely. When cutting with a chef's knife, use a pinch grip and protect the fingers of your "guiding hand" by curling the tips of your fingers inward, as shown here:
http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/knifeskills/ss/knifegrips.htm

One of the most frequent things you're going to do, if you don't hate onions, is to chop or mince onions as prep work for your recipes. This is the best way to do it:
http://startcooking.com/blog/64/How-to-Mince--Dice-and-Chop-Onions

Good tools are important because they won't get in your way and they'll help you cook efficiently, I'll go ahead and mention some of the things I use in my kitchen that I'd have a very hard time doing without.

As for knives, I'd recommend a Forschner Victorinox Chef's knife with a Fibrox handle in the 8-inch or 10-inch size, they're under $30 and very good. You can do just about everything with a Chef's knife, you do not need expensive knives, please trust me on this one. You'll want to have it sharpened every 4 to 8 months or so if you're cooking about three or four times a week. Once you can no longer slice into the skin of a tomato easily, it's probably a good time to get it sharpened.
http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-40520-Fibrox-8-Inch-Chefs/dp/B000638D32

These spatulas are great, they're made of very thin, very flexible heat resistant nylon:
http://www.oxo.com/p-564-nylon-flexible-turner.aspx

These are perfect for moving things around in the pan when you're sauteing or stir-frying, also great for scraping stuff away from the bottom of a nonstick pan so it doesn't burn, for instance risotto, polenta, a cornstarch-based pudding or scrambled eggs:
http://www.amazon.com/OXO-Good-Grips-Wooden-Turner/dp/B0000CCY1M

I prefer to use teflon-coated thick aluminum pans like this one (they often come with a blue heat-resistant removable handle, and can be found at restaurant supply stores and some discount stores, like Job Lot in the Northeast), never (never ever) touch them with metal utensils and they will last for a long time, I have a 12", two 10", and one 8":
http://www.webstaurantstore.com/12-vollrath-arkadia-n7012-non-stick-aluminum-fry-pan/407SEW1030.html

u/bunsonh · 6 pointsr/Cooking

tl;dr: Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything is the best cookbook to get as a beginner, because we expect international and vegetarian recipes along with the old meat and potatoes standards. More subjective reasoning follows below.

I think one of the most important things when selecting a universal cookbook early on is the quality, yet simplicity of the recipes, and how well things are explained. If you make something, as a beginner, you need to know it is going to turn out good, so when you return to the same cookbook later, you are confident the next recipe will be as high of quality. It is also nice to get compliments from others on your cooking, and a well made cookbook can assure this.

Julia Child's cookbooks are certainly of a very high quality, but French cuisine is not suited for beginners, or even novices, IMO. The Joy of Cooking has an enduring legacy brought from its quality of recipes and consistency, and is great for those mainstay dishes that haven't changed in 100 years (Silver Palate Cookbook, Fannie Farmer Cookbook are others in the Joy of Cooking realm). The problem is, tastes have changed since Joy of Cooking came out. It managed to incorporate the introduction of a few international food crazes into its pages, namely Italian and French. The Chinese it incorporates (eg. Chow Mein, etc) are nothing like what we expect from Chinese food today. Let alone Thai, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, Mediterranean, and so on. We Americans today have a much more different palate (fresh/local, international, vegetarian, etc) than what the Joy of Cooking incorporated, even in its most updated versions.

Therefore, I nominate a new Joy of Cooking, for modern times. Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. It hits every one of my barometers for a perfect cookbook. Delicious, easy recipes, of high quality. It is very dense in terms of number of recipes per page (not one recipe, with its photo on the facing page), yet easy to read, because one recipe is accompanied by 3-5+ variations to greatly modify it (eg. rice pilaf recipe, becomes Mexican rice, becomes whole grain pilaf, etc). Everything, from technique, to selecting vegetables/meats/etc., to improvising basics a la Alton Brown is covered. The recipes cover a wide gamut, from vegetarian/vegan, to international cuisines across the globe, to the mainstay standards (with interesting variations to improve/change them). And EVERY single recipe I have made for someone else has garnered wonderful compliments, and has been the best I have made to date.

u/jimmaaaay · 1 pointr/Cooking

Before we begin, I know that by just looking at the length of this that you might find baking bread to be a bit daunting, trust me, it’s not and I’ll do my best to explain everything as best as I can. I will also tl;dr after every section.

I’m writing up this recipe because all it requires is flour (2 types), salt, and water. I know these days butter is quite expensive and going out and buying yeast is a pain (You can buy a big loaf of it at costco but what are the chances that you’re going to use 5 lbs of yeast?). If by chance you have enough money to buy butter and yeast (those recipes are so much simpler), I’ll post those up as well upon request.

This recipe is adapted from Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery. Mr. Robertson’s method doesn’t require a standmixer but it does require a kitchen scale and more importantly time. I’ve lowered how much water is in the recipe (known as hydration), because more water makes bread difficult to handle and shape. As you get better, feel free to up the hydration, the original recipe has 750 grams of water, I’m toning it down to 675 grams. I have also made some slight modifications to make it easier for those without much baking experience.

stuff you’re going to need:

A kitchen scale

Knife

A jar or similar type of receptacle

Whole Wheat Flour

Bread Flour

Water (hopefully filtered)

A few of big bowls/tubs

Oven safe cooking vessel i.e. tray pan, cast iron pan, dutch oven, baking stone etc

Oven mitts/thick towels to protect your hands

Oil (veggie/olive oil/pam spray)

Starter

Now to create the starter is going to take some time, and by “time” I mean around a week or two. Yes, you have read that correctly. BUT there isn’t much work required (just time is needed) and once you have your starter, you just have to maintain it (meaning you don’t have to do the 2 week from scratch).

  1.  First we’re going to make a CULTURE. Mix In your receptacle 50 grams of wheat flour, 50 grams of bread flour, and 100 grams of room temperature water (avg temp is around 75 degrees) with your HANDS. Mix until there are no bits of dry flour, and scrape as much of flour off your hands back into the mixture. The consistency should be that of a thick batter. Cover the with a kitchen towel in a cool, draft free, and shaded spot for 2-3 days.<br />


  2. After 2-3 days, check to see if any bubbles have formed around the sides and on the surface. If not, let it sit until it does (another day or two).

  3. When bubbles have formed (there might be a dark crust that has formed, discard it) and it smells a bit like cheese, your culture has now become a STARTER. Stir your STARTER a little (don’t need to use your hands this time) and then discard about 80% of it, this doesn’t have to be exact. Replace the discarded portion with equal amounts of water and both flours (if you discarded 160 grams of the starter, replenish by adding 40 grams bread flour, 40 grams wheat flour, and 80 grams water 40+40+80 = 160) . This is known as FEEDING your starter.

  4. Repeat the discarding and feeding process once a day every 24 hours at about the same time every day. Be sure to pay attention to the STARTER’s behavior, the volume of the STARTER will increase for several hours after feeding and then begin to collapse as the cycle winds down. When your STARTER rises and falls in a predictable manner, you’re ready to bake.

    TL;DR – to create starter mix equal parts water and flour. Leave alone until stinky and bubbling. Discard most of mixture and replenish discarded portion with equal parts water and flour daily until mixture rises and falls in a predictable fashion.

    Create your leaven

    In layman’s terms this mixture that you will mix into the bread later on that is going to give your bread a lot of flavor and also be the cause of lift for your bread.

  5. Mix 100 grams bread flour, 100 grams wheat flour, and 200 grams warm water (80 degrees microwave the water for about 10 seconds or so) with a TABLESPOON of your STARTER. Wait 8 hours.

  6. After 8 hours your leaven mixture should be bubbly and the surface should be a little wrinkly. To check if it’s ready take a small spoonful of your leaven and drop it in some water, if it floats it’s ready, if it’s not, give it another hour or two and check again.

    TL;DR – to create leaven, mix equal parts flour mix and water with tablespoon of starter, wait around 8 hours.

    Bread Time!!

  7. In a big bowl mix 900 grams bread flour, 100 grams wheat flour, 600 grams water, and 200 grams of your leaven. Let it rest for 30 minutes.

  8. After 30 minutes, in a cup, mix 20 grams salt and 75 grams warm water and add that to the previous mixture until all the water is absorbed. Cover with towel or plastic wrap.

  9. Your bread is now going to go through it’s “bulk rise” for 3-4 hours (this is based upon the ambient temperature being around 75 degrees). If it’s warmer it’ll be faster, if it’s colder, it’ll take longer). Every 30 minutes you’re going to “fold &amp; turn” your bread. So for example, lets say you placed your dough in a square container. You’re going to dip the hand you’re going to use to turn the dough in water (so the dough won’t stick), shove it in between the dough and the container on one side until you’re able to grab the underside of dough and fold it over the top. Repeat the process for all four sides. You’re going to notice that after about 2 hours, your dough is going to get aerated and softer, be gentler with your turns.

  10. When you see bubbles forming on the sides of mixture and your bread is able to do this: WINDOW PANE TEST, you’re ready to divide your bread.

  11. Flip your dough onto a well floured counter top. Split your dough into 2 or 3 pieces using a knife and do THIS to each piece. Cover each piece with towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes (this is known as bench rest).

  12. After 30 minutes do exactly the same boule shaping you did in the previous step.

  13. Get an equal amount of number of bowls as you have pieces of bread and lube them up with the oil of your choosing. Put the bread pieces in there so that the smooth side of the bread (the top side) is face down in the bowl. Let the bread rise until double in size.

  14. Now this part is going to be broken up into two.

    A) If you have a dutch oven or a cast iron combo cooker then
    i) preheat your oven to 475 degrees with your cooking vessel(with lid) inside on the middle rack.

    ii) when the oven is ready, carefully, and I cannot stress this enough, CAREFULLY with oven mitts/towel, take out the cooking vessel. Invert your bowl of bread so the smooth side of the bread that you put face down into the bowl when you let it rise is now facing up and carefully place onto/in your cooking vessel.

    iii) with your knife, score your bread

    iv) with mitts/towels protecting your hands, place lid on cooking vessel and put in oven. Drop the temperature to 450 degrees. Cook for 20 minutes.

    v) After 20 minutes, with mitts/towels protecting your hands, take off the lid and let the bread cook for 20 more minutes, or until the top is dark brown.

    B) If you don’t have a cast iron pan or a combo cooker

    i) preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Then you’re going to have to STEAM YOUR OVEN

    ii) when the oven is ready, invert your bowl of bread so the smooth side of the bread that you put face down into the bowl when you let it rise is now facing up and carefully place onto whatever device you’re going to use to transport your bread into the oven.

    iii) with your knife, score your bread

    iv) Steam your oven, lower oven heat to 450

    v) put your bread in the oven

    vi) cook for 30-40 minutes until the top is dark brown.

  15. Carefully with mitts/towel protecting your hands, take the bread out of oven and let cool for 20 minutes before devouring.

    tl;dr - Mix flour, water, and leaven then letting it rest for 30 minutes. Add more water and salt.
    Let it rise for 3-4 hours “turning and folding” every 30 minutes. Portion dough and let it rest. Shape dough and let it rise. Cook bread.

    I've typed this up as fast as I could, so if you see any mistakes or if anything is ambiguous please let me know.
u/touchmystuffIkillyou · 2 pointsr/Cooking

The best advice I can give you is to check out the America's Test Kitchen equipment reviews. Some of the things they recommend will be out of your budget, but most of the things will get you great quality at an affordable price. I'm very active in my kitchen and I don't buy anything without first looking to see if it's an item they've reviewed.

Example: Victorinox Fibrox Knives. Commercial quality, BIFL knives, and a fraction of the price you'll spend on department store BS.

$600 is a stretch to outfit a kitchen, but there are soooooooo many kitchen items sold that you DON'T need. Stay away from gadgets that only have one purpose. You can do MOST of what your really need with simple, multi-purpose tools. So here's the basics:

  1. Knives (Victorinox Fibrox)Amazon This is a decent starter set that will give you versatility starting off. Add as you go.
  2. Pots and Pans - All clad is the BIFL industry standard. I have them and love them. But a set will crush your budget. A starting set will usually be cheaper than one-piece at a time. For your budget I'd recommend the Tramontina tri-ply wich ATK rated highly right next to All Clad. At around $140, it's a great set. Also, get a non-stick skillet and whatever other non-stick pieces you can afford. The best rated non-stick cookware (better than All Clad, I've had both) is good old Tfal. Ask for the All Clad Stainless stuff if you ever get married.
  3. Food Storage - I consider good food storage to be a kitchen basic, and the I like Snapware Airtight. But if the budget is tight, you can probably get buy on Gladware for a while.
  4. Other Tools - This list should get you started without too much "fluff"
    vegetable peeler, grater, liquid &amp; dry measuring cups, measuring spoons, thermometers (instant read), spatulas (plastic &amp; metal), Wooden Spoons, Ladel &amp; Larger Spoons, Tongs, Colander
  5. Bakeware - at a minimum, get 2 commercial style aluminum sheet pans and I recommend 2 silpats to fit. These will make flawless cookies, roast vegetables, whatever in the oven. I'd also get some wire racks to fit as well. The rest depends on what you want to bake.
  6. Small Appliances - this is where it gets tricky. Remember, focus on multi-purpose machines. I'd rather have one high-quality electric motor than many cheap ones - less to break. The first appliance I would buy are: a stand mixer (kitchen aid), a food processor(cuisinart), a blender (my favorite value, the new Oster Versa (a Vitamix without the price tag).
  7. Dinnerware, Flatware and Glasses - Stick with classic stuff. White plates never go out of style and make the food "pop". Doesn't need to be expensive now.

    I'm sure I missed some things, but this will get you started. My recommendations added up will take you over your budget but you can decide what's most important to you. Don't skimp on the knives or the pots and pans.
u/redditho24602 · 15 pointsr/Cooking

When I started out, I relied most of the Fannie Farmer cookbook, to be honest, but something like The Joy of Cooking, Bittman's How To Cook Everything or Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food would be good, too. Joy is classic, simple recipes with clear instructions, aimed at beginners. Brown is excellent at explaining the science behind why reciepes work the way they do. Bittman emphasizes showing a technique, then showing lots of simple variations, allowing you to learn a skill and then apply it to different ingredients.

You might also take a look at Rhulman's Ratio --- for a certain sort of personaility, that book can be like a lightbulb going off. It's all about the common principles that underlay many sorts of recipes. Some people find it too abstract, especially if they're just starting (most actual recipes break his rules a little, one way or another), but if you're more of an abstract logical thinker it can be quite helpful.

But cooking in general can be quite diffucult to pick up from books --- techniques that are quite simple to demonstrate can be super difficult to describe. Youtube/the internet can be your friend, here --- Jacques Pepin, America's Test Kitchen, and Good Eats are all good at demonstrating and explaining technique. Check out the Food Wishes youtube channel, too --- Chef John is a former culinary instructor, and he demostrates a lot of classic techniques in the reciepes he does.

At the end of the day though, cooking's like Carnigie Hall. Think of stuff you like to eat, find a recipe for that stuff, and just go for it. If you start off making things you know and like, then it will be easier to tell if you're getting it right as you go along, and that I think is the most crucial and most difficult part of becoming a skilled cook --- being able to tell when something's ready vs. when it needs 5 more minutes, being able to tell if the batter looks right before you cook it, if something needs more seasoning and if so what kind. All that's mostly a karate kid, wax on, wax off thing --- you just got to keep making stuff in order to have the experience to tell when something's right.

u/FuriousGeorgeGM · 10 pointsr/Cooking

I usually only use cookbooks that are also textbooks for culinary art students. The CIA has a textbook that is phenomenal. I used to own a textbook from the western culinary institute in Portland, which is now a cordon bleu school and I dont know what they use. Those books will teach you the basics of fine cooking. Ratio is also a great book because it gives you the tools to create your own recipes using what real culinary professionals use: ratios of basic ingredients to create the desired dish.

But the creme de la creme of culinary arts books is this crazy encyclopedia of ingredients called On food and cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen. It is invaluable. It should not be the first book you buy (if youre a newbie) but it should be your most well thumbed.

For a sauce pan what you want is something with straight sides. Sautee pans have are a good substitute, but often have bases that have too wide a diameter for perfect sauces. Fine saucepots are made of copper for even heat transfer. Stainless steel is also a good substitute. What you have there is something of a hybrid between a skillet and a saucepot. Its more like a chicken fryer or something. At the restaurant we use stainless steel skillets for absolutely everything to order: sauces, fried oysters, what have you. But when you get down to the finest you need to fine a real saucepot: 2-3 qts will do, straight sides, made of copper. teach a man to fish

I dont really know how to teach you the varied tricks and such. It is something that I pick up by listening to the varied cooks and chefs I work with. What I would advise you is to watch cooking shows and read recipes and pay a lot of attention to what they are doing. Half of the things I know I dont know why I do them, just that they produce superior results. Or, consequently I would have a hot pan thrown at me if I did not do them. And I mean these are just ridiculous nuances of cooking. I was reading The Art of French Cooking and learned that you should not mix your egg yolks and sugar too early when making creme brulee because it will produce and inferior cooking and look like it has become curdled. That is a drop in the bucket to perfect creme brulee making, but it is part of the process.

I wish I could be more help, but the best advice I could give you to become the cook you want to be is go to school. Or barring that (it is a ridiculous expense) get a job cooking. Neither of those things are very efficient, but it is the best way to learn those little things.

u/dzernumbrd · 2 pointsr/Cooking

&gt; What kind of spices go with what? Right now, I'm just putting some salt, MSG, soy sauce, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes into most all meats I make because I really enjoy it. I'd like to know what else is good and for what purposes. Also I'm really sad that I haven't been able to use my cinnamon.

http://www.spicesinc.com/p-510-what-spices-go-with-what-meat.aspx

&gt;Why does my chicken get sticky when I cover the skillet while it's frying? It's great and all, but I just want to know why and whether or not I can apply the same principle to other meats.

Not sure what you mean, generally what happens when you put a lid on is that your chicken starts steaming and frying at the same time. The excess moisture in the air would make the chicken skin go soft. Perhaps that is the 'sticky' you are talking about? I will often put the lid on something that isn't cooking well in the pan and needs heat from all sides. It is fairly rare I will ever put the lid on frying meat. I will usually put the lid on sauces to stop them evaporating more water and thickening.

&gt;Right now I'm limited to ground beef and chicken breasts for meats. I was wondering if anyone could recommend some cheap/quick recipes using those that I could steal to diversify my cooking.

Steak is easy, sausages are easy, fish fillets are easy, cubed chuck for stews/curry/casserole is easy, slow cooker recipes are generally really easy (foolproof) and come with excellent results. Just google recipes, if the picture looks delicious then read the recipe steps and if you think you can do it then give it a go. Cooking is fairly forgiving of mistakes so don't be afraid to try.

&gt;Also, does anyone have any good guides to dealing with dough? I've been meaning to experiment and have fun with dough (noodles, breads, pastries?).

I don't like making dough so I'll let someone else field this one.

&gt;And a guide for pork. My better-cook-than-I-am friend keeps telling me I'll literally die if I don't cook pork right, but he's a pansy, and I like pork.

Pork is fine. Get yourself an instant read thermometer and use that to avoid over and under cooking meats. After a while you'll just be able to tell it is cooked by poking the meat with your finger. Use the thermometer until then.

http://www.amazon.com/Fastest-Accurate-Water-Resistant-High-Performance-Thermometer/dp/B00GRFHXVQ/ref=zg_bs_289809_4

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/safe-minimum-internal-temperature-chart/ct_index

&gt;Is there a way I can use potatoes in my frying pan adventures? From all that I've read, people seem to want to boil them before using them for anything.

Generally a good idea to bake/boil/parboil before frying. There are some dishes you don't need to do this like a potato latke. They are easy and yummy. Look up recipes on google.

u/ThePlickets · 2 pointsr/Cooking

This is one of my favorite salads, and something I eat regularly. It's delicious, and we can call it high-class if you want. It's a combination that presents beautifully, and one I frequently serve.

But IMO, I wouldn't qualify it as sophisticated for two reasons

1.) The flavor combination is not particularly complex. By definition, sophisticated is "highly developed; complex." (Or, if you want to go with dictionary.com's definition, "developed to a high degree of complexity.")

To me, complexity in food is a combination of flavors that will interest my mouth in a multitude of novel ways, where there is either a) an unexpected progression of flavor, or b) a certain je ne sais quoi that I JUST CAN'T PUT MY FINGER ON NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY. This is what can elevate the simplest dish, like mac &amp; cheese, to the highest levels of "sophisitcation" and innovation.

This flavor combination (and the wings recipe above) are both very basic (although delicious) balancing of flavors and textures. So basic, in fact, that I can now go into my local Panera and order that salad ...

2.) Which brings me to point #2. There are movements in food, as in fashion and architecture and every other form of art. And while things may be at the height of innovation one year (I'm talking to you, duck fat and rosemary potatoes. And you, salted caramel. And yes, you, fruit and goat cheese salad.) the cruel machine that is capitalism will eventually get their filthy claws into these delightful things.

And when they do, said flavor combinations cease to be interesting. A well-executed salted caramel brownie can be one of the most amazing things in the world - it has a rich, oaky nuttiness; a slightly burnt warmth. It's layered and complex and slightly bitter, not overly sweetened, covered in icing, and turned ^into^a^cake^pop.

So I see where u/adremeaux is coming from. It's frustrating for those who are looking for new ideas to see the same few over-done and passe flavor combinations mentioned and touted again and again and again as the very height of complexity and sophistication.

That said, I think a lot of redditors that make it to this subreddit aren't chefs. They don't read The Flavor Bible for fun, their idea of a celebrity encounter isn't meeting Grant Achatz, and they're just learning to branch out from spaghetti and sauce out of the jar. They get excited about things that, to some, seem boring or commonplace, and they want to pass that excitement on to others.

You could call this the blind leading the blind, but I'd rather look at it as something beautiful - for every person in this thread getting excited about a little goat cheese salad today, perhaps we'll see another hot potato, cold potato.

Also, for OP:

Honey &amp; Black Pepper Duck Breast

Roasted Chestnuts with Black Pepper Honey

Baked Apples with Blue Cheese, Black Pepper, and Honey

Honey-Black Pepper Mayonnaise - perhaps on Fall 2011's dearly beloved cranberry, brie, and turkey sandwich?

I'm also going to throw out the ideas, sans recipe, of:

Earl grey tea cookies with a honey-pepper glaze

[Insert fruit of choice] shrub soda with honey and black pepper (I think peach would be quite nice!)

Cocktail - I'd suggest rye and a splash of lemon, but I'm no mixologist.

Hope i was helpful! Enjoy your culinary journey :D








u/asnarratedby · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Sry...don't find a lot of time to post. And as far as finding ur post... I went looking for it. I cook a lot of proteins and I wanted to see what reddit had to say about chicken breast. It can be very unforgiving, but when done correctly it is an amazing meat. NOW, to address you concerns about nutrition. Yes, brining does increase the sodium level a bit, but lets face it, chicken needs a little help and when you brine its just les salt you will need to add when you season. If you have high blood pressure you may want to watch you sodium intake. Here is a site that attemps to tackel the "how much sodium does a brine add?" Question ( http://www.salon.com/2010/03/23/brining_meats_sodium_add_calculation/) . As far as brining subtracting any nutritional value; I would say, no, it does not measurably reduce nutrition. In my opinion overall; brining a chicken breast as part of my meal is far more delicious and healthy than ordering fast food (and less sodium). If creating a chicken breast meal that makes you want to continue cooking keeps you from ordering take out its a win. As far as my experience... I am just a home cook that grew up in a home that didnt know how to cook. At some point a the family of one of my friends started inviting me to dine with them at some very expensive restaurants. IT BLEW MY MIND!... I had no idea food could be that good. From that point on I made my mission to give food the respect it deserves. I read took the scientific approach, ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0684800012/ref=redir_mdp_mobile/189-1398983-1145564) read the cooking bible over and over and watch guys like alton brown ( http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KKr1rByVVCI).

u/madhaxor · 1 pointr/Cooking

I haven't read all of the comments, so someone my have mentioned this but; buy some cook books! There are 1000's out there but here are a few decent ones:

&amp;#x200B;

Ingredient is a great book for understanding how different things interact and change each other

&amp;#x200B;

Salt to taste is one of my personal favorites, and has a wealth of knowledge, it offers insight on improvisation and may be one to get down the line

&amp;#x200B;

The Food Lab is a great book for base knowledge, it has tons of great recipes and it attacks them from a more methodical approach

&amp;#x200B;

There are tons of other great books out there, Escoffier, French Cooking with Julia Child, The Flavor Bible etc....

Anthony Bourdain's 'Les Halles' and Paul Bertolli's 'Cooking by Hand' will have special places in my heart. My personal most recent addition was 'Bottom of the Pot'

u/Sturg116 · 1 pointr/Cooking

The Food Lab. It's a cook book and goes into why and how everything works. Haven't read the entire thing yet, but an absolutely fantastic way to learn different things about cooking. Also, one of the ways I learned was to look at multiple recipes to get the idea of how to do it and watch YouTube, and sort of mix things around to where you like it.
Link: The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking... https://www.amazon.com/dp/0393081087?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf

Edit: as far as the healthy and cheap goes, if you have a crock pot, ask your butcher for things like knuckle bones from beef, chicken backs, necks, gizzards, and other things like that. They make super healthy and usually cheap. Any questions on things like that PM me. I'm a butcher and have an pretty good idea of what's good for what

u/agentpanda · 32 pointsr/Cooking

Alright- I'm gonna throw at you my standard 'I've got cash to buy new cookware: what do I get' list. It's pretty much the same for a guy/gal who just got divorced, a dude/lady moving out of the dorms and into their first apartment, or really anyone who is working with nothing but some bare cash and wants to turn it into food.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

  1. 10 or 12 inch cast iron pan - Lodge. Goes for $18 on amazon. You want this for 'general purpose' preparations; that's essentially putting heat on anything that isn't fish or eggs (more on that later). You're gonna get it pre-seasoned so some regular maintenance (eg. make bacon in the pan once or twice a month) will keep it just fine. Wash it with soap and water after each use, dry it thoroughly, don't ever let it sit in water (it can and will rust). It'll last longer than you. This isn't going in the dishwasher- sorry. But it's easy to clean and will reward your patience. Steaks, pan pizza, shallow frying, roasting a chicken, fajita veggies, making quesadillas, pan nachos, whatever it is that isn't fish or eggs goes in this pan.

  2. 6qt enameled dutch oven - Also lodge. Goes for 50 bucks on amazon. This is your big-deal saucepan for building tomato sauces, stews, soups, deep frying (get a fry thermometer), braises- anything where you need a lot of liquid and need to put some heat on that. It's enameled because acids can leech into raw cast iron and alter the flavour of your food; and tomato is acidic (for example). Making short ribs? Sear 'em on the stovetop, move the pot into the oven for a final braise. This sucker will also last longer than you. Yea- it's dishwasher safe, but if you want it to stay pretty wash it by hand- it takes a few seconds and she's a pretty looking thing. Treat her right.

  3. 12 inch stainless pan Tramontina, 18/10, Tri-Ply, fully Clad 60 smackos on the 'zon.com. You don't really need this per-se if you've already got your 12" cast iron, but if you go 10" on the cast iron (which I recommend, they're heavy and 10 is easier to manipulate), snag this puppy in 12". She's your go-to roaster for things that won't fit in your 10", for example. Or if you're prepping a multi-course meal she's available when your cast iron isn't.

  4. Nonstick pan any cheapass pan will do this one is $12, so whatevs. This pan has exactly two uses, so listen carefully. Eggs. Anything egg-based (except quiche since that goes in the oven- but fuck quiche, and poached eggs since they go in water)- so omelettes, eggs over easy, eggs over hard, eggs scrambled, crepes. Fish. If you need to put heat directly on fish it goes in this pan. Abuse the piss out of this thing if you want to, but the second anything starts sticking to it- throw it out and have a new one shipped amazon prime. This is disposable just like every piece of nonstick cookware in the world because none of them last forever, and ignore anything that tells you differently.

  5. Stock pot specifics are also unimportant this one is 22 dollarydoos. This pot has 3 major requirements- it needs to be big, it needs to have a lid, and it needs to be big. Nothing crazy or special about this thing because it only has a few major uses: bringing liquids to a boil/simmer is one of the major ones. This is where you'll make your stocks, boil your pastas, and really that's about it. Water should be the first thing in this pot most of the time.

  6. Saucepan don't really care about this one either- here's one I think it's $30. Just like your stock pot- this is for liquids (sauce pan- duh) except smaller. Late night ramen, rice, and steamed milk are going to be its biggest uses initially. Over time? It'll take anything your dutch oven doesn't have to do, and anything your stock pot doesn't want to do. Requirements? Lid. Handle. That's about it.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    You'll notice the startling lack of any 'set' or anything of that sort here. That's because sets of pots you don't need are dumb. You'll note none of these have glass lids, that's because glass breaks. You'll note none of this stuff costs a fortune, and that's because it doesn't have to. This setup can handle 95% of cooking tasks without breaking a sweat, and without your credit card company celebrating the new statue they can build outside their main office because of all the money you spent. Leftover cash? Buy a knife, get a few wire racks and baking pans, and buy a nice cut of steak, some pasta, some salmon, and veggies to try out your new gear.
u/bwbmr · 1 pointr/Cooking

Lots of people will say to look at the Instant Pot which is a combination electric pressure cooker/slow cooker/rice cooker ("multi cooker"). I had a bluetooth enabled "IP-SMART" 6qt model of theirs (actually three: first had a safety recall, second was dented on arrival, third still exhibited regulation issues). Lots of people are happy with Instant Pots, but I had a lot of issues with the pressure control being flaky for certain recipes. Additionally, much of what makes slow cookers safe when you are out of the house is their low wattage heaters... typically 250-400W... and low complexity (basically it's a small electric blanket that is wrapped around a very heavy ceramic pot). The Instant Pot has a 1000W heater, and is more complex (microcontroller + a thermocouple), so this negates some of the safety aspects of unattended slow cooking... though it is UL listed and has a thermal fuse in case anything goes wrong.

My recommendation if you are interested in pressure cookers and slow cookers:

  1. Presto 8qt stovetop http://www.amazon.com/Presto-01370-8-Quart-Stainless-Pressure/dp/B0000Z6JIW $69 More volume than electric pressuer cookers (8qt &gt; 6qt) which is important since safely pressure cooking needs lots of headroom between the food and lid valve so as not to clog. Typically headroom is 1/3rd volume for most foods, 1/2 for foamy foods like rice, etc. Thus a 8qt pressure cooker effectively has a volume of 4-5qt. When using it without building up pressure, it can double as a large 8qt stockpot. I ended up preferring stovetop over electric since I can get an initial brown on meat without having to use multiple pots, and I don't have to wait for an electric heater to come up to temperature (10+ minutes on the Instant Pot for me).

  2. Hamilton Beach 6qt set'n'forget slow cooker http://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Beach-33967A-Programmable-6-Quart/dp/B00EZI26DW $50 Check reviews on thesweethome.com for it, but it beat out a lot of more expensive crock pot models. Oval shape lends itself better for some slow cooker recipes, such as mini, chocolate lava cakes, roasts, etc.

    $120 for both.. around the ballpark of the cheaper Instant Pots, you gain an additional pot for stove use, pressure cooker is of bigger size, slow cooker is safe unattended and a more conventional shape, and IMO will last longer. You lose automatic rice cooking capabilities but... by a $20-$30 rice cooker and probably get better rice, or just do it on the stovetop.

    By the way, no idea what food you like to eat, but these are two of my favorite cookbooks if you are getting started and wanted to build up some experience:

  • America's Test Kitchen 100 Recipes http://www.amazon.com/100-Recipes-Absolute-Best-Essentials/dp/1940352010/ Good for in-depth explanation of 100 recipes across a pretty big range of techniques.

  • Cook's Illustrated Cookbook http://www.amazon.com/Cooks-Illustrated-Cookbook/dp/1933615893/ Shorter explanations but lots and lots of recipes.

    And major shout out to Kenji's (from Seriouseats.com) new book if you want more detailed science information:

  • The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking through Science http://www.amazon.com/Food-Lab-Cooking-Through-Science/dp/0393081087

    This post ended up being much longer than I expected, but those are my recommendations if you are just starting out. ;) The main thing I've learned since beginning to cook is that 90%+ of the recipes online (and even in print) are untested crap, and to look for recipe sources you can trust. The second thing is that a finished recipe is much more dependant on the technique (the steps you use to modify ingredients at specific times, temperatures, and textures) and way less dependent on the ingredients themselves (you can easily sub ingredients for many recipes once the core techniques are understood).
u/[deleted] · 4 pointsr/Cooking
  1. Cardomom can come in purple too, apparently. That would probably be black cardomom, the green pods on the right are green cardomom. That whole picture shows the ingredients for chai.

  2. Green chilis will give you similar heat to chili powder, but I'd just recommend picking up some dried red chilis and making your own powder. You can get large bags for cheap at an indian grocer. You can make your own chili flakes from this too. Cloves and cinnamon together can substitute allspice.

  3. Yes, some indian spices are very close to morrocan / thai spices, and there are plenty of spices used in other kinds of savory dishes (italian and oregano, mexican and cumin) or sweet dishes (cinnamon, cardamom) and so on. You've got a much better stock than most people do when they start cooking.

  4. There are plenty of online resources for subbing spices. Just read up when you have to.

  5. Just start with what you have, and if you are missing something, grab it. I have over 100 spices at home and probably use 30 of them frequently. Just figure out what you like and run out of by learning new dishes. You might want to either grow an herb garden, or stock up on leaf spices (thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, basil, savory, majorum and so on). These are generally better fresh but dried can still impart flavor. I also enjoy different table salts (black lava salt, pink salt) for different flavors.

  6. You really learn this by making dishes. The more you cook, the better you will be able to remember how spices go together. Also, there's "Culinary Artistry" or "The Flavor Bible" for most spices you will encounter. This book lists all different foods and spice and what is traditionally mixed with what.


  7. Just have fun with spice! It really is a learning process, but once you get the hang of it, it really makes all the difference in cooking. You can make wonderful dishes very easily if you master the use of spice. Good luck!

    Edit : 8. Wear gloves, and just try not to be careless. You will probably injure yourself cooking in one way or another, but you can take precautions to minimize the injury. I have about 8 cuts on my hands from my chefs knife, but they all happened because I was either drinking or was half awake. I've burned myself from pans, but again, it's because I was being careless.
u/The_Fruity_Bat · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Knife sets are really convenient and fun, but more often than not all the knives don't really get used.

I'm not going to tell you to skip getting one because I don't have much experience with them and I don't want to overreach. However I will tell you that for me, I appreciated being able to pick out each knife on their own.

The one that pulls the most work will be either your chef knife or santoku depending on preference. The standard is 8", but I like my 10" one. You'll want to look for a full tang, and a forged blade instead of stamped. The tang is for stability since it will be one piece, and a forged blade keeps an edge better. For specifically the chefs knife, styles include Japanese and German (and French). Japanese style is thin, sharp, and light. Usually both sides are sharpened at different angles. They can need a little more effort to care for but they are sharp and reliable. German and French are more of the powerhouse, bone chopping types. They are heavier, rugged, and can take a beating. Think samurai sword vs. hunting knives. Americas Test Kitchen gives this knife a good rating, but keep in mind the testers are not the cooks and they use specific metrics. If you understand their testing circumstances it could be a good knife for you. Personally I think it feels like a toy.
Major quality brands beside that are Wusthof, Shun, Henkel, Global, maybe a Bob Kramer if you want to pay for quality and design.

A paring knife is your next used knife (depending on who you ask). These are for smaller tasks, fine knife work, and peeling (although peelers are in fashion now if you aren't in culinary school). Generally around 3.5-4", and basically a mini chef knife. Same as above apply here.

Next a serrated bread knife is useful. I'm not even going to beat around the bush. I really really recommend this one in particular and I'll give you the reasons why: light, durable, sharp as all hell, cheap, perfect, saves African children, cures cancer.
Jimmy John's sandwich shops use these and one of my friends gave me one when they got new ones and I fell in love. Seriously a good knife.

Those three knives make up your base collection, however other things you may need are a slicer, a boning/filet knife, or other specialty specific things.

Lastly learn good maintenance! Never use the dishwasher on a knife, sharpen or get it sharpened regularly (at least once a year), and always use a honing rod!

Let me know if you need anything clarified.

u/cocotel69 · 33 pointsr/Cooking

Stay at home Dad here. I cook for six every night. Prior to about four years ago the most cooking I did was on the grill. I started with the Betty Crocker Cook book. Literally. Red book in binder format. It has simple comfort food and the recipes are simple. I now have 30+ cookbooks, some better than others. (Giada's are only good for the pictures.) Once I started cooking, I then started watching Alton Brown for other ideas and other techniques, but without a firm base of at least six months of trial and error, it won't help much. Without that, it'd be like watching a Michael Jordan video having never even picked up a basketball and thinking you could play like him. Get used to the environment first.

Start simple. Do a chicken breast and a vegetable from a can. Maybe rice. But note what works and what doesn't. Get a feel for what a "done" chicken breast looks like and feels like. Same with a pork chop. Same with some pasta. Get yourself used to the chemistry and physics of cooking first, then work on more complicated techniques and dishes.

Starter Supplies:

  • One good frying pan - nonstick

  • One good Chef's knife - [$25 on Amazon]
    (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008M5U1C2/182-6325493-8824318)

  • Cooking Thermometer - $14 on Amazon - Cook all meats to 160 degrees F to start. You can get fancier later. To start don't poison your guests.

  • Flexible cutting boards - $5 Amazon This makes it easy to chop and then dump straight into the pot/pan.

    Clean while you cook.
    Salt and butter are always your friend. And cheese. If something sucks, add cheese. Good luck!!! Report back please.


    TL;DR Just start cooking. Keep it simple, but start cooking.
u/Corpuscle · 4 pointsr/Cooking

Knives are things people to get pretty fetishistic about. In practice, pretty much anything sharp and approximately the right size and shape will work just fine in a home kitchen.

This is my workhorse knife:

https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-Chefs-Knife-8-Inch/dp/B008M5U1C2

It's a good weight, easy to maintain and comfortable in the hand. I use it every day, sometimes a LOT. It makes quick work of whatever I need it to do.

But it's not fancy, and it's not pretty. It looks and feels cheap, because it is. But cheap doesn't mean bad. It's an excellent knife in utilitarian terms.

So to answer your question, you should buy whatever knife…

  1. You will actually be comfortable using every day
  2. You will actually maintain so it stays clean and sharp

    Do you need a $100+ knife? Absolutely not. But if it would make you happy to own one (including enjoying how it looks) and you will actually use and maintain it, then by all means buy it. Cooking at home should be a fun thing to do, not just a chore you have to slog through. It's entirely okay to own tools that make cooking fun for you, even if those tools aren't strictly worth the money in pure utilitarian terms.
u/vapeducator · 1 pointr/Cooking

Buy two pressure cookers, a 4qt stainless-steel stovetop model like this one and then wait for a sale to buy a 6qt electric one like this one. The Instant Pot has sold for as little as $70 on sale. You could get a 6qt stainless stovetop model as backup for the 4qt and while you're waiting for a sale on the electric one, since it uses the same lid and gaskets as the 4qt.

4qt is usually a better size for individual meals for 1-2 people. The smaller size is faster to get up to pressure and release. There are pressure cookers as small as 1-2qts, but it's important not to overfill the pot, so 4qt is a better balance of usable cooking space.

Think of a pressure cooker as a slowcooker with an 8x fast forward mode. You get the same results or better without the slow part of waiting. Stews, chili, beans &amp; meats all in about 45 minutes or less. Rice, vegetables, potatoes cook in 5-10 minutes.

I also recommend getting a convection rotisserie oven like this one or a Cuisinart CMW-200 that does the same thing with a combo convection + microwave. Buying whole chickens cheaply and doing your own rotisserie in less than an hour is very practical for eating part of the chicken freshly roasted for one meal and using the rest for leftovers. Save the bones in the freezer to use in a pressure cooker to make chicken stock, stew and pot pies.

The Cuisinart Griddler has been on sale for under $40 during the Amazon Prime day sale. It's great for grilling and griddling. You can buy waffle plates separately for it, which I bought too. It's nice to be able to brown and crisp sandwiches and other finger foods. The removable plates are dishwasher safe. Waffles are getting damned expensive in restaurants for what should be very cheap. Waffles are good for breakfast, dinner and dessert. Tater tot waffles are a really good savory side.

I realize that this is quite a list of equipment, but they all serve very different purposes without much overlap. Each one is very versatile for its own roles. They also allow a variety of cooking methods that won't easily get boring in the long term. They all cook quickly.

u/nope_nic_tesla · 4 pointsr/Cooking

Nonstick is the best for frying eggs but they aren't going to be BIFL. That said, if you take care of a good one it should last you for years. The best value I have found is T-fal. Get whatever size is most appropriate for your cooking. I have had mine for about 5 years now. It says safe for metal utensils but I always use only plastic or wood on it. I also hand wash instead of using the dishwasher.

If you want truly BIFL, go for cast iron and make sure you season it well.

u/crudkin · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Virtually any knife can be made sharp, but some will hold their edge better than others. Sharpness is partially about steel quality, and partly about blade angle (Japanese knives are usually sharpened at a more acute angle than, say, German knives, and thus are sharper but dull more quickly).

This Victorinox chef's knife is an awesome value. Durable and good quality, yet very inexpensive. You'll see them in professional kitchens, or knives like them.

Not saying it's the best knife ever, because it's not, but it is quite good for the price. I own it and love it, and I can sharpen it easily.

u/flatlineskillz · 11 pointsr/Cooking

I think the best advice I ever got on cooking was from director Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Desperado, Spy Kids). Pick 3-4 of your favorite meals and learn how to cook them from recipes or youtube tutorials. Just cook them over and over again. From there at least you will get some basics down.

Speaking of basics, I have really enjoyed Basics with Babbish on youtube. Good Eats with Alton Brown too.

Something that will make the learning process a lot easier is to learn some good knife skills. Buy a bag of onions and get to chopping. If you don't have a good chef knife available, get one of these it will hold you over until you decide you need an upgrade. Good knives make cooking a lot more fun. Once you get the chef knife the other things you should think about getting down the line are a bread knife, paring knife (although I rarely use mine), a good cutting board ( I like my bamboo one).

Other basics to learn according to Anthony Bourdain are:

  • Cook an omlette
  • Make a stew (beef or otherwise)
  • Roast a chicken
  • cook a burger

    Most of all have fun! Mess around with different seasonings? My first adventures into cooking was adding different spices to instant ramen noodles during the summer for lunch. You have to eat all your life, you might as well eat well. Plus, the ladies love it!
u/Boblives1 · 6 pointsr/Cooking

You might want to buy Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything. Its a book about cooking techniques that I think is precisely the book you are looking for.

Also honorable mention for The Food Lab and The New Best Recipe books as well, those are more recipe based, but they have great info on techniques and ingredients. Both get into the science behind cooking and explain why they picked a specific recipe which helped me learn how to cook without recipes and be able to know when certain things are done(I now judge if something I am baking is done more by smell than time now) and how to save emulsions when to add salt and acids etc. The author of the food lab is also pretty active on the Serious Eats subreddit and will answer questions about his recipes.

Salt Fat Acid and Heat is also pretty good as well, I have not read this one personally though as the first part is waaaaaayyy too much personal narrative from the author for me and I turned off the audiobook after listening to her life story for 10 minutes, so get the print book so you can skip right to the cooking parts.

u/MiPona · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Plan 1: Grab a general purpose beginner's book like Ruhlman's 20, How to Cook Everything: the Basics, or The Four Hour Chef and get cracking.

For the record, I would start with Ruhlman since he's the most oriented towards principles, techniques, and general purpose stuff. Bittman's great, but he mostly teaches via recipe which isn't that helpful when you're just barely starting out. Ferris' book is incredible and I would wholeheartedly recommend it, but it's huge and filled with a lot of rabbit trails about learning styles, foreign languages, memorizing playing cards, and shooting 3 points. If you like watching Tim Ferris ADD on neat stuff (and I do) it's a great read, but it definitely isn't only about cooking.

Plan 2: Get this poster. Ideally here. Get the veggie if you need it. Buy the stuff, make the stuff. This won't be quite as much initial layout as buying a book, and it's not nearly as intimidating. But it's not nearly as detailed so you're going to have to do a lot more guess-and-check type stuff and be ready to throw out your mistakes, which is probably going to cost more and be more frustrating in the long run.

tl;dr - Ruhlman

Disclaimer: links are for convenience only. I receive no benefit other than sharing my favorite sources.

u/paschpacca · 1 pointr/Cooking

Let me just say, knowing how to cook in college will help you get laid. I said it.

Now then. Try Jamie Oliver's first book, The Naked Chef It's dated, but it's filled with "high value" recipes -- those that look and taste like they're crazy complicated, but they're not. The asparagus with anchovy butter recipe is amazing and literally has 4 ingredients and literally can be made in the microwave. The Best Roast Chicken recipe is still brought up by my friend. I made it for her once 13 years ago.

Also try Martha Stewart's Everyday Food blog. Minimal ingredients, not a lot of skill necessary, good results.

General recommendations. Follow the recipe to the letter the first time. Buy one good knife and learn how to sharpen it. Volunteer for your local meal-providing nonprofit and help them prep. Invest in some good Rubbermaid food storage because you will have leftovers. Invite someone you like to eat with you and even cook with you.

u/kittlesnboots · 12 pointsr/Cooking

America's Test Kitchen, cookbooks or the PBS show (your local library may have the DVD's to check out).

Cook's Country magazines or cookbooks-also very likely your local library will have available to check out.

They both have nearly fool-proof recipes that are pretty basic, everyday American-style recipes with color pictures. Sometimes they do stir-fries or other sort-of ethnic cuisines. Good instruction on WHY you are doing something and points out essential techniques/ingredients/equipment. You will generally have good success with their recipes, which will be satisfying to make, and teaches you how to cook at the same time. Cook's Illustrated magazines/cookbooks are also very good, but they don't contain photos, and tend to be either more complicated recipes, or require things a new cook probably doesn't have--however they are an EXCELLENT source for equipment ratings.

I also like Alton Brown, but don't have any of his books. He explains the science behind cooking and his recipes are very good.

James Kenji Lopez-Alt's The Food Lab is excellent, another "science of cooking" guy. His pancake recipe is my all-time favorite.

Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything books are good, and quite comprehensive, but lack the "why" that the above sources provide.

I do not recommend Pinterest or All Recipes or other online recipe aggregates, they are chock full of bizarre untested recipes that typically utilize "cream of crap" in everything. You will become frustrated with their recipe failures.

This knife is essential: Victorinox Fibrox Straight Edge Chef's Knife, 8-Inch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_wIsFxb1T24ER2

Cooking is one of the most satisfying hobbies! Good luck!

u/SlipperyRoo · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Tried to think of a gifts in that price range.

  • How about a Thermapen. It's a fantastic instant-read thermometer.

  • Le Creuset Dutch Oven. We love this thing. Having said that, the price seems to have gone up from $200 to $240. Unknown if it's from holiday pricing or inflation.

  • KitchenAid Blender. Not sure which model is best but any one should be awesome.

  • Lodge Logic Cast Iron Skillet. One of the best buys we've ever made. Great pan, comes pre-seasoned, and AFFORDABLE!

    Oops, I just remember that America's Test Kitchen reviews products! Someone put together a list on Amazon of their 2012 Best products. See also one of their books.

    Note: Sometimes you can't view their content because it's behind their paywall.
u/hiyosilver64 · 3 pointsr/Cooking

&gt;The next best thing to having Mark Bittman in the kitchen with you

Mark Bittman's highly acclaimed, bestselling book How to Cook Everything is an indispensable guide for any modern cook. With How to Cook Everything The Basics he reveals how truly easy it is to learn fundamental techniques and recipes. From dicing vegetables and roasting meat, to cooking building-block meals that include salads, soups, poultry, meats, fish, sides, and desserts, Bittman explains what every home cook, particularly novices, should know.

1,000 beautiful and instructive photographs throughout the book reveal key preparation details that make every dish inviting and accessible. With clear and straightforward directions, Bittman's practical tips and variation ideas, and visual cues that accompany each of the 185 recipes, cooking with How to Cook Everything The Basics is like having Bittman in the kitchen with you.

This is the essential teaching cookbook, with 1,000 photos illustrating every technique and recipe; the result is a comprehensive reference that’s both visually stunning and utterly practical.
Special Basics features scattered throughout simplify broad subjects with sections like “Think of Vegetables in Groups,” “How to Cook Any Grain,” and “5 Rules for Buying and Storing Seafood.”
600 demonstration photos each build on a step from the recipe to teach a core lesson, like “Cracking an Egg,” “Using Pasta Water,” “Recognizing Doneness,” and “Crimping the Pie Shut.”
Detailed notes appear in blue type near selected images. Here Mark highlights what to look for during a particular step and offers handy advice and other helpful asides.
Tips and variations let cooks hone their skills and be creative.


http://www.amazon.com/Cook-Everything-Completely-Revised-Anniversary/dp/0764578650/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1411914327&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=how+to+cook+everything

u/bamboozelle · 1 pointr/Cooking

One of the best things you can do is to train your palate. This way, when you taste something, you can figure out what's in it, and make it yourself if you want. It will also help you to learn what goes with what. For example, dill goes with salmon, lemon with raspberries, tomato with onion and cilantro or basil, etc. That kind of knowledge will help you to invent your own recipes which are catered directly to your tastes.

If you really want to know what makes food do what it does, I would recommend the following books:

  • For general culinary science, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. It is one of the best books ever written which actually explains why things happen in the kitchen.
  • I usually buy a copy of Shirley O. Corriher's CookWise for anyone who says they want to learn to cook. It is perfect for beginners and has lots of very useful recipes. If you watch Alton Brown's "Good Eats", you will see Ms. (or is is Dr.?) Corriher explaining some of the science.
  • If you want to learn how to bake incredible cake, Rose Levy Beranbaum's The Cake Bible is indispensable, same for her Bread Bible and Pie and Pastry Bible. I rarely fuck up a cake now, and if I do, I know why. And her cake recipes are brilliant. From learning to make her chocolate butter cake, I also discovered the secret to making the BEST cup of chocolate ever. The aforementioned Ms. Corriher's BakeWise is also excellent for beginners.
  • The Larousse Gastronomique is probably the most famous book on cuisine. It's an encyclopedia which contains pretty much every cooking term. It's a pretty high-level book, but it is the authority.

    Have fun with it! =)
u/grfx · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Alright, so the way to get from where you are now to this is to use a cast iron pot and follow Jim Lahey's directions here. Go to the library and get his book, both that one and the new My Pizza are awesome. The cast iron pot traps steam which combined with the high heats lets you get good 'spring' and a nice rich crispy crust. I've done this recipe with lots of diffent flours and they have much less of an effect on the overall outcome than good technique. It can be a bit scary handling a 500 degree cast iron pot but after a few attempts it gets pretty easy. A Lodge cast iron dutch oven like this will work great but I suggest replacing the knob on top with a metal version found here. Good luck!

u/gregmo7 · 5 pointsr/Cooking

If you love to read, then I completely back up those who recommended J Kenji Lopez-Alt's "The Food Lab". He also spends some time on /r/seriouseats, which I think is really great. Food Lab is great because it explains not only HOW to make a recipe, but the WHY a recipe works the way that it does, and allows you to expand your cooking skills. His is not the only book that does this, but I've read Salt Fat Acid Heat and The Science of Cooking and a good portion of the tome that is Modernist Cuisine, but Kenji's style of writing is exceptionally approachable.

But my actual suggestion to someone who wants to go from never cooking to cooking healthy meals at home is to watch the recipes on Food Wishes, because he shows you what each step of the recipe is supposed to look like, and his food blog is not filled with flowery stories, but helpful tips.

Another great online resource that I used when I started cooking about 5 years ago was The Kitchn. They offer up basic technique videos on how to cook proteins and vegetables that are really simple to follow for beginners.

My advice to you is this: don't feel like you need to dive immediately into recipes. First learn how to season and cook a chicken breast or steak consistently, and roast the different kinds of vegetables. Then just start jumping into recipes that you want to try. And don't be afraid to ask questions here :)

u/the_saddest_trombone · 3 pointsr/Cooking

It has been asked before, so do poke around a bit. But as always I'll recommend Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything as the best place to start. IMO he does a better job covering some of the really basic stuff like how to shop, easiest way to prepare x food, variants on x food, charts for flavors/combinations, etc. Really it's a great primer on HOW to cook and afterwards it's a handy reference.

I think Food Lab/Serious Eats is a better second cookbook because it's a bit less concerned with teaching the basics of a particular food, but a bit better at providing recipes that don't need tweaking. Bittman recipes are super simple but he really pushes you to adapt it to your taste, which in the end makes you a better cook. Food Lab is really into the science/method which is great, but IMO more complex than you need at the very beginning. The perfect burger, Kenji all day long, but WTF to do with that butcher cut you bought on sale, I prefer Bittman.

For a third cookbook, the Flavor Bible is also great.

u/swiss_miss · 3 pointsr/Cooking

I am by no means an expert, but I recommend baby steps. Instead of trying to make up a whole new recipe from scratch, why not try modifying some recipes you are already comfortable with? You can try substituting ingredients, modifying your seasoning, changing the cooking method for a recipe using the same or similar ingredients, or even combining two different but compatible recipes into something new. I would also maybe try to stick to one culinary tradition at first, like French or Japanese cooking, which use a few key ingredients to create lots of different dishes. I learned a lot from cooking from Harumi Kurihara's cookbooks. Stick with what you know until you become more comfortable imagining flavor profiles and methods of cooking in your head and then you can worry about taking on something completely new.

I've also heard from friends who cook that this book, The Flavor Bible, is good at describing how flavors work. I haven't read it myself (still on my Amazon wishlist until I have more $$), but you may want to check it out. Good luck!

edit: added some stuff

u/bradrock1 · 2 pointsr/Cooking

I agree that you should buy the best you can afford, but you don't have to shell out for top of the line knives or any of your kitchen stuff all up front. I have been assembling my kitchen since I left for college years ago and now I am pretty well setup. I initially found a lot of great stuff at thrift stores. Also check Ross/TJ Maxx/Marshalls for deals. People gave me a lot of stuff some I have since replaced, but it was a start. Do get a good knife, you might just start here Amazon. These knives get pretty good reviews on the cooking forums.

My most used cookware is (in order)


  • a 12 in SS skillet,
  • two 3.5qt sauce pans,
  • a 3qt SS saute pan,
  • a tall 8qt stock pot,
  • 6qt enameled cast iron pot/dutch oven,
  • 10 in non-stick fry pan (for pretty much eggs only)

    I have a boat load more, but this is where I would start. I also prefer cookware without plastic handles so they can be used in the oven.

    EDIT: I have no clue why my list items are not coming out with bullets.
u/caffeian · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food is a great primer on the science of cooking. I read it in culinary school, and it was a great distillation of the main concepts (which cuts are of meat are good for braising, searing, roasting, etc. and how to properly perform each technique). If you end up enjoying Alton Brown's style, I would also recommend Fish on a First Name Basis for fish cookery. Lastly, Cook's Illustrated is a wonderful resource on food and cooking. The yearly online membership is only approx $25, and you get access to all previously published recipes and equipment reviews.

In terms of equipment, the knife I personally use is the Victorinox 10-inch chef knife. Japanese steel is great and all, but for the same price you could get this knife, a good electric knife sharpener, and a honing steel and still have some left over. The best knife is a sharp knife after all. I would also highly recommend a T-fal non-stick pan for a solid multi-purpose first pan.

Finally, for an herb garden, I generally try to aim for either expensive or infrequently used herbs for indoor gardening. The reasoning behind growing expensive herbs is pretty straightforward. I primarily grow infrequently used herbs to avoid wasting what I wouldn't use up when cooking (as you mentioned is oft a problem). In my region, basil, sage, thyme, tarragon, and oregano would all be good candidates to grow. Parsley, cilantro, and bay leaf tend to be cheaper at the market in my area, so I usually just purchase those.

u/jonknee · 3 pointsr/Cooking

You're probably better off not getting a set (there are usually a few nice pieces you want and a bunch you don't), but they can be a decent way to save some cash. Cooks Illustrated has great cookware reviews and tend to like All Clad a lot (money no object I agree, but shit it's a lot of money). They recommend a Calphalon set that is pretty reasonably priced and I know they make good stuff. But besides that, I'd definitely get some cast iron into the mix. Both a skillet and a glazed dutch oven. Two of my favorite pans right there.

u/jinxremoving · 4 pointsr/Cooking

Knives are pretty personal. Your best bet is to go to a kitchen store with a good selection and try a few in your (her) hand to see what is comfortable. There are two general styles, stamped and forged: stamped is generally cheaper as it is easier to mass produce. However, if you're only interested in performance and not looks, a decent stamped blade will perform just fine (I use a Victorinox Chef's Knife for most day-to-day cutting tasks).

A full set is generally overkill, all you really need is a decent chef knife or santoku (personal preference, a western chef's knife is a little more versatile), a paring knife and a serrated bread knife. Depending on your eating habits, you may also want a flexible boning knife and a heavy cleaver, but I wouldn't spend a lot on either of these as heavy usage of either will tend to wear these out a bit, to the point where aesthetics you enjoy from a fancier forged blade are somewhat wasted. Any knife beyond this is generally overkill.

Do a little research on materials as well. Most knifes these days are some form of stainless steel alloys of chromium/nickel that give it extra shine/durability/rust resistance. You will also find carbon steel knifes, which hold an edge very well but discolor over time, and ceramic, which are incredibly sharp and light and don't need honing, but must be sent to a specialized sharpener (usually the factory they were created in) to be sharpened once a year or so.

In addition to the knifes, you'll need a steel, which is used to hone the knife. This is different than sharpening in that it doesn't remove an appreciable amount of material from the blade, but is very important to keep your knifes in good condition. Additionally, you'll want to get your knifes sharpened once or twice a year; paying an expert a few bucks per knife is best.

When considering cutting surfaces, wood or soft plastic is it. Never use knives on a stone, glass, ceramic or hard plastic surface, as it can damage the blade. Generally stick to wood for veggies and a softer plastic for meats. A quick sanding and oiling of your cutting block will keep it in good condition for years.

Finally, for storage consider instead individual sheaths for the knifes. Knife blocks are OK; sheathes are just a little safer (no kids crawling up and grabbing a knife handle) and don't suffer the issue of aesthetic mismatches if you don't own an entire matching set.

u/paulHarkonen · 1 pointr/Cooking

The herbs and spices you get will depend on your tastes, but the windowsill herb garden is a great idea, especially for certain staples that just aren't the same when dried (basil, oregano and rosemary jump to mind).

Different herbs will stay fresh different periods of time in the fridge, its really hard to tell, but most will last at least 2-3 weeks, especially if they have some water in the base of a container.

most of the time I find that toasted\heated spices taste better not worse, so I'm not sure what's going on.

In terms of learning the fundamentals and flavors I am a big fan of the "Flavor Bible" It covers a lot of different combinations, spices, and how to use the flavors contained therein. It doesn't have a lot on how to preserve them, but if you're looking for ideas of things to keep around and how to use them, its a great choice.

Hopefully those are helpful to you.

u/waubers · 12 pointsr/Cooking

I have, maybe six, pans I use for 90%+ of my cooking:

  1. 12" All-Clad stainless skillet - perfect all-purpose fry pan. Steak, chops, pasta sauces, pan roasting, sauteing, you name it, this pan does it well. $89 from Amazon is a steal!
  2. 6qt Lodge Dutch Oven - braising, soups, stews, for the price it's well worth it, though I'm not sure how long it'll hold up.
  3. 3.5qt non-stick Calphalon sauce pot - great for making sauces, boxed macaroni and cheese, steaming veggies, etc... Very versatile, could easily be stainless too, I just happened to be given non-stick.
  4. 2qt All-Clad stainless sauce pan - great for sauces (duh) and all kinds of other stuff, super versatile.
  5. 12" Nordic Ware non-stick skillet - non-stick pans should be treated as "disposable". I replace mine every 12-18 months. Nordic Ware is cheap, and well designed. Handle can take enough heat that you can put it in a sub-375F oven and it won't melt, if you care about that. Mine is most often used for Sunday morning fritatas, finishing pasta in a sauce, and egg things.
  6. 12" Nordic Ware Stock pot (and a lid) - Gotta have a stock pot, and for the price this one is fantastic!

    Runners up - stuff I use enough that I'm glad I have them, but if I didn't wouldn't really notice:

  7. 8" Nordic Ware non-stick skillet - awesome for making omelets, roux, etc...
  8. Stainless saute pan - really big, flat bottom, straight sides, with long handle, and a loop on the opposite side. It looks a lot like the All-Clad 3qt saute pan, but it was a hand-me-down and definitely isn't all-clad. It's great for braising or when you just need a ton of pan space.
  9. Calphalon 11" griddle pan - when I need me some french toast or pancakes!
u/AlarmedWeather · 2 pointsr/Cooking

In my opinion I think that as a beginner, looking online for recipes can be so overwhelming and it's hard to find what's good and what's garbage without an established sense of taste/cooking. Sure, you can look at the comments, but it takes a lot of time and without knowing how to cook it's hard to know what you're even looking for.

I would highly recommend trying out a beginner's cookbook (Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything: The Basics or How to Cook Everything Vegetarian are great ones). Look through it, read up on techniques/skills, and pick something you think you'll like and cook it.

Also, you can probably check out cookbooks from your library if you want to try them out before investing money on them.

Remember that we all started somewhere. Nobody is born a good cook, it's a learned skill that you have to practice. Same with taste - if you're used to tasting the same types of foods, you're going to have to adjust to trying new foods. I didn't eat any vegetables at all growing up and now I love them! I just realized you need to put salt and cheese on them, lol. But really I also just needed to get used to the taste, which took some time.

u/panic_ye_not · 6 pointsr/Cooking

I'll give you the same standard advice which was given to me:

  1. Chef's knife: Victorinox fibrox 8" chef's knife, $40. It's a great workhorse knife. Unless you're really serious about cooking or knives, it's more than adequate. Do watch for price fluctuations, though. Right now it's at $40, which is a good price.
  2. Paring knife: Victorinox 3.25" spear point paring knife, $8. It's very lightweight, and the blade has some flex, but those aren't really big concerns in a paring knife. It's good enough for plenty of professionals, so it's good enough for me. Stays sharp well and is cheap and well-designed. The handle is on the smaller side if you have large hands.
  3. For the serrated knife, I went with the Mercer 10" bread knife, $13 over the often-recommended Dexter-Russell one. I think it was the right decision, because it came quite sharp, solidly built, and has a very comfortable and grippy rubberized handle. The steel isn't very high quality, but who cares? This knife is much cheaper than a single sharpening service on a serrated knife. When it gets too dull, throw it out and get another one. Don't get an expensive serrated knife. You'll be disappointed.

    So there you go, for 60 bucks and change, you'll have a set of knives that's equal to or greater than the stuff most professional cooks are using on the line. If you want, add in a honing steel or ceramic rod to keep them sharp. I would also recommend getting some sort of protectors or holders, not only for your safety, but for the knives' safety. No knife in the world will stay sharp after banging around uncovered in a drawer or sink for a month. And for God's sake, please get a nice, large wood cutting board. Glass, stone, or ceramic boards, or cutting directly on a plate, will ruin your knives' edges in two seconds. Even bamboo and plastic boards can sometimes be too hard, so I recommend real hardwood. Edge grain is fine, end grain is possibly better. Just make sure it's big enough, at least 16" x 20" or so.

    You should be able to get all of this for well under $200.
u/Vox_Phasmatis · 3 pointsr/Cooking

An excellent book for you at this point would be Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques. From the description:

"Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques features everything the home cook needs to perfect: poach an egg, whisk a perfect hollandaise, knead a crispy baguette, or bake an exquisite meringue with the perfection and efficiency of a professional chef. Featured throughout the book, Pepin's classic recipes offer budding masters the opportunity to put lessons into practice with extraordinary results."

It also covers things like knife technique and other fundamentals, which you mentioned.

As far as French cooking goes, although they've been around awhile, two books that are still definitive on the subject are Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Volume One and Volume Two. All three of these books (Pepin plus these two) are foundational to learning about cooking. There are others, but these will give you a very good start, and will increase your cooking skills and knowledge exponentially.

If those aren't enough, you can also check out The Professional Chef, which is a fantastic book of recipes and techniques put out by the Culinary Institute of America. It's a bit spendy, but worth it if you want to learn. The Amazon links are provided for reference; if money is an issue you can quite easily find all these books used.

u/teachmetonight · 2 pointsr/Cooking

The Joy of Cooking is a great basic book! It has a zillion very basic recipes that you can doctor and tweak based on your preferences. I've been annotating mine with my favorite variations, and it's fantastic. It teaches you how to do both complicated recipes and very basic things, too, which is really helpful.

Not a book, but I highly recommend everything Alton Brown has ever done. He has a YouTube channel and a few books, but Good Eats is how I learned. Good Eats is a great place to start because he explains the science behind why things work the way they do. Once you know why ingredients or techniques work, you have so much more independence in the kitchen. If a recipe isn't turning out the way I'd like, I can fix it based on what I know about the science behind what's happening. He also teaches you how to do things without complicated tools or specialized equipment, so it's also helped me build my kitchen tools up with things I use all the time.

u/grinomyte · 1 pointr/Cooking

Get this knife. It's not my best knife, but dollar for dollar it is. When you have more money you can invest in a nicer one.

Find a knife shop next to you, they can sharpen it for you every once in awhile. My guy charges 1.75 an inch, unless you want to do it yourself.

If you want to make stuff that's cheap and easy and will feed you for awhile, learn to make: chili, japanese style curry, and big rice dishes. I like to make more complex meals, but if I want something simple and easy I'll make one of those 3. Spanish rice is obvious. I like Spanakorizo too, it's even cheaper because you don't have to make the initial investment in spices (You have to have lemon and feta with it, it's mandatory). That rice they have at Chipotle, you can make that very easily, put butter in a pan, then add the rice with some fresh lime juice and cook it a little until the juice is almost gone. Then cook it like normal (you put the right amount of water, bring it to a boil, then simmer covered) with some sugar, butter, and salt. Dump some chopped cilantro in there when it's done. It's delicious.

Japanese curry is awesome, it's maybe 3 bucks for a box of the curry, a couple bucks of vegetables and a cheap meat. It'll feed you 3 big ass dinners.

u/Crucinyx · 1 pointr/Cooking

To add onto this, make what you like, as OP said. Build on it and don't be afraid to try anything new to add ingredients that you enjoy!

Watching some shows can help give you ideas too, I particularly liked salt fat acid heat, Netflix series based off the book. Wonderful insight into the importance of the corner stones of cooking.

Also food blogs can be a good resource, when I started out I jumped between a few of them looking for recipes. I found 2-3 of them and cycled them into a rotation. I highly suggest this recipe for spaghetti to start out with.

An example with what I said earlier for trying new things, I subbed out the veal / pork for 1lb of Italian sausage. It's one of my more favourite meals now.

Finally, I don't know if it's been recommended, but The food lab is a great book. It explains so much and the science of cooking. If you can't pick it up online, it's worth looking at a library to see if they'd have one.

Hope some of this helps and you have a great time cooking!

u/beley · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Video series or anything? I really learned a ton reading The Professional Chef, which is a textbook in a lot of culinary schools I hear. I have the eTextbook version that has a lot of video links and interactivity.

If you're into the science behind cooking I'd also really recommend The Food Lab, I have the hard back version and it's also just a beautiful book.

I also have Cooking and Sauces by Peterson, also textbook quality books.

And of course, the ever popular Better Homes &amp; Gardens Ring-Bound Cookbook, How to Cook Everything, and The Joy of Cooking are staples on my bookshelf as well. Great for reference or a quick look to find a particular recipe just to see how others do it.

I also browse a lot of websites and watch a lot on YouTube. I'll save recipes I find online using the Evernote Web Clipper and tag them so I can find them easily in the future. This works great because I can pull them up on my iPad while I'm cooking.

When a recipe calls for a method, tool, or ingredient I'm not very familiar with I'll usually just search it on YouTube and get some ideas about how to use it. That's worked really well for me so far.

u/kristephe · 2 pointsr/Cooking

If you like reading, a couple books that I'd recommend would be The Food Lab and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. They'll help you understand a lot more about the tools and ingredients you want to use and learn how to use them. There's plenty of recipes too! These are both award winning books that I think should be in your local library too if you don't have the money to buy them! Happy cooking!

The meal prep subreddit might give you ideas too on big batch meals.

Do you think your dad might help you cook or help you learn? It could be a cool thing to do together and maybe you could help him learn somethings and give him some autonomy!

u/chris_anna · 2 pointsr/Cooking

The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has been a great find for me and venturing toward the deep end of cooking. He definitely doesn't try to make his recipes overly simple, but they're written well and are a snap to follow. The book is about 1,000 pages long and definitely rewards cover-to-cover reading, but my preferred way to approach it is to think of a food or class of food that I want to make (like "hamburgers" or "salad dressing") and then find it in the index. If it's in the book, it will definitely be a very good version of the recipe.

&amp;#x200B;

Reading the non-recipe sections also did a lot to help me understand what goes on during various cooking processes and has helped me step away from strictly following recipes. I still generally follow Kenji's recipes to the letter but I can adjust something from, e.g., AllRecipes to suit my tastes without compromising the end result.

&amp;#x200B;

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Food-Lab-Cooking-Through-Science/dp/0393081087?crid=1GSDX0G93DLJQ&amp;keywords=the+food+lab&amp;qid=1536763318&amp;sprefix=the+food+lab%2Caps%2C134&amp;sr=8-1&amp;ref=sr_1_1

u/OliverBabish · 10 pointsr/Cooking

A perfect chef's knife is the first place to start (that's my preference, the Wusthof Ikon Classic 8", $160). Go to a kitchen supply store, or even Bed Bath &amp; Beyond, and test drive some steel - see how comfortable it is in your hand, how balanced it feels. If you want to save money for other things, you can't go wrong with the Victorionx Fibrox 8" chef's knife, at an extremely reasonable $40. The chef's knife is an impossibly versatile tool all on its own, but if you want a smaller knife for detailed work, grab a paring knife from whatever manufacturer you choose for your chef's.

A huge, heavy cutting board ($88). For most of my life, I went with the $20 3-packs of plastic OXO or other cutting boards, ranging from small to extremely small - nothing will slow down your cooking more than an inadequately sized cutting board. Things roll off, you pile up your chopped veg and run out of space, you feel constantly crowded, and you can never carve a whole chicken or roast. Buy a piece of non-slip material (usually used for carpets) ($9), place it under the cutting board when you use it, and it will never slip or slide around - more convenient and safe.

A Thermapen. Expensive - it's $100, but it's the fastest and most accurate kitchen thermometer money can buy. A less expensive alternative would be the Lavatools Javelin at $24 - not quite as good, but a damn sight better than any other digital food thermometer you'll get your hands on. This is essential for cooking any meat, deep frying, baking - it will change your game.

An All-Clad Sauté Pan ($129). Also expensive, but an absolute essential tool for everything from sautéing to braising to deep frying. Do not go cheap with your stainless - you can do cheaper than All-Clad, but even heating, comfort, and build quality are absolutely essential.

An inexpensive but awesome nonstick set($164 for 11 pcs). Alternately, you could get a very versatile 12" TFal Professional Total Nonstick, an impossibly stickless, oven safe, dishwasher safe wunderkind.

A 12" Cast Iron Skillet ($34). These are kind of a pain to take care of, but are invaluable for searing, baking, even serving. It'll last you a lifetime if you take care of it.

u/SpaceInvadingMonkeys · 2 pointsr/Cooking

As far as cookbooks go, I would suggest just some basic ones such as Better Homes and Gardens Cookcook which has a bunch of basic recipes that you can elaborate yourself. For a little more specific but usually simple recipes, I'd suggest The Joy of Cooking; it has a bunch of usually pretty simple recipes and goes into some details about food pairing, knives and cuts of meat...

If you have trouble understanding some of the cooking terms or just want to know more about it, my mom gave me The Cordon Bleu's Cooking Techniques which gives instructions about how to cut and prepare vegetables, fruits, meats, etc... It also has some basic recipes in there for you. I use it a lot; I know you can look up these things online but I rarely ever bring my computer to the kitchen.

As far as knives go, I would buy a couple of high end ones that you would use frequently and, if you want more, you can buy the cheap ones that have serrated edges. I do have a lot of cutting and peeling of veggies and fruits, so I have 3 paring knives. One small one for small stuff. A Tourne Knife (paring knife that is curved w/ sharp edge facing inwards). And a larger paring knife that I use for cutting most vegetables. You probably don't need a Tourne knife unless you discovered that you do a lot of peeling. When I say I bought "expensive" ones, I mean I went to like Sur La Table and bought ones that were like 10 bucks each and not the 100-200 USD ones. After that all you probably need is a chef's knife. With those you can cut/peel/trim almost anything quite easily.

Kitchen scissors can be useful for cutting off fat of pieces of meat (or skin). I found a decent pair at Costco that wasn't too expensive. But you don't really need that. So if it is out of your budget, then don't get it.

Next up is tubberware (or whatever you want to call it). Make food for multiple people (even though it is just yourself), save it and throw it in the fridge for later. I do this and bring leftovers to work everyday. It saves me money from having to go out and I tend to eat healthier so it is ok.

I tend to make every week or two, a pound of brown ground beef w/ a basic tomato based sauce in there. From there I can make chili, pasta sauce, add a little more veggies and I throw it into bell peppers (which gets thrown in the oven - yum), etc... You can probably do multiple things w/ it. But it is nice when I have a long day at work and don't really feel like doing a lot of cooking; I can just throw together some pasta.

In the winter time, I tend to make some kind of big stew on weekends. It lasts me a couple of weeks and is very tasty and hearty when it is cold out. Stews involves cheap cuts of meat as you cook them for a long time so it tenderizes them.

That is all I can really think of right now. Feel free to message me.

u/CityWithoutMen · 67 pointsr/Cooking

I bought a Thermapen and I love it. But back when I was living with my folks, my mom also really liked using it from time to time. For Christmas I bought her a Lavatools Javelin because it was cheaper but still looked good. I also found that I liked that thermometer as well. Plus, it has a magnetic back so it hangs out on the fridge, so I found that more often than not I was reaching for it instead.

Again, I love my thermapen, and it's absolutely worth its price, but for those balking at the cost, that $25 Javelin is a really good buy.

u/TrulyMundane · 1 pointr/Cooking

Start simple with just an 8" chef knife and a stone for maintenance.

Recommend like a MAC Chef Knife or a Victorinox Fibrox (with a honing rod). good for value, robust, forgiving knives which is great for your first time.

For maintenance, Suehiro Cerax 1k or King 1k/6k stone - he'll need to learn how to use the stone, maybe check out Burrfection or other people.

&amp;#x200B;

Key notes:

Honing rod is recommended for western knives to maintain sharpness.

Stones is needed to sharpen the knives when they blunt with use.

When you develop more experience or love for knives, then start buying your other stuff like serrated, paring, utility, nakiris, santokus, higher grit stones and whatnot.

check out /r/chefknives

u/NoraTC · 1 pointr/Cooking

While the classics are classic for a reason, they have a dirty little secret: they reflect the food tastes of the time in which they we written. I almost never cook anything from Mastering the Art anymore, because tastes have moved on.

Today, I would start a new cookbook collector with How to Cook Everything, any edition. 20 years ago, it would have been Joy of Cooking. 40 years ago Fannie Farmer. 60 years ago, Betty Crocker, which now doesn't even turn up on Amazon on the first search page. I own all those cookbooks - and a ton more, but Bittman is where to start now, IM (rarely)HO, because he reflects general tastes, techniques and availability of today. I wouldn't part with my Escoffier, but I read it for taste inspiration, not recipes these days.

This afternoon, I was editing my cookbook collection to make room for some more advanced books in a few areas and to eliminate some dated ones, so the topic is fresh on my mind. I will never part with some older books that have the stains and happy memories of many successful uses and some fun litigation from my book publishing days, but cooking is a dynamic art. Knowing how to develop a tin type will not make you a better digital photographer.

u/juggerthunk · 3 pointsr/Cooking

I know this will sound callous, but, you live and you learn. $120 non-stick pans just aren't worth the extra money. The nature of the beast is that, unlike a hardened metal like stainless steel, or a super thick metal, like iron, your non-stick coating will wear out. Maybe it was overheated and the non-stick surface doesn't release as well or maybe it just starts flaking off.

Whatever the case, I regard my non-stick cookware as near-disposable. As such, I wouldn't worry about buying a primo non-stick pan. America's Test Kitchen ran several pans through a gauntlet of tests and rated the Inexpensive T-Fal 12" pan as one of their favorites, so you have that veneer of scrutiny. I have a similar pan (older from TJ Maxx) and it works well for what it is. Higher end pans will likely be thicker with a layer of less heat conductive metal in order try help maintain a steady temperature. All aluminum pans will have far more hot spots and make it easier to burn food.

u/iaintdancin · 8 pointsr/Cooking

I realize that you've asked for something more like a textbook, but I think you should consider The Joy of Cooking. It's got recipes, but it's also a fantastic reference for everything cooking-related. It can teach you how to make stocks, soup bases, prepare shellfish, pluck and dress a bird, roll pie dough, cook in a pressure cooker, can vegetables, smoke meats and fish, etc. The recipes will tell you what page to look on for any ingredients that require extra prep. I bought mine at a used book store for $6 (it's the 1975 version, but they also had a 1997 edition for $10 that I bought my sister). If you're trying to learn how to cook but not become a professional chef, I don't know if there's anything better.

EDIT: I also have this link saved of Alton Brown listing his favorite cookbooks. Ratio is one I've been meaning to pick up. I'll also mention that for all his shouting on other shows, I like Gordon Ramsay's "Cookalong" series quite a lot, and much of it is up on YouTube.

u/trevman · 6 pointsr/Cooking

How to Cook Everything

There' an iPhone app with the recipes that will build shopping lists for you as well. My GF is a catering manager for a large venue here in NYC; she's a food snob by profession. But she always loves the beef stir fry from Mark's book, despite the fact that it's 5 or so easily obtained ingredients. Maybe she just likes the inevitable sex. We may never know.

I think the Joy of Cooking is a great reference once you get the basics down. I also think online recipes can be hit or miss. As a beginner, having ONE good book is better than the entirety of the internet IMHO. There's just too much information coming at you.

That being said, I made this recipe every 2 weeks for about half a year. Every time I'd vary the spices a bit, to experiment. It's really simple, refrigerates well, and tastes pretty good.

u/metaphorm · 3 pointsr/Cooking

The McGee Bible is probably the best food-science oriented cookbook ever written.

This Book is basically the same content but condensed and made more accessible, so its a good starting point if you don't want a huge doorstop of a book to page through.

Good Eats by Alton Brown is a pretty awesome how-to show that combines food science and comedy. poke around for full episodes if you can find them, its worth it.

as for podcast format...not sure if I've encountered a good one in strictly audio. maybe just look for books on tape?

u/awizardisneverlate · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Get a knife, a good one. I recommend this one. It's cheap, has a nice edge, and will become the love of your cooking life. Mine sees hard daily use and still cuts beautifully. You may also want to invest in a honing steel to keep the edge in good condition.

Other than a knife, I recommend a few cutting boards and at least one heavy-duty, oven-safe and stovetop-safe pan. Stainless steel or cast iron are both great. Lodge cast iron skillets are about $20 a pop and will last a life time with minimal care.

u/chileseco · 3 pointsr/Cooking

For using your stock this time, I'd make something simple that shows of the stock's flavor without too many overpowering flavors (i.e. no coconut milk, tomato soup, etc). Something like Alice Waters' chicken noodle soup.

Other stock advice:

Overnight is not necessarily too long, but it's also not really necessary. I give my stock 3-4 hours on the stove at a bare simmer (a bubble breaking the surface every few seconds) and it's always rich and delicious.

I avoid dried herbs - they tend to have a really strong flavor that you don't need in your stock. If it's a flavor you want for a soup later, just add it when you make the soup. A few fresh parsley sprigs are nice, though.

I like to keep stock a blank slate: just carrot, celery, onion, and bay leaves for aromatics.

I generally rely on Michael Ruhlman's Ratio for stock technique. The game changer for me was his advice to add vegetables only for the last hour or so of cooking. After that, they break down and their flavor gets muddy.

Edited to add: of course, the most important stock advice: NEVER LET IT BOIL, and NEVER STIR. Leave it alone!

u/killfirejack · 1 pointr/Cooking



Gastronomique is an incredible resource for all pretty much anything edible.

Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is also a great resource but is more like a text book than a cook book.

The Ideas in Food books are pretty good too.

I guess I've been leaning more towards "educational" type reading lately (opposed to recipe tomes). Ratio is also very good. Does reddit like Ruhlman?

u/zapatodefuego · 5 pointsr/Cooking

&gt; Wusthof or Zwilling are out of the question (require too much care and cost way too much)

Personally I feel like most of their knives cost more than they should, but what makes you think they require too much care? These things are usually made of tougher steels like X50CrMoV15 so that you don't need to worry about care too much. Just don't put it in the dishwasher and figure out how you're going to keep it sharp. That's true for a $25 dollar and a $250 knife.

&gt; These high end knives require the use of a sharpener of the same brand (more money)

That's not even remotely true.

By sharpener, do you mean those pull-through devices? Those are not so great for your knife in the long run but if it works and it's convenient so be it.

&gt; I have looked everywhere for a good Victronicox but wasn't able to find a chef knife

https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-45520-Frustration-Packaging/dp/B008M5U1C2

u/thejewishgun · 1 pointr/Cooking

How much cooking do you do? Do you prefer Japanese or Western knives?

The best bang for your buck is the Victorinox Fibrox knives. America's test kitchen rates them as highly/higher than most $100-200 knives.

If money is no option, I prefer the Misono UX10 series.

There are lots of big brands and differing opinions on what knives to get. I have owned Global, Shun, Misonono, Victorinox, and MAC knives. They all have their positives and negatives. It comes down to what you like and what you are willing to spend.

In terms of what knives you need, a good Chef's knife, a pairing knife and a bread knife is all you need for 90% of daily cutting tasks. If you are just starting out I would get the Victorinox Fibronox series. If you decide you like knives and want something that gets ultra sharp, I would be more than willing to share what my personal preferences are.

The other thing I would invest in is a sharpening system. I prefer DMT diamond plates. They stay flat and will cut through any blade material. Plus they are really fast. Some people love the edge pro system. I haven't used it, but I like the feedback stones give you over other systems. Stay away from cheap automatic grinders, they don't get blades nearly as sharp.

There is a deep rabbit hole when it comes to chef knives and sharpening, in the end it comes down to what you love to use. Search locally and see if there is a chef supply or knife store you can go to see what you like the feel of.

u/LongUsername · 2 pointsr/Cooking

&gt; Wednesday: Yellow curry with potatoes, carrots, and spiced chicken.

&gt; Other common dishes are "one pot" type for weekdays, such as curried lentils and sweet potatoes over coconut rice

You might want to look into a good modern pressure cooker like an Instapot or a stovetop one like a Fagor Futuro or Kuhn Rikon models.

Great for making quick curries and other "one pot" meals. We use ours all the time to make various dishes, from Spanish rice, to Moroccan Chicken, to poached chicken breasts, steamed vegetables. Also good for breaking down vegetables into pasta sauce.

Also great for making chicken stock: throw the bones, skin, and cartilage from 2 rotisserie style chickens in, cover with water, maybe a bay leaf or other herbs (no salt, there is already enough on the chicken). Pressure cook for an hour and you have the BEST gelatinous stock.

u/teamoney80mg · 1 pointr/Cooking

Watch Jacques pepin videos on youtube he is a master of technique and the reasons why we do things the way we do in a kitchen. This is a great book.


u/apmagpie4307 · 1 pointr/Cooking

Slow cooker is a good choice. I use mine a lot for stocks, sauces, soups, chili, etc.

Electric Roasting Pan is nice.

Good knifes- others have commented on this. Don't forget about wood cutting boards and oils for those. Can't have enough.

Peelers are generally overlooked. Get good ones.

Anything teflon or non-stick... return. Don't ask for. Get them cheap as you can and plan on tossing them out every year and replacing.

A good timer and meat thermometer also.

A good oven thermometer is cheap and get it yourself. You can usually find a good one online.

Lastly- depending on where you live, a year subscription to a Chef Warehouse or Restaurant Depot can save you a lot, you can pick up gear cheap, and maybe meet and talk with a few chefs. That'll be worth the price!

edit: formatting

u/modemac · 5 pointsr/Cooking

Amazon. I know it's a sin to actually order stuff off of teh Interwebs instead of physically going to a store, but you can find almost anything there that would be next to impossible to find in most stores -- and you can usually get then at a discounted cost far less than Williams-Sonoma, plus free shipping with Amazon's "super saver shipping." Some of the things I've ordered from there that simply could not be found in a typical store: Bayou Classic 16-quart cast iron dutch oven, Reddit's favorite Victorinox chef's knife, the Lodge "double dutch" oven combo, and two cast iron items that were far less expensive at Amazon than you'd find at Williams-Sonoma -- the Lodge cast iron wok (purchased with a 2010 Xmas gift card) and the Lodge cast iron pizza pan (purchased with a 2011 Xmas gift card).

u/Release_the_KRAKEN · 1 pointr/Cooking
  • Everything except the acidic stuff so like tomato sauces or lemon stuff etc. (you can but you need it really well seasoned).

  • No you don't really need to invest in it. It'll probably out live you assuming you don't lose it. Some are really expensive because it's more about buying for the brand than the actual quality. For example: A 12in Lodge Cast Iron Skillet is $34.. It's pretty much the gold standard for cast iron stuff in North America. And if you look on the reviews you'll see that more than 2000 people bothered to write a review and they'll agree with me.

  • Pre season means that the factory applied a layer of oil (I think it's soy oil) to polymerize the fat to the skillet and create a non-stick surface. It's not a bad thing but more often than not, these non-stick surfaces aren't true non-stick surfaces. It's more of a marketing gimick. When you get your cast iron whatever, season it yourself.

  • Yes there are downsides to cast iron. (1): It's heavy as fuck. It weighs almost 10 pounds which might not seem like much but your wrist will get more of a workout than a life time of masturbation cooking with this thing. (2) In bare cast iron, you can't cook acidic stuff. (3): It's not very sensitive to heat. So if you heat it up, it'll stay warm for a while. (4) You have to wait a little to let it cool down before you clean it. Because if you take a hot skillet and you clean it immediately in cold water you can crack it via thermal shock. It will be non stick after you cook in it enough. It'll take a month or 2 depending on how much you use it.

  • On my stove top the biggest burner is a double burner. Meaning it's one circle surrounding another. The stove top has an option to warm up the inner ring or both rings. When I use the 12 incher, I have to use the both ring option. So go measure your stove top burners and check.

  • While the 12in Skillet is a really versatile piece of cookware based on it's shape alone, if you could only get one piece of equipment, you'd get a lot of versatility out of the Lodge Combo Cooker. The top is only a 10 inch skillet though so take that in mind if you want to make pizza in it (the pizza will be smaller.
u/AmericanOSX · 1 pointr/Cooking

I second the 7pc Cuisinart Multi-Clad Stainless set. It is a quality set that will give you the most versatility. The multi-clad will provide more even heating that some of their cheaper sets. You can use any utensils with them and you can take them from stovetop to oven, which can be very handy. At 8 quarts, the stock pot is plenty big enough for pasta, chili, or deep frying.

Eventually, you'll probably want to get a nonstick frying pan and rubber spatula for eggs and other things that easily stick in stainless steel. This 8 inch one, also by Cuisinart is pretty good for the money. This spatula by OXO is well-made, and only $7. Stainless steel will be just as good, or better, for most things, but eggs are best in nonstick.

A 12 inch cast iron pan would be handy to eventually get too, if you want to be able to cook steaks indoors. They're also good for baking corn bread and making pancakes. I wouldn't get one immediately, but they're nice to have.

u/rabbithasacat · 1 pointr/Cooking

Couple years ago I got some Cuisinart MultiClad Pro and have been really happy with it. I linked to their 12-piece set just so you can see what several pieces look like, but it's also sold individually so you can pick out exactly the pieces you need. Fully clad, great handles, very even cooking, no burning or sticking (though it's stainless, not nonstick). I think it's as close as you can get to All-Clad without taking out a second mortgage (and IMO the handles are actually better than All-Clad). I use a lot of acidic ingredients, so it's great not to worry about that. Very happy with the skillets and also the 5.5-qr casserole, which I use for risotto or prepping Guinness stew.

I still keep a cheapo nonstick for eggs, and a little cast iron for steaks, cornbread or pizza, but at this point, most of what I pull out on a day-to-day basis is one piece or another of MCP. It suits how I cook and it's very well made.

u/blix797 · 1 pointr/Cooking

I'd recommend at minimum 1 non-stick pan, 1 big and 1 medium pot, 1 big stainless steel sautee pan with high walls &amp; lid, and 1 small stainless steel pan. At least, that's what I use the most. If you like cast iron get a skillet too.

I got my 12-piece stainless steel Cuisinart set from Bed Bath &amp; Beyond because my mom gave me a coupon. It's very nice. I don't care for cookware with glass lids. All-clad makes great stainless steel cookware too.

For a non-stick skillet, T-Fal is recently popular. I like mine. It doesn't feel cheap yet its cheap enough that I don't worry too much about scratches. Got mine on Amazon.

For cast iron it's really hard to beat Lodge. Their skillets and Dutch ovens are top notch once properly seasoned. Never mind any cast iron that says it's pre-seasoned, best to give it 3-4 more coats to start with. It's easy just time consuming. I bought mine at Orchard hardware actually but you can find it on Amazon too.


Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are a joy to use but Le Creuset, while undeniably top notch, is prohibitively expensive. Lodge, Cuisinart, and Tramontina are cheaper brands but I believe all their enameling is done in China.

u/Bribear-311 · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Cooking isn't as fussy as people try to make it seem. Baking (especially high end baking) is fussy. Not so much with making meals. Take food add heat, never forget salt. That's one of the most important things about cooking, always remember to taste while you do it and add a dash of salt. Salt brings out the flavor of food. [This] (http://www.amazon.com/Walt-Disneys-Mickey-Mouse-Cookbook/dp/0307168123) was my first cookbook. Got it when I was like 6 or 7 and then graduated to The Joy of Cooking. One of the Great things about kid's cookbooks is that the recipes are designed to be cheap and easy. The instructions are very easy to follow, and the pictures have cartoon characters. How fun is that?

u/RabbleRouser27 · 164 pointsr/Cooking

https://www.amazon.com/Food-Lab-Cooking-Through-Science/dp/0393081087

Best cookbook you can get with everything youre looking for. The guy was a chemist I believe and decided to combine it with his love of cooking. It tells you why cooking an egg a certain way will give a certain result. What happens the the proteins inside the egg, what cookware to use, how to improve already popular dishes. Great shit in store for you my friend.

u/wee0x1b · 1 pointr/Cooking

&gt; based on what do you even start to mix stuff up

Well, a lot of times I'll make a recipe once, and then if I like it, I'll think about what I can do to alter it. This stuffing has dried cranberries in it... can I use dried cherries? This glaze calls for a 1/2 ounce of whisky... what would it be like if I used brandy? And if I added some ground cinnamon, how would that taste? That sort of thing.

Sometimes I'll do smaller test batches of things. Like if I want to try a new BBQ rub, I'll cut a rack of ribs in two and see which I like better. Or I'll make two smaller pots of the same stew, one altered and one from the recipe.

&gt; how do you personally expand your ingredients that you cook with ?

Here's a very good place to start: http://www.amazon.com/The-Flavor-Bible-Creativity-Imaginative/dp/0316118400

&gt; Say you want to try out something new that adds alot of acidity into your food, how do you go on about this ?

Well, you try what seems like it makes sense. Say you want to add acid to a beef stew. Do you just put vinegar in there, or use red wine instead? How about red wine along with some diced tomato?

u/FriendlyEngineer · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Well, on the extreme side, "The Professional Chef" textbook I believe is the one used by the culinary institute of America. I picked one up off Amazon for $36 just for the hell of it. It's really interesting and reads more like an academic text than a cook book. It can be quite intense though.

A much more popular choice and a much easier read would be "The Food Lab" by Kenji Lopez-Alt who is a writer for serious eats. The book has plenty of recipes but does an unbelievably amazing job explaining the science and reasoning behind the choices that are made as well as various "experiments" that kenji does to answer cooking questions. It definitely teaches technique and really helps put you in the right "mindset" for cooking without a recipe.

Here are links to both.

https://www.amazon.com/Professional-Chef-Culinary-Institute-America/dp/0470421355

https://www.amazon.com/Food-Lab-Cooking-Through-Science/dp/0393081087

u/High_Life_Pony · 4 pointsr/Cooking

If you are a new cook, I really recommend The Food Lab. Sure, it has recipes, but it also tells you how things work and why instead of just “cook at 350 for 1 hour.”

The intro section has a great starter guide for tools and equipment as well. Basically, here’s a tool that you absolutely need. Cheap version, pros and cons, then high end version. Or here’s a tool that’s really handy if you like to whatever a lot, but if you aren’t cooking that much, you can get by without it.

Highly recommended. I bought most of my tools from these recommendations, and they’ve been great!

u/carole920 · 2 pointsr/Cooking

If you want to learn the answers to these questions (or have an on-hand classic reference at any given time) I recommend The Joy of Cooking. It explains the result of the particular techniques and why it is important to prepare things a certain way. Often I find that there are perfectly delicious recipes that skip these techniques and work fine, but it is a good explanation of the classic way of doing everything. It is a great reference for cooking and baking.

u/winningelephant · 1 pointr/Cooking

https://www.amazon.com/Food-Lab-Cooking-Through-Science/dp/0393081087

https://www.amazon.com/Americas-Kitchen-Cooking-School-Cookbook/dp/1936493527/

Both are incredibly clear, well-illustrated and written, and provide not only instruction on basic cooking techniques, and help a novice cook select the equipment necessary for a successful kitchen. SeriousEats.com and AmericasTestKitchen.com are great resources as well if you're not keen on buying a cookbook.

Alton Brown's Good Eats is also a great how-to resource presented in a friendly, informative and entertaining format.

Finally, I like to recommend You Suck At Cooking to people who say they can't cook. Yes, the videos are mainly comedy skits involving ridiculous things being done to produce, but there are actually some really good nuggets of information skillfully hidden in the chaos of what's going on. It barely qualifies as instructional, but it certainly is entertaining and involves food.

u/peglegbandit · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Two books I recommend:

  1. The Cook's Book, a compilation by ~20 world famous chefs of techniques, styles, and recipes. The pictures and instructions are gorgeous and very concise. I particularly recommend the fish and shellfish chapter by Charlie Trotter.

  2. The Flavor Bible is great for inspiration and help in becoming more than a simple cook. It lists unique flavor combinations that you would've never thought of alone.
u/trioxin4dinner · 1 pointr/Cooking

Roasted lemony chicken thighs with a lemon and white wine sauce, potatoes roasted under the chicken, and steamed broccoli. That was fantastic but the Light And Fluffy Pancakes from The New Best Recipe were pretty awesome too.

u/joshdotsmith · 3 pointsr/Cooking

I sent you a message separately since I don't want to be spammy and link to my own site here. But I'd like to address your general concerns of where and how to begin.

If you want to make some honey BBQ or apricot chicken, that's great. However, starting at that level may actually be a disservice to you, especially as most recipes are structured to assume some base level of knowledge that you don't have. The result can be frustrating as you try to piece together bits of knowledge from wherever you can scrounge them.

The worst part is not understanding why certain things are happening. The Alton Brown recipe that /u/MercuryCrest shared will be unusually good because he's teaching you why you're doing certain things. That will make recipes repeatable and your skills generalizable.

If you can get access to all of Good Eats, that's typically what people recommend. But I'd also like to recommend just a good book, like Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything The Basics which will walk you through a bunch of beginner recipes.

u/jt3611 · 1 pointr/Cooking

I would always recommend anything from America's Test Kitchen. I bought this on a whim when I first got really into cooking and it's amazing.

https://www.amazon.com/Food-Lab-Cooking-Through-Science/dp/0393081087/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1485533534&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=food+lab

If he likes to know WHY things work, which for me it's essential, then this book is awesome. The author really explains why and how things come together to get the best result. He's an editor from seriouseats.com, I also recommend that website also.

u/azntaiji · 3 pointsr/Cooking

I have this Cuisinart SS set: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXPS6U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_w46uxbD7WZ283

It's awesome.

I definitely recommend SS, it gives really nice browning and heats up real quick. And it's super durable, you don't have to worry about flimsy handles - and you can scrub the shit out of them, and not have to worry about scraping off a teflon coating. Plus, you can throw them in the oven to finish off whatever you're cooking.

The only thing you need to be aware of is sticking and heat. Learn to season a pan and you won't have any sticking problems (heat up some oil till it starts to smoke, drain it out and then swirl with a paper towel).

u/Jbota · 1 pointr/Cooking

It's not so much a cookbook, but it's a great book on cooking and the science behind it but I like On Food and Cooking

http://www.amazon.com/Food-Cooking-Science-Lore-Kitchen/dp/0684800012

It's much more into the hows and whys of cooking than "this is how you make a creme brulee" but it's a cool reference. Alton Brown's books have a little bit more of the recipe + science.

For actual cooking tutorials, Julia Child probably does the best. It's a classic book for a reason.

u/Sand_isOverrated · 9 pointsr/Cooking

It's a classic, but there is probably no cookbook I turn to more than The Joy of Cooking. It just seems to have everything. All of the recipes are pretty simple and easy to riff off of, and it'll give you a great baseline for just about anything.

u/_Cjr · 3 pointsr/Cooking

A 50 dollar knife set will be a huge piece of shit,and 3/4 of them will rarely get used.

Get him (and your self) This knife.

http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Swiss-8-Inch-Fibrox-Straight/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1450230212&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=victorinox+chefs+knife


Honest to god it performs as good and often better than knives 3x its cost.

If you do get it, make sure you tell him to hand wash only, and dry immediately. Don't let it sit with food on it, and store it where it wont get banged up by other cutlery. if he has to put it in a drawer, make sure he uses the plastic sleeve it comes with.

u/mthmchris · 68 pointsr/Cooking

So a few off the top of my head:

  1. The Professional Chef. Geared towards professional chefs but a great resource.

  2. On Food and Cooking. A classic. Not really a 'cookbook' per se but rather a book that discusses history and food science.

  3. The now out-of-print Williams and Sonoma Mastering Series. Specifically, their book on sauces - the others are solid but not quite as good. Those books were how I personally learned to cook. (still can find used)

  4. The Flavor Bible. Obligatory. Eventually you grow out of it a bit, but it's still a great resource to have around.

  5. Flour Water Salt Yeast. I just got this book recently this last Christmas, and I've been enjoying it quite a bit.
u/gandhikahn · 1 pointr/Cooking

Not indian but since you seem to actually care about food check out, On food and Cooking I have this book and it's amazing. I also have a friend going to the Portland culinary institute and he mentioned that ALL his professors recommend it.

u/AlexTehBrown · 24 pointsr/Cooking

The Food Lab!!!

Techniques are explained really well. It doesn't just tell you what to do, it tells you why to do it. There are good recipes, but the best part is that you learn the howsand whys, which make the skills transferable and it will bring your cooking to a new level. It is designed for home cooks, and Kenji is the best, you can't go wrong.

u/HungryC · 1 pointr/Cooking

Books. Has he/she mentioned a cookbook or food reference book lately that he/she wants? Good cookbooks are awesome as gifts, since most cooks don't often have time to make it into a bookstore. Just as long as you get a good one (no Rachael Ray or Sandra Lee bullshit).

If your chef friend doesn't already have one of these books, any of these are a good gift:

Food Lover's Companion

On Food and Cooking

River Cottage Cookbook

French Laundry Cookbook

Also awesome, a subscription to Lucky Peach magazine.

What kind of restaurant/cuisine does your friend cook for? I have suggestions for more cookbooks if you want, but a little bit more information would be helpful.

Edit: Forgot to mention Art Culinaire, a hardback quarterly for chefs and cooks.

u/PooperOfPoop · 1 pointr/Cooking

A cast-iron skillet. Soon, your awesome searing skills will be no match for your puny kitchen fan. Just make sure you look into how to care properly for the thing.

As for cookbooks, like other people in the thread mentioned, Joy of Cooking and Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything are great tomes of quality recipes. I would also recommend something along the lines of a culinary school textbook. I'm a big fan of The Professional Chef. This cookbook focuses a lot on technique and theory, but it's very thorough and still has plenty of recipes and delicious looking pictures.

u/thewombbroom · 1 pointr/Cooking

The great thing about cooking is that there is no template! Do what tastes good to you! That said, there are plenty of cookbooks for beginners that will give you basic ideas. This book by Michael Rhulman will give you several recipes for each of 20 basic cooking techniques. It's a great base to start from.

On wine, I completely jettisoned the idea that whites are for some things and reds are for others. You should drink what you like is the bottom line and be less concerned about pairings. If you like reds then just have a light bodied red, like a Burgundy, with chicken or fish and save the big Boudreaux for your steak. Likewise, there's no reason you can't have a nice oaky Chardonnay with a tomato based pasta, etc.

u/owanderhoffe · 15 pointsr/Cooking

do you have a chef's knife? this would be a great investment, as you can use it for pretty much everything, including cutting up birds. i have victorinox chef's knives in both 8 and 10 inches. they're widely considered to be the best bang for your buck...
good luck!

u/kcjenk42 · 2 pointsr/Cooking

This book is fabulous! In it they tell you a couple of methods they tried while making a recipe and why they decided a method worked best. This is the goto book I would purchase for anyone beginning to cook or looking to improve their cooking. Feel free to msg me if you want further details about the book. https://www.amazon.com/New-Best-Recipe-Cooks-Illustrated/dp/0936184744

I highly recommend any cookbook from America's Test Kitchen. They also have a segment on NPR &amp; PBS.

u/HunnyB06 · 1 pointr/Cooking

I don't have a subscription either but it's also in my favorite cookbook:

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Recipe-Cooks-Illustrated-Magazine/dp/0936184744/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1421716625&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=best+recipe

Pan Seared, Oven Roasted, Thick Cut Pork Chops

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
4 bone in rib chops 1/1/12 inch thick
1/2/ teaspoon pepper
1 tbsp oil

dissolve the brown sugar and salt in 6 cups cold water in a gallon size zipper lock plastic bag. Add the pork chops and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate until fully seasoned about 1 hour. Remove the chops from the brine, rinse, and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels. Season the chops with the pepper.

Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position, place a shallow roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 450 degrees. When the oven reaches 450 degrees, heat the oil in a heavy bottomed 12 inch skillet over high heat until shimmering. Lay the chops in the skillet and cook until well browned and a nice crust has formed on the surface, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops over with tongs and cook until well browned and a nice crust has formed on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

Using the tongs, transfer the chops to the preheated pan in the oven. Roast until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of a chop registers 125 to 127 degrees 8 to 10 minutes turning the chops over once halfway through the cooking time. Transfer the chops to a platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Check the internal temperature; it should register 145 degrees. Serve immediately.

Sweet and Sour Pan Sauce and Bacon

5 ounces bacon
2 shallots
1 garlic clove
4 plum tomatoes
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dry Marsala
4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper

Pour off the fat in the skillet used to brown the chops. Place the skillet over medium high heat and cook the bacon until crisp about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate; pour off all but 1 tbsp of the bacon fat. Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots and sugar, and cook until the shallots are softened, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Increase the heat to medium high, stir in the tomatoes and vinegar, and scrape the pan bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Add the Marsala and simmer until reduced by half about 5 minutes. Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

u/wyndhamheart · 2 pointsr/Cooking

I'm in the same boat as you. I can follow a recipe but I have no actual cooking basics. I just bought this book and it is fantastic. Explains everything from the very beginning (hello boiling water) and then gets more complex as it goes along.

I'm going to start at the beginning and cook my way through. Pretty excited about it.


How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food--With 1,000 Photos https://www.amazon.com/dp/0470528060/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_dSMfvb07D7242
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0470528060/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_dSMfvb07D7242

u/metompkin · 8 pointsr/Cooking

I've moved on from using to nonstick to stainless. It'll take a few more minutes to clean at night but nothing cooks better and nothing will last longer. I don't recommend using Teflon coated pots and pans because of their health ramifications. Pros use stainless. You'll learn how to use it soon enough.

http://amzn.com/B009JXPS6U

I also have my trusty 10" Lodge cast iron pan. It's my favorite piece in my kitchen and never leaves the range because I use it everyday for breakfast and dinner. It will soon become your favorite in a few years because you have to learn to care for it.

http://amzn.com/B00G2XGC88

u/boyerling3 · 2 pointsr/Cooking

I'd recommend buying this book which has tons of great recipes at a variety of easy levels and it does a great job showing and describing different cooking methods. It's seriously the best.

u/Phanners · 1 pointr/Cooking

Thank you so much, this sounds amazing. I don't have a stainless steel pan either, but I did get an Amazon gift card for Christmas so this may be a perfect opportunity to use it! I think I'd have more uses for cast iron so that's what I'm looking at now, is this one worth buying?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00006JSUB/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?qid=1451859322&amp;amp;sr=8-3&amp;amp;pi=SX200_QL40&amp;amp;keywords=cast+iron+skillet&amp;amp;dpPl=1&amp;amp;dpID=41RgtPTWtgL&amp;amp;ref=plSrch

u/splice42 · 1 pointr/Cooking

Here's what you really want:

How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman: pretty much everything you'd like to do as a normal home cook will be in here. Debone a chicken, choose the best meat, veggies, fruits, how to cook every vegetable, fruit or meat you're likely to use, in different ways, with variations. Breakfasts, dinners, deserts, technique, theory. It'll cover about everything you'd want to learn.

If you want to go a bit further into theory:

Ruhlman's Twenty: twenty topics for the home cook to study and learn, with applicable recipes. The basics every interested cook ought to know. Think, Salt, Water, Onion, Acid, Egg, Butter, Dough, Batter, Sugar, Sauce, Vinaigrette, Soup, Sauté, Roast, Braise, Poach, Grill, Fry, Chill.

That'll get you pretty far, I reckon.

u/captainblackout · 1 pointr/Cooking

Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything would be an excellent start. It does a great job covering kitchen basics while still having enough depth and detail to keep it useful as you grow as a cook.

If you're more of a visual learner, I'd look into episodes of Alton Brown's Good Eats. It's somewhat whimsical, but is an great resource for learning the hows and whys of cooking.

Some people find youtube helpful, but there is a lot of godawful advice floating around mixed in with the good stuff, and for a novice cook, it can be difficult to tell the difference. Same goes for food blogs and websites.

u/TheMank · 3 pointsr/Cooking

A lot of the comments are focused on learning simple techniques and skills, and having a basic understanding of processes. Check out this book by Michael Ruhlman.

From the blurb: " Twenty distills Ruhlman's decades of cooking, writing, and working with the world's greatest chefs into twenty essential ideas from ingredients to processes to attitude that are guaranteed to make every cook more accomplished. Whether cooking a multi-course meal, the juiciest roast chicken, or just some really good scrambled eggs, Ruhlman reveals how a cook's success boils down to the same twenty concepts."

u/drunk_chef · 1 pointr/Cooking

Hm, thanks. I have this set of stainless steel Cuisinart cookware that's pretty decent. It's MILES better than the cheap set of non-stick everything cookware I had before that, but I don't love using it and I had a hard time believing the All-Clad stuff is that much better. I found an All-Clad 10" skillet at TJ Maxx about a year ago for like $70 and was tempted, but I still couldn't swallow the spend (same for the 6.5 qt Le Creuset Dutch oven I found there a couple weeks ago for $200).

Thanks for your reply. I'll keep my eyes peeled for sales and look at getting a couple pieces I'll use a lot vs. buying a whole set.

u/jslice · 1 pointr/Cooking

the number of cook books over 500 pages, made before 2000 is innumerable BUT we can probably narrow it down to the few books that are super common. First thing that comes to mind is "Joy of Cooking" which is extremely common. Joy of Cooking


although if you were before 2000 the cover probably looked more like this : Joy of Cooking 1997

did i get it?

u/beurre_noisette · 13 pointsr/Cooking

You don't need a set at all. Buy one chef's knife, a paring knife, and maybe a bread knife--and they don't have to be from the same brand. Buy one that feels good in your hand. You can try Wusthof and Shun at Williams-Sonoma.

None of them are that amazing if you don't keep them sharp anyway.

If you want to save money, get this one for now, and only upgrade for a good reason:

http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-45520-Frustration-Packaging/dp/B008M5U1C2/

u/grandwaffles · 2 pointsr/Cooking

This:
http://www.amazon.com/Cook-Everything-Completely-Revised-Anniversary/dp/0764578650

Any Bittman really. Any time I find myself staring at an ingredient, having no idea what to do (eggplant, turnips, even chicken) he gives a great, simple starter recipe. Get creative from there.

Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen is a fantastic second step. Once you are like "okay, I got down roasted veggies," ATK will class it up for you, with some really great explanations of why they chose to do the recipe they did.

u/Funkenjaeger · 2 pointsr/Cooking

If you like to learn about the science behind your food, I strongly recommend On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

It's like an encyclopedia full of fascinating facts about food or cooking techniques, and it even manages to be a good read as well.

u/atc32 · 2 pointsr/Cooking

alton brown is a good place to start, and I would also recommend the food lab (https://www.amazon.com/Food-Lab-Cooking-Through-Science/dp/0393081087/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1483749194&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=the+food+lab) if she has some interest in science. He does a good job of explaining the why's, and it will teach her to ask good questions early and not just take it all on faith

u/SailingPatrickSwayze · 2 pointsr/Cooking

This is the one I love.

T-fal E93808 Professional Total Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan, 12.5 Inch, Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000GWG0T2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_aExCybX9K8BH9

It's a great pan, and cheap enough to throw away and buy another one once the non stick wears off. Great for a situation like yours.

u/electricpuzzle · 1 pointr/Cooking

This is a fantastic book that I actually got for my boyfriend, but I use it more than he does!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0470528060?pc_redir=1396182476&amp;amp;robot_redir=1

It's all about the basics (from how to cut veggies, to how to cook different meats, etc). And it doesn't judge! We don't all have the benefit of great cook mothers who taught us everything we know :)

u/Rose1982 · 2 pointsr/Cooking

I don't know what your budget is but I got a 12 piece Cuisinart Multiclad set and I love it. You can find them on Amazon.

I did quite a bit of research before getting these and they seemed like the best value for dollar. Many people compared them to their All Clad pots and pans very favourably (All Clad is ridiculously expensive). I think there is also an 18 piece set available but 12 seems to cover all my needs and I cook almost every day.

The other thing I would recommend is a food processor. I have the basic Kitchen Aid one and have no complaints.

u/hubbyofhoarder · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Stainless steel tri-ply pans, well reviewed by Cook's Illustrated and many bloggers:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-10-Piece-18-10-Stainless-Steel-TriPly-Clad-Cookware-Set/11072505 $229

Victorinox Chef's knife. Cheap, and again very well reviewed by Cook's Illustrated and many bloggers:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000638D3220 $27

Victorinox serrated knife:
http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-47547-4-Inch-Fibrox-Handle/dp/B00093090Y/ref=pd_sim_k_7 $25

Victorinox paring knife:
http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-47508-4-Inch-Paring-Knife/dp/B0001V3UYG/ref=pd_sim_k_2 $8

Cheap and well reviewed knife sharpener:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004VWKQ/

To round that out: a cheap non-stick pan (they wear out, don't sink money into this), some silicone spatulas, Pyrex bakeware, and maybe a cast iron or mineral steel skillet.

You can see a theme with my recommendations. You can have very high quality kitchen stuff, without breaking the bank.

Best of luck :)

u/ltran96 · 2 pointsr/Cooking

I highly recommend Serious Eats. They've got a lot of great articles and walkthroughs. One of my favorite parts is that not only do they explain what to do, but why common convention dictates we do some things. While you're at it, I recommend you pick up a copy of The Food Lab, which contains a lot of the same material. It's very well formatted and written, and I suspect your daughter will plow through it if she's as interested in cooking as you make it sound like she is.

u/PurpleGonzo · 4 pointsr/Cooking

Once you master a set of basic skills, as well as understanding how things "should" be, everything becomes way more fun and easy. How to dice an onion or anything. How to keep a clean work area. What "brown" actually looks like. How thick is "thickened", and what the hell is a roux.

Also, being a total Geek, The New Best Recipes cookbook has been a major help. It tells you both why you're doing it, as well as how to cook basic items, and then take that skill to other recipes.

u/ClarenceWagner · 1 pointr/Cooking

thermoworks thermapen is usually considered the best but it $99 however their thermopop (http://www.thermoworks.com/ThermoPop?tw=WIRECUTTER) is also very good or the Lavatools Javelin (https://www.amazon.com/Lavatools-Javelin-Digital-Thermometer-Chipotle/dp/B00GRFHXVQ?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;ascsubtag=SH47&amp;amp;linkCode=xm2&amp;amp;tag=thesweethome-20)

Ribeye is great (as long as there are no bones, meat cuts with bones are harder to cook in a pan as the meat shrinks away from the bone and it makes so the heat is less even) Other cuts are NY strip, "Flat Iron" (shoulder cut) cuts and tenderloins (usually filet) small tri tips (usually sold as grilling tips) or the eye of the round/chuck eye round. I just found this chart which is useful http://cdn.foodbeast.com/content/uploads/2014/07/beef-cuts.jpg

If you are getting your steaks at a grocery store try and find a butcher in my experience they are usually the same price for the same quality of meat the leaner the meat or the lower quality the harder it is to cook and in generally just isn't as good. So if you're getting select grade meats using more lubrication when cooking will help and cooking it more towards rare will help make it softer. The lower grades do not have that nice marbling of fat which helps lubricate the meat while it's cooking also fat is flavor so less fatty meat less flavor. (http://www.primesteakhouses.com/how-usda-grades-beef.html) If you have the budget prime is the way to go, if your on a budget then skip the NY strip/ribeyes and go for those flatirons (depending on how it's butchered some flatirons will still have parts of tendon in them taking them out is a good idea before cooking) tri tip grilling tips or the chuck eye, all those cuts are generally much cheaper contain more fat and for me they turn out better than the select grade of the more expensive cuts.

u/fortyhands · 2 pointsr/Cooking

I recommend buying a single quality chef's knife and a pairing knife for finer work.

Inexpensive pick:
http://www.amazon.com/R-H-Forschner-Victorinox-8-Inch-Fibrox/dp/B000638D32/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1_s9_rk?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;s=home-garden&amp;amp;s9r=8a5850a4189e98760118ecb694da07af&amp;amp;itemPosition=1&amp;amp;qid=1229892744&amp;amp;sr=8-1

Expensive pick (the one I use):
http://www.amazon.com/Global-8-Inch-20cm-Cooks-Knife/dp/B00005OL44/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;s=home-garden&amp;amp;qid=1229892885&amp;amp;sr=8-1

Also consider ceramic if you don't want to sharpen:
http://www.amazon.com/Kyocera-Revolution-5-Inch-Slicing-Knife/dp/B000ESJGZS/ref=pd_sim_hg_5

Pairing Knife:
http://www.amazon.com/Forschner-Victorinox-4-Inch-Paring-Handle/dp/B0001V3UYG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;s=home-garden&amp;amp;qid=1229893245&amp;amp;sr=1-2

You will want a serrated bread knife as well.

whatever you do, don't buy ridged knives that saw through foods (ginzu, etc). the knife should simply glide through most food effortlessly without sawing.

Don't buy a full set, as you should be able to get by with just two. These are tools and the more you keep your use to just the knives you have, the more adept you will become with them.

Go into a fine cooking store and put a few knives in your hand to see what feels natural.

Enjoy!

u/willaeon · 1 pointr/Cooking

Cook's Illustrated: New Best Recipe

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0936184744/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;psc=1

The people who wrote this book not only give very detailed instructions, but they also tell you what they have tried and what didn't work. That way, you not only have better knowledge of the recipe, but it helps you learn how to better improvise.

Also, the recipes are amazing. A+++++++, would buy again and again.

u/chriswu · 3 pointsr/Cooking

If your meat's not juicy, it's almost certainly because you are overcooking it. As others have pointed out, cubed chicken takes very little time to cook. It's probably better to cook them as larger pieces and then cut them up.

BTW, cooking to correct temperature doesn't mean that long cooking times are bad. For example, when stewing beef or chicken, it's entirely possible (and sometimes required for tougher cuts of beef) to cook for hours at a time - but the key is that this is done at a low simmer.

For burgers, you want to cook them at a relatively high heat so the outsides get a nice brown crust while the center is a nice medium rare. Some people will say "only flip it once", but I think that is a myth. I've flipped steaks and burgers multiple times without any ill effects. In fact, my preferred method of cooking steak is to use a lot of oil, flip it every 30 seconds while basting it continuously in the oil with a big spoon.

Another important point if you are forming your own burgers. DON'T OVERPACK THEM. If you are squishing them together very firmly, you will end up with hard bricks of meat. Just enough pressure to hold them together (at least a half inch thick. I like them thicker) and you will get nice juicy crumbly burgers.

Lastly, let the burgers rest for 5 minutes (longer for big cuts of meat). Otherwise, a lot of the juice will leak out when you cut into it.

Get something like this thermometer to help you cook steaks and burgers.)

Edit: I've never read this book, but America's Test Kitchen is an awesome resource. LINK. I think I'll buy this myself!



u/NRBQ_BBQ · 7 pointsr/Cooking

I'm in the same boat but I pulled the trigger because this also replaces my NuWave oven(wife's purchase long before we got together) that I ONLY ever use to incubate my own yogurt. This will save me quite the hassle of ever having to lug that thing up and down from the basement every two weeks. This and I have seriosuly limited cabinet space. This will help me out tremendously.

Also, if you live in an area that qualifies for PrimeNow through Amazon, order it through them(not the same site as amazon), get it delivered TODAY, and save another $15 if you use the code 15OFFNOW. Plus get another $5 credit for future use. Got mine for $66 including tax and delivery.

u/Im_just_saying · 1 pointr/Cooking

I've only cooked white rice, and it's a five minute cook with a natural release that takes probably five minutes more. Here's the link:

https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Pot-Multi-Use-Programmable-Pressure/dp/B00FLYWNYQ

I'd encourage you to also just do some web searches and read the many ways people use it. For Easter I cooked 30 eggs (to make deviled eggs) at one time and it took something like a total of 10 minutes. I have a friend who is a professional cook; cooks lots of meals for families. She has SIX pots, and she's the one who turned me on to it about a month ago. I'm pretty impressed with them.

u/videowordflesh · 3 pointsr/Cooking

Why are you replacing your old set?

The sets you have mentioned are cheap and will get the job done, but they are low quality.

Actually, the IKEA 365 that I' looking at is only 2 pots and a pan and it's $60. Not exactly a full set and not exactly cheap.

Generally speaking you want to get tri-ply stainless for your basic workhorse pieces. And then you'll want a cast iron and a non-stick in case you need them. And then whatever specialty cookware you might need for the stuff you like to make (a wok... a griddle... whatever).

Do you have a Marshalls or a TJ Max or a Home Goods in Au?

That's where I got most my stuff. Sure it doesn't match, but it's all tri-ply, quality stainless and works like a charm!

Might have saved money if I bought all at once like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXPS6U/

But then again I was able to get exactly what I needed and nothing that I didn't.

I try not to buy into over-priced bullshit, but I am in the 'buy it for life' camp.

u/NatureNurd · 1 pointr/Cooking

I would recommend to anyone looking for food pairings to buy the book The Food Bible. It is a great reference that list an ingredient and then list all the other foods that go well with it. It even emphasizes certain pairings over others by either italic or bold font. I love it.

u/realistic_meat · 4 pointsr/Cooking

You're right. Any knife can be sharped to a razor edge. There's a youtube channel of a guy who makes knives out of things like paper or rice and is able to put a very fine edge on them.

The difference in expensive knives is how long they'll hold their edge. A shitty knife won't last a few days of heavy slicing and chopping before needing re-sharpened. And sharpening them takes off enough steel that within a couple of years the knife blade will be noticeably thinner and won't have the same shape unless you've been really careful about how you sharpen it.

But a really great knife will hold the edge for a month or more, depending on use. It'll last a lifetime.

BTW /u/PeachSodaPunk, a really great and affordable chef knife is the Victorinox Fibrox Pro: https://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Fibrox-Chefs-Knife-8-Inch/dp/B000638D32

Only $36.

You can obviously spend more on knives, but at a certain point it comes down to aesthetics and how well the knife fits your hand. A really expensive knife isn't useful if it hurts your hand after a few minutes of slicing!

u/the_greenhornet · 1 pointr/Cooking

If you really want to learn the details of what cooks do and why, I strongly recommend this book: https://www.amazon.com/Food-Cooking-Science-Lore-Kitchen/dp/0684800012, it is, IMHO, the cooking bible.

The Food Lab is also a good resource and there are lots of videos: http://www.seriouseats.com/the-food-lab

Other than what the others have suggested (Jacques Pepin, Alton Brown's "Good Eats"), I would also recommend to watch Julia Child's videos (mostly French fare) and Heston Blumenthal's "How to cook like Heston".

u/The_Unreal · 0 pointsr/Cooking

When it comes to meat, the very most important thing in getting the result you want is temperature. Get yourself a good thermometer.

This is mine, it works great:

http://www.amazon.com/Accurate-Splash-Resistant-High-Performance-Digital-Thermometer/dp/B00GRFHXVQ/ref=pd_sbs_k_4?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;refRID=0VQZ2ZY77H5WZMTFHDPY

Your steak is traditionally best at medium rare. This happens at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. This site is godly for meat: http://amazingribs.com/tips_and_technique/meat_temperature_guide.html

They have everything you need to know.

When it comes to steak specifically, your two concerns are temperature and crust. Reverse sear method gets you both.

u/Neilette · 1 pointr/Cooking

For starting I highly recommend the Lodge cast iron combo set! It's all the cast iron I can justify having (though I do get excited when I see cast iron on sale...). For $37 you get a skillet, pot (also useful as a high-sided pan), and dutch oven. I use the skillet daily for eggs and everything else. A dutch oven is a handy piece of hardware, I use it to make the most delicious sourdough bread. 😋

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0009JKG9M/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_RiICzb5EXWA2Z

Also get yourself a pair of handle mits for ease of use:

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00JG5PVUY/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_5rICzb6SHVMM0

u/GarrettTheMole · 1 pointr/Cooking

I would recommend getting individual knives over a knife set. Really all you need for cooking is a chef knife (you'll use this for 90-95% of the work), a paring knife, and a bread knife. Most people on this site are going to recommend this knife.

Victorinox 8 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife 40520, 47520, 45520 Frustration Free Packaging https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_wtGhzbEGVQCKP

It's a nice knife and will be plenty good for anything an amateur cook will do. There are countless other options though, depending on how much you're looking to spend, the hardness of the steel etc. R/chefknives is also a great resource for knives.

One thing that is important that not enough people talk about is no matter what knife you end up getting, you will have to sharpen it regularly to keep it sharp. I would also invest in some sharpening stones and learn how to use them properly so you can keep your knifes as sharp as the day you got them.

u/asr · 1 pointr/Cooking

I would suggest a cast iron griddle and a dutch oven/skillet pan combo like http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0009JKG9M or http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000LEXR0K

Another less common, but surprisingly useful tool is an immersion blender. It's great for anything from creamy soup to pudding to protein shakes.

u/laufsteakmodel · 54 pointsr/Cooking

Check out The Foodlab from Seriouseats. It wont really teach you the basics, but their recipes explain HOW and WHY certain things work and certain things dont.

Also check out /r/cookingforbeginners

And if you wanna know what flavors go well together, check this out. Great book.

u/encogneeto · 2 pointsr/Cooking

The biggest question is whether you want and electric or stovetop. Many people advocate for stovetop, but I love my electric and it doubles as a slow cooker as well as a rice cooker. It also has a "brown" setting so you can sear your meat all in one pot. Personally I've had this one on my Amazon wish list for a while. It's hard to justify though unless/until mine dies.

u/Sticky_Bandit · 1 pointr/Cooking

I just picked up a Lodge Combo Cooker and I am curious to know what the best way to season it would be. I heard that it helps to just cook up like 5 pounds of ground beef to get a good surface.

u/flitcroft · 6 pointsr/Cooking

The best non-stick pan by far is the T-FAL E9308 for $25.74. This is a case of paying less and getting more. The pan has decent weight, it heats relatively evenly (they seem to dome, with a high point in the center), has a lifetime warranty, and most importantly the coating is absurdly slick. I'm not a T-Fal guy, probably like you, and first went to a $160 pan, but this is simply a better pan.

http://www.amazon.com/T-fal-Professional-Thermo-Spot-Indicator-Dishwasher/dp/B000GWG0T2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1453570389&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;keywords=t-fal+nonstick

The T-Fal outperforms the $120 All-Clad, $160 Scanpan, and $100 ceramic coated pans. The All-Clads are pure trash -- amazing steel pans but their non-stick doesn't actually prevent sticking. The Scanpan is great but the coating died for me after a year with med-high heat. Others on Amazon have the same problem and there doesn't seem to be a serviceable warranty.

Edit: lots of grammar

u/KeavesSharpi · 4 pointsr/Cooking

I can tell you about the preheat thing anyway.

1: food safety. Ovens take time to heat, so your food will be sitting in the danger zone a long time if you put it in when you first start the oven.

2: If your food is heating up as the oven heats up, by the time the oven is to temperature and browning the outside of your food, the food is well and truly overcooked. Food usually needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of somewhere between 140 and 180 Fahrenheit. Now if 150 is your target temp, imagine what your food will be like if it's 350!

As for a go-to book for learning everything about cooking, here you go:

https://www.amazon.com/How-Cook-Everything-Recipes-Anniversary/dp/0764578650

The first... 20 or so pages answer all your basic cooking questions, then you have like 900 pages of in-depth, detailed recipes, explaining the techniques, variations, and expectations of, well, everything.

To be totally honest though, I just google my questions as they come up at this point.

u/bearpics16 · 43 pointsr/Cooking

Quite honestly, this is one of the best knives out there: The Victorinox Chef Knife

Cook's Illustrated did a review on dozens of high end knives with prices running up in the several hundred dollar range and they concluding that this was their favorite (they are not sponsored in any way by this company)

I was prepared to drop around $300 on a good chef knife, but I'm so glad I didn't. The one and only downside is that is not a fancy looking knife. If you don't care about that sort of thing, then this is the knife you want. I like it better than any Wusthof

Edit: the reason I like it is that it is very easy to sharpen and if just feels perfectly balanced. I really like the feel of the grip too. Out of the box it comes insanely sharp and it stays sharp. The low pricetag makes more me willing to abuse it, and it's taken the abuse and then some.

u/hailtheface · 2 pointsr/Cooking

I shall declare myself the victor now and take my winnings in comment karma.

pot

pan

knife

You'd even have some money left over to buy some food to throw in those mother fuckers.

*edit: Unfortunately the pot and pan I linked to are only available at Wal-Mart, to the best of my knowledge. I have them both, use them nearly every day, and they are on par with some of the best cookware on the market. Bonus that they are very reasonably priced. All of the above, save the Wal-Mart business, can also be said about the knife.

u/awesomeo111 · 12 pointsr/Cooking

Grab one of these. Best value in kitchen cutlery anywhere. Period.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000638D32?pc_redir=1412571089&amp;amp;robot_redir=1

I've had one for almost 5 years and it's still sharp. If you take care of your kitchen tools, they will take care of you!

u/WeShouldHaveKnown · 3 pointsr/Cooking

There is a cookbook called the food lab which is really great. It explains the science behind making things extra delicious and the recipes in that book are really good "every day" ones not necessarily project meals. Highly recommended.

u/speakingcraniums · -2 pointsr/Cooking

Like I said, if your just doing this at home then don't worry about it. But if you want to be the best cook you can be (and why wouldn't you) then following the tiny rules and suggestion adds up to a better, more consistent product.

That said, what your saying is not totally correct, the comment I linked is about there being no reason to ever salt them before they go into the pan and that since the water retention is higher, the eggs will cook faster allowing you make your eggs actually lighter and fluffier because you can reduce the time the eggs spend on the burner. Infact the comment directly stated that its better for omelette (really it's just better for everything). OPs omelettes are tough because their heat is too low, although that's not what the top comment is saying.

Source: I've made thousands of omelettes and thousands more different egg dishes. I do the best I can.

Infact talking about this so much made me make myself one just to make sure I wasn't getting something wrong and, it was a damn fine omelette. Little hole in the middle but you just serve that side down on the plate :)

Second source : I own the book, everyone should own this book.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0684800012/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1511870140&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&amp;amp;keywords=on+food+and+cooking+harold+mcgee

u/Dbernard1111 · 1 pointr/Cooking

Rule #1 of kitchen knives: you absolutely do not need some sort of fancy/expensive knife block set. It's a waste of money. As far as budget knives go, Victorinox is a staple of professional kitchens and a great value. You can absolutely get by with a chef's knife (6 and 8 inch if you want to splurge), couple of paring knives, bread knife (the below wavy edge bread knife is magic and the best thing I've ever bought for my kitchen), and maybe a boning knife if you want to get fancy. If you want to get a little more invested I love my Global G2...and then I've filled the rest of my needs with Victorinox and hang them on a magnetic strip.

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008M5U1C2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_wummCb5Z58D5V

Victorinox 6 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000CFDD5/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_PxmmCbPCXVM5J

Victorinox 47600 3.25 Inch Paring Knife with Straight Edge, Spear Point, Black, 3.25" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0019WXPQY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_3ummCbDDYYBRW

Victorinox Cutlery 9-Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife, Black Polypropylene Handle https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0019WZ7EW/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_4vmmCb12C6A0V

Victorinox 5.6603.15 6" Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife with Semi-Stiff Blade B0000CF94L, Silver/Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000CF94L/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_wvmmCbN928MB7

u/raznog · 2 pointsr/Cooking

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B008M5U1C2/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1374236515&amp;amp;sr=8-1&amp;amp;pi=AC_SX110_SY190

A lot of people over in ask culinary recommend this one. You definitely don't need to spend $700 but it might be a good idea to spend more than $1. I use a wusthof I got for about $50 and it has served me great for about 5 or 6 years now. Cutco are definitely a waste of money though.

u/Thisismyfoodacct · 3 pointsr/Cooking

I dig you're enthusiasm but you're asking a broad question!

I'd recommend the following books to help answer your questions:

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of The Kitchen

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0684800012

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking through Science

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393081087

u/Felibarr · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Even at 50% off a Le Creuset dutch oven is 150-200 dollar range. If you're looking for an enameled cast iron dutch/french oven, I have been using a Lodge enamel dutch oven for years and it is fantastic and has done flawless work for me.

I'm not going to spend a bunch of time making comparisons, just read the reviews on Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Color-EC6D43-Enameled-6-Quart/dp/B000N501BK/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&amp;amp;ie=UTF8&amp;amp;qid=1381656285&amp;amp;sr=1-1&amp;amp;keywords=le+creuset+dutch+oven

The red color is currently on sale for $60 flat. Save yourself a hundred and some odd bucks, while not losing out on any quality, and buy a good knife.

Edit: $60 for the 6 quart, $72 for the 7 1/2 quart.

u/Bachstar · 1 pointr/Cooking

That looks pretty badly damaged. You might be able to use it, but it would be much more difficult to clean &amp; you might actually want to season it like you would a bare cast-iron pot.

I've had really good luck with Lodge dutch ovens. They're not $5, but they generally run about $50 so they're much more affordable than the Le Crueset.

u/pluck-the-bunny · 6 pointsr/Cooking

Harold McGee is like the master of knowledge of all things cooking.

If you found this interesting, check out his book On Food and Cooking

it’s basically an encyclopedia of the science behind cooking. One of my favorite books. And a James Beard award winner

u/fractaloutlook · 1 pointr/Cooking

If you want just one:

The New Best Recipe:

https://www.amazon.com/New-Best-Recipe-Cooks-Illustrated/dp/0936184744

Will teach all manner of things.

Skip the Flavor Bible until (maybe) later. Ruhlman's 20 is good for beginners (and everyone).

Unless you're looking to learn BAKING... I'd say just cook little bits of things as you'd like and taste 'em. "What do two thin slices of baked red pepper taste like?" "What's a pork chop taste like plain at 165 degrees?" Start with very few ingredients and get to know them and what they DO. Eat raw garlic, seared garlic, and roasted garlic. Same with onion. Same with ginger.

For books go with the sciency ones. People who explain the why and the how.

u/bummedoutbride · 2 pointsr/Cooking

Most people in the cooking community, myself included, love the Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch Chef's Knife. It's under $50 and is super sharp.

I bought it because America's Test Kitchen recommended it. I really like it.

u/curtains · 1 pointr/Cooking

FWIW, I learned to cook what my parents cooked first, then I went to Italian-American (spaghetti with red sauce, then more, using Henry Hill's cookbook called The Wiseguy Cookbook, which is actually better than it looks), then onto French which was a big step.

Start small, and learn how to spice properly. Then once you start getting good, move onto cooking completely from scratch. Then start making homemade stocks. Try different ethnic cuisines. Once you get the basic theory of different cuisine down, you'll be able to experiment. At that point, get The Flavor Bible. That's really advanced. If you take to cooking, you will love this book.

u/ender4171 · 99 pointsr/Cooking

For learning methods and the science behind cooking I would say The Food Lab by J Kenji Lopez-Alt. It is a textbook of cooking methods, analysis, and expliantion of the science of how cooking works and how to get the best (or just different) results from recipes. It also contains a ton of excellent recipes.

For just recipes, I would say The New York Times Cookbook by Craig Claiborne. It has hundreds of incredible recipes from a variety of cultures. Some of them are quite complex, but most are very approachable for cooks of all levels. It is not an advanced cookbook for the most part, but has a lot of solid classic recipes. One does need a basic grasp of cooking terms and techniques to get the best out of it.

u/Linksta35 · 2 pointsr/Cooking

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0936184744/

The New Best Recipe is one I don't see recommended as often, but explains the process they went through to get the recipe they ended up with. Everything I've made from it has been delicious, and it explains things very clearly.

u/lunarmodule · 1 pointr/Cooking

There is a fantastic cookbook out there called How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. That, for me, is the perfect collection of simple, delicious, good, recipes. No fuss, no trendy stuff, no over-anything. Just really good information and advice on how to cook... everything.

If a cookbook isn't in the budget, PM me, and I'll send you a copy.

u/calsurb · 4 pointsr/Cooking

Mollie Katzen's The New Moosewood Cookbook. Great little pictures of ingredients/recipes.

The Joy of Cooking. It's got a great baseline of knowledge and can provide a good context when you start cooking.

The Mennonite cookbook More with Less. This one will broaden your horizons and you'll find yourself cooking outside of your typical cuisines.

u/aquapeat · 1 pointr/Cooking

i highly recommend this knife if you dont want to spend a lot on a knife. its reviews are amazing and having used it, i think its amazing for the price.

but yes like sproutandthebean said. a decent chefs knife will make a world of a difference.

u/Chasmosaur · 2 pointsr/Cooking

I just looked it up at Cook's Illustrated - in their two non-stick categories ("Inexpensive Nonstick Skillets" and "Small Nonstick Saucepans") they don't seem to recommend the Cuisinart nonstick pans. They didn't seem to hold up, and lost their "nonstickiness" pretty quickly. :(

For the Inexpensive Nonsticks (from Sept, 2010), they liked the 12.5 inch T-Fal Professional Total Nonstick Fry Pan.

For the "Small Nonstick Saucepans" (from March, 2006), they liked a couple of different ones, but the 2 1/2 quart Calphalon was at the top and surprisingly affordable.

ETA - I took a "meats and sauces" class from a chef a few years ago. He said he wasn't generally a fan of non-stick, though he understood why home chefs used them. He thought there wasn't a substitute for a good stainless steel pan that was well heated and oiled. I know I've adopted that for cooking meats, and I get a better result. But I don't make a lot of eggs (not a huge fan), so I'm not sure if that's practical.