Cooking Tips

breamfisherbreamfisher Senior MemberPosts: 13,173 Senior Member
Just figured I'd start a thread for cooking tips I've picked up. I love to cook, so here's some hints I've picked up. Feel free to add your own...

Hard boiling eggs: don't boil them in a pot of water. Get out a vegetable steamer and steam 'em. It's a trick I read about from Alton Brown. 8 eggs steamed on medium heat for 14 minutes, then put into an ice bath for 15 minutes or longer come out well set and with no green edge to the yolk. If you want them soft boiled, less time or less heat. Don't worry about letting eggs age in the fridge. They're already old when you buy them at the store.

If you're using green-stemmed herbs in a sauce and you're chopping the herbs... just chop up the stems or run 'em in the food processor. You won't notice the difference.

Spices: buy in bulk if you use a lot. Otherwise, just buy small containers and replenish often. They won't last long. And don't use pre-ground black pepper. Just don't.

The salad spinner works. It's bulky but it works.

Knives: buy decent ones and keep them sharp. Honestly, I like Chicago Cutlery, but higher end is also good. I don't like cheapies.

The only proper way to make cornbread is in properly seasoned cast iron, with BACON GREASE. And you don't need to clean that pan with soap, unless you want to re-season it. A damp, soft scotchbrite pad works good. Dry it in the oven.

Toast your spices before cooking with them. Brings out the flavor.

If you need to saute something... get the oil hot BEFORE you add what you're sauteing. Same thing with preheating an oven. Some folks still haven't learned this.

If you want to roast a turkey without getting your house all hot... use the grill as an oven. Gas grills are easier to control heat, and don't give a smoke flavor.
Overkill is underrated.
«1

Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,982 Senior Member
    Soak Ruddy Duck breasts in milk all day before being breaded in Italian bread crumbs and fried.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,173 Senior Member
    Oh, forgot to add: if you're going to make a jambalaya, beans and rice, or something else with meat... use a heavy-bottomed pot. Brown the meats and some garlic in the bottom of the pot with oil or bacon grease. Then take out the meat, cook your vegetables in that same oil or bacon grease, add your meats back, and add your beans or rice or whatnot. By browning the meat you'll give it better flavor and texture. Cooking the vegetables in the oil or bacon grease after the meat gives it better flavor.

    Also, if you're doing red beans, smash a few beans against the side of the pot with your wooden spoon once they're cooked. It'll thicken the red beans without using cornstarch or flower.

    Frog legs: marinate them in inexpensive Italian salad oil-type dressing, then dust them in flower.

    As far as gas grills go: I didn't choose it for myself. It was more for another user. Who never used it.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Wash the top of cans before opening.

    Pancakes can be made in the oven ( no flipping)

    Line oven pans with foil. Just dispose after use, no washing needed.

    Use disposable roasters for turkey & chicken.

    If it comes out of the oven, it's homemade.
    :tooth::tooth::tooth::tooth::tooth::tooth::tooth:

    Edit
    The smoke alarm is not an oven timer :jester:
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 15,184 Senior Member
    If you just have to have beans in your chili....use refried beans...they will thicken your chili without masa/flour/cornstarch. They add a nice flavor without having a bunch of beans floating around in your chili.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • woodsrunnerwoodsrunner Senior Member Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    Makin' Cornbread.....you're correct to use a well greased cast iron frying pan, but you overlooked something! Use Bumpy Road Farm old fashioned non-gmo heirloom cornmeal! That junk you buy in the supermarket labeled "cornmeal" has had 83% of the nutrients, oils and FLAVOR removed by a steam-pressure process to keep it from going rancid without refrigeration. Use the best, most flavorful....Bumpy Road Farm!
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,343 Senior Member
    Save your skin and bones from a roast chicken. Put them in the freezer. Once you get the skin and bones from 2 or 3 chickens saved up, roast the hell out of them for about an hour at 425 degrees until they are getting pretty dark, deglaze the pan and put all that in a stock pot. Simmer for half a day, pull all that stuff out and add carrots, celery, parsley, and onions. Simmer for a couple more. Season to taste. Add noodle of choice (or cabbage if you are doing low carb). Serve when the noodles/cabbage is tender. Using that same base, with a thickener you can make chicken and dumplings or chicken ala king.

    I have done the same thing with beef, turkey, pork, lamb, venison* and bear bones. You will never buy broth, bouillon, or stock again! I have actually canned quite a bit of the pork stock with a pressure canner. Add some hominy and leftover pork, and you have posole!

    It is like getting something for nothing, it can stretch your food budget quite a bit, and it blows away anything you can buy at the store.

    * DO NOT use head or spine bones from venison! Use the leg bones to prevent CWD from being an issue.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,567 Senior Member
    When I used to make venison pot roast, before going to work put the roast in a crock pot add veggies, 2 cup's water, whole bottle of Maggie Ginn sauce turn on low, when I got home it was done.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,343 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    I cant speak for the other stock, but jerms deer stock is to die for.
    I spent a bit more time on that deer stock, but the concept is the same. I got 2 quarts left of that and I am going to use it to make some wild rice with morels on Thanksgiving.
  • RocketmanRocketman Banned Posts: 1,118 Senior Member
    A tip on nutmeg: Too much or not chopped well enough and you'll trip balls like you dropped acid. Not a fun mistake (depending on who you are). I won't even eat anything that has it on it sparingly anymore.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,343 Senior Member
    Rocketman wrote: »
    A tip on nutmeg: Too much or not chopped well enough and you'll trip balls like you dropped acid. Not a fun mistake (depending on who you are). I won't even eat anything that has it on it sparingly anymore.


    Some validation to the above statement...
    http://www.cracked.com/article_16178_7-common-foods-that-can-actually-get-you-high.html
    (And yes, I joined the Cracked Writers Forum a few years back. They aren't joking about their sources. They seriously back up their non-fiction statements)
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Any guiding points on ironing, anyone?

    I am ok with hanging washing on the line but I hates ironing.

    cjp wrote: »..... Oh dear God, I've admitted to liking something Limey.I'll never hear the end of this.

    Jayhawker wrote: »...But seriously Shush....

    Big Chief wrote: ».........walking around with a greasy butt ain't no fun, though!

     


     

  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,343 Senior Member
    Yea... I don't iron crap unless someone died or is getting married. I hang all my clothes and do not use a dresser.
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    I am more old school I am afraid.


    But my Wife's fitted blouses..................... ahhhhh!!!!!


    And that spare set of buttons sewn on the inside, always in the way.

    cjp wrote: »..... Oh dear God, I've admitted to liking something Limey.I'll never hear the end of this.

    Jayhawker wrote: »...But seriously Shush....

    Big Chief wrote: ».........walking around with a greasy butt ain't no fun, though!

     


     

  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    Cooking rice.
    When cooking rice, put whatever kind of lube you're using (oil, grease, butter, etc.), whatever seasonings you're using and the DRY rice in the pan first. Cook this on medium/low, stirring periodically, until the rice has browned...THEN dump your water in. Bring to a boil and cook it like you normally would. This gives the rice a much deeper/smokier/roasted flavor.

    Peeling Idaho potatoes.
    Stop it.
    Soak your white potatoes in a sink full of hot water for about 10 minutes. Scrub each potato with a scouring-pad while rinsing under cold water. This will leave a very thin layer of peel on the potato that won't come off during cooking even if you boil it in a soup. Tastes better, better for you, MUCH easier and more efficient than peeling, and for those of us interested in such things...it actually looks prettier in the dish.

    Store-bought canned vegetables.
    Stop it.
    No helpful tip on this one, just stop buying canned vegetables from the store. Buy actual produce if possible, buy frozen otherwise, but DO NOT get your vegetables out of a can. They have way less flavor, WAY more sodium and preservatives, and are much more of a hassle to deal with.

    Quesadillas.
    Mix basically any kind of meat/vegetables with equal parts shredded cheese, sprinkle on some cumin and chopped cilantro if you have it, stick that concoction in between two flour tortillas, brush to top tortilla with some sort of lube, bake until the cheese is melted and the top tortilla is slightly browned. It's a quesadilla and it's probably delicious.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,807 Senior Member
    Perfect Bacon

    Stop making a mess. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and lay out bacon. Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Place bacon in oven for 10 -15 minutes depending on thickness and crispness wanted. Take two paper towels and lay them over a plate and place cooked bacon in a row on paper towel. Roll up paper towel to dry bacon perfectly, then unroll. Place bacon on plate and put used paper towel in grease in cookie sheet. Remove foil and paper towels from cookie sheet and throw away, and serve bacon on plate. No mess!

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,173 Senior Member
    Dan, if you use cookie cooling racks to cook the bacon on, you don't really have to use paper towels to get the grease off the bacon.

    You can also reserve the grease for other uses.

    Another hint: even if you pan is "non-stick" use some kinda fat (butter, oil, cooking spray, fat, etc.) to get a light coat on the pan before you put in the item you're going to cook. Cleanup is easy, and you get better flavor.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,173 Senior Member
    Okay, 'nother hint...

    If you want to brown meat, scramble eggs, or have another use for a fat in the pan... bacon grease. When you cook bacon, just put it into a coffee cup or cleaned can, put it in the refrigerator, and use later. Gives flavor and a hint of smokiness.

    And it comes from bacon, so why aren't you using it?
    Overkill is underrated.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,950 Senior Member
    Cooking bacon:

    Put it on a broiler pan to bake. Less grease, and a consistent cook versus pan frying

    Gravy: use milk in it when making white gravy, water when making a brown.
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,699 Senior Member
    Knives: buy decent ones and keep them sharp. Honestly, I like Chicago Cutlery, but higher end is also good. I don't like cheapies.

    ^This^

    I like decent quality wooden handled knives better than the super knives that chefs are always selling. They are easy to sharpen, touch up nicely with a steel, and hold an edge well enough to chop everything for two or three meals (with a few occasional strokes on a steel). We have a set of Chicagos that somebody gave us decades ago, and after all of the fancy knives my wife has bought through the years, these are the 'go-to' knives. I can sharpen the whole set on my Work Sharp in five minutes, and they are good for a month, usually (with a few touch-up strokes on the steel).

    Also, use the correct knife - the big chef's knives are cool, and great for chopping/dicing vegetables. But for slicing, use a narrower blade butcher knife and don't forget to use a sawing action. The thinner the slice, the more sawing action is required. Doing this makes it possible to use a longer lasting edge profile. Your butcher knife doesn't have to be razor sharp to slice everything. An 8-10" blade is sufficient for most things, a longer one is nice for briskets and hams.
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 15,343 Senior Member
    If you don't want to babysit a smoker all day, you can put your meat in there for a couple of hours and finish in the oven.

    Eli-- The veggies-- For soups and stews and stuff, frozen is the only way to go. They are already washed/peeled/chopped, cost much less than fresh, and were frozen at their peak. We stock up on chopped onions, green peppers, peas, okra, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and green beans when they go on sale.
    The carrots-- fresh is obviously much better if you are serving them as a side with dinner, but in a pot of soup, frozen works just as well. Unless you are making a dip or something, fresh spinach is the only way to go.

    Speaking of spinach... a great way to cook it is to boil a bit of salted water in a pan. Add the spinach and mix it until it is all wilted. Done! Don't cook it any longer.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Gas grills suck. But I guess they're just an oven. Anyway.
    I boil eggs by putting them in cold water. Put the burner on high. Soon as it boils, turn it off. 10-12 minutes later dunk em cold water. Bobs your uncle.

    That.

    Gas grills do suck, but they are convenient now and then for stuff like burgers and dogs done quick. I also go as far as not caring for charcoal briquettes like Kingsford. I like real wood lump charcoal or even just real wood.

    I also do hard boiled eggs the same way. In a pot, cover with tap water and put on the burner. When it boils, turn the heat off and let sit like you said. Then put in ice water. Done. Perfect hard boiled eggs every time and it doesn't matter how many eggs you're cooking.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    bisley wrote: »
    ^This^

    I like decent quality wooden handled knives better than the super knives that chefs are always selling. They are easy to sharpen, touch up nicely with a steel, and hold an edge well enough to chop everything for two or three meals (with a few occasional strokes on a steel). We have a set of Chicagos that somebody gave us decades ago, and after all of the fancy knives my wife has bought through the years, these are the 'go-to' knives. I can sharpen the whole set on my Work Sharp in five minutes, and they are good for a month, usually (with a few touch-up strokes on the steel).

    Also, use the correct knife - the big chef's knives are cool, and great for chopping/dicing vegetables. But for slicing, use a narrower blade butcher knife and don't forget to use a sawing action. The thinner the slice, the more sawing action is required. Doing this makes it possible to use a longer lasting edge profile. Your butcher knife doesn't have to be razor sharp to slice everything. An 8-10" blade is sufficient for most things, a longer one is nice for briskets and hams.

    :agree:

    Good knives and the proper technique of using them is important. Not only for getting good results, but also to keep you from cutting yourself. Sharp knives actually make it less likely that you'll cut yourself. But, I'm also the first to admit I don't take care of my knives the way I'm supposed to. My big sin is putting them in the dishwasher. I know I'm not supposed to, but after cooking, eating, entertaining, everything gets shoved in the dishwasher and washed. Just take the knives out immediately after washing and hand dry them so they don't rust. And I have to touch up my blade edges more frequently, I'm sure partially due to this.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,609 Senior Member
    The best tip I can offer is marry a good woman who can cook, and will. That's what I did.

    FWIW, since turning 21, I spent about 15 years as a bachelor, and had to learn how to cook. My cooking was passable, but that's about all it was.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,807 Senior Member
    Dan, if you use cookie cooling racks to cook the bacon on, you don't really have to use paper towels to get the grease off the bacon.

    You can also reserve the grease for other uses.

    Another hint: even if you pan is "non-stick" use some kinda fat (butter, oil, cooking spray, fat, etc.) to get a light coat on the pan before you put in the item you're going to cook. Cleanup is easy, and you get better flavor.

    Baking pan / cookie sheet - Aluminum foil fits perfectly and goes up the sides enough if put in right to cover them. If you are careful, the pan does not get bacon grease on it. No cleanup. The paper towel absorbs the excess grease and gets thrown out balled up inside the foil. You never wind up touching the bacon grease unless you want to. Easy, and super clean. And yes, bacon grease can be great to cook with. I like a little in my scrambled eggs, but a little goes a long way.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I put an elk roast in the crock pot last night around 10pm. Got a call thismorning and had to leave it cook until almost seven pm tonight. I was worried about it, but it was not needed. Came out real good.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,173 Senior Member
    Hints for fish...
    Freeze 'em in water. Minimizes freezer burn. Doesn't work as well on oily fish, but they freeze best if flash-frozen, which most folks don't have.

    If you're heading, scaling, and gutting a fish, clean out the dark red line inside the body cavity that runs along the backbone. That's the kidney. Can give a strong or muddy flavor.

    Also, if the fish has a strong red line of muscle, cut it out. That can also give you a muddy flavor.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    For those of you who smoke meat, shop for the biggest turkey roaster you can find a few days after Thanksgiving when Wally World cuts the price to pennies on the dollar. Cook 3-4 hours in the smoker for a Boston butt or a picnic shoulder, or about 2 hours for a rack of ribs, then set the turkey roaster for 200 degrees overnight. Beats babysitting the smoker firebox all night! That's how the BBQ at this year's SE shoot got cooked.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,173 Senior Member
    Oh, sourcing...

    If you have a supermarket that targets a Latino crowd, shop there for: avocados, pork, plantains, citrus for flavoring of foods, spices, masa, and COFFEE. Their produce tends to be fresher/better quality, there's more variety on some items, and you can get some items you can't get at a big chain. Like goat, rabbit, tripe, brains, hearts, and other stuff.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    Oh, sourcing.......... Like goat, rabbit, tripe, brains, hearts, and other stuff.

    Ox tripe, boiled in milk with onions and thyme.

    Roast heart, ox (cow) or lamb, with sage & onion stuffing.

    My Nan's homemade brawn, pressed brain in jelly.



    :drool2:

    cjp wrote: »..... Oh dear God, I've admitted to liking something Limey.I'll never hear the end of this.

    Jayhawker wrote: »...But seriously Shush....

    Big Chief wrote: ».........walking around with a greasy butt ain't no fun, though!

     


     

  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,327 Senior Member
    Oh, sourcing...

    If you have a supermarket that targets a Latino crowd, shop there for: avocados, pork, plantains, citrus for flavoring of foods, spices, masa, and COFFEE. Their produce tends to be fresher/better quality, there's more variety on some items, and you can get some items you can't get at a big chain. Like goat, rabbit, tripe, brains, hearts, and other stuff.

    Most stores here cater to Hispanics. That's most of the population here. Does make it nice for getting stuff like that. Fresh chile, avocado, jalapeños. Even the walmarts here sell tripe and stuff like that. Beef tongue, pig feet, chicken feet etc. I don't know what they do with chicken feet, but you can buy them...
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.