What Are We Talking About?
Seasoning a cast-iron pan is something you may have heard of, but it’s definitely something you should do if you ever use one. The cast-iron pan is a definite requirement in any modern kitchen, despite it’s age-old design. When you season it, you’re effectively filling in any cracks and cuts in the pan with natural oils. These cracks reduce the non-stick nature of the pan, and by filling them up, you’ll increase the desired slickness. Additionally, some report that you’ll bring more flavor to the dish by adding some of the natural oils now inherent to the pan to whatever you’re cooking in. Finally, you just can’t make proper cornbread without a good, seasoned, cast-iron pan.
Who Should Do This?
Anyone with a cast-iron pan, which might be found in everything from major restaurants to tiny apartments.
How Do I Season A Cast-Iron Pan?
- Using a food-safe oil or butter (coconut oil/butter seems to work best) and a paper towel, rub and scrub the inside of the pan. When you are finished, there shouldn’t be any actual oils moving in the pan, but it should have gotten into crevices.
- Place a sheet of foil in the oven, and place the cast-iron pan upside down over it. Bake at 350-400 degrees for 30 minutes. Smoking is normal, akin to a dirty oven.
- Turn off oven and let cool.
- Repeat 3-4 times for better seasoning.
- … put the cast-iron dish in the dishwasher.
- … keep the cast-iron dish in storage with the lid on; moisture can collect in it, leading to rust.
- … boil water in the dish; the “seasoning” can come loose and mix with the water.
- … pour large amounts of cold liquid into the pan.
- … leave food in the pan after
Cutting boards are a requirement for any solid home or restaurant chef, but there’s a good variety of them (a surprising amount for something that equates to “flat piece of material”) and some rules you need to follow with them. With some simple guidelines, you can maximize the use and lifespan of your cutting board.
Plastic will always be the best; you can put something hot on it and it won’t be negatively affected, sure, but the most important reason for using a plastic cutting board is purely for safety. Wood boards can get cuts that can harbor bacteria and glass can shatter (alongside being bad for your knives), but plastic can be washed, abused, and brought back for more.
Avoid Food Contamination
No real issue if you’re going from cutting onions to peppers to carrots, and plan to throw them all in the same roux. The real issue comes in when poultry, or any food that will leak a flavor into others, gets involved. If you’ve got to chop poultry and other ingredients, you should either do the poultry first and clean the board thoroughly, or just do it after the other ingredients (onions aren’t going to make the chicken unsafe).
1 tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water will help sanitize boards (using unscented bleach only), and no matter how well the board is cleaned, it’ll have to be replaced after time due to various nicks, dents, and cuts. If you must use wood, make sure to dry it after you clean it.… Read the rest
You might think that food portioning scales are only for restaurants, diners or cafes. The truth of the matter is that anyone can benefit from having a food portioning scale in their kitchen as one of their major kitchen gadgets. If anything, you can always pull it out to see how much small items weigh.
A food portioning scale might be used in the household by someone who is watching their diet. They may have chosen cutting down on their portions as a way to help them lose a few pounds. They might also be on a particular diet that calls for weighing each item before eating it to allow only a certain amount. The food portioning scale will help you to stay right on your mark if you need to measure the portions of the food that you are eating. One smart way of staying adherent to a diet is to produce a large amount of food you can eat over the course of a week early on, and then divy it up into equally-sized portions. Make sure to stock up on plastic containers, and only buy a food that you can handle large amounts of; something like chicken works great, as you can put any sort of seasoning on it after the fact to vary up your menu.
Once you actually start paying attention to suggested food portions, you’ll realize how much insane amounts of food you may eat without even knowing it. Restaurant portions are notorious for being incredibly large (at even a normal restaurant), and once you start factoring in “indulgence” places like Big Pie in the Sky or buffets, you’ll realize the human body just isn’t meant to deal with that much mass. When the suggested portion size for lean beef is 3oz, about the … Read the rest
First off, you may be asking what a liquor pourer is. As plainly stated, it’s a device for pouring liquor, or at least doing so neatly. It’s a small attachment that you secure onto the top of a bottle of liquid, such as a bottle of vodka or olive oil. It reduces mess, promotes a consistent and easy pour, and also increases efficiency in the kitchen. Chances are if you’ve ever seen a bartender make a drink that wasn’t beer from the tap, you’ve seen these little devices in action.
Many liquid pourers use a “spill stop” technology, meaning the liquid from the bottle will not come rushing out all at once. It’s a good thing for the most part, as you don’t want olive oil all over your counter, but it does slightly delay you getting to your delicious alcohol (rum being my personal choice). If that’s an issue, you might as well just take the top off and start drinking from the bottle.
These devices range in flow level so that you can decide what use you want it most for. For example, a high flow liquid pourer would be perfect for a party where the bartender needs to serve numerous drinks (or the aforementioned person needing a lot of alcohol quickly), and the low flow option would work for dripping red wine vinegar into a salad dressing.
Liquor pourers are great for anyone who is concerned about saving costs because they help to reduce the waste of spilled or over-poured liquid. Also, they form a great seal around the bottle so bugs will not get into your product, which is great for outdoor events. If the bottle contains something sweet or something that needs a tight closed seal over night, it’s wise to … Read the rest
It has been a hot summer; one of the hottest in history, in fact, with Atlanta reaching 106, the highest that’s ever been recorded. This forces us to both stay cool and stay indoors. We would love some treats though, but we don’t exactly want to turn on a hot oven inside, helping bake us along with whatever dish we’re cooking.
So, naturally, we have to cook outside… where it’s hot, and we don’t want to be.
There had been stories out there of people baking cookies in their car; the relatively low heat compared to an oven is balanced out by the extended period of time they’re in there. It’s a natural heat, one that doesn’t rack up the gas bill, and since you leave the car outside, it doesn’t heat up the house.
It was decided that biscuits would be an interesting diversion from cookies as well, and with cookies being called “biscuits” in other countries, a fun pun. We wanted to try out a silicone baking mat; compare that to the regular baking surface and see if there’s any difference than just cooking straight on a perforated sheet pan. With a quick run to the store for Hershey’s Mini Kisses (12 Big Deluxe Cookies in a Special Edition, which is just surprising that food can have a “Special Edition”) and Grands! Jr. Golden Layers Butter Tastin’ (10 Flaky Biscuits), we were ready… a week ago. We wanted to make sure we had a thermometer on hand, and that it was a hot enough day.
Our records for the event (we kept a thermometer in a cookie)
- 10:10 AM, 88°F in car (placing the cookies in the car)
- 10:20 AM, 75°F in cookie
- 11:05 AM, 130°F in cookie
- 12:00 PM, 131°F in cookie
- 12:30 PM,
Dutch Ovens have been around for hundreds of years. You can bet that your great grandmother prepared many meals in a Dutch oven. Today, the Dutch oven is not used quite so much, it could be due to working mom’s and other high tech cooking devices that have come along but a Dutch oven can be a great piece of kitchen equipment. Dutch oven cooking is a lot easier than you ever thought.
When cooking meat in your Dutch oven, first you will always want to brown your meat. You can easily do this by adding a little oil or even bacon grease to the bottom of Dutch oven and placing your meat in it to brown. This will work great with any types of meat. Beef, Pork and Chicken will all brown nicely in your Dutch oven. After it’s browned so that your meat is appealing to the eye you can add your favorite seasonings and a little bit of water, place your Dutch Oven in your oven and let your meat cook at 350 degrees until your meat is thoroughly done.
Veggies also are great item when you are Dutch Oven Cooking. You may choose to add them to the meat that you are preparing in your Dutch oven. Perhaps you are cooking a roast in your Dutch oven, cut up your potatoes, onions and carrots and add them about 45 minutes before your roast is ready to come out. You can also add mushrooms, bell peppers or whatever you choose.
Dutch Ovens are also great for making homemade breads. You can easily make cornbread, biscuits and rolls in your Dutch oven. Follow your own bread recipe and after you have it mixed, place it in the Dutch oven after heating the Dutch oven in your own oven. … Read the rest
We’ve all heard our fair share of cleaning tips and tricks using common household items, but it’s hard to determine which ones are worth remembering. While some strange tips are useful, many of them simply don’t work as you’d expect. The following ten tips may seem strange, but they REALLY work:
Shine Copper and Brass with Lemon and Salt – Cut a lemon in half, dip it in salt, and rub it over a copper or brass surface. Polish the surface with a wet cloth to bring back that original shine.
Use Salt and Club Soda to Clean Red Wine Stains – Spilling red wine on your carpet, upholstery, or clothes requires immediate action to avoid a permanent stain. Pour salt over the stain to help absorb the wine. Let it sit for up to 5 minutes, then pour club soda directly on the salt-covered stain. Scrub the area using a soft, wet cloth while the bubbling action of the club soda helps to lift the stain out of the material.
Prevent Bathroom Mirror Fogging with Shaving Cream – Apply a very thin layer of shaving cream to the entire mirror, and then wipe it down with a clean, wet rag. This will prevent the mirror from fogging up when you take a hot shower, and it can also help to remove toothpaste splatters and water spots.
Clean Refrigerators and Freezers with Baking Soda – Instead of using harsh cleaning agents or scented soaps, clean the inside of your appliance with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Baking soda is often used to help absorb funky odors in the fridge, and using it as a cleaner is just as effective.
Remove Tea and Coffee Stains with Lemon and Kosher Salt – The inside of your coffee mugs and … Read the rest