Essential tools for cooking like a professional chef
Even though we may not all have the title of head chef of a Michelin star restaurant, this doesn’t mean we can’t cook like professional chefs of our own kitchens. With just a couple easy to use products you can be the master of the grill and surprise everyone with your oven cooking skills. Here’s a guide for how and when to break out these cooking supplies.
Whether it is a pizza for dinner or just some freshly baked bread, a baking stone is essential for the oven. Artisanal bakers use extra large versions these in their bakeries to bring out the doughy softness of their pastries and breads. You can bring this home and it cooks great with just about anything, you can even get fancy with some flatbread. These stones are fool proof too since they are known for reducing the risk of burning the bottom, which is consistently a problem with metal pans and racks. However, some people have run into cleaning problems with these stones, so make sure to use a non-stick spray ahead of time to avoid a messy cleanup.
These work great for the grill. The cedar wood itself adds a delicate smoky flavor to the meat, fish, or veggies, and if you want added flavor you can pre-soak the cedar plank in a wine, beer, or cider for additional flavor. At the minimum it is recommended that you at least soak the plank in water before grilling. The optimal amount of time is overnight to get the best effect, but depending on the blank you can soak it anywhere from 2-6 hours ahead of time if you forget to do it overnight. You can also plan ahead to soak more than one plank at once and then freeze the plank you don’t end up using in a plastic Ziploc bag. When you’re ready to use that plank then simply defrost the plank under hot water for 10 minutes and it will be good to go. When you are ready to start grilling after you’ve soaked you plank, dry it off and then coat it lightly with some olive oil, you can then add some more flavor by rubbing the plank with salt or garlic or any herbs of your choice. And be sure to keep in mind fire safety when grilling and keep a spray bottle and a fire extinguisher nearby to put out any small flames that may occur on the plank, and of course any larger flames with the extinguisher. A helpful tip is to note that it is normal for small flames to catch on the edges of the plank, this helps to release the flavors into what you are cooking. The important thing to remember is to make sure you keep these under control while also keeping the grill lid closed to get best smoky taste. We recommend opening the grill every 5 minutes to check on it and put out any flames and adjusting the grill temperature accordingly. While this requires a lot of attention, don’t worry the finished product will be worth it and your taste buds, as well as your guests taste buds, will be so grateful.
Written by Lizzy Jude