all 27 comments

[–][deleted] 8 insightful - 1 fun8 insightful - 0 fun9 insightful - 1 fun -  (6 children)

Browning makes everything better.

Butter or olive oil makes everything better. I always put an extra glug of oil in almost everything. Be appropriate, don’t like put a glug of oil in cereal.

Chicken base, beef base, vegetable base. It goes in almost everything. It’s known as better than bullion.

If beer or wine can go in it, put it in it. My example is like a stew or a spaghetti sauce. A few tbsp or bees or wine adds a depth of flavor.

People love plain. Plain appeals to more people. So like, if your cooking for lots of people, cut the garlic and onion in half. I like more spice, like double. But halving everything makes it amazing for everyone.

MSG from Amazon, goes in everything. Just a tiny pinch. Like if you have a gallon of food, you use 2 tsp. It only goes in savory food. Everything you make, people will swear you should be a professional chef and you are ground breaking in cooking and everyone needs to eat your food. And your an amazing person.

Real olive oil makes a difference. Never use extra virgin olive oil. Never use seed oils or vegetable oil or “highly processed” oils.

Vegetables should always be over cooked. I love hardly cooked veggies, but most people like over cooked veggies.

Simple is best. Most of the best dishes have 4 to 10 ingredients. The best example I can give for this is famous favorite dishes. Pasta, bacon, oil, Parmesan, and pepper. Alfredo is basically cream and Parmesan. Spaghetti is tomato’s, some spices, meat, and pasta. Grilled cheese, tomato soup. Steak. Bacon eggs and potato’s. Chicken corn on blue. Etc. Our best dishes are simple, keep it simple.

Never use anything on the inside of the grocery store. Stick to the edges. All that shit in the inside, except for dried pasta and expensive pasta sauce, is processed trash.

The proper gravy is about 8 tbsp flour, 8tbsp butter, 1 box of stock, 1/2 tsp of msg, a spoon of base, and the proper seasonings. So chicken would use chicken stock, chicken base, and chicken seasoning. Beef would use beef stock and some pepper, potentially beef seasonings. Gravy is very easy, and you should never be using gravy from a can or jar. That’s disgusting

A gravy over noodles or mashed potato’s makes everyone happy.

If you want to shop on sale, use the internet to see what is on sale at your local grocery store, and then using sale ingredients, search for recipes. You can eat cheaply this way.

Get a ricer for your mashed potato’s. It’s the only way to make mashed potato’s.

Shit, I can prob write a book of tips.

[–]Musky 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

8 tablespoons is half a cup, can make it easier to measure.

Shit, I can prob write a book of tips.

I'd read it.

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Lol. I diddnt know that. I’m always spooning out flour.

[–]Zapped[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

Fantastic tips! I bet your spaghetti sauce has quite the "sting" to it. I'd pay $10 for your book or booklet of cooking tips, like those they sale at church with old family recipes, but with tips and recipes.

[–][deleted] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Tips really make the difference.

Like, by the time I’m done cooking a recipe, it’s half the recipie, and half tips.

[–]1Icemonkey 6 insightful - 2 fun6 insightful - 1 fun7 insightful - 2 fun -  (9 children)

Never vegetable oil (soybean oil), always lard.

[–]JasonCarswell 5 insightful - 4 fun5 insightful - 3 fun6 insightful - 4 fun -  (3 children)

Coconut oil.

[–]BISH 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

[–]1Icemonkey 3 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Yes. I’ve been using this as well. Not only in my curries, but also to cure my high-end layered stainless fry pans. Good shit!

[–]Airbus320 2 insightful - 3 fun2 insightful - 2 fun3 insightful - 3 fun -  (0 children)

Or cold pressed palm oil

[–]thatrightwinger 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (3 children)

Butter. Lard is great, but butter.

[–]1Icemonkey 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

Lots of butter. However, when frying breaded pork chops, def lard.

[–]thatrightwinger 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Lard may have an advantage with breaded foods.

[–]Airbus320 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Pork is not kosher

[–]Musky 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Soybean oil is bad for you, but it's friggin delicious.

[–]Musky 4 insightful - 1 fun4 insightful - 0 fun5 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

u/FuckYourMom has good tips.

I+G, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate, have a synergistic effect with MSG. It is why processed and restaurant food can taste better than anything at home.

Also, make a good sear on meat. Char is delicious, the frond left behind is delicious. You want to deglaze your pans with beer/wine, broth, or even water and keep that flavor.

Sugar is the missing ingredient that makes people's fried rice at home not taste right. I hate adding sugar to things, but that's it.

Get away from using recipes if you really want to cook. A recipe is an instruction you follow, you're making someone else's dish, but when you know the why of what you're doing, you don't need them except for ideas or reference.

The spice most people skimp on is salt. Also, black pepper -- I fucking love it, but it doesn't need to be used at all really.

If you can't tell a good recipe from a bad recipe, get a cook book. I had a hard time making good Mexican food for years cause there's so many shitty recipes out there and I couldn't tell a good one from a bad one until I got Diane Kennedy's Essential Mexican Cuisine. My only cook book. Basically if you don't know how to cook regional food, you need a solid way to learn and not be waylaid by bad internet recipes.

I'll try to think of more, there's a ton.

[–]popcorn 4 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 1 fun5 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

I put rice in a pan and boil it with salt and pepper.

I also invented the toilet

[–]thatrightwinger 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Recipes are for people learning techniques and they important, ignoring recipes are for people who are ready to experiment.

[–][deleted] 3 insightful - 3 fun3 insightful - 2 fun4 insightful - 3 fun -  (1 child)

Use a cast iron pan and never wash it for time savings. Reheat foods in the microwave and air fryer for quick crispy reheating.

[–]send_nasty_stuff 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The secret to cooking is doing it frequently and setting your kitchen up for easy access to the things you cook with. People just don't cook enough to get comfy with it so they never learn. You also need a mentor to help you. Cooking is about picking some simple dishes and cooking them hundreds of times until you have them down so well you can play around with them and make them better. Most people cook so infrequently that even simple dishes take them too long. Cooking from scratch takes time but the time windows get shorter and shorter the more frequently you cook them.

Last point. A big part about cooking is creating main meals and then left over meals. You can't do that if you don't cook daily. For example I have a roast chicken Thursday night and make stock for the weekend. I have Steak Friday night and use the extra steak pieces for steak and eggs Saturday or Sunday. I like doing pork chops Saturday and making rice for stir fry rice on Sunday. The day old rice and chops make for excellent fried rice. I will also do a Brisket once a month and then use the leftover tallow for steak, eggs, and other cooking that requires fat.

Also like /u/being-poisoned said a good cast iron pan is a necessity. It does need clean though. The only time I don't clean mine is when I toast buns/bread with it. I'd add you need a couple of cutting boards and a quality chefs knife.

[–]JasonCarswell 2 insightful - 2 fun2 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Bullion makes boring stuff better.

[–]Zapped[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

A trick I learned from a server IHOP is to put a small amount of pancake batter in your scrambled eggs before it goes into the pan.

edit: added "a server" as I've never worked there

[–]1Icemonkey 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

I worked at IHOP back before it was an acronym. It was one of the old original Swiss alpine buildings. I was 15 and a dishwasher, also responsible for feeding supplies from the walk-in to the cooks. The pancake batter came in five gallon buckets from S.E.Rykof, a restaurant supply company. There was nothing special about their pancakes. I’ve never eaten there since, and that was in 1985.

[–]Musky 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Sets suck ass. Don't get a set of knives, don't get a set of pots and pans. You get stuff you don't need, instead get nicer versions of the things you do.

As for knives, the chef knife is pretty much the only one you absolutely need. 8-10". Some people are scared of the bigger ones and go for 6". They can work, they're just not as useful. The size is limiting.

But the two other most essential knives are a paring knife for small tasks, and a bread knife. The bread knife is the only knife you want to be serrated and you might as well buy a cheap one. Serrated knives are a pain to sharpen, each individual tooth has to be done with a rod shaped sharpener, but the saw like action works better for bread, it isn't as prone to squishing it.

While you might want to just replace a cheap bread knife every so often, the others require sharpening. No matter how initially sharp or expensive, the knife will get dull and you need a way to sharpen it.

There's a few options. Ideally you use a fairly fine grain whetstone and spend 30 minutes giving it a razor's edge. There's a ton of videos on this so I won't get into that.

Personally I like my diamond plates and oil stones. They're cheap (I think together it was $12 from harbor freight) and fast. I finish up with a fairly gentle grit ceramic honing rod -- honing rods are also useful for touching up the edge between proper sharpenings and consequently, in a pinch, the unglazed bottom of a ceramic coffee mug works.

The downside to this method is you can remove too much material pretty easily and over time if you're not careful, your knife can end up looking like this

As for pots and pans, my ideal is two 2-2.5 qt saucepans (which are actually what people generally think of as pots), a 12" skillet, 6-8" skillet, a 3-4qt pot, and a big old stockpot.

This has to do also with the burners on my stove top. I have two 6" smaller ones, and two 8" bigger -- the bottom dimension of pots and pans matters and is a separate number i.e. my 8" skillet fits on my 6" burner, and you want it to fit your burners.

So the max I can ever have going at once is 4 things. If you have more burners, might want more equipment to fit them.