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Tips and Tricks

Our editors enjoy dining out as much as we like cooking at home. And because this is what we do for a living, we've got lots of experience at both. In this column we're sharing the ins and outs of dining in and out. Bon Appetit!


Cooking

Slow Bacon, Flatter Bacon


Like cooking eggs, you’ll get better results using lower heat. Bacon cooked at 300 degrees F will cook much flatter and not burn, which means better flavor – right? Unless you’re one of those love-it-burned types…

Cookware

Pan Surfaces


You'll get different results depending on the type of surface you’re cooking on. Ceramic and Teflon surfaces don’t offer up quite the crisp you’ll get in a cast iron skillet. But they sure are easier to use for frying eggs. Experiment with the different things you cook and see how they finish across various surfaces. A well-outfitted kitchen would have at least one or more ceramic pans and at least one cast iron skillet.

Dining Out

Go all out


Arrange a tasting dinner with a notable chef on a slow night. Determine your budget in advance so they can work around it. Some places may have a private table onsite.

Gear

Instant Read Thermometers


A well-outfitted kitchen has not one, but three types of instant read thermometers. 1) A digital read probe is essential for checking the internal temperature of meat on the fly. 2) A gun-style infrared thermometer will provide accurate pan temperatures, can be used to access how hot soups and other foods on the stovetop are, as well a access the actual temperature inside the oven. 3) A poke-and-leave-it probe setup allows you to leave a probe in meat and other foods you might be cooking in the oven, the barbeque, smoker, or otherwise. These typically have a metal wire that connects outside to a digital reader. Some are fancy and will work across an app on your phone or transmit to a blue tooth receiver you can carry with your wherever you happen to be working.

Storing

Gadget Drawer Cleanup


If you’ve lived in the same place for a while, it may be that you’ve got more gadgetry than you need. Spatulas, spoons, whisks, corkscrews, and more seem to multiply over time. If your drawer is starting to overflow, it’s time to start that annual ritual of cleaning it out. Take everything out, group together each of the different items, select the best two or three of each and stash the rest away from the kitchen. Try operating for a few months with the essential gear and see how often you actually find yourself searching for the ones you left behind. After a few months consider taking whatever you didn’t move back to the kitchen to the hand-me-down store.

Have you got a tip or trick you'd like to share with out readers? Send it to sdeditor@seattledining.com. If we use it, we'll send you a copy of our Cooking with Class cookbook.


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