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8 Great articles and links to rapidly improve your skills in the kitchen

What if you could quickly and easily upgrade your kitchen game – curious?

Over time you pick up cool tricks and learn cool things.

For me most have been learned after spending hours researching, watching waaayyy too much youtube, and hearing “this is the proper way to (insert random task)”.

That said, there are basics that you should know. These ideas and principles you can use and will help grow your skills and competency in the kitchen.

Because no-one wants to be a chump in the kitchen forever.

All guys should know this stuff. Enjoy!

1. Knife Skills

Learning how to wield the blade is more than just about appearing impressive to the inexperienced onlooker:

  • It takes the pain out of repetitive prep work
  • consistent cutting = more consistent cooking results
  • you’ll barely ever cut yourself again
  • once you have these skills you have them for ever

Slice and dice an onion in less than 30 seconds

There are plenty of ways how to do this – but ol’ Gordon shows us quickly, and with detail about how to not cut yourself.

How to mince garlic & fresh herbs

The team over at artofmanliness.com have so much good stuff going on – sometimes it’s a little hard to cut through to the good stuff (oh how good was that pun!) Kitchen Fundamentals: Basic Knife Skills.

Sharpening your kitchen knives

Once again Ramsay has us covered

2. Roast Chicken

If the chicken must be awesome – try this. When I first came across this information I was blown away. I couldn’t believe that results this good were possible. It took an experimenting Sunday afternoon session and a lot of beer – but we (and the lucky guests) are now convinced.

This is for when you absolutely have to make an impression. Yes it’s a little work and planning. But it’s all very doable. And because none of this happens quickly – you have plenty of time to regroup so it’s suitable for even a complete novice to undertake.

By the way Heston is a true flavor hunter – you can easily get lost down a youtube rabbit hole watching his cooking vids.

Here is a link to the actual full recipe that he uses in the video below.

3. Defrosting meat

This may seem basic to some but to others it might turn some lights on. Yes, it’s possible to defrost things faster with methods like running under hot water and immersing in hot water. But methods such as these just mean that you’re probably going to ruin your nice cut of steak.

In less than 2 mins this covers all the basics:  5 Minute steak defrost hack and other meat thawing tips.

4. Perfect bacon without making a mess

I came across this method when I was trying to figure out how my local brunch haunt made the perfect bacon swizzle for my favorite bloody mary.

After a few failed experiments we realise that what was missing was the indirect heat. So the oven seems to be where it’s at. Maybe I should do the recipe for that one day…

Now I realise that every country seems to have it’s different preferences when it comes to bacon thickness, cut (short, middle, streaky etc) and doneness, so adjust for your bacon style.

Check out the bacon link here: How To Make Perfect Bacon in the Oven

NOTE: This article talks about a method that does it from a cold oven. Try both ways see which way works best for you.

5. Minimum Kitchen Setup

There are so many points of view about what is needed in a kitchen – and if you’ve ever had to set one up or help out a friend you’ll realise that so many ‘kitchen essentials’ are just overkill. Marketing bullshit designed to make you buy stuff you don’t need. Trent pulls no punches in his article The Minimalist Kitchen: What You Need (and Don’t Need) to Set Up Your First Workable Home Kitchen.

My only edit would be to switch out the food processor for something like an espresso machine/coffee percolator.

The reason?

  • Purely because food processors are a pain in the ass to clean
  • and coffee is not only good in the morning but is also a great addition to your bar (espresso martini anyone?).

6. How to do Pizza at home

Ok at some point everyone has a go a pizza at home. The pizza making experience can be a whole lot of fun, and if you get your pintsman involved and learn together you will have a ball.

When it comes to a pizza at home resource there is only one that I can honestly recommend – and this is not a link – this is a real book.

Next time you are asked what you want for your birthday say you want a copy of Theo and Co: The search for the perfect pizza. It looks like this:

This book made me realise that it is possible to make amazing pizza at home. Thank you Theo you crazy flavor hunter.

Main tips:

  • Keep your toppings simple, really simple, 2 – 3 ingredients works well
  • Your oven needs to be set as hot as it goes (and even then it still won’t be hot enough)
  • Don’t bother with pre-made bases, they suck. Find a good simple recipe for dough, make extra and freeze it in zip lock bags. They only take about 30 mins to defrost at room temp, taste really good and will be a life-saver when the time comes

7. Pancakes

Why? Because she like pancakes.

Don’t bother farting around with the raw ingredients. Just go purchase a couple of those pancake shaker packs. Then go home, and try to cook it.

Why? Because when the time comes to cook these for the sleeping beauty lying in your bed you’ll probably be hungover and not your normal 100% tip-top self – and you’ll be glad you had a pancake dress rehearsal.

Amy has the goods here in this simple all inclusive video: How to make perfect pancakes.

8. Stir-fry

Getting the art of the stir-fry right is a skill that will serve you forever.

By understanding how to stir-fry well you’ll also pick up ultra valuable skills that will cross over into all your other cooking.

The reason is because in order to make a good stir-fry you’ll need to wrap your head around a few basic cooking elements:

  • timing
  • the effect of moisture in vegetables/meat
  • controlling cooking surface temperature
  1. Here is a great primer to kick off your stir-fry adventures: Top Secret Stir Fry Tips
  2. Once you’ve covered the basics check this one to fill in any stir-fry knowledge gaps: 10 Tips to a Successful Stir Fry
  3. And finally – this info here will round out your stir-fry info. It’s insight into what a stir-fry professional thinks is important. A good find: Expert Tips from the Stir Fry Chef

BONUS

Now I’m going to finish up with a little bonus for you. This one should clear up any drink etiquette you may still be suffering from.

Here is your bonus: The 86 Rules Of Boozing

Upgrade complete

I think we’ve covered the basics here haven’t we?

Share this with that one person you think would get a kick out of it. You know who they are, you’re probably thinking of them right now. Share away!

Cheers – Pat.

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