Kitchen Cooking Tips #1

KITCHEN COOKING TIPS #1Kitchen Cooking Tips #1 is the first of 6 blogs to help make cooking more enjoyable as well as safer, faster, and help you get the results you had planned for when you begin the meal.

1. Mise en place. You have seen me write about this before. It is, in my opinion thee most important step in cooking. Mise en place is the art (and it is an art!) of completing in advance all the preliminary tasks involved in preparation before you start cooking. Cut up all of those vegetables before turning on the stove. Grate any cheese you will be using before the oven goes on. Have that butter set out at room temperature so that it is ready to use.  A good mise en place is half the cooking and that applies to home cooks as well as big kitchens. That way, everything comes together as needed and you don’t have food  burning on the stove top while you’re busy prepping ingredients.

2. Knives. The most important tool in your kitchen.  You must always use a sharp knife. You want to take the time to learn how to properly hold a knife, and know the best way to use it. Using knives properly is an essential cooking skill that makes everything so much easier, and is essential to protecting your  fingers as well. To learn more about how to handle a knife properly, check out the short film at skill

3. Cooking with oil. The best oil for deep fat frying is Canola oil because it has the highest smoke point. You want to avoid reaching the smoke point because once there, you can just dump everything and start from scratch. Once the oil reaches the smoke point, it signals that the oil is chemically breaking down so concede defeat, get rid of that oil and start again..  That nasty smell that comes with smoking oil translates into off flavors in our food.  Oils with a low smoke point are unrefined oils, such as flax seed oil, walnut oil and sesame oil with smoke points – between 225°F and 350°F. and are best left to be used with cold foods such as dressings etc. Medium smoke point oils are oils such as grape seed oil, olive oil (not extra virgin) and peanut oil with smoke points between 375°F and 450°F.  I have sometimes deep fried the thanksgiving turkey using peanut oil. Medium oils are best for sauteing and shallow pan frying. High smoke point oil with refined canola oil and ghee (or clarified butter) with smoke points between 470°F and 485°F. This is what you want to use when deep frying.

A note about Knives, while you can get by with just one knife, it is much better if you can add to your collection over time. A sharp French or Chefs knife is a must, but a pairing knife and a boning knife are also very important.
I have two sets of knives that I keep for myself and another set in the kitchen for everyone to use.

Watch for more Kitchen Tips every Thursday for the next few weeks.

Chef WilliamFor exciting Home recipes check out Chef William’s Mexican cookbook at Mexican Fiesta Recipes

Eat Healthy, Laugh Often and Enjoy Life~

Healthy Food choices


Eat Healthy, Laugh Often and Enjoy Life~

Healthy Food choices

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9 Responses to Kitchen Cooking Tips #1

  1. My first husband was a chef and went to CIA in Hyde Park. He had to buy a set of knives just like mechanics have to buy tools. I some how ended up with some and many (MANY) years later they are still good. Also: found the info on oils very helpful.
    Carolina HeartStrings recently posted..RED POTATOES AND BEANSMy Profile

    • Chef William says:

      The CIA is, in my opinion one of the finest Culinary schools in the country. And yes, we do purchase our knives just like mechanics
      buy their tools. The two sets I have for personal use are very expensive as no doubt yours is also. that is the reason that they
      last. However most home cooks do not want or can’t afford to make a purchase like that so I recommend that they start with only one good knife and add to the collection a little at a time. glad you enjoyed the info about the oil helpful. I am already working on next Thursdays post.
      Chef William recently posted..Kitchen Cooking Tips #1My Profile

  2. Amy

    Wow. This is great, Chef. I often fail at the “mise en place” and pay the consequences for it. Ditto on keeping my knives sharp. I’m going to go take a look at your video now.
    Amy recently posted..Building a hoophouse, Phase 3: time for fortificationsMy Profile

    • Chef William says:

      I hope you enjoy the video, I am going to try to make this very interesting over
      the next few Thursdays. You know that dull knives cut deeper than sharp ones right.
      When working with a dull knife, a person applies a lot more pressure (force) to get
      it to cut, so when it slips………………..
      Chef William recently posted..Kitchen Cooking Tips #1My Profile

  3. Hmmm. Except for canola oil (I fry everything- but never deep fry, just stir fry) in Olive Oil (only Extra Virgin), I have been following your advice- without ever reading it before!
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted..Megavitamins are MegadangerousMy Profile

    • Chef William says:

      Somehow I knew you would Roy, but hang with me on Thursdays, there might be a surprise or two
      before I reach my goal, which is 3 helpful kitchen hints per week for from 6 to 10 weeks. Then
      I will be forced to cut way back because of the construction in Mexico, which will take the
      larger part of my day for a two or three months.
      Chef William recently posted..Kitchen Cooking Tips #1My Profile

  4. Nanette Levin

    Thanks for the post, and the video, Chef William. It’s funny, I’ve always cut an onion at both ends to peel. This is a great tip to make slicing and dicing easier.
    Nanette Levin recently posted..Finding good marketing strategies is like buffet grazingMy Profile

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