Basic Cooking Techniques

It’s weird that I’m in my late forties, consider myself to be a good cook, and yet I’m just now learning basic cooking techniques.

Like roasting. For the last few years, our Thanksgiving tradition has been to smoke a boneless turkey breast. This year, I got myself one of the fancy BBQ alarm temperature probes (a ThermoWorks Signals). The result was great. After that, I rushed out and got myself a roasting pan. I’ve never actually owned one. Most of the roasts I have made were in a crock pot, which results in a roast that tastes dry. Other than that, I have made do with some kind of casserole dish, or more recently a dutch oven. Now I’ve been eagerly roasting all kinds of things, including pork tenderloin and even chicken breasts. The results have been wonderful, and the alarm thermometer eliminates all the misery of over- and under-cooking things.

About a year ago, I received a broiling pan as a gift. I have used broiling pans before, but the results weren’t particularly special, and they were difficult enough to clean that I didn’t like using them. This pan (the Nordic Ware Cast Grill ‘n’ Sear Oven Pan) is different. The top is cast aluminum, with a non-stick coating. It grills from underneath at the same time the broiler cooks from above. The instructions mentioned the trick of putting a little water in the bottom of the pan, which reduces smoke and makes cleaning much easier. I’ve been getting juicy steaks this way. My favorite has been boneless pork chops.

I have been learning things about baking bread that I should have learned long ago. I have learned how to properly and consistently cook filet mignon. I have been learning how to cook with cast iron cookware and a dutch oven.

I’m thinking about learning how to cook with a camp dutch oven.