Learning to Cook - Stove top and oven

Chive Turkey

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  • Stews are your friend. They're extremely versatile, and will teach you some of the essential basics of cooking while being very risk-free. Try your hand at simple stew, then move up to a bolognese or tikka massala curry.
  • Good mise-en-place prevents 90% of fuckups in any kitchen. Get all your ingredients prepped in advance so you don't have to worry about them when you're cooking. Again, stew, soups and the like are very newb-friendly in this regard.
  • Stirfrying is a great and easy way to cook and experiment, once you understand how you do it. Here's a good guide on technique.
  • HOT PAN, COLD OIL
  • Don't overcrowd your pans. Unless you're living in some tropical shithole without refrigeration, the ingredients you are going to toss in a pan are going to be colder than it, and will cool it down significantly if there's too many of them. You'll end up boiling your food in its own juices, rather than getting it nicely browned. This counts double for techniques like stirfrying. It's better to err on the side of caution and work in batches.
  • Some basic food that you would think are ezpz, like rice and eggs, are remarkably easy to screw up, even for experienced cooks. Don't be too hard on yourself when something doesn't come out ideal, just take stock and try to think of ways of doing it better in the future.
  • Spices, dried herbs and certain condiments (soy and Worcestershire sauce) are well worth buying. Even if you don't end up using them that often, they last for months and are the first step in getting comfortable with and in control of cooking, by allowing you to adapt recipes to your personal taste.
  • Don't be a Scalfani. Don't buy expensive, gimmicky kitchen gadgets, because they won't magically make you a better chef. As a general rule, simple hand tools with multiple uses > intricate ones with only one. Always ask yourself: ''can this thing do something I can't do with the kitchen tools I already have at my disposal?'', before buying anything. A blender is a wise investment. Those retarded Wolverine claws for shredding meat are not.
 
-You can freeze basically anything and it will be safe virtually indefinitely as long as it's been at or below 0 degrees. It may not be 'good' indefinitely though. Meaning it will taste like shit if it's frozen for too long, but you can basically eat anything frozen at or below 0 degrees regardless of how long it's been frozen.


I could probably go on for some time. These are the first things that popped into my head.
I once ate three-year-old sausage. Had it in the freezer the whole time. It didn't taste all that different, just remarkably bland. But God was I nauseous all day. Felt like food poisoning. Never even vomitted, but there was a horrid queasy feeling like it would come at any time.
 
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Some JERK

I ain't drunk, I'm just drinkin'
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I once ate three-year-old sausage. Had it in the freezer the whole time. It didn't taste all that different, just remarkably planned. But God was I nauseous all day. Felt like food poisoning. Never even vomitted, but there was a horrid queasy feeling like it would come at any time.
Yeah that can happen. It has to be at 0 degrees the entire time. A lot of consumer grade freezers don't even reach 0 degrees. Also, power outages and temp fluctuations can happen overnight or while you're away and you'd never know. I've seen some people who keep a cup of ice in their freezers so they know if the power goes out while they're away because the ice will melt in the cup. The problem with that is that the ice will just sublimate over time anyway and replacing it becomes a chore that you'll forget eventually.

Anyway, it's a lot easier said than done to keep food frozen at or below 0 consistently. I'd only recommend a commercial-grade deep freezer for long term food storage. My overall point was that you don't have to throw out food if it's been in your consumer grade freezer past the expiration date. It should be fine.

It's also totally possible that your stomach just didn't like it but you weren't ever in any real danger from any bacteria.
 

The Last Stand

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Hello!

Sorry for the hiatus, I was busy with Finals and moving.
Don't be a Scalfani. Don't buy expensive, gimmicky kitchen gadgets, because they won't magically make you a better chef. As a general rule, simple hand tools with multiple uses > intricate ones with only one. Always ask yourself: ''can this thing do something I can't do with the kitchen tools I already have at my disposal?'', before buying anything. A blender is a wise investment. Those exceptional Wolverine claws for shredding meat are not.
I have measuring cups, oven mits and a couple cutting knives. Does that count as fancy? And I'm getting a crockpot so I could cook more things. Stew I heard is a good crockpot recipe.

Spices, dried herbs and certain condiments (soy and Worcestershire sauce) are well worth buying. Even if you don't end up using them that often, they last for months and are the first step in getting comfortable with and in control of cooking, by allowing you to adapt recipes to your personal taste.
One complaint I have with some cooks is that they are bland. No flavor whatever. I have oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic seasoning and oil with herbs and spices in them.

One thing I learned about cooking is the clean up. It can take a while. So, generally as a rule, I wash my dishes and clean up my space ASAP. Sometimes before eating.
 

Chive Turkey

kiwifarms.net
Hello!

Sorry for the hiatus, I was busy with Finals and moving.

I have measuring cups, oven mits and a couple cutting knives. Does that count as fancy?
No, those are essentials. I'd also advise you to get some cutting boards, preferably two so you can cut veggies and meat at the same time without having to worry about any cross-contamination. Cutting on plates sucks dick and blunts knives. Speaking of knives, I wouldn't invest that much into it at this point. A lot of novice cooks buy expensive knife sets, which really isn't necessary if you're just starting out. All you really need is something that can hold an edge and feels comfortable. I'd have two cutting knives, of different sizes. A decently big sturdy one for heavy duty chopping, and a smaller one for more precise work. This again also helps with possible cross-contamination, as you can have a dedicated meat knife.

As you become more experienced with cooking, you'll get more of an understanding of what you want from a knife and be able to make educated purchases based on that.

Really, that applies to everything. You have enough now to get started, and you'll discover the need for new implements as you get more experienced. Love mashed potatoes? Get a potato masher. Using a lot of garlic? Get a garlic press or learn how to mince garlic with a knife.
And I'm getting a crockpot so I could cook more things. Stew I heard is a good crockpot recipe.
Slowcookers are great because you can turn them on and walk away, so they're very useful if you have busy days and no real time to cook. Just keep in mind that they are limited by their size and ultimately not as versatile as stovetop pans.
One complaint I have with some cooks is that they are bland. No flavor whatever. I have oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic seasoning and oil with herbs and spices in them.
That's a great start, if you're going to get dried spices then paprika is the most common and versatile. Cumin is also great and a staple ingredient in a lot of cuisines. Stick with powdered variants until you develop the culinary autism necessary to want to start grinding your own spices.

Flavoured oils are a personal choice, I don't really bother with them as there's ways to flavour your cooking oil yourself. For example, whenever I make fried rice, I start by quickly sauteeing some sambal and turmeric and that will season everything I throw in later.
One thing I learned about cooking is the clean up. It can take a while. So, generally as a rule, I wash my dishes and clean up my space ASAP. Sometimes before eating.
Yeah same. It's especially a problem if you live with others and they get regularly annoyed by you making a mess. Once again, stews are your friend. The simmering gives you ample time to clean up.
 

Buster O'Keefe

Enjoys offal
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One complaint I have with some cooks is that they are bland. No flavor whatever. I have oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic seasoning and oil with herbs and spices in them.
Salt and black pepper, applied liberally, will enhance everything. Some people are afraid of salt: these people are faggots. If you're cooking from scratch you need to season. There is a reason why processed food is full of salt: it makes stuff taste good.
 

Rinny.

a fhakin rat
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Anyone recommend a good cheesecake recipe? I want to try making one from scratch.
This is no bake ,so unless you care about that i'd say this is a pretty easy one to approach.
It's very easy, I'm kind of a lazy bitch with crust so I prefer just using premade- I want to try this with oreo crust next time.
Ive made this for guava (just the jam laced on top) cheesecake and i really enjoyed it.
 

The Last Stand

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Another thing I want to learn is baking.

I suppose biscuits and cookies to start.
 

Stormy Daniel's Lawyer

So it goes.
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Buy yourself a air fryer. It's a great investment. You'll thank me later.

Get yourself some boneless chicken breast, light coat of olive oil and cover both sides with Kickin' Chicken rub.. Bake 450 15-18 minutes.
 
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The Last Stand

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Start with bread: you get to work out all your frustrations when kneading the dough and your kitchen will smell amazing while it bakes. Also it's easy, and because of the yeast action, a little bit magical.
I meant like Pillsbury biscuits in a can. Perhaps some creative stuff with it like sandwiches or pizza.

Although I do have flour. I could learn to do homemade cookie dough as well. Or at least prepare the cookie dough myself.
 

Pampered Degenerate

Smol but fierce
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As others have said, pasta based dishes, stews and bread are an excellent place to start. All have a high ratio of return to investment, so to speak, and are hard to really screw up.
 

Stormy Daniel's Lawyer

So it goes.
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Another thing I want to learn is baking.

I suppose biscuits and cookies to start.
allrecipes.com has a great bakery section.. I'm the designated baker at my house, and I use the site all the time.

The wife and I rarely eat out in good times. Cooking and baking your own meals is a very rewarding experience on many levels. You can also save a fuck ton of money as well.

I forgot to mention, if you don't have a crock pot, fucking get one...At least a 6 quart model.
 

The Last Stand

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I forgot to mention, if you don't have a crock pot, fucking get one...At least a 6 quart model.
I ordered one already. Slightly smaller model due to space.

I tried baking pancakes from scratch. It didn't turn out quite well as I expected. I used an egg free recipe as I didn't have eggs at the time.

One side was burnt, the other was mostly doughy and white. I'll have to show it to prove.
 

Stormy Daniel's Lawyer

So it goes.
kiwifarms.net
I ordered one already. Slightly smaller model due to space.

I tried baking pancakes from scratch. It didn't turn out quite well as I expected. I used an egg free recipe as I didn't have eggs at the time.

One side was burnt, the other was mostly doughy and white. I'll have to show it to prove.
Pancake batter without eggs is straight veganism, yuck..lol..Keep practicing but buy yourself some eggs..
 

Orange Rhymer

kiwifarms.net
I'm a big fan of cooking. I love my Le Creuset, cast iron, and knives (there was a good thread on it).

However,
When I began this journey, I actually started with a oiled steel Wok, a set of bamboo steamers, a chinese chef knife and butcher knife, and a THICK bamboo chopping block.
The block survives today - decades later. The rest died a natural death.

The point: Wok cooking is GREAT for beginners. A non-flat bottomed wok allows you to gain confidence working with hot pans, and gives you the interaction with your tools and ingredients. The dished/conical shape of the wok allows you to vary temperature of ingredients. Also, the wok allows a 'pan frying' technique while reducing the required amount of cooking oil. I used the wok for traditional western cooking, and the occasional eastern dish. Stirfrying is what the wok excels at, and is a quick/easy meal.
The feedback obtained with wok cooking will accelerate your learning.
I eventually graduated from using a wok, to traditional pots/pans. However, the wok was a great foundation.
Hot pan, cold oil
FOOD NEVER STICKS!!
(never buy coated pans, btw.)
 
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