My wife and I are 70 years old and after spending my career with technology, I understand why others may think it’s easy for me to use new tools and devices. Nevertheless, I am often amazed at how hard people make things, and how much time is wasted in the kitchen. Worst of all, so many people are so set in their ways that they never learn to improve their cooking skills, develop better flavor profiles and learn to make great food quickly.
Yep, it’s called PROGRESS people, and when you stop learning you start to die. Ask another 70 year old cook what Umami is and you may soon discover why 1 out of every 3 people I graduated from high school with is already dead. Yep, that’s a fact.
Never stop learning and realize that there are very few mysteries in life now because everybody has immediate access to everything. Just learn to use your phone properly and you can search for information and step by step demonstrations of everything from how to reset your oil light to how to properly hold a knife in the kitchen.
There are few excuses for not preparing a delicious meals, so here are the big 5 items I see far to many people avoid in the kitchen:
Use an Insta-Pot!
There is nothing easier or faster and guess what folks? They are not like the old cumbersome pressure cookers you remember your mother struggling with on the stove. The new Insta-pots, or similar devices, allow you to clean them just like any other pot, press a couple of buttons to start, and turn an 8 hour cooking ordeal into 1 hour of relaxation until your food is done.
Want the best short ribs money can buy? It takes 75 minutes in an Insta-pot. Want “perfect” hard boiled eggs? Put an inch of water in the pot, lay a dozen eggs in the water, press the high pressure button and set the time for 4 minutes. Want a perfect pot roast or corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patricks Day? Cut up everything and throw it in the Insta-pot on high pressure for 75 Minutes, and serve.
Use a Rice Cooker!
Sure you all can make rice on the stovetop, but do you know how easy and perfect you get rice every time in a rice cooker? It’s impossible to over cook or make a mistake. Set it and forget it!
Use an Immersion Blender!
Using an old style blender is the equivalent of using a fax machine. (Yeah, I know some of you think fax machines are still a thing, but they haven’t been for a decade, unless of course you work at some governmental agencies.)
Immersion blenders do the job in seconds by being inserted in your bowls, pots or pans, and they clean up under running water even faster.
Use an Air Fryer!
No need for deep frying and all that unhealthy oil anymore, and talk about simple? Throw your frozen fries in the bucket, press the button and 14 minutes later they are perfect. Anything you fry, from chicken to tater tots, can be done simply and made healthier in the process.
Use an Electric Grater/Slicer
Why are the grocery aisles flooded with pre-grated cheese? Because it’s easier than grating it yourself, right? What you don’t know is that it tastes poor, by comparison to cheese grated fresh off the block, and you are supposed to throw it away within one week of opening the package. (Some health sites suggest a shorter 3-5 day period!) Why? Mold forms when cheese is exposed to oxygen and shutting the package tight means little once it was originally grated and then exposed to oxygen again when you opened it.
An electric cheese grater allows you to, in seconds, purchase high quality blocks of cheese, grate as much as you want, and freeze what you don’t eat. It also allows you to prepare any potato recipe, from hash browns to sliced fresh potatoes, in seconds. Lastly, the salad uses are immense.
These are just a few examples of the simple tools and technology that can save time and improve the flavor of your cooking. There are many others. We have instant and constant read thermometers, bread makers, ice cream makers, a sous vide machine, an electric pasta maker and other devices that save time. Nevertheless, these 5 listed items can help much more than they may know, and improve their cooking.