Logo

    Chef-Vetted Answers to Your Cooking FAQs

    Taking the time to slow cook and season in advance can greatly enhance the taste and quality of your food, making it truly special and satisfying.

    enJune 20, 2022

    About this Episode

    In your quest to become a better home chef, you probably find yourself wondering things like: What potato should I use in this recipe? How much salt should I put in this dish? Am I even making spaghetti right? But then you forget to Google the answer to your question, or if you do, you feel overwhelmed by the number of opinions out there.

    Well, my guest will cut through that noise and answer some of your cooking FAQs once and for all. His name is Daniel Holzman and he's a chef and the co-author, along with Matt Rodbard, of Food IQ: 100 Questions, Answers, and Recipes to Raise Your Cooking Smarts. Today on the show, Daniel will offer his advice on whether the kind of onion and potato you use in a recipe matters, and whether it's okay to use frozen vegetables. He explains why you should be less worried about getting foodborne illnesses from meat, and the type of food that's more likely to make you sick. Daniel offers the lowdown on salt, including how to figure out exactly how much you need in a dish; when to use the convection bake function on your oven; his recommendations for the best frying pan and chef's knife; the secrets to making perfect spaghetti, scrambled eggs, and steak; and plenty of other tips as well.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect with Daniel Holzman

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Learn the importance of respecting everyday food and how even simple meals can be elevated with high-quality ingredients and care.
    • Cooking can be enjoyable and easy, even for beginners. The book "Food IQ" provides expert advice on ingredients and techniques, emphasizing the importance of experimentation and not stressing over small details.
    • Using a sharp knife and minimizing cell crushing when cutting onions can reduce acid release, resulting in fewer tears. Additionally, understanding the different types of potatoes and their ideal uses can elevate your cooking. Don't underestimate frozen vegetables - they can be surprisingly tasty!
    • Embrace technological advancements in food and learn how to make the most of different ingredients for delicious meals.
    • When it comes to beef, prioritize sourcing and limit consumption for better overall health. Trust your senses to determine freshness and ask the butcher about the source.
    • Trusting your senses when it comes to meat is important, but focus on cooking it to a safe temperature for maximum deliciousness. Always wash produce thoroughly before eating.
    • Salt is more about visual and textural appeal rather than flavor. Health claims regarding salt should be ignored, as the human palate cannot distinguish between different mineral claims. Consistency in salt usage is crucial, as different salt crystals vary in weight and volume, affecting taste. Under-salting can greatly impact flavor, therefore liberally salting and tasting before serving is advised. If unsure about seasoning, adding more salt is usually the solution. Ideally, using 1% by weight of salt is recommended, considering that not all the salt will reach the mouth during cooking.
    • Properly seasoning your food with salt requires using 1% of the food's weight, salting pasta water, and salting chicken overnight. Investing in a high-quality all-clad sautĂ© or frying pan is recommended for versatile cooking, but consider specific needs and preferences when choosing the right pan.
    • Choose the appropriate tools, such as cast iron pans, sharp knives, and conventional ovens, to achieve the best cooking results.
    • Understanding the difference between convection and regular baking is crucial for achieving even and gentle cooking, especially for big pieces of meat. Weighing ingredients with a kitchen scale improves accuracy and consistency for better culinary results.
    • Consistency in cooking can be achieved by using enough water, a larger pot, proper seasoning, following instructions, and attention to detail.
    • Taking the time to slow cook and season in advance can greatly enhance the taste and quality of your food, making it truly special and satisfying.
    • Resting a steak after cooking allows for temperature equalization and juice redistribution, resulting in a moist and delicious steak.

    đź“ť Podcast Summary

    This Chef's Secret to Delicious Meals? It's Simpler Than You Think.

    Cooking is not just about fancy ingredients or complicated techniques. It's about respecting everyday food and making it delicious. Daniel Holzman, a chef and author, emphasizes the importance of giving equal respect to dishes like hamburgers, fried chicken, meatballs, and pizza. He believes that even simple meals can be made with high-quality ingredients and cooked with care. Holzman's career journey reflects his passion for making affordable and wholesome food accessible to everyone. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced home chef, his book "Food IQ" provides valuable answers to common cooking questions and offers recipes to elevate your cooking smarts. So, remember, it's not always about complexity; it's about the love and attention you put into your everyday meals.

    Discover the secrets to stress-free cooking with Food IQ!

    Cooking should be fun and less intimidating for home cooks. The authors of the book "Food IQ" aim to provide clear answers to questions that cannot be easily found on Google. With their experience as chefs and food writers, they understand that people often have specific concerns about ingredients and techniques. They emphasize that when it comes to choosing onions, for example, any variety will work just fine in most recipes. The yellow onion is a versatile option, while red onions can add a touch of color to presentations like burgers. Ultimately, the important thing is to enjoy cooking, experiment with different ingredients, and not stress about minor details.

    Stop Crying While Cutting Onions - The Secret Revealed!

    Using a sharp knife can prevent crying while cutting onions. While there are various old wives' tales and tactics to avoid tears, crushing an onion releases acid that irritates the eyes. By using a sharp knife and minimizing cell crushing, less acid is released, resulting in fewer tears. Additionally, the conversation highlights the different types of potatoes and their ideal uses. Starchy potatoes like russet or Kennebec are best for mashed potatoes, while waxy potatoes like red bliss or fingerling are better suited for roasting. However, the choice of potato ultimately depends on personal preference and all potatoes can be delicious in their own way. Lastly, the notion of frozen vegetables being inferior was challenged and it was discovered that they can be surprisingly good.

    Discover the secret behind the improved taste of frozen vegetables.

    Technological advancements have greatly improved the quality of frozen vegetables, making them a viable and delicious option. These advancements ensure that vegetables are frozen at the peak of freshness, maintaining their crispness and flavor. While fresh vegetables from a farmers market may be preferred, frozen vegetables can still be enjoyed without feeling ashamed. When it comes to picking avocados for meals, the key is to gently push on them to determine their ripeness. Additionally, removing the little nub and checking for a bright green color inside can help ensure that the avocado is just right. And when it comes to beef, while grass-fed beef may be leaner and have a different taste, it can still be enjoyable if cooked correctly. Overall, it is important to embrace technological advancements in the world of food and understand how to make the most of different ingredients.

    Is grass-fed beef really the healthiest option for you?

    When it comes to beef, it is important to be mindful of the source and quality. While grass-fed beef may have a great flavor, it may not necessarily be the healthiest option if you want to prioritize your overall health. Limiting the amount of beef consumed is advised for those who want to stay healthy. When buying beef, it is crucial to ask the butcher about the source of the meat. A knowledgeable butcher who can answer this question demonstrates that they care about their product and have a good understanding of it. It can be challenging to trace the origin of beef due to the complex nature of the industry, particularly when it comes to ground beef. However, when it comes to food-borne illnesses, cooking meat properly can eliminate harmful bacteria, making it safe to consume. Trust your senses when it comes to determining if meat has gone bad, as the smell will be unpleasant and noticeable.

    Don't ignore your instincts when it comes to food - here's why!

    Trusting your instincts when it comes to food can be beneficial. While our brains may override our instincts in many areas of life, when it comes to meat, following our senses is important. If the meat smells bad, it is best not to eat it, but if it smells fine, rinsing it off can remove any bacteria on the surface. Just like taking a shower when we smell bad, giving chicken a good rinse is acceptable. Additionally, the fear of eating rare chicken or pork is somewhat arbitrary, as cases of getting sick from Salmonella are rare. The focus should be on cooking meat to a safe temperature for maximum deliciousness. When it comes to getting sick from food, produce is a more likely culprit, so always wash it thoroughly before consumption.

    Are you using salt correctly? The truth will surprise you!

    Salt is not as flavor-driven as it is visual and textural. Health claims about salt should be disregarded because there is no flavor difference and the human palate cannot detect the different mineral claims. It is important to be consistent with using salt, as different salt crystals have different weights and volumes. People tend to under-salt their food, which greatly affects the taste. Therefore, it is advised to salt liberally and taste before bringing the food to the table. If unsure about seasoning, adding more salt is usually the solution. Ideally, 1% by weight of salt is recommended, considering that not all the salt may reach the mouth during cooking.

    Are You Salting Your Food Correctly? Find Out Now!

    When salting food, such as pasta or chicken, it is important to use the right amount. While salt added to the boiling water for pasta may not all get consumed, using 1% of the food's weight in salt will properly season it. Also, when salting a chicken, it is advisable to salt it overnight for optimum seasoning. In terms of kitchen tools, investing in a high-quality 10-inch all-clad sauté pan or frying pan is recommended. Despite the higher price, it is a durable and versatile piece of equipment that can be used for a variety of dishes. Additionally, while there are different types of pans available, a stainless steel all-clad pan will generally work for most cooking needs. Cast iron pans, on the other hand, hold more heat due to their weight but require more care to prevent rusting. Therefore, considering the specific needs and preferences, choosing the right pan is essential for achieving desired cooking results.

    Discover the secret tools and techniques for cooking perfection!

    In cooking, using the right tools and techniques can greatly influence the outcome of your dishes. When it comes to pans, cast iron pans are versatile and can handle different temperature adjustments, while nonstick pans are convenient but may not last forever. In terms of knives, the sharpness of the blade is crucial, so it's important to regularly sharpen or maintain them for optimal performance. While branded knives like Wustof are known for their quality, even a well-sharpened inexpensive knife can do the job. Finally, convection ovens offer the advantage of faster browning and crisping, but for certain recipes like chocolate chip cookies, it's best to avoid using the convection function. Ultimately, it's about finding the right tools that work for you and enhance your cooking experience.

    Discover the secret to perfect cooking with convection vs regular baking!

    When it comes to cooking different foods, understanding the difference between convection and regular baking can greatly impact the outcome. While convection baking may be faster and add more energy to food, it can also lead to uneven cooking and potential burning on the outside before the inside is fully cooked. Therefore, for big pieces of meat like prime rib or Thanksgiving turkey, it is advisable to use regular baking for a more even and gentle cooking process. Additionally, the conversation highlights the benefits of weighing ingredients instead of relying on measuring spoons and cups. Weighing ingredients provides a more accurate and consistent measurement, leading to better results, especially in baking. So, investing in a kitchen scale can help elevate one's culinary skills and achieve greater precision in cooking.

    The Mistake You're Making with Onions in Your Spaghetti

    Maintaining consistency in cooking can be challenging, especially with ingredients like onions that come in various sizes. When it comes to spaghetti, people often make the mistake of not using enough water or not keeping it at a rapid boil. Using a larger pot and adding plenty of water can prevent the pasta from becoming gummy. It's also important to season the water with salt to properly season the pasta. Overcooking the pasta is another common mistake, so following the instructions on the package and finishing it in the sauce can help achieve the perfect texture. Similarly, scrambled eggs can be tricky because the simplicity of the recipe means that any flaws in technique are easily noticeable. So attention to detail is crucial when working with fewer ingredients and steps.

    Discover the secret to truly delicious and satisfying meals!

    Taking a little extra time and care can greatly enhance the taste and quality of your food. Whether it's scrambled eggs or a juicy steak, the process of slow cooking or seasoning in advance can make a world of difference. Scrambled eggs, for example, can be a quick and easy meal, but investing a few extra minutes in slow cooking with ample butter can elevate them to something truly special. Similarly, seasoning a thick steak well in advance allows the flavors to infuse and ensures a more consistent cook. It's important to be conscious of temperature control and the impact it can have on cooking time and the final result. So, whether it's eggs or steak, giving a little more time and attention to your food can lead to a truly delicious and satisfying experience.

    The one thing you're forgetting after cooking steak!

    Resting a steak after it's cooked is just as important as the cooking time. When you cut into a steak and see the juice bleeding out onto the cutting board, it means the steak was not rested long enough. Resting allows the temperature to equalize between the center and the outside, and the juices to redistribute and reabsorb, making the steak moist and delicious. For a steak that's half an inch to one inch thick, rest it for five to ten minutes, depending on the thickness. By organizing your meal prep and considering the rest time, you can ensure a perfectly cooked and flavorful steak. So, give it the time to rest after cooking, and you'll be rewarded with a tasty meal.

    Recent Episodes from The Art of Manliness

    Embracing the Strive State

    Embracing the Strive State

    We often think happiness will be found in the completion of a goal. We often think happiness will be found in ease and comfort. My guest says real joy is found in the journey rather than the destination, and that if difficulty and discomfort are part of that journey, that's all the better.

    Dr. Adam Fraser is a peak performance researcher and the author of Strive: Embracing the Gift of Struggle. Today on the show, we talk about what Adam calls the "strive state," where we have to grow and be courageous to tackle a meaningful challenge, and why this state is the source of the greatest fulfillment in life. We discuss why we often resist embracing the strive state and what happens when we don't have to struggle in life. We also talk about what successful strivers do differently.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect With Adam Fraser

    Book cover of
    The Art of Manliness
    enMay 15, 2024

    The Dude's Guide to Laundry: How to Save Time, Money, and Your Wardrobe

    The Dude's Guide to Laundry: How to Save Time, Money, and Your Wardrobe

    If you didn’t grow up doing your own laundry, once you headed out on your own, you probably just figured things out on the fly, hoped for the best, and have been doing things the same way ever since. But, while you may be getting the job done okay, you also might be making some mistakes that are costing you time, money, and cleaner clothes.

    In this episode from the Art of Manliness department of essential life skills, we’ll cover all the things you should have learned as a young man but never did, and how to do your laundry effectively. Our guide is Patric Richardson, aka the “Laundry Evangelist,” a laundry expert who runs how-to-do-laundry camps, hosts the television show The Laundry Guy, and is the author of Laundry Love. Today on the show, Patric shares the one cycle and water temperature you should use for all of your clothes, exactly how much detergent you should be using (which is a lot less than you think), how often you should wash your clothes (which is less often than you think), why you shouldn’t ever use dryer sheets (and what to throw in your dryer instead), how regardless of what the tag says, you can wash anything at home (including a wool suit), how to easily get rid of stains (including yellow pit stains), and many more tips that will save you time, money, and hassle in doing your laundry.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect With Patric Richardson

    The Art of Manliness
    enMay 13, 2024

    How to Get Better at Anything

    How to Get Better at Anything

    Life revolves around learning—in school, at our jobs, even in the things we do for fun. But we often don’t progress in any of these areas at the rate we’d like. Consequently, and unfortunately, we often give up our pursuits prematurely or resign ourselves to always being mediocre in our classes, career, and hobbies.

    Scott Young has some tips on how you can avoid this fate, level up in whatever you do, and enjoy the satisfaction of skill improvement. Scott is a writer, programmer, and entrepreneur, and the author of Get Better at Anything: 12 Maxims for Mastery. Today on the show, Scott shares the three key factors in helping us learn. He explains how copying others is an underrated technique in becoming a genius, why, contrary to the sentiments of motivational memes, we learn more from success than mistakes, why experts often aren’t good teachers and tactics for drawing out their best advice, why you may need to get worse before you get better, and more.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect With Scott Young

    Podcast #989 featuring the book cover of

    Of Strength and Soul — Exploring the Philosophy of Physical Fitness

    Of Strength and Soul — Exploring the Philosophy of Physical Fitness

    When you’re lifting weights, you might be thinking about setting a new PR or doing your curls for the girls.

    But throughout history, philosophers have thought about physical fitness on a deeper level and considered how exercise shapes not only the body, but also the mind and the soul.

    My guest today, Joe Lombardo, is a strength enthusiast who follows in this tradition and has explored the philosophy of bodily exercise in his writing. Today on the show, Joe and I discuss several different ways the philosophy of strength has been expressed over time.

    We begin our conversation with how the ancient Greeks thought of physical training as a way to develop personal as well as social virtues, and why they thought you were an "idiot," in their particular sense of the word, if you didn't take care of your body. We then discuss early Christianity's relationship with physical exercise and the development of the muscular Christianity movement in the 19th century. We end our conversation by looking at the philosophy of physicality espoused by the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, and what he had to say as to how strength training moves us out of the life of the night and towards the light of the sun.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect With Joe Lomabrdo

    The No-BS Secrets of Success

    The No-BS Secrets of Success

    Jim VandeHei didn’t have an auspicious start in life. His high school guidance counselor told him he wasn’t cut out for college, and he went on to confirm her assessment, getting a 1.4 GPA at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and spending more time drinking beer than planning his career.

    Eventually, though, Jim turned things around for himself, going on to co-found two of the biggest modern media outlets, Politico and Axios.

    Jim shares how he started moving up the rungs of success and building a better life for himself in his new book Just the Good Stuff: No-BS Secrets to Success (No Matter What Life Throws at You). Today on the show, Jim shares the real-world lessons he’s learned in his career. We discuss the importance of matching passion to opportunity, making your own luck, surrounding yourself with the right people, keeping the buckets of your happiness matrix filled, understanding the difference between wartime and peacetime leadership, harnessing the energy of healthy revenge, and more.

    Connect With Jim VandeHei

    Book cover for


     

    How to Eliminate the Two Biggest Sources of Financial Stress

    How to Eliminate the Two Biggest Sources of Financial Stress

    There are different philosophies one can have when it comes to money. Jared Dillian’s is built around eliminating as much anxiety around it as possible, so you hardly think about money at all.

    Jared is a former trader for Lehman Brothers, the editor of The Daily Dirtnap, a market newsletter for investment professionals, and the author of No Worries: How to Live a Stress-Free Financial Life. Today on the show, Jared talks about the two biggest sources of financial stress — debt and risk — and how you can eliminate the stress they can cause. We discuss how three big financial decisions — buying a car, buying a house, and managing student loans — ultimately determine your financial health, and how to approach each of them in a stress-eliminating way. We also talk about how to minimize risk by creating what he calls an “awesome portfolio,” a mix of assets that has nearly the return of the stock market with half its risk. And Jared shares whether cryptocurrency fits into his “no worries” financial philosophy.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect With Jared Dillian

    Cover of the book

    The Secret World of Bare-Knuckle Boxing

    The Secret World of Bare-Knuckle Boxing

    Have you ever noticed the guy in a fighting stance on the Art of Manliness logo? That’s not just some random symbol; it’s an actual dude: John L. Sullivan, the greatest bare-knuckle boxer of the 19th century.

    While most people think bare-knuckle boxing came to an end during Sullivan’s era, in fact, it never entirely went away. In his new book, Bare Knuckle: Bobby Gunn, 73–0 Undefeated. A Dad. A Dream. A Fight Like You’ve Never Seen, Stayton Bonner charts bare-knuckle boxing’s rise, fall, and resurgence, as well as the improbable story of its modern chapter’s winningest champion. Today on the show, Stayton describes bare-knuckle boxing’s incredible popularity a century ago, and why gloved boxing took its place while bare-knuckle got pushed into a shadowy, illicit underground. Stayton takes us into that secret circuit which still exists today, revealing the dark, sweaty basements and bars where modern bare-knuckle fights take place and the ancient code of honor that structures them. And Stayton introduces us to a dominant figure in that world, Bobby Gunn, an undefeated bare-knuckle fighter who combines a love of faith, family, and fighting and has helped turn bare-knuckle boxing into what is now the world’s fastest-growing combat sport.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect With Stayton Bonner

    Book cover of

    Why Your Memory Seems Bad (It’s Not Just Age)

    Why Your Memory Seems Bad (It’s Not Just Age)

    Do you sometimes walk to another room in your house to get something, but then can’t remember what it was you wanted? Do you sometimes forget about an appointment or struggle to remember someone’s name?

    You may have chalked these lapses in memory up to getting older. And age can indeed play a role in the diminishing power of memory. But as my guest will tell us, there are other factors at play as well.

    Charan Ranganath is a neuroscientist, a psychologist, and the author of Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory’s Power to Hold on to What Matters. Today on the show, Charan explains how factors like how we direct our attention, take photos, and move through something called “event boundaries” all affect our memory, and how our current context in life impacts which memories we’re able to recall from the past. We also talk about how to reverse engineer these factors to improve your memory.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect With Charan Ranganath

    Book cover titled

    Grid-Down Medicine — A Guide for When Help Is NOT on the Way

    Grid-Down Medicine — A Guide for When Help Is NOT on the Way

    If you read most first aid guides, the last step in treating someone who’s gotten injured or sick is always: get the victim to professional medical help.

    But what if you found yourself in a situation where hospitals were overcrowded, inaccessible, or non-functional? What if you found yourself in a grid-down, long-term disaster, and you were the highest medical resource available?

    Dr. Joe Alton is an expert in what would come after the step where most first aid guides leave off. He’s a retired surgeon and the co-author of The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way. Today on the show, Joe argues that every family should have a medical asset and how to prepare to be a civilian medic. We discuss the different levels of first aid kits to consider creating, from an individual kit all the way up to a community field hospital. And we talk about the health-related skills you might need in a long-term grid-down disaster, from burying a dead body, to closing a wound with super glue, to making an improvised dental filling, to even protecting yourself from the radiation of nuclear fallout.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect With Joe Alton

    Cover of


     

    Skills Over Pills

    Skills Over Pills

    Over the last decade, there's been an increase in the number of people, particularly young adults, who struggle with low moods, distractibility, and anxiety and consequent difficulties with getting their life on track and making progress in work, friendship, and romance.

    In addressing these difficulties, people are often given or adopt a mental health diagnosis, and look for a solution in therapy and/or medication.

    My guest isn't opposed to these remedies. She is herself a clinical psychologist who's maintained a practice for a quarter century that specializes in treating clients in their twenties. But Dr. Meg Jay, who's also the author of The Twentysomething Treatment, believes that a lot of what young adults, and in fact adults of all ages, struggle with, aren't disorders that need to be treated, but problems that can be solved.

    In the first half of our conversation, Meg explains what's behind the decline in mental health for young adults and how it's bigger than just smartphones. We discuss the dangers of self-diagnosis, the potential downsides of using medications to treat mental health issues, and why she advocates for "skills over pills." In the second half of our conversation, we talk about how mental health gets better when we get better at life, and what skills twentysomethings, and many older adults, need to develop, including the skills of thinking, feeling, working, socializing, and even cooking. We also discuss how porn is affecting the young men in her practice and an alternative to being a self-assurance junkie.

    Resources Related to the Podcast

    Connect With Meg Jay

    Book cover featuring the title