1. 1) From what I've gathered, pro chefs/good cooks don't seem to use non-stick pans ever. I assume there is a legit reason for this, but I've never known specifically what it is. Plz explain

    2) How hot do typical, standard propane kitchen stoves that n00bs have get, in fahrenheit? How much hotter do the ones in professional restaurant kitchens get, by comparison? Is there a way to get that fahrenheit level in my home kitchen somehow, so that I can get a good restaurant style sear/char on my meat? Tips/advice? thx

    3) As far as the more subtle/not so obvious nuances and details that good chefs tend to know, that most typical cookbooks don't usually really mention in their recipes and cooking directions, what are some good books or internet forums or sites that I can start off with to learn more on this sort of thing. I have tons of cookbooks, but what I really need is something that focuses more on this sort of stuff. Anyone can merely follow a recipe and basic 6 sentence long cooking directions, but clearly there is more to it, to really get it to come out just perfect and take my cooking to that next level. What are some good resources that can at least get me STARTED down the right path, in this regard?
    Edited By: bfactor Feb 5th, 2012 at 05:47 PM
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  2. tl;dr

    bfactor wants to learn how to properly prepare human flesh, thats my guess on what this thread is about.
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  3. im no pro chef but i do cook alot. when making a sauce like a pasta sauce i prefer to use the stainless steel pan because when u cook the onions and garlic first it gets a little crust onto the pan. then u can add some wine and scrap off the bottom which adds alot flavor imo. Also i love make a tilapia dish where i cook the fish in some olive oil in a stainless steel pan, take the fish out and u get that crust on the bottom again. add some heavy cream white wine capers garlic scrap the bottom off and you get an awesome sauce to put over the top of the fish. you obviously cant do this with the non stick pans.
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  4. cooking isn't as subtle as you might think, just do it, you learn by trying shit/fucking up. and it is highly personal what is good (you like) and not so good.

    I'd start simple and expand from there. and from what I have read you have an advantage a lotta folks don't - you have the money to fuck up shit and toss it out, a luxury few have.

    edit - watch "America's Test Kitchen", they are pretty fancy with their technique sometimes but they are the best.

    and Jacques Pepin is God (not related to the test kitchen).
    Edited By: EyeKnows Feb 5th, 2012 at 04:39 PM
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  5.  
    Originally Posted by TpocketT View Post

    tl;dr

    bfactor wants to learn how to properly prepare human flesh, thats my guess on what this thread is about.

    ARRHGHghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, how do you fuckers always sniff out my real intentions no matter how hard I try to disguise them deep in giant paragraphs lol.

    This feels like when you try to by like 15 random other items when you are buying a playboy at the supermarket, to make it less noticeable, but it never works, they always still pause like a mofo when they reach the mag, and hold it up all slow for the scanner, and make that haha-you're-a-loser eye contact with you, while you blush all pathetically while the hot chick behind you sliently judges you.

    This thread is like the awkward bfactor's basement freezer mystery meat version of that scenario. Damn.
    Edited By: bfactor Feb 5th, 2012 at 04:37 PM
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  6. 1. Seasoning.
    2. It's hot.
    3. Experience.
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  7. Bfactor, buy this book (if you can afford it)

    http://modernistcuisine.com/
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  8.  
    Originally Posted by EyeKnows View Post

    cooking isn't as subtle as you might think, just do it, you learn by trying shit/fucking up. and it is highly personal what is good (you like) and not so good.

    I'd start simple and expand from there. and from what I have read you have an advantage a lotta folks don't - you have the money to fuck up shit and toss it out, a luxury few have.

    edit - watch "America's Test Kitchen", they are pretty fancy with their technique sometimes but they are the best. and Jacques Pepin is God.

    I tried watching some youtube vids, and also some recipeTV vids from netflix, and tried copying what they did and cooking some stuff myself, and it all came out super terrible and bad tasting. I assume there must be some subtle things as far as like, not just the name of the ingredient, but which specific one, like, not just "green onion" but rather "green onion if it's june, otherwise it'll suck, and it has to be from such and such farm, otherwise it'll taste weird if you get one that was from such and such farm, so you have to go to vons, not albertsons, to get the correct one for this dish, but, we won't tell you that subtle nuance, cuz fuck you, that's a secret that only the pros know, and also, this specific detail by itself, won't actually matter, well it'll matter like 0.01%, but, that in itself isn't enough to really be noticeable, BUT when you add up all the other thingies of this sort, like, the 30 other thingies for the remainder of the process of making this dish, once you combine all those tiny non-factors up in the end the become an actual not so non-factor after all that will actually really affect how it actually tastes, or something. And also the little subtle things in terms of cooking it that you need to know that they don't really mention in the basic one-sentence cooking directions for each step, like, they'll tell you "what to do" but not as truly thoroughly as humanly possible of tiny little specific details that the pro knows to do that seems really insignificant for any one specific step that they do ever so slightly differently, but by the time you take ALL the different little thingies by the end of the dish, they all combine and add up to actually being important once there's enough thingies in total to know about as far as super minor/subtle little thingies that you secretly need to understand/know to get it JUST perfectly exactly right.

    It's like the burger example I used in the OP. Clearly there must be something, otherwise burgers that have identical ingredients listed would all taste the same no matter which burger joint you went to, but, as we all know, or at least, anyone with any half-decent taste buds whatsoever should be able to notice, they actually taste super duper extremely different from each other, depending on whether you are at McD, or Fatburger, or In-n-Out, or etc, like, you can get an "identical" burger in terms of what ingredients it visibly has, but, the taste of it will not taste even close to identical.
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  9. Holy fucking words, Batman.
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  10. I only made it through the first question before my attention span got the best of me, but spices like other people have said, and the types of spatulas/ladles/spoons/etc that I like to use will scrape off the teflon of a non-stick pan which can cause it to get in your food and taste funky.
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  11.  
    Originally Posted by bfactor View Post

    ARRHGHghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, how do you fuckers always sniff out my real intentions no matter how hard I try to disguise them deep in giant paragraphs lol.

    This feels like when you try to by like 15 random other items when you are buying a playboy at the supermarket, to make it less noticeable, but it never works, they always still pause like a mofo when they reach the mag, and hold it up all slow for the scanner, and make that haha-you're-a-loser eye contact with you, while you blush all pathetically while the hot chick behind you sliently judges you.

    This thread is like the awkward bfactor's basement freezer mystery meat version of that scenario. Damn.

    well shit. i thought this thread was about you wanting to learn how to properly prepare dog so you can treat your guests/hostages with some traditional cuisine
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  12. Bfactor I love ya and all but do you realize in each of those paragraphs you said the same thing over and over at least four times with slightly different wording, and sometimes even reverting back to the original wording? Its like you try to draw things out on purpose by just saying the same things over and over just a little bit different each time. I couldnt possibly imagine myself writing in a style where I would make a paragraph consisting of the same thoughts or questions four times but just tweaking it slightly. Its just like every paragraph you write you say the same thing over and over at least four time but just word it a little different, and sometimes you even revert back to the original wording!
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  13. 2) you can have a cheap gas stove or a pro / expensive stove - doesn't really matter when searing / charring food. It's all about practice and timing. When we make seared Ahi, we get our pan (Calphalon) really hot (medium high to high flame), and then put some oil in it. Heat the oil, and swirl around in the pan. We put a dry rub (black pepper, garlic, etc) on both sides of the Ahi steak (about 1 inch thick). We put the Ahi in the pan for about 40 seconds per side. It will char the outside, yet keep the inside raw.

    We like watching Food Network / other cooking channels. America's Test Kitchen (usually on PBS) is probably the best show to watch if you want to learn tricks and tips. Bottom line for becoming a good cook: Practice. It may take years, but keep on practicing - it won't happen overnight. You will fail sometimes, but eventually you have those nights when you cook something so incredible that it will give you confidence to keep on practicing.
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  14.  
    Originally Posted by 3kingme3 View Post

    Bfactor I love ya and all but do you realize in each of those paragraphs you said the same thing over and over at least four times with slightly different wording, and sometimes even reverting back to the original wording? Its like you try to draw things out on purpose by just saying the same things over and over just a little bit different each time. I couldnt possibly imagine myself writing in a style where I would make a paragraph consisting of the same thoughts or questions four times but just tweaking it slightly. Its just like every paragraph you write you say the same thing over and over at least four time but just word it a little different, and sometimes you even revert back to the original wording!

    edit: Okay, I took your advice and tidied up the OP a bit. I found that at this point, unless I consciously really try to force myself, I seem to just do it without even consciously intending to, it just ends up getting long and repetitive for some reason. I guess it's cuz I always have a weird phobia in my head of people with bad reading comprehension ever possibly missing some detail or point that I don't want them to misinterpret or worse yet miss altogether, and so I end up going overboard in trying to make that not happen. But, in the end, I guess this approach might not really be the best way of doing things, so, I'll try to really make an actual effort to cut some of that down if I can.
    Edited By: bfactor Feb 5th, 2012 at 05:55 PM
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  15. Post pictures of your spice rack.

    Proper utensiles, pots, pans makes a difference.

    Proper heating and timing makes the meal taste better.

    Do you like meat rare or well done?

    Fuck it forget what I said and go to,

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  16.  
    Originally Posted by 3kingme3 View Post

    Bfactor I love ya and all but do you realize in each of those paragraphs you said the same thing over and over at least four times with slightly different wording, and sometimes even reverting back to the original wording? Its like you try to draw things out on purpose by just saying the same things over and over just a little bit different each time. I couldnt possibly imagine myself writing in a style where I would make a paragraph consisting of the same thoughts or questions four times but just tweaking it slightly. Its just like every paragraph you write you say the same thing over and over at least four time but just word it a little different, and sometimes you even revert back to the original wording!

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  17. http://vimeo.com/modernistcuisine/trailer

    Seriously watch this. I would buy the book if I had money to buy decent shit to cook for. It is written by a bunch of superstars like Heston Blumenthal and the likes, and its steward is Nathan Mirhvold, the coolest nerd you will ever hear from.
    Edited By: Unforseen Feb 5th, 2012 at 05:10 PM
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  18.  
    Originally Posted by skeeze666 View Post

    Alright, I re-did my OP, it's a lot shorter now.

    Is this better?
    Edited By: bfactor Feb 5th, 2012 at 05:48 PM
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  19. I'm taking a shit at work right now and Im supposed to be expoing this brunch rush so I'll be brief, When you're talking About that sick sear we get, you need a gas stove and a steel pan, Good olive oil. Just before it puts off a puff of smoke you put your protein in and don't budge it. Leave it alone when it's done it will release itself and let you know. Don't poke At it and AlwYs have a hot hot pan to start
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  20.  
    Originally Posted by sacaniga View Post

    I'm taking a shit at work right now and Im supposed to be expoing this brunch rush so I'll be brief, When you're talking About that sick sear we get, you need a gas stove and a steel pan, Good olive oil. Just before it puts off a puff of smoke you put your protein in and don't budge it. Leave it alone when it's done it will release itself and let you know. Don't poke At it and AlwYs have a hot hot pan to start

    Ok, see THIS is what I am referring to. These sorts of little subtle/seemingly minor, yet CRUCIAL details like what you just told me, they tend to not bother to actually mention in most cookbooks, at least, the ones I have. They'll just give you the basic ingredient list, and a very VERY brief few sentences of cooking directions, of like what order to add the ingredients in or whatever, but, not tell you important shit like this that end up really affecting the final result when shit comes down to shit, in the end. You know?

    I need a book that explains all the hundreds of other random little tips and details and nuances that a good chef just sorta knows after years of trial and error, that would at least somewhat catch me up to speed on THAT type of stuff. (Obviously there is no book in the world that can truly teach anyone all the subtle shit they need to know how to do, to cook things like a real pro, at some point, you really do just need years of experience to really get everything down perfectly pat, but, even so, I'm sure there are at least things that could get me started on the right path, and aware of certain things that are pretty crucial to know, that would go a long way for me).

    For example: I should probably learn about like, which ingredients are "in season" at which time of year. I bet that really good fine dining restaurants take this into account in their menu of what they offer, and it probably has a real effect on the quality level. And I should probably know about little in-depth details about ingredients. Like, when they say "good" olive oil, to actually know what specifically makes it good, vs bad olive oil. Maybe different brands have slightly different smoke points, or subtle flavor differences depending on the brand or the sub-type/species of olive that is used to make the oil, or the process they use in making it, I have no clue, but, I'm sure just like not all red wine is equal, not all anything is equal. Probably there are different shallots that have different flavors to them, and those who are in the know, know which ones go well in which dish, and where to shop for not just "shallots" but more specifically WHICH shallot, like, from which market to get it from, what farm specifically, what season it will taste just right, etc. Or for meat, sure it might call for a cut of "chuck" beef, but, maybe depending on which part of the country its from, which ranch, I dunno, there's probably little nuances to everything, even shit like that. Or maybe not. I have no clue. I'm just saying, overall, in terms of all the thousands of little sub-factors that go into any one meal, all those tiny little details, while insignificant on their own, ADD UP to being important overall by the end of it. And 99% of those things, I don't even know what they would even be, like, the issue isn't me not knowing the right answers, rather, it's that I don't even know the right QUESTIONS if you see what I mean.
    Edited By: bfactor Feb 5th, 2012 at 06:19 PM
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  21. yeah, I guess I have watched and absorbed so much info from so many cooking shows that some stuff seems "common sense" when it really isn't.

    OK B, decide a thing you wanna cook/prepare, research it online (way easier and way more info than from books), watch whatever videos are available, then try and retry until you like what you have. like writing, you learn how to do it by doing it. a lot. and by making mistakes we get better. I have taught myself to prepare a lotta different foods using this exact method. and the things I do make regularly get easier and better every time I make them.

    edit - and it is a lot easier than you are making it, trust me. just start simple, keep it simple, way less things to fuck up.
    Edited By: EyeKnows Feb 5th, 2012 at 06:30 PM
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  22. True.

    I actually have started trying to cook food finally. In the past, I'd always get all obsessed for a few days, and read a bunch of cookbooks, but then when the moment came to actually cook, I'd be like, nahhh, fuck it, I'm tired, and just lie around on the couch and order delivery and get high and watch tv and fall asleep lol.

    But then in the past couple weeks I actually tried cooking some dishes for myself at like 4am while my aunt/mom were sound asleep, cuz I was too embarrassed to even attempt doing any actual cooking in front of them while they're awake cuz of what an insanely huge n00b I am lol, and obv all my attempts so far have been hilariously horrible. Like, if I served my food at a restaurant, they would literally give me a zero stars review, and maybe even try to fight me, like jump the counter and go find me in the kitchen and shove me and ask me wtf my problem was, for even allowing such trash to be served to them lol. I even had nightmares of this scenario happening in my dreams one night after I cooked my worst tasting meal that I've ever cooked so far in my life a few days ago. I woke from the nightmare all scared and stuff like "Whoa, I suck really bad at cooking... this is fucked up..." lol
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  23. proper seasoning is huge

    stainless pans allow for nice pan sauces to be made after you sear off your protein. a good pan sauce is the key to taking your cooking to the next level.

    trial and error is really the best way to learn and when you do something right/wrong, write it down on the recipe so you know what to avoid/do next time you attempt the dish.

    fresher and local ingredients are best, stop stopping st vons and albertsons and go to framers markets or local produce markets

    seasoning

    playing with flavors that fit within a dish, by complimenting or contrasting with the ingredients, and when in doubt simpler (less) is usually better
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  24. I like my cookware like I like my women: with heavy bottoms.

    Getting proper sear comes from having thick bottomed cookware that holds heat after having food put into it and using enough oil to transfer heat from the surface of cookware to the bits of food that don't make direct contact with the cooking surface. Most non-stick cookware does not hold up well to the high heat required to get proper sear on proteins and people think they should use nonstick without oil which is preposterous as oil not only lubricates cooking surfaces, but more importantly, is absolutely essential to getting heat moving between pan and food.

    1 get a heavy bottomed pan
    2 preheat it properly
    3 let your proteins get to room temperature before cooking
    4 oil your cooking surface sufficiently
    5 ???
    6 profit
    Edited By: Autolobotomist Feb 5th, 2012 at 08:35 PM
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  25. A few quick things for cooking proteins - ie steaks.

    Never take them right out of the fridge to the flame. Always allow them to come to room temperature.

    Steaks should be flipped exactly once. Don't force them, if they don't come free easily, give them more time. Usually 4-5 minutes on each side depending on your preferred level of doneness.

    Always flip with a spatula or tongs, never use a fork. Forks pierce the meat and let the juices out.

    Allow the steak to sit after it's done cooking - this will redistribute the juices through the steak.
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