Archive | January 2011

How to Salt Foods Before Grilling

We use salt for cooking everyday. But although salt is a very important seasoning that brings out true flavors in food, it can either make or break a dish. Now that can be intimidating.

But if you know how to use salt into your food prior to grilling, then you can work magic on dishes! But first, let’s learn the following:

When shopping for ingredients, buy higher quality meats and veggies. Food cooked on a grill doesn’t typically need much to make it shine, but if you are cooking quality foods, it pays.

Flavored or unflavored sea salts sound like a fancy name for a rub, but they make the most delicious seasoning in the world. With a well stocked spice cabinet or herb garden you should be able to come up with something on your own.  Combining sea salt with other herbs and spices would bring a difference. Even a quick and simple cloves of garlic, soy sauce, Worchester sauce, red wine vinegar, dry or prepared mustard, crushed black pepper, and some olive oil, can make the simplest food exotic.

In my opinion, for as long as you have salt for flavor, you don’t need flavored salts.  Try using a small bunch of herbs tied together (instead of using spoon) and use it to baste the meats or vegetables with marinade. Why not throw some sprigs of rosemary on the coals….that even smells great!… or some wild garlic chives. What about brushing a vinaigrette or pesto on things right after they are removed from the grill? There is actually a lot of things you can do. Wild Mushroom is great on any beef that you could grill. I would also think that the lemon would be good on fish.

I hope the suggestions make sense.  Has anyone tried any of these flavored sea salts for grilling? If so, any good combinations to share?

Buying Your Next Cookware Set

Selecting what cookware to buy for your next set of cooking pots and pans can be exciting and challenging. One thing people want is to select the best they could for their money, but they just don’t know where to start.

I think questions like “What is so great about this cookware? or “Is it too expensive?”, will help us decide making a purchase. You can begin by answering a few questions regarding your likes, dislikes, and what kind of lifestyle you lead and may lead in the not so distant future. Cheap cookware won’t last, take it from me. Whether it’s non-stick or thin aluminum they both have flaws that make them questionable when deciding to purchase. Why not spend a bit more and buy pans that have the potential to last a lifetime? Much of the decision in cost will come from the answers to these questions: Why not?

A Beautiful Stew Pot - Your Smart Kitchen

I recommend going to different stores and get the feel of the pans before you buy anything! I’m talking handles, lids, weight etc. Some pans are quite heavy and if you can’t lift it in the store, you’re not going to lift it at home! I have an eclectic mixture of cookware. When I find what I like, I just hunt around for bargains and buy pieces as I need them.

Think about how you cook and stay away from sets of anything. Each type of material has different strengths and weaknesses and will be good for different things. Cast iron is great for some purposes, but not for, say, sautes where rapid heating and cooling is what you’re after. Don’t spend money on expensive stock or pasta pots — for simmering or boiling water, pick up brushed stainless ones at kitchen supply joints. Buy lids there too — they fit every pro-style pan or pot and cost a lot less than the name brand types. Shop sales. There are often good deals on the web.

My main priority is QUALITY. Money is not a primary concern (I am estimating that a good set will run around $800-$1000). My life policy is that I buy the best upfront, that way I do not regret features and feel a need to upgrade. I know there are tons of brands out there.

Why not browse for some quality pots and pans at Your Smart Kitchen. Its my favorite online store and it’s where I bought my great pressure cookers delivered at my door! They got everything from utensils to pots, pans and grills.

Try them yourself.