Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You Need This

When I was single I didn't cook. At ALL. Dinner was either a Lean Cuisine or a bag of popcorn. Even now when B is out of town on business it's all I can muster to make buttered noodles or scrambled eggs. I love cooking, but only if other people are around to eat it. I know of single people who cook and it blows my mind to the same degree that quantum physics does.

Single Lady - "I made the best dinner last night. Grilled salmon and a side of green beans."
Me - "God, WHY?!!! Where you out of Cheerios or something??!"

So it wasn't until B and I started living and cooking together that I learned about the wide variety of fun kitchen utensils and kitchen gadgets. I also learned - both from B and the Food Network - that the absolute key to perfectly cooked meat is getting it to the proper temperature. And if you have any memories of dry and overcooked pork chops from your childhood, then you'll appreciate the difference. Plus, meat is expensive and cooking takes time and love, so it seems such a disservice to ruin food for no reason. Not to mention that when you have a wife as cruel and health-conscious as I am and she only lets you buy a steak about once every three months, you have to get that shit right!

Because of the importance of temperature, we've always had a meat thermometer around and it's always given us great results, but there's another step up. B found this little gadget on sale at Home Depot and it's been awesome. It's a two part thermometer. One part has a probe that goes into the meat and a covered wire leading to a transmitter. The probe stays in the whole time and the transmitter sits on the counter. The receiver, pictured above, lets you know the exact temperature of whatever you're cooking so that you don't have to be bothered with going in, pulling out the food, and checking it every five minutes.

And in reality the number on the left is supposed to be the number that you want the food to be and a little alarm will go off, but that feature doesn't work on our little sale item, so we just keep an eye on the temperature to know when it's done. Additionally, the wire is able to withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees, so it can be used on an outdoor grill as well. Genius!


die Frau said...

I just found T's birthday present. [singing] Thank youuuuu!

The other night my dinner consisted of a hard-boiled egg, an apple, and cereal, I think. Or maybe romaine and garbanzos, for the protein. I at all parts at different points in the evening.

Just Another Idealist said...

That IS genius. I loves me some meat! I would add that the other key component to making delicious meat is a marinade of some kind--preferably applied overnight.

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