Your Cooking Companion

Posted in Announcements, Fixes & Tips
April 11, 2020

The Hidden Ingredients in Every Recipe, Part 3

Hidden ingredients numbers 1 and 2: Tools and Temperature. What’s your guess for hidden ingredient number 3?

It’s TIME.

Here’s the hidden time instruction I hate: “Chill your cookie dough for at least an hour or overnight.” NOOOOOO!! Like I’ve said, I bake based on impulse, and this hidden instruction completely kills the moment. “An hour or overnight”, my foot. If I’d noticed that ahead of time, I’d have made a different cookie.

Or “allow to marinate overnight for best flavor”. Right. Since I probably didn’t read that ahead of time, I’ll probably never know what the “best flavor” is.

How much time will it take to preheat your oven to the given temperature? Unknown. But you have to plan that time into your project.

How much time will it take for the meat to reach that specific temperature? Depends on your oven….

Remember that Perfect Turkey blog I mentioned yesterday? There are four absolutely critical time instructions. First, you have to get your turkey out of the freezer four to five days before you want to cook it. How many people do you suppose have thought they could get their turkey out of the freezer the day before Thanksgiving?

Second, you have to allow 2 hours for it to sit at room temperature before you put it in the oven. If you don’t factor that into your cooking time, you’ll have to leave out this step, which is key to getting the turkey right.

And third, as I mentioned yesterday, you don’t serve it right out of the oven. It has to sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes after roasting, to seal in the juices before you cut it.

Oh, and at the very bottom of the Perfect Turkey article, I mention that you should clean your oven the day before you cook your turkey. Did you see that part? Or did you badly smoke up your house? And what I don’t even mention there is that you will need to clean your oven the day after you roast the turkey, too, or risk smoking up your house again next time you bake. Combined oven cleaning time: 4-6 hours (with a self-cleaning oven).

That makes for a whole lot of hidden time involved in roasting a turkey. And none of the times mentioned above include the actual cooking time.

I’m not admonishing you to do things I do routinely. I’m telling you to NOT BE LIKE ME. Read the damn instructions before you start. Read them carefully. Read them out loud, and pay attention to what you hear yourself say!

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