It’s not what’s cooking, but *how’s it cooking.
With the holidays right around the corner the only thought on your mind is likely, food. What food will I get to eat, whose cooking the food, will there be enough food, how much food should… CAN I eat?! The list of holiday food-related concerns are endless.
There are two type of holiday foodies, the eaters and the cookers. They are each important players in their own right. The cookers cater to the eaters, and this is their season to shine. They bust out the fancy recipes they’ve googled and memorized earlier so when a holiday guest inquires “My goodness, wherever did you get this recipe?” you cooly shrug, “Ehhh, its just something I threw together”. The cookers are pleasers and they cook to please the eaters, they need the mmmm’s!, the mlahhh – hahaha’s!, every gluttonous exclamatory is a culinary gold metal. And the eaters! The eaters are the ultimate holiday judges. Its an art of composure to take that first eagle-eyed bite, knowing a personal Yelp review is about to be broadcast across you’re face. The pressure is palpable, but the brave eater bites on. As the food enters the mouth, touches the tongue, and mutates between the teeth, the synaptic connections begin firing wildly; and before the food odyssey has landed in stomach harbor, the searing question is thrown out on the holiday spread. How. Is. It?
As the preparation (panic) for the holidays begin, if you fall on the cooker side of the holiday foodies, listen up! And eaters, do your due diligence and pass this message on to your designated holiday cooker for the sake of all your fellow eaters. In holidays past the secret may in fact have been in the sauce, but the modern holiday food secret is in the heat. Let’s talk ovens for a second. The holy grail of the holiday spread will take its oven residency for several hours here, do you want to give it the hostel treatment? NO! This is your golden-brown ticket! You want to five-star resort, AAA insure that holiday protein nugget. To do this, you may have to have a serious talk with your convection oven. For those of you nervous about confrontation, BU put together a sample of how one might conduct this difficult discussion.
Hey oven, you’ve been good over the years, always a warm presence and an integral part of this appliance family. You’ve been a womb to so many of my greatest treasures and I, the midwife. We’ve been close, intimate one might say. I yearn for a simpler time, oven. I think back to our grandfather, Mr. brick oven, his resonate heat enhanced the quality of food. His alacrity was none in comparison to yours, but haste is for naught if your dry heat is drying to our food. For example, just the other week when we were practicing our famous holiday croquembouche, you over croqued and the whole pastry mountain was that of the Rockies. I’ve been looking around and have found someone new, someone who can work with your alacrity and maintain the resonate heat integrity of your grandfather. Steam oven! Steam oven invigorates the molecules of food by reintroducing moisture into it as opposed to drying it out. I’m sorry oven, but I think the time has come for me to move on.
Conversations of this nature are trying and not easy for any party involved, but once you both have cooled off and you move in your new steam oven that delivers you an MMMM!!-worthy holiday spread, the days of dry heat convection ovens will fade from mind. Most popular brands are manufacturing the steam heat oven now and while its hard to pin point a leader, for the higher price point, Sub-Zero & Wolf deliver a quality product ranging between $3,500 – $5,000. For a more economical option that doesn’t sacrifice quality, look to Jenn-Air sitting at around $3,000.
If you can’t drop the culinary dogma about secrets in sauces, here’s a pro tip that will only enhance your saucy secrets. The age old Gas-Electric conflict is second only to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as far as heated debates go. Unfortunately BU has no peace treaty for Israel or Palestine, but for the Gas-Electric debaters, this holiday season may we offer you the peace treaties of peace treaties, the induction cooking surface. Drop all your weapons, for now all you will need are conductive metal pots and pans.
Induction cooking surfaces are designed to use magnetic fields to create heat. When you turn on your cooktop, you’re activating a magnet that will vibrate the metal molecules of the pan. This heating process is quick, cutting the boiling time of a pot of water up to 6 minutes. Inductive heating is also very controllable, where a lot of complaints of gas cooktops being unable to simmer, the magnetic force of inductive cooktops can easily be adjusted to extremely low or high settings. These cooktops run off electricity, so no gas hook-up is required. Make sure to check the amp service running to your cooktop, a 30″ induction cooktop requires a standard 40 amp service, a 36″ cooktop will need 50 amp service.
Cookers. Eaters. This holiday season give the yule log a break. Heat up the house with the spirit and integrity of holiday past and the haste of holiday present. And in holiday future, that searing how is it? will be answered by the mmmmm-ful before it hits the table.