8 Fun and Frugal Kitchen Hacks for Men
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The below is excerpted from the book The Culinary Bro-Down Cookbook by Josh Scherer. Copyright © 2017 by Josh Scherer. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.
There are a few essential kitchen tools you’ll need before embarking on this liquor-and-animal-fat-fueled food journey. Since cooking is all about accuracy, precision, and consistency, you’ll need to purchase top-of-the-line equipment to set yourself up for success.
A Cuisinart food processor, Viking range, Le Creuset Dutch oven, one of those fridges that look like cabinets but they’re actually fridges—you’re going to need to buy all these things, immediately. Seriously, why are you still reading and not at Costco buying a three-pack of food dehydrators right now?
Psych! I own a grand total of none of these things, and I never intend to own most of them. Except for one of those secret camouflage fridges, those seem pretty rad. Imagine how safe your snacks would be if no one could find them but you...
I’ve never owned a stand mixer, hand mixer, rolling pin, steamer, rice cooker, deep fryer (OK, I had one for a month, but it was a total nightmare), or a pan that cost more than $29.99. All these things are wholly unnecessary if you know the right techniques to get around them. If you can get inside these simple machines’ heads—if you can find out what makes them tick—you can master their basic operations. You can become the (wait for it) ultimate machine. Every recipe in this book can be made using the following 8 fun and frugal kitchen hacks, and the extra money you save can go towards a worthy cause. Let’s not kid ourselves—you’re going to use it for beer.
8 Easy Kitchen Hacks for Men
1. Instead of a ROLLING PIN, use an empty wine bottle.
First things first; drink that bottle of wine, champ, you earned it. Second thing, you better be rolling out pasta dough because otherwise you’re on your way to violating Culinary Brommandment number 8: Baking blows. Drop the parchment paper and dough cutter, bro. If you rub flour on the wine bottle, it won’t stick to your dough and you can use it just like a rolling pin. A quick note: This is exclusive to wine bottles. Wine bags and boxes— though ideal for drinking—will not yield similar results.
2. Instead of a BISCUIT CUTTER, use an empty beer bottle.
Unless you’re Colonel Sanders—and I hope you are—and your livelihood depends on the rate at which your employees churn out uniform circles of dough, you don’t really need a biscuit cutter. (Also, Mr. Colonel, if you do read this, I’m a huge fan of your work on the Double Down.) You already know how I feel about baking, but you get a pass on biscuits because they’re stupid easy to make and their most immediate pairing is with fried chicken and/or gravy. Objection sustained. Press the beer bottle gently on the surface of your dough and follow the curvature with a paring knife for perfectly uniform cuts.
3. Instead of a MEAT MALLET, use an empty vodka bottle.
Empty alcohol bottles make up at least 85 percent of my kitchen arsenal at this point. I’m still trying to find a way to make a stand mixer with a case of D batteries and a six-pack of Mike’s Hard. It can be done. It must be done. Wrap your piece of meat in plastic wrap—or shove it into a gallon-size Ziploc bag—to avoid damaging the flesh, then gently beat the shit out of it with a bottle until it’s at the desired thinness. I’ve also found that using your fists works shockingly well. I actually prefer it now. When your hands are in direct contact with the meat, you can really get a better feel for evenness. Either way, the choice is up to you. I’m not going to be like Ice Cube’s dad in Friday and demand that you use your fists.
4. Instead of an EXPENSIVE FOOD PROCESSOR, get a cheap-ass blender.
Any liquid you would buzz up in a food processor you can also throw into any free blender you found on Craigslist. I still use my free Internet blender that I got six years ago—thanks, Craig! Alternatively, you could buy an immersion blender for as little as $10. Cheap food processors tend to break more easily than a blender because they have multiple moving parts. Plus, the free blender I got has one of those dispenser nozzles that come in handy when you’re trying to serve piña coladas en masse.