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The Chef shows you why it's important to start with a hot pan

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02 April 2010

The Chef shows you why it's important to start with a hot pan

It's the little things, really.

Chopping an onion a bit more slowly, so the pieces are uniform size instead of bludgeoned.

Choosing the less sexy vegetable in season instead of the one we think we want, all the way from Chile.

Seasoning a piece of meat with salt and pepper from chest height, instead of right on top of it, to make sure it tastes good.

And then there's the hot pan.

Before I met Danny, I was impatient to eat. I didn't cook as much as I do now. I certainly didn't enjoy it the way I do now. I thought the point of all this was to put food on the plate, and fast.

How much I missed!

When I started to cook a chicken breast, before I met Danny, I turned on the burner, plonked down a skillet, poured in the oil, and plopped down the meat. All within 30 seconds of each other.

Danny taught me a different way. Want to see what a difference it makes?

39 Comments:

At 1:24 AM, Blogger thenewstead6 said...

Love the video (and the t-shirt, lol) - hope to see more of these in the future?...

 
At 1:35 AM, Blogger Untypically Jia said...

This was so awesome! I really hope that you put more videos up! I loved this!

 
At 3:20 AM, Blogger Assateague Girl said...

This is great. thank you! :)

 
At 4:16 AM, Blogger Sus & co said...

does it matter which pan you use? like if you switched the cast iron for the other in your video?

 
At 7:26 AM, Blogger PJSeaburn said...

Ooooohhhh! (Light Bulb) THANKS!!

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger MsJess said...

This rule about having a hot pan counts at least twice or three times when you are stir frying. Pan's got to be super duper hot.

 
At 9:01 AM, Anonymous heather said...

I have recently discovered the whole hot pan thing with venison steak. Holy shamoly. I never liked venison steak. It was tough and dry and terrible. I never thought about the fact that I was slowly boiling it to death. So I only ever now prepare my venison in a piping hot pan, a little butter, I sear it and, if needed finish it in the oven. My husband and I can now put down a whole venison steak and want more.

By the by, have you ever done anything on venison here? I would love to hear you and the Chef's ideas on how to prepare it prior to cooking it. Seasonings, marinades, etc. Just a thought. And even what kinds of side dishes might go well with it. I am rather unimaginative that way. :)

 
At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Makes so much sense! Thanks for posting that video!! And thanks to both of you for all your hard work...truly a labor of love!

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Cindy said...

Good job! Nicely done.

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Allison the Meep said...

I lovelovelove when you do videos. Shine on (or video on?) you crazy diamonds.

 
At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Sarah said...

Oh, this one made me laugh! I was the same way when I met my guy. I am still learning about "hot pans" and why they are our friends. He is going to get a kick out of this... sounds just like him.

Thanks for sharing, and kudos on the sponsorship adventure!

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Sean-Michael said...

I never knew that! All the cooking classes my mother sent me to and they never once mentioned heating the pan (or wok etc.) FIRST ...at least not that I remember LOL

 
At 3:43 PM, Anonymous elizabee said...

I just wanted to say, I love watching the Chef in your kitchen, and I love to hear your voice in the background, Shauna. It is so wonderful to see the hodgepodge of real-life in the background; the precarious stacks of inspiring cookbooks, the appliances crowded together on the counter, the postcards stuck above the stove. It just makes the whole "cooking thing" seem so much more a part of real life instead of the modern cooking show glam and gloss. Thanks for all your great tips and for inviting us into your very comfy kitchen- I feel like I'm at home.

 
At 6:33 PM, Blogger Debra said...

OMG! I am SO guilty! Thanks for an educational video and of course, all these great gluten free reciepts.

 
At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Dinners and Dreams said...

Great tips. Thank Shauna and Danny!

Happy Easter and have a wonderful weekend!

Nisrine

 
At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Tina B. said...

Nice! The hot pan was something I had to learn too :-) Now, I need to learn the "not cooking the chichen to death" lesson. You guys are awesome.
Any chance these videos can be captioned for my Deaf friends?

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Elena Rego said...

I was the same way. And I'm learning that everything has its own alchemical process... a heated pan is everything. Loved the video by the way!

 
At 1:58 PM, Anonymous julie said...

Seriously helpful - now I need help on the grill.....

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Miss Kris said...

Love the video - keep them coming! I did have a hard time hearing the audio at points - especially towards the end. I'm not sure if there is much you can do about that, but if you can, please do!

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger sweetpea said...

It really does speak for itself. And damm Shauna, that Danny is handsome, made for movies to be sure.

 
At 6:33 PM, Blogger Chef Fresco said...

I used to be the exact same way before I met Michael! And who knew about the hot pan thing!?

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Julie said...

Excellent lesson! Thank you! :-)

 
At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Melissa CT said...

Hey, thanks for this- very informative. Danny seems incredibly friendly and experty.

I have a question - I am a vegetarian and I wondered if the same principles are true for vegetables as meat. For example, if you are sauteeing a pan of onions, does the same apply? How about if you are "searing" a portobella or a veggie burger? Thanks!! :-)

 
At 9:05 AM, Anonymous bigjobsboard said...

Wow. Thanks for sharing this video! I am really thankful to see this one!

 
At 12:48 PM, Anonymous abbie said...

you guys are terrific. I so enjoyed this. Somehow I didn't realize the cooking thing...I did realize the sticking thing...because that is what my pan user instruction booklet said...;)

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Cove Girl said...

Great video. Now I have ammo to show to my roommate. Ha!!! I'm right yet again:) Patience and cooking go hand in hand.

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Sarcastic Celiac said...

This is the kind of thing I would never figure out on my own, but always wonder why my chicken turned out weird... Thanks for the info!

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger Maria said...

Great video. Thanks!

 
At 7:59 PM, Blogger hannah | honey & jam said...

Loved that video.

 
At 8:39 PM, Anonymous diane and todd said...

Awesome video! wow, you really gave the best visual EVER on why it's important to start with a hot pan. Bravo to the both of you! can't wait to see more!

 
At 10:03 PM, Blogger ~k said...

Oh. My. Goodness.

Indeed, it's speaks for itself. But so does my smoke alarm when I try to heat my pan first...guess the cook at my house (ahem, me...) needs a little more practice with this technique, huh?

Thanks y'all. I think I love you.
:O)

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Diana said...

but how do I know when the chicken is done? this has puzzled me forever so I overboil the chicken--which I know now not to do!
www.pencildancer.com

 
At 2:32 PM, Anonymous michelle said...

Thanks so much for the great video! I tried it with chicken and it worked great. The scallops I tried it on tonight, not so much - a total splattery oil everywhere mess. They were tasty though!

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger Jen said...

Love it! Always knew my pan needed to be hot, but now I can see why!

 
At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Amber said...

Well that was interesting...I never knew! I use non-stick pans mostly so haven't noticed the sticking problem but can see the difference it makes.

A suggestion to improve the audio might be to get The Chef a microphone? I think the sizzling of the pan took over and drowned out the voices for a bit.

Will be watching to see what tips you give us next!

 
At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Amy O'Kane said...

it really does come down to the basics. thanks for sharing another great tip!

 
At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Lisa said...

didn't Julia Childs say that the meat needs to be dry also in order to get a nice brown?

 
At 8:02 AM, Blogger Spice Lovely said...

This is so helpful. I've been cooking for years, but this is one of those things that's so easy to pass over and not even think about. Thanks for the video demo! Visual learning always helps.

 
At 9:42 AM, Anonymous John La Puma, MD said...

What I really like about your cooking and your site is that you're helping people become better cooks.

It's sort of miraculous to me that GF cooks are doing that (and to some extent, vegan cooks are too, in a different vein).

But it's taken a health condition for which the only cure is the right food (celiac is the best known condition, but not the only one, as we show on http://ChefMD.com) to get people back to the kitchen to DIY. The best medicine--delivered with authenticity, beauty and funky charm--is in your kitchen, market, grocery store and back yard.

Great work. Love what you're doing.
Warmly
John La Puma MD

 

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