Not gonna lie, I was a little afraid to read all your comments in this week’s special Sear Series edition of Co-op. Seriously, you guys have raked me over the BBQ coals for some trivial things in the past, and I was wholly expecting someone to shatter my self esteem for that embarrassing ramen episode.
But alas, here we are with a ton of helpful responses with diversified picks from the Co-opulace—I love you guys and gals!
You all made some helpful suggestions, especially those who deemed a recipe subscription as an essential tool in defiance of user-curated sites like AllRecipes, where that macaroni pie somehow earned 4.5 stars despite looking more like maggot pie and tasting like an MRE. (And that was Martha Stewart’s!) I’ll give it a go once I’m more comfortable clanging around the kitchen.
Also, can I tell you all how glad I am to see there were very few actual appliance recommendations? I hate buying overly-specialized equipment that I’ll only use a few times a year, so you hit the nail right on the head. (I did just buy this smart air fryer for Wing Wednesdays, though!)
I don’t think I’ll be able to put on my grill master apron by the time July 4th rolls around, but the world is officially on notice for Labor Day. With that, ze picks!
A big ass cast iron pizza pan. I’ve never actually cooked pizza on it, but it stays on the big burner of my stove all the time. I have other cast iron pans but I use this for 90% of my cast iron cooking. If you don’t already have an integrated flat top on your stove, these are essential for everyday searing, browning, etc. It can grill 4 grilled cheeses at a time. It’s also great for big quesadillas, chicken breasts, and smash burgers. I even sear 7lb strip roasts when I make roast beef. - brnpttmn
I’ll say cast iron in general, particularly a good cast iron skillet. Yeah they seem scary but think of a cast iron pan like a baseball glove. Use it regularly, do a little bit of maintenance every time you use it, and it’ll be your favorite for a lifetime. - ltfields
The difference between a good pork chop and a dry puck, the difference between succulent chicken and chicken that will kill you, and the difference between a tasty steak and something the president would order? Temperature.
A good instant read thermometer is a must. Since we’re dealing with noobs, a Thermoworks Thermopop would be a great choice. Reasonably priced and far better quality than whatever random product Amazon slaps their “recommended” label on. You could do far worse. - MrHP
Global Chef’s Knife | $86
A good chef’s knife is essential. I am partial to my Global Classic, but any decent (and sharp!) knife that feels comfortable in your hand should be one of your first buys.
I like the Global because I can easily move my hand up on the blade for more control. I also like the way the knife rocks back and forth on a surface. Again, any knife better than one you get in a $20 set of five is 100 percent worth your investment.
Oh, and don’t put it in the dishwasher! - Benjamin Dashley
Fuckton of Bowls | $24
HelloFresh Subscription | Starts at $7.50 per meal
My wife and I have a lot of the fun stuff—slow cooker, pressure cooker, cast iron, air fryer oven. But our use of them has been limited to finding recipes online that actually work and taste good.
So out of all that stuff we bought, the best meals we have had recently is when we started doing HelloFresh. And besides a stovetop, oven and meat thermometer, it’s just following directions. I have eaten so muc new, good food that on the days of the week we go back to our usual recipes and gadgets I’m longing for the next delivery to arrive - rezzyk