Kitchen Hacks: Cooking Tools

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This week's kitchen hacks will focus on tools that can take your cooking from good to great!

Let's start with cedar planks. Have you heard of them? They're a great resource for grilling chicken or fish. I found my planks on but they're also often available in grocery stores near the barbecue supplies.

To use a cedar plank, submerge the whole thing in water and soak it for an hour or two. When the time is up, take it out of the water, put your protein on top, and then place the plank on a preheated grill. Cook until the chicken or fish reaches your desired level of doneness (a good thermometer can help you get perfect results) then remove the whole thing from the grill and serve.

With a cedar plank, you get a lot of flavor without the fire flare ups that cause burnt, uneven cooking. Plus, your food won't taste charred or dried out. Using a cedar plank is a great way to serve your items and keep them hot, too.

Cedar Plank

Now let's shift gears and talk pizza tools.

Did you know that the latest oven roasting technology for pizza and grilled items is a steel stone?

Crazy, huh?

If you put a steel stone in your oven, then it will bake and roast things with a new crispness that is better than the traditional stones because it gets hotter.

How did I discover this kitchen hack? Well, a few weeks ago, I got to watch the famous pizza chef Tony Gemignani (author of the Pizza Bible) in action at the CIA Greystone in Napa as part of the Flavor of Napa series. And what did he pull out of his bag of tricks? A steel stone! I couldn't believe the results he got with such a simple resource.

Speaking of pizza, you can make amazing dough in a bread machine! And here is the cutter that was used to easily cut a pizza without the mess of a wheel.

But I've saved the best for last.

Tony’s best tip is to use a more robust sauce for thicker crust pizzas and a simpler sauce for thinner crust pizzas. His Sicilian sauce is made with 3 types of tomatoes: crushed, pureed, and paste. Mix them together, then add garlic, rosemary, basil, oregano, sea salt, and olive oil and combine with an immersion blender.

I highly recommend his book!

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As always, none of this stuff is sponsored. It all arises out of my very own personal experience.

Other Fun Kitchen Hacks:

Today's Kitchen Hack Handout:

A free printable kitchen hack handout, just for you!

Kitchen Hacks: Pizza

And, as a grand finale, here are some of my favorite cooking and kitchen materials from the Nutrition Education Store!

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