Posted on: 7 December 2015Share
There have been many technological advances in the culinary world over the last century, enabling us to create evermore delectable food, including the fan oven, deep fryers and the practical cook's dream - the microwave. While there is no doubting the usefulness of the above appliances, they do have their limitations. Some food just tastes better when cooked using techniques that have seemingly been around forever. Here are three dishes that taste better when prepared using cooking methods that have stood the test of time:
Pizza: Whenever you order from a pizza delivery company, it is highly likely they cook their pizza in a traditional Italian wood-fired oven. This is why no matter how hard you try, it is impossible to replicate that unique combination of a mouth-watering smoky flavour and perfectly chewy crust you get from wood-fired pizza in a conventional oven at home. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of wood-fired masonry ovens from the ruins of Pompeii, meaning this cooking method has survived over 3,800 years! They remain an extremely popular cooking appliance in Italy, where many households have their own wood-fired ovens to ensure their pizzas are cooked to perfection every time. If you have a free weekend, it might be a good idea to spend it constructing a wood-fired oven - your taste buds will thank you.
Rib-eye Steak: You can't get any more caveman than cooking a big hunk of meat over an actual fire and sharing it with friends. There is something inherently satisfying about going back to your primal roots and grilling meat over an open fire. Rib-eye is perfect as it is marbled with fat, which will melt when exposed to the intense heat of a white-hot flame, imparting a wonderfully charred flavour on your steak while keeping it sumptuously moist. You just don't get that with a normal home grill. Maybe it is time to arrange that camping trip with your friends that you have been putting off for way too long. Just make sure everybody brings a nice hunk of rib-eye (beers optional).
Bread: While conventional ovens are extremely useful for cooking a number of dishes quickly, bread is not one of those dishes. Your normal oven at home does not retain as much heat as the oven in a bakery, making it damn near impossible to bake an artisan loaf of bread with a beautiful crust that has an almost synesthetic crackle to it. But there is a way to achieve this kind of consistency as a home-cook. Chances are you have a casserole dish (or Dutch oven) lying around the house somewhere. These pots have been used for centuries as cooking vessels and they provide much better insulation than just sticking your dough straight into the oven. Place your bread dough into a casserole dish, with the lid tightly packed on top and then put it into the oven or cook it over a fire. This makes a perfect bread loaf every time. Just be careful when you are handling a Dutch oven, those handles tend to get scalding hot!