Monthly Archives: April 2016

Outdoor Cooking and the Appeal of the Grill

Grills and outdoor cooking has been a traditional way of cooking and achieving the grilled taste of wood-cooked food. Grills make cooking convenient and safe. Through this the fire is distributed evenly under the bottom of a cookware. It is advisable that no child or children would come near it to make outdoor cooking safe and enjoyable. On a nice summer day, families enjoy cooking outdoors with different recipes that are easy to prepare as well as cook.

There are different tools to make outdoor cooking and grilling more fun. There are stores that offer different tools at affordable or reasonable prices. You can choose from different products that you will need for your outdoor cooking during a family gathering or camping. You can also do your outdoor cooking in the garden where everybody could enjoy a warm sunny day and cool air.

Grills are effective tools when barbecuing and to achieve this you have to have the grills thoroughly cleaned. Cleaning grills is a way to evenly distribute heat and also for sanitary purposes. Another reason for cleaning the grills is to make it last longer.

Grilling and Outdoor Activities

When families or friends go for a camping trip, one of the best tools is the portable grill. You could prop it securely to the ground. One way to make sure that the food is not overcooked is having with you an all-in-one timer and thermometer. Wood chips are also essential when doing grills and outdoor cooking.

Another way of enjoying a garden barbeque or a poolside cooking experience is having a table that is made of granite with a grill in the middle. The lower part of the table is made of sturdy steel that makes it safe. This table adds to the appeal of outdoor dining because of the color as well as portability.

Very hot summer or bitterly cold days should not stop you from enjoying barbecuing because there are portable table top grills. There are also propane gas and gas grills that you could choose from at your nearest outdoor store. Another way of adding flavor to your food is using bisquettes which are available in packs that makes them convenient to use. There are different flavors that you could choose from depending on what you will be cooking. You will be lucky to have a store that offers grills and outdoor cooking tools and other products at great and reasonable prices.

For each product you need on your next outdoor cooking there are different information that you could learn through Internet research and going to your favorite outdoor activity catering store. Professional services are also provided when it comes to helping you with the installation and other instructions concerning the product that you plan to buy. Another way of enjoying the grills and outdoor cooking is availing of catering services and this will save you time as well as money. All you have to do is look for these catering services using either the traditional yellow pages, asking around or through the net which is the easiest so far.


Cooking Oil Recycling

Impact of Cooking Oil Disposal

With over 2.5 billion gallons of used cooking oil created in the U.S. annually, proper oil disposal is a significant waste management issue. Due to the environmental impact of grease disposal, a conscious effort should always be made to recycle rather than disposed of waste oil. Grease disposal into a landfill can lead to long-term environmental harm. Furthermore, used oil is often improperly disposed of down kitchen drains, which can lead to clogged plumbing, sewer blockage, and groundwater contamination. Here are some facts about the negative environmental and financial impact of grease disposal:

  • The City of San Francisco spends $3.5 million every year to unclog sewers, with a large contributor being cooking oil poured down drains
  • One liter of waste cooking oil can contaminate up to one million liters of groundwater
  • Animals exposed to large amounts of cooking oil are at risk of suffocation, smothering, and coating of fur and feathers

Benefits of Cooking Oil Recycling

Recycling has become easier for both households and businesses in recent years. Many municipalities have implemented grease recycling programs and more companies have focused on providing oil recycling and grease trap cleaning services to businesses that create large amounts of waste oil. The majority of what is recycled is refined into various types of biofuels used for fueling automobiles and home heating. Some of the benefits of recycling include:

  • Biofuels produced from vegetable oil burn cleaner, emitting 78% less carbon dioxide than traditional diesel fuel
  • Biofuels, when used as an alternative to traditional fuels, have the potential to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint by 80%
  • Recycling can provide additional revenue for restaurants in the form of compensation from the recycling company, as well as significant tax deductions
  • Reduction in the blocking and deterioration of sewage systems

The many benefits of recycling grease are leading to widespread implementation of grease recycling and waste oil collection programs:

  • In Europe, more than 80% of used vegetable oil is currently being converted into biofuel
  • The average U.S. McDonald’s restaurant recycles nearly 1,450 gallons of oil per year
  • 100% of used oil from Darden Restaurants is recycled (Darden owns popular restaurant chains including Red Lobster and Olive Garden)

How Can you Recycle Cooking Oil?

Recycling For Households

  1. Go to Dispose of Cooking Oil to have all the necessary information about proper disposal and recycling at your fingertips
  2. After cooking, allow the oil to cool down and pour it into plastic storage containers. You can store the containers in the freezer to allow the oil to solidify and prevent spills during transportation to the recycling drop-off point
  3. Locate your nearest recycling drop-off location
  4. Plan ahead for recycling. Designate storage containers and drop-off periodically (e.g. once per month)
  5. Be happy that you are protecting your home and city from damage, helping the environment, and possibly earning some extra money for your used oil

Note: Many cities and recycling companies will offer additional drop-off locations after Thanksgiving to handle increased demand.

Recycling for Businesses (e.g. restaurants)

Since most businesses produce much larger amounts of cooking oil than the typical household, it is best to hire a waste oil recycling company to provide recycling services. Many of these services provide compensation for waste grease on a per-gallon basis.

Whether you use cooking oil in your household or business, it is important to learn about proper disposal and recycling, so you can do your part to help the environment and potentially improve your bottom line.


How to Choose a Cooking School

Cooking schools or culinary schools as they are also called are classic illustrations of the premise that if you want to join a trade, the best and only thing to do is to learn it from those who practice it. Before there were cooking schools, those aspiring to become chefs would work at restaurants and hotels as apprentices, toiling eighteen hours a day, mostly for little or no wages, learning from master chefs. Although this is no longer the standard practice today, many senior chefs do take on apprentices who arrive at their food service facilities as interns.

The Latter-day Scenario

For those interested in becoming a chef at a restaurant, hotel, golf club or a catering facility, cooking schools offer the best alternative to full-blown hospitality degrees from established universities where cooking is one of the focus areas-not the only focus area. As is the case with every category of educational institutions or institutions of higher learning, cooking schools provide students with a dazzling array of choices. Here are three factors to consider when selecting a cooking school for yourself.

Chef’s School in the Right Location

Although most cooking schools are self-contained and provide most if not all the learning facilities one may need to become a professional chef, cooking schools located in or near large cities tend to have a strategic advantage. Proximity to a large city, especially one that boasts a culinary tradition of its own like New Orleans, New York or San Francisco, allows you to build your very own network which can be useful when you enter the job market. Moreover, your cooking school is able to arrange site visits and project trips to area restaurants, hotels and resorts more frequently as the gamut of choices tends to be more widespread.

Cuisine Style and Teaching Philosophy

Cooking is both a science and an art. Many cooking schools will offer you more than one culinary choice in terms of the cooking degree they will offer you. However, there are culinary schools which specialize only in one culinary style and these are traditionally known to be superior. You should take this factor into consideration when narrowing your choices down to the right cooking school for you. If it is French cooking that interests you, look for a culinary school that specializes in French cooking. If you are planning to become an Italian chef, seek a reputable cooking school that specializes in Italian cuisine. Better still, consider pursuing your degree in its country of origin. If you pursued the culinary degree in Italy for instance, you wouldn’t learn just Italian cooking but more specifically Tuscany style cooking, Venetian cuisine or northern Italian cookery.

Conducting a Cost Benefit Analysis of your Proposed Cooking School Degree

Once you have short-listed the cooking schools that interest you, it is time to perform a cost benefit analysis. Divide the total tuition fee by the total number of contact hours you will be spending in a classroom and laboratory or learning kitchen environment to arrive at an approximate per-hour cost of instruction at the school. Although this is by no means the only measure of evaluation, using this figure as a benchmark is an excellent way for you to assess the value proposition.

There are scores of online resources you can use when researching the right culinary school for yourself. The extent of research you could will, to a great extend, determine the kind of culinary training you will receive. Therefore, take the time to explore possibilities using as many online resources as you can find and chances are that you will eventually find yourself in a culinary school that will well surpass your expectations.


How to Choose a Camping Stove

When it’s time to purchase camping gear there are many things to consider. How often do you plan on upgrading your equipment or replacing it? If you’re like me, I like to buy quality, knowing that what I buy will last a few years. When you buy camping stoves the same applies. I decided to buy the best camping stove to meet my needs. I use 2 types of stoves for tent camping when you can drive close to your campsite. I use another type of stove for backpack camping, where you’re more interested in a small and lightweight model for heating things up.

Important considerations in choosing the right camping stove for your use are where you’ll be camping and how many people you’ll be cooking for? For tent camping in a campground area, the two-burner propane or white gas stoves work well. I use a two-burner stove that uses white gas and a single burner propane stove. This set-up works well for a family of 4 or 5. The two-burner white gas stove works great for cooking, since it is easier to control the flame and does not burn as hot. The single burner propane stove works great for heating water for hot drinks and for washing water – both for personal hygiene and washing/rinsing dishes.

Many lightweight stoves come with a push button ignition. However, always bring water-proof matches and a camping lighter as a back-up.

Most lightweight stoves come with a carrying case to protect them when they’re being stored and packed.

Each type of stove has its own fuel needs. Make sure you bring enough of the right kind of fuel for your usage needs. The types of fuels are: propane, butane, isobutene, and white gas.

Most fuel types can be used for lanterns as well as for stoves. Make sure you get stoves and lanterns that use the same type of fuel to make life easier.

Having the right camping stoves for your situation will definitely add to your camping enjoyment, but if you don’t have the right cooking equipment it could ruin what should be a fantastic time.