Category Archives: Food

Cooking with a heat gun: Searing meat, roasting marshmallows with super-hot air

What if I told you a household tool could be used to sear all kinds of food — including steaks — indoors, with no smoke, and no chemical odors?

From sous vide steak, to chicken skin, to marshmallows, I’ve been using a powerful tool that puts out super-hot air to cook all sorts of foods. And when I say power tool, literally this kitchen gadget was originally designed for industrial purposes.

Learn more about cooking in the kitchen with heat guns!

Published in the Austin-American Statesman!

While most of our articles are published online, from time to time articles written by one of the TastingBuds appears in print. We’ve done interviews before and even appeared on TV, but we haven’t had a full feature in another publication … until now. Recently Peter’s enthusiasm for the convenience of air fryers spilled over into a three-page story for the local newspaper, The Austin American-Statesman.

Learn more about our article in the Austin American-Statesman

Meat substitute, green jackfruit can replace shredded pork, but how does it taste?

I’ve enjoyed the intensely sweet, slightly stinky taste of ripened jackfruit for decades, as it’s a popular fruit (which sort of looks like a rough, armored watermelon with spikes) in Asian cuisine. If you’ve never had the sweet version of the fruit before, it tastes like a cross between a very ripe mango and a pineapple, but slightly stinkier. Some people compare its flavor to Juicy Fruit gum. And if you are familiar with durian, it’s like a much less pungent version of that fragrant fruit.

But recently, the unripened version of the fruit, green jackfruit (sometimes called young jackfruit), has been touted as a miracle food that might replace meat in some instances. Intrigued, I had to give it a try. So I popped into Trader Joes (one of my regular grocery stops) to buy a 20-ounce can of “green jackfruit in brine” for $2. When I opened the can, I was greeted by triangular pieces of fleshy fruit fiber that looked a bit like pineapple wedges.

Find out if you should try green jackfruit!

Do Air Fryers work? What is an Air Fryer? A GoWise Air Fryer Review + FAQ

First things first… What is an air fryer? And why are celebrities like Oprah recommending them to their millions of followers? Here’s why:

An air fryer, like the GoWISE USA 8-in-1 Electric Air Fryer is a programmable, very-easy-to-clean convection oven appliance that uses a fan to blow hot air around food evenly, which helps you quickly make food very crispy, without using tons of oil (hence the name air fryer).

In other words: An air fryer is an appliance the size of a rice cooker that lets you make perfect fries, tater tots, and hash browns faster than you can drive to Sonic or McDonalds.

Learn if an air fryer is worth it

Austin Food you can Enjoy Anywhere (no matter where you live)

Austin is a great destination for foodies. There’s an abundance of great BBQ, Mexican food, hip restaurants and cafes, food trucks, and bars in the capital Texas. But what if you don’t live close enough to try out the best places to eat in the ATX?

No worries… Even if you’re nowhere close, you can still get a taste some of the delicious foods Austin has to offer from the comfort your very own home, no matter where you live in the US.

Find out how to order Austin foods anywhere in the US!

Great Restaurants and Bars on South Lamar: Walkable Austin Nightlife

Austin, Texas has seen incredible growth over the last decade, in both the number of new residents and new businesses opening their doors. In particular, the area on South Lamar within walking distance of the Alamo Drafthouse has seen an explosion of hip bars and restaurants. I’ve witnessed this first hand, since moving to the neighborhood in 2009 and seeing something new and exciting pop up every couple of months.

Now with so many things to eat and drink on South Lamar, you no longer have to go downtown to 6th street, the warehouse district, or Rainey Street to get your nightlife fix. If you want a low-key night out, you can park once on South Lamar, then walk to more than a dozen restaurants and bars within 2 blocks of each other. What’s better, all of the parking is free and you don’t have to deal with huge crowds.

Discover great food and drink on South Lamar in Austin, Texas!

Best Pressure Cooker Recipes: Instant Pot Favorites

So you have your hands on a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, but aren’t quite sure what dish you should make next? An electronic pressure cooker is an extremely versatile kitchen appliance equally capable of roasting meats, making delicious stews, making perfect rice, or even baking breads.

And because a pressure cooker can speed cooking times greatly when compared to a standard slow cooker, you can put a huge number of delicious, healthy meals on the table in no time. Ready to get started? Below is a list of our favorite tried-and-true pressure cooker recipes that we’ve made several times in the past.

Chicken adobo made in the Instant Pot pressure cooker

Discover more than a dozen pressure cooker recipes!

Moka Pot: Make espresso without the machine… at home (like an Italian!)

You don’t need to go to Starbucks or your local hipster coffee shop to get your caffeine fix. To get strong coffee, you don’t even need to buy an expensive espresso machine that hogs limited kitchen counter space either.

If you want to make really eye-opening coffee that’s like espresso without the machine, make it like the Italians do… quickly and very cheaply at home, using a moka pot.

Learn more about how to make great coffee at home with a moka pot!

Secrets to the perfect steak: Cooking sous vide

Want to make the perfect grilled steak? Sous vide is a great method to cook steak exactly how you want it, but most sous vide steak recipes on the internet lack a critical steps that make all the difference between mediocre meat and a perfectly cooked, mouth-watering masterpiece.

Many sous vide enthusiasts get frustrated when they can’t replicate the perfect steak they see on blogs, videos, or Instagram. I was in the same boat for a long time. You know what it looks like, the perfect steak has a uniform, pink color on the inside and a thin, beautifully caramelized sear on the outside. And a great sous vide steak looks so invitingly juicy and tender.

But contrary to popular belief, it’s pretty easy to mess up a steak when cooking sous vide. In my years of cooking sous vide, I’ve made all of the newbie mistakes.

Learn how to cook the perfect sous vide steak

Healthy Homemade Dog Food… Fast (with a pressure cooker)

Healthy Dog Food Pressure Cooker

When our Boston Terrier Jack turned 10, we started to think more about his health, especially with the low-quality, dangerous dog food causing illness and even death in some pets. We didn’t want to feed him mass-produced dog food, even from previously well-trusted brands.

We decided that cooking quality, human-grade food made of chicken, veggies, and grains was the best way to ensure he’s eating well. And our recipe was a hit with Jack, a notoriously picky eater. Additionally, since feeding him this fresh dog food, we get lots of compliments on how shiny his coat is and how young he looks.

When we started making the recipe below, we were cooking with a crock pot, which required 8 hours of cook time. While we were happy with the result, it was far too time consuming to make.

Healthy Dog Food Pressure Cooker

When I adapted the same recipe for my Instant Pot electronic pressure cooker, I could cook everything in 1 hour. Also, the quality of the dog food I made was much better than with a crock pot, results were more consistent (it’s easy to control precisely how long each ingredient cooks), and cleanup became much easier (no more burnt on food on the sides of a pot).

Check out our recipe for healthy dog food