Let's say you're in the process of coating a gorgeous ribeye steak with an all-purpose dry rub. Do you really want to individually sprinkle every single spice jar over the meat? Not really -- especially when you run the risk of having a tablespoon of cayenne fly out of the jar, necessitating a rinse off, dry off, and do over. We've all been there. Even if you've pre-assembled the dry ingredients, sprinkling the rub on by hand leads to uneven results at best. The smartest thing to do (for this and any other multi-spice application) is keep a dedicated spice strainer in your kitchen's utensil drawer.
Just pull out the herbs and spices you want to use, combine them in a ramekin (you might know them as a pinch or mini bowl), put them in a small stainless-steel strainer, and tap-tap-tap your way to perfectly even seasoning. Imagine how much more quickly things will go if you're getting ready to grill for a party and have a line of chicken thighs packed into a baking dish, ready to be seasoned. With a spice strainer, you can knock that job out in seconds.
Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling
The Best Cook Is A Prepared Cook
The French have a term for this level of culinary preparation: "mise en place." Literally translating to "put in place," it refers to the gastronomic discipline of comprehensive prepping. Not only does mise en place mean having everything washed, peeled, and chopped beforehand, it also calls on the cook to have every needed cooking utensil organized and at the ready before any cooking starts.
You can't really overdo this idea of mise en place -- it's so smart to line up your ingredients in cooking order prior to heating up the pan. Those of us who've frantically searched for something in the pantry while the butter burns in the sauté pan have already learned this lesson. With respect to the topic at hand, a ramekin of measured-out seasonings placed next to a spice strainer is a thing of beauty -- organizationally, at least, if not aesthetically.
From Baking To Grilling To Everything In Between
Home bakers likely already have a small, fine-mesh strainer, because it's the only way to sift out the lumps from ingredients like baking powder and powdered sugar. There's simply no other way to evenly dust a tiramisu with cocoa powder without one. If you already own one of these, great. Now it's time to think about investing in a loose-mesh version for savory ingredients.
Let's say you want to season cubed chicken breast pieces with Cajun seasoning for a gumbo. Dried thyme and basil leaves won't make it through a fine-mesh strainer; neither will coarse salt or any spices that aren't powdered. A small strainer with a looser mesh will handle all these ingredients beautifully, evenly depositing them onto the waiting filets, roasts, and steaks. There's one more upside to mastering the French art of mise en place: it makes you feel like an honest-to-goodness chef de cuisine.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.