Restaurants use all kinds of tricks of the trade to make cooking tasks easier and more efficient. I’m currently working on an article for another project about restaurant kitchen tips you can use at home and decided to post my favorite one here.
Restaurant chefs love squeeze bottles – the kind like they used to use for ketchup and mustard. In Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain goes as far as to declare them as “indispensible”. They come in handy when the cook wants to dispense small amounts of sauces or purees in a creative, stylish manner, but my favorite use, by far, is for dispensing oils.
We’ve all seen a chef or TV cook show host dispense small amounts of oil from a bottle by partially covering the spout with his or her thumb. It may look cool, but it takes a little practice. Invariably you end up with a little oil on your thumb.
Squeeze bottles, however, work much better. They give you far more control and none of the mess. In my pantry, I keep a bottle of olive oil and a bottle of canola, the two cooking oils I most frequently use. When I need to put a little oil in a pan, I grab one of the bottles and squirt in precisely the amount I need. When I need to be more precise, it’s a lot easier measuring out a spoonful of oil from a squeeze bottle than it is from a larger bottle. And I don’t have to fiddle with a screw cap.
You can pick up a set of three 12 ounce bottles online for well under $8. I recommend clear ones for obvious reasons. Use an indelible marker and put the name of the oil on the outside. If you don’t cook with oil frequently, then empty a bottle completely before refilling. This will prevent mixing old oil with the newer.
This is one restaurant kitchen trick that I guarantee you’re going to love.