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May 21, 2009 06:22 AM

cooking chore you like the least

I recently posled about getting an electric knife to slice homemade bread. I just find it tiresome and my slicing erratic when I do it manually. Bottom line i just don't like doing it. I also use a lot of garlic and now find buying pre-peeled garlic makes my cooking experience my enjoyable.
i know everybody here enjoys cooking. My question is what DON'T you like about it.
(and cleaning up afterwards doesn't count)

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  1. Cool moniker '-D. Nothing iike classic Bowie --

    I hate, hate, HATE deveining shrimp. The little guts floating around in the sink are simply disgusting. But still better than eating them.

    Trying not to look back in anger...

    5 Replies
    1. re: linguafood

      Yes, anything Bowie is good. Ever since my teenage wildlife, he's never let me down whenever I've been feeling low. Anyhow, enough with that.

      I detest peeling potatoes, apples, hard squash and the like. A good, sharp Oxo peeler makes it a lot easier, but it still stinks.

      I also hate separating eggs, because I always break yolks.

      Does cleaning up count? Any of that, especially the little plastic parts of the food processor and blender. Even though they're supposedly dishwasher safe, I don't subject them to that.

      1. re: dmd_kc

        I detest peeling potatoes, apples, hard squash and the like.

        I agree. So much so, that I don't think I've peeled a potato in 25 years. I just scrub em and cut em up. Red skinned potatoes are a good all around variety and I use them for everything but baking.

        The same goes for carrots, cucumbers, etc. Hard squash I cook in the skin and scoop it out. Most of the vitamins in these veg are right below the skin, so peeling removes some of the benefits of eating them.

        1. re: dmd_kc

          Making salad.. I hate it. My mother thought since it was easy, that's what I should do when I cooked for them as a child. NO! I love a good cooking challenge and slicing greens doesn't challenge me at all. I like making dressing just not the salad part.

          1. re: YAYME

            My mother did the same to me. It is amazing that I like cooking as much as I do. Make salads? I'll pass on that, let someone who likes that sort of thing do it. My mother ruined it for me.

        2. re: linguafood

          Definitely agree with lingua on this...deveining shrimp is a task I despise...the darn veins stick to everything too and reminds me of, well, I needn't go on. Chopping cilantro is becoming a PITA also...don't mind chopping parsley but chopping cilantro is's wetter.

        3. cutting and handling raw chicken. yuck.
          chopping onions. a real labor of love.
          peeling garlic paper skin off the smashed clove.

          these are the first ones that occur to me.

          21 Replies
          1. re: alkapal

            I'll second all three of those--especially with tears streaming down my cheeks with the onions. But honestly, with maybe the exception of the raw chicken, I hate doing dishes more than anything! I want it to be like when people cook on TV--you never see any of those folks cleaning up!

            1. re: alkapal

              Alakapal, I keep a box of latex gloves in my kitchen. They're great for messing with raw chicken, or anything else you don't like handling with naked hands. If it's the tears from onions that are your problem, pick up a cheap pair of swimming goggles. Works perfectly! As for garlic, unless I have to mince it, I just toss in the whole clove, paper and all. The paper gives a little richer flavor, according to my taste buds, and when cooking is done, if I don't want the whole garlic clove and paper in the final dish, I remove them, then squeeze the softened garlic onto a piece of generously buttered bread or toast, sprinkle on a bit of sea salt. Cook's reward!

              kattyeyes, what you need to escape the drudgery of clean up is a galley slave! Highly recommended! Some husbands and boyfriends make an acceptable substitute, but others, not so much. And some teenagers work in a pinch At least until they grow up and move away from home. '-)

              1. re: Caroline1

                That throwing the garlic in with the peel idea sounds excellent. Does it get as good of a garlic-y taste as throwing in an equal amount minced? it seems like with such a concentrated amount with such a small surface area the flavor wouldn't be able to permeate the dish as well.

                1. re: Cebca

                  minced garlic is much more pungent, as the cell walls are broken down with mincing, releasing more of the volatile compounds.

                  1. re: Cebca

                    The whole unpeeled garlic clove works best in a dish that is sort of "soupy," or at least is soupy for a while. I do it with broths and stocks or things I'm brazing. I do believe it gives a deeper dimension by leaving the paper on the garlic cloves than I get with "naked" garlic. Give it a try. See what you think and let us know.

                2. re: alkapal

                  A friend taught me this trick: put an unpeeled garlic clove i a bowl, cover the top with a plate or another bowl, and shake vigorously for a few seconds. When you open it up the peel will have come off on its own.

                  1. re: Emmmily

                    But then you have extra dishes to do! JK, JK! Cool tip!

                    You just reminded me of another chore I hate: SIFTING.

                    When I make brownies, I've kept an empty Ghirardelli cocoa canister. I put the dry ingredients in the can, shake like mad, et voila. Sifting without wrist strain. Yaaay!

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      another sifting trick restaurants use: dump a bunch of flour into large bowl. take your biggest whisk and whisk the flour to aerate it & break up any lumps. you now have a bunch of sifted flour, yay.

                      1. re: soupkitten

                        Good trick! I'd walk a mile to avoid sifting.

                      2. re: kattyeyes

                        I don't mind sifting so much as I hate sifters. They're all flimsy it seems, or it's hard to find one that lasts very long. Every once in a while I buy a new one and always end up going back to using a strainer.

                        1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                          or how about the hand cramps from those sifters?

                          1. re: alkapal

                            I have my mother's probably 60-70 years old sifter with the "crank" on the side. No hand cramps.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              They just don't seem to make them like that anymore. Last time one of the squeeze-handle sifters broke, I looked for one with a crank, and all I could find was a much flimsier version of ones I'd seen before.

                              1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                Here ya go:


                                And I know I've seen them at Bed Bath and Beyond, also. But these seem to be a better quality--and, of course, more expensive.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  Thanks, the stainless one might be just the thing.

                                  There's a shop that I pass occasionally between Chelsea and the Flatiron district that specializes in cake baking supplies. I have to stop in next time I'm in the neighborhood.

                                  1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                    Yes, New York Cake and Baking. They may well have sturdy crank sifters. Just know, if you've not been there before, that their service is abominable and their prices high. But for some things it can be the only game in town.

                                    New York Cake and Baking
                                    56 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

                                      1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                        Wow, maybe I should sell mine on ebay!!! Never. Even though I rarely bake, it's part of my family history.

                          2. re: kattyeyes

                            Extra dishes? Nah, at worst you get a trace of the garlic oils on the bowls, and I consider that a bonus :-) And Caroline, I bet that empty jar would work just as well - the clove just needs some hard surfaces to bounce off of.

                          3. re: Emmmily

                            I don't have a problem with peeling garlic, but if this trick works, why wouldn't it work just as well to put the garlic in a clean glass mayonnaise jar and shake it around? I'm afraid of chipping china with this method. And you could keep the jar just for garlic. No dirty dishes!

                        2. these make me laugh because I actually like peeling garlic...and the feeling of satisfaction when it all comes off in one piece

                          I dislike chopping onions and handling/cleaning whole, raw chicken.

                          1. cleaning the oven after cooking pulled pork for 15 hours.

                            20 Replies
                            1. re: jwg

                              peeling crawfish tails for jambalaya, etoufee, etc. But they are so much better than frozen.

                              1. re: jacobp

                                I have to agree with you on the peeling crawfish for dishes to be prepared later. Peeling them while I eat them I don't have a problem with, but peeling them after the fact is not fun

                                1. re: roro1831

                                  I know, right! My brother and college roommate are coming to visit me in Louisiana for the first time this weekend, so we're having a crawfish boil. Then they want me to make them crawfish and sausage jambalaya the next night. They are going to be put to work peeling a lot of crawfish.

                              2. re: jwg

                                So your suppose to CLEAN ovens?...........

                                1. re: jwg

                                  Tell me why an oven needs cleaning. Short of picking the burnt stuff off the bottom (after dousing it with baking soda after my annual Burning of the Pies ceremony), I never, ever, clean my gas oven, and it maintains temperature perfectly. You're already baking away any possible bacteria/germs/bugs. What's the point?

                                  1. re: Marsha

                                    i haven't cleaned my electric oven with its self-cleaning feature -- but once.

                                    1. re: Marsha

                                      Mine gets cleaned because if it doesn't, it starts to smoke up a lot.

                                        1. re: jmckee

                                          Exactly - I didn't connect the dots properly!

                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                            I connect those dots with an appalling regularity. We must have the most sensitive smoke detectors in the history of the device. It doesn't take much to set them off. All of them.

                                      1. re: Marsha

                                        The difference in color and texture from spots in a dirty oven reflect and bounce the heat differently. It can make for unequal temperatures within a oven. The same is true of pans - dirty spots on the bottom causes unequal heating.

                                        1. re: alwayscooking

                                          My oven is like a well cared for cast iron frying pan. Never wash it out with soap. It now has a fine coating of now re-burnt carbonized chicken grease splatter that is even and mature, with no hot or cold spots.

                                          [insert sideways smiling moron icon here to indicate making a joke]

                                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                            Sam, I think this is how ovens were intended to be treated - respectfully, and without undue fuss. I find the smoke (after a spillover) goes away eventually.

                                            Do they every scrub the pizza ovens in the best pizza places?

                                            1. re: Marsha

                                              "Do they every scrub the pizza ovens in the best pizza places?"

                                              A typical gas pizza oven has a cordierite base and operates at roughly 600 degrees. That's as hot as many ovens are going to get during a self cleaning cycle. Most pizza places do polish the exteriors of the ovens regularly.

                                              1. re: Fritter

                                                Most residential self cleaning ovens reach a temperature of 900F during the cleaning cycle while most commercial pizza ovens operate in the 750F to 800F range. But you've got the right idea. '-)

                                            2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                              But they didn't eat the frickin' strawberries!!! :-))

                                              1. re: jfood

                                                jfood, you just made me snort wine up my nose!

                                                1. re: pikawicca


                                                  jfood & pika, you two are invited to my place for roast chicken and fruit salad.

                                            3. re: alwayscooking

                                              i don't consider it "dirty" -- it's just not spic and span "slick" uniformly on the floor of the oven. there is one spot that is really resisting me and my stainless steel scrubbie. i also wipe out the oven floor every now and then, and i clean up spillovers and the like, but guard against them in the first place. i just don't want to use the self-cleaning super high-heat feature. it makes me uncomfortable.

                                        2. Cleaning the Thanksgiving turkey before cooking. It is so unwieldy and all the disgusting turkey water seems to splash everywhere. I am always reminded of the Everybody Loves Raymond episode where Deb takes the turkey and throws it into the oven sans roasting pan. That will be me one of these days.