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What's wrong with all the cooking shows on TV?

What's wrong is they never show who washes the dishes. They use 5 different machines, 20 plates and bowls, many knives, forks, spoons, and towels. And all they do is put them underneath the counter to some unknown place where they are never seen again. The next show they use brand new ones that's never been used before. Do those pots and pans and knives and plates get washed, or do they just throw them out?

I can't begin to try any of the recipes because I am the one who wash all those dishes. Give me a show where someone actually takes those dishes and washes them.

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  1. Whenever I watch 30 Minute Meals, I think 1 hour cleanup.

    I'd love a show that accurately represents a home kitchen- how many people have counter space for 3 machines? I know I don't have 4 skillets or a double oven or a built in deep fryer.

    3 Replies
    1. re: cheesecake17

      One of the reasons I might shy away from a certain recipe is I don't want to use 3 pans, 3 pots, several plates and several bowls!

      But I don't want to watch them clean either!

      1. re: libgirl2

        Lots of times you can streamline the recipe to use less pots/pans and prep bowls. Instead of using several small bowls for chopped or cut items, layer with waxed paper in a larger bowl. If you have two items to saute, use one pan, or wipe out the pan between uses.

      2. re: cheesecake17

        Similarly, when Rachael Ray exclaims that you can cook a fine meal in less time than it takes to get takeout, I think to myself, "What about the cleanup!"

      3. I don't follow. They don't show a lot of the prep work (or market shopping) either, but just skip to the important part where one may need a demonstration. I also can't recall any recipe where the dish washing took longer than the active cooking.

        I sort of get the feeling that this is an indirect rant against those that are not doing their part with the household duties...

        1. I get your point, but will say the obvious: No one wants to tune in to watch someone wash dishes, not even "washing as you go." It's not realistic to expect that tv cooking will be an accurate reflection of home kitchen. Julia Child didn't wash dishes on The French Chef back in the seventies, and no one's going to start now. I guarantee you that.

          I actually think many of the cooking shows' recipes use fewer dishes than we do in our house on a regular basis. Yes, we wash them all. Eventually, <wink> It's part of life that the home kitchen is never as spotless and "everything in its place" as those on tv. As Stuart Smalley used to say "and that's o-kay." So, the kitchen's a wreck a couple days a week? So, what? I have delicious food that lasts through several meals. I consider that a small triumph, no matter the state of the kitchen.

          1. They are called "cooking shows" not "preparation shows" or "cleanup shows".

            9 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Should there be a dishwashing network?

              1. re: James Cristinian

                Isn't that on BravoTV? Something called the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"?

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  Oh, you clearly have something better to do than watch RHs. There is little dish washing on that franchise, because those women are paid to fight, not clean house.

                  1. re: amyzan

                    I've never seen that show (except for the previews they run during Top Chef).

                    Was really trying to be funny ... unsuccessfully I guess.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Unfortunately, Bravo's programming is largely funniest when it's snarky. Be glad you've never wasted your time with RH. For me, it's like the anti-feminist train wreck I can't help but witness. God help me.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I once was in the proverbial doghouse when I tried to be funny. The joke went something like this...'How much does it cost to repair your wife's watch?.........Isn't there still a clock on the stove"?

                  2. This may be a case of finding something new to complain about just for the hell of it.

                    1. Ummmm....you want to watch a show where people are washing dishes??? What about mopping floors? I don't see enough good ol' floor-mopping on tv anymore.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: donovt

                        I haven't seen a Dirty Jobs episode featuring dish washing or floor mopping. Mike is always asking for new ideas.

                        1. re: donovt

                          You're not watching the right informercials then, donovt.

                          1. re: donovt

                            """"I don't see enough good ol' floor-mopping on tv anymore."""

                            me, either, donovt! let's get it back!

                          2. I don't want to waste my time watching them wash dishes, BUT I would like to know that they have washed the dishes before they use them. Too many times I see the price sticker on the bottom of the plates or glasses on cooking shows and on TV series. It makes me crazy that someone couldn't at least remove the sticker before filming and make it look like they are clean. Considering where dishes and glasses have been in the trip from manufacturing to sales outlet why would anyone want to ingest food or drink from them unwashed - as they so often do on television - even if it is just a tiny bite or sip. YUK!!!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Lotti

                              chances are it's an inventory tag or something else to keep track of what goes when and where.

                              TV people use them all the time -- there are masking-tape Xs all over the floor of tv studios

                            2. So...how about a "one pot meal" show?

                              Or a challenge on Chopped: one knife, one piece of cookware, and one cutting board?

                              1. There should be a Troll cooking show.

                                1. Can't wait to see "Mise en Place with Gordon Ramsey"

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Voidsinger

                                    I don't need to see someone wash the dishes. That said, I always liked watching Jamie Oliver's Naked Chef show, because he showed the mise en place. I don't need to see a chef dump something already prepped out of a bowl into the pot. I want to see how it's cut, whether he uses the whole veg, or just part, whether he washes the mushrooms or just brushes them off, etc. It's those little details that help me make the same dish.

                                    1. re: Voidsinger

                                      I would think that proper demonstration of the prep and usage of mise en place would be of tremendous value to most home cooks. It forces you to think the preparation of the dish all the way through, organizing your thoughts and your workspace.

                                    2. It takes a lot more time to cook than they seem to suggest. Washing takes a while, getting the right containers, this and that all add up. While it is best to have everything ready, it is not the most efficient way to do things. What they do is always under the best case scenerio and frankly it takes some time to get there. When I am expecting guests I do my best to finish all the prep work before I start so there is little chance of messing things up, such as over browning while trying to find that wine to deglaze that somehow disappeared behind 5 other bottles of syrup.... On the other hand it is of little benefit to me to watch them do things like washing parsley, looking for the lid... etc, lol. What I would like to see more of is the actual recipe development process, as in what exactly are the things the chefs think about as they sit down to make a new recipe, going to the store, what goes through their mind, how they select the produce, the meat, even taking the cost into consideration. What goes well with what, what don't mix well together, the cooking techniques to bring things together, what goes wrong, what can go wrong, what is tricky, what is too much work and not worth the gain, possible plating ideas, etc. Also I would like to see more classic dishes done the most authetic way, like a cooking school instructor would teach a student the "proper" way.

                                      1. "Do those pots and pans and knives and plates get washed, or do they just throw them out?"

                                        Is this an honest question, or hyperbole? If it's an honest question the answer is "They wash them, and by they I mean a bunch of overworked, underpaid production assistants (or unpaid interns)." I don't think there's much of an audience for dishwashing TV shows, though if I am mistaken, I am officially announcing my candidacy for the starring role.

                                        But the real honest question should be:

                                        Where can I get one of those time-shifting double wall ovens where you stick something in the top oven, say the temperature and how long to bake it, and then take the finished product out of the bottom oven???

                                        6 Replies
                                            1. re: jzerocsk

                                              I believe that those 'underpaid and overworked' assistants get to eat all that has been prepared on the show.

                                              1. re: mucho gordo

                                                provided they share it with the rest of the crew.

                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                  There's usually enough food made to give everyone around a taste. At least 2 batches of each dish are prepared.
                                                  Many years ago I had the pleasure and I wasn't even a part of the crew; just worked for the tv station in their mail room.

                                            2. If I felt obliged to use as much equipment as cooking shows do, I'd never get away from the sink. I can accept that much of what they do is for the sake of pretty, like putting the cream in a pitcher or label-free bottle before pouring it into a measuring cup, and measuring the smatterings of spices into individual m-e-p bowls even when they will all be added at the same time and could all go into one larger dish, or on a piece of parchment. It drives me nuts when they fail to use rubber scrapers to get everything out of a bowl or pot - I realize they have time constraints, but then they waste time laboriously spooning something like potatoes or pasta into a bowl rather than just dumping it like real people do. I object most when they don't use appliances and pans in time-saving order. For example, they'll mix wet ingredients in a food processor, and then use a clean processor bowl to chop nuts, instead of doing the nuts first, then tap on the bowl while emptying to get out the nut dust, and proceed with the wet ingredients. While a veteran home cook will realize how to streamline the prep, making extra work like that can be intimidating for those who strictly adhere to recipe instructions because of inexperience, and may put them off the idea of attempting the dish in the first place. Yet another reason I like Jacques Pepin's shows so much is that he'll scoop straight from a jar or box, bypassing the fussy bowls and the unnecessarily precise measurements.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: greygarious

                                                "It drives me nuts when they fail to use rubber scrapers to get everything out of a bowl or pot - I realize they have time constraints, but then they waste time laboriously spooning something like potatoes or pasta into a bowl rather than just dumping it like real people do."

                                                Me too.

                                                1. re: Lotti

                                                  yep, i'm with the "just dump the stuff already" crowd. the WORST offender in this: everday food! (cue swelling music, slow scoop, scraping sound,close-up of dripping mirepoix....).

                                                  i'm not talking about final plating, but prep.

                                              2. People don't watch cooking shows to see dishes being washed. They watchen to see food being cooked. They have interns to wash the dishes.

                                                1. What's wrong is that the shows have no appeal to people who enjoy cooking. They are geared to those who want to watch cooks entertain them. They have nothing to offer me.

                                                  9 Replies
                                                  1. re: Tripper

                                                    Exactly. Most of them are about drama with very little educating. Very, very sad and frustrating at the same time.

                                                    1. re: chefathome

                                                      those are not cooking shows but reality shows on cooking.

                                                      Cooking shows are geared toward the lowest common denominator.

                                                    2. re: Tripper

                                                      That's why I enjoy the Cook's Illustrated TV shows. I don't always want to download the recipes and prepare all of them, but those that do appeal to me seem to work well. I've learned quite a bit of technique from them over the years. On the other hand, I learned nothing from Emeril Lagasse and the various competition shows on Food Network. (I don't care for Chopped, which a lot of people on this site seem to like). I've learned more and been inspired more from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives than I have many of the 'cooking' shows.

                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                        Alton Brown's "Good Eats" delves into the WHY as well as the HOW.

                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                          Which I've never really found useful (interesting occasionally, but never really useful) and his recipes are unnecessarily complicated and often don't work for me. Alton Brown is one of the last cook's whose recipes I would use. I find he makes his recipes sound like they're no-fail because he goes into all of this scientific stuff, but in fact, they fail pretty regularly because he forgets to actually cook the dish in an accessible way.

                                                          1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                            What's the difference between 'accessible' and 'dumbed down' as discussed in this thread?

                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                              I've never had a single one of his recipes fail in my kitchen, and I've tried a LOT of them.

                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                          I like Cook's Illustrated shows also because they tend to use readily available ingredients and equipment. Honestly, I haven't made a lot of recipes from the shows- but the ones I have made always turned out excellent. Last night I made the skillet baked ziti for the second time, and it came together super quickly and tasted great.

                                                        3. re: Tripper

                                                          i learn lots from cooking shows.

                                                        4. I understand your points and disapproval and I think South Park echoes this. That being said, do you really think people need to watch dish washing? That will be like asking home improvement shows where people cleaning the garages. While at it, one can argue that these shows do not show the shopping footage?

                                                          1. Go buy a used autochlor type system for your home, you will wonder why you went so long without one. Honestly it is the best purchase i ever made and it only cost me around $800 for a used system installed. Yes this is about 1/3 more than what a good dishwasher costs but they last forever, use way less water, you never have plumbing or disposer problems, and it only takes 4 minutes to wash dishes with no pre rinsing at all.

                                                            Of course you need to be careful, once i put in the auto chlor i wanted a 3 compartment sink, then i put in a hatco, i bought a new buffet steamer tray system for our restaurant and brought the old one home and replaced the kitchen's island with it. When i told my wife i was going to turn our pantry into a walk in she finally put her foot down and said "if you want to be in a restaurant go to work and make us some money."

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