Americans between age 25 and 34 spend an average of half of their annual food budgets on eating out—that's an average of $2,836 out the door per year.
But let's face it: We can't all be Julia in the kitchen. Heck, most of us can't even be Julie. We don't have time to read through the technique chapters in our stacks of neglected cookbooks—nor do we have the dough for pricey cooking classes, which can run from $100 to well over $1,000.
We're just not in the mood for another night of heat n' eat dinner, but we're, ahem, challenged in the cooking department.
Stop revving up that microwave, and fire up your computer instead. A host of celebrity chefs are waiting to dish out everything you need to know to become a perfectly respectable home chef. And it's all online—for free!
After watching a couple videos, we've learned to chop onions like infamously foul-mouthed chef Anthony Bourdain--minus some of the profanity.
This channel's website serves up a Techniques special from Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations show, which covers "basic cooking skills everyone should know."
Chef Ina Garten provides tasteful suggestions from Barefoot Contessa on The Food Network's site, including videos on how to make easy French tartines and a shallot and green bean dish. The Food Network website is a great repository of basic cooking videos. We particularly like Bobby Flay's tips on cooking with wine, which you can navigate to from the provided link. We learned all about which wines to pair with which foods and why--did you know that tannins in wine break down fat, which is why red wines are often paired with items like steak or cheese?
This foodie website features instructional videos for some good old cuisine française, à la Jacques Pepin. He showed us how best to slice veggies (shockingly revolutionary to us) and, yes, how to truss a chicken (plus, we learned what that actually means).
These vids are a bit less star-studded, but they range from no-nonsense demos on how to make dough to the proper way to cut an avocado.
This repository of culinary knowledge gets super scientific about specific techniques. For example, we watched a video on exactly which cookware you should use when, including which foods are best for non-stick skillets versus regular pans. ATK actually ran scientific tests: Should you speed up boiling water by starting with hot water? Will it actually boil faster if you add salt?
From now on, the only tears in your kitchen should be from those beautifully diced onions, which you'll be able to cut without losing a digit—or a dime!