COVID Cooking

Making the Best of Hours Spent at Home

The COVID lockdown has caused me to reevaluate the food I eat. One of the biggest discoveries has been that some of the food I used to purchase at stores and restaurants can be easily made at home in a healthier, tastier, and more cost-effective way.

Traeger Smoker

Frankin BBQ (the world-famous BBQ joint) was the first restaurant I tried when coming to Austin. Wow - it was good. Seasoned with only salt and pepper, the brisket was one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. The only downside was the meal for two people cost over $100 due to the high cost (caused by high demand) and the minimum order quantity.

Feeling inspired, my girlfriend and I purchased a Trager Smoker to see if we could recreate the deliciousness at Franklin’s.

Smoking some beef rib on the Traeger

Much to our delight, the Traeger has proven to be a brain-dead way to cook drool-inspiring BBQ for a fraction of the price and from the comfort of our own home.

If you’ve been on the fence about purchasing a Traeger, let this photo below be the tipping point. It’s worth it.

A delicious beef rib we cooked, seasoned with salt + pepper, and smoked for 7 hours.

Instant Pot Yogurt

Another one of my favorite snacks is Siggi’s yogurt. This Icelandic-style yogurt isn’t too sweet, is high in protein, and is incredibly creamy. It’s delicious.

However, buying the yogurt packs from Whole Foods isn’t cheap.

To my surprise, I stumbled onto a video showing how you can make yogurt at home using an Instant Pot.

All you need to do is add milk, a scoop of your favorite store-bought yogurt brand, and hit the “yogurt” button. 8-12 hours later, you have delicious homemade yogurt for a fraction of the price - with no sugar or yucky extras added. You can strain the yogurt to make it even thicker and creamier.

It tastes even better than Siggi’s and is healthier at a fraction of the cost.

Other Cooking Experients

Other things we’ve cooked during COVID include sourdough bread, kombucha, and dalgona coffee. These also turned out delicious but took a lot more effort and didn’t end up being worth incorporating into our regular cooking routine. For example, we decided we’d rather purchase kombucha at the store on occasion rather than go through the 7+ day process of making our own batch.

Kombucha, Sourdough, and Dolgona Coffee

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