Off the Record Podcast – Eps 5

Welcome back to Off the Record Podcast – Eps 5 – Kitchen Hacks.

Just once, you’d love to be a fly on the wall when a world-class chef is kicking back and spilling the beans about things he does every day to make food taste so good, right? Well, buzz your way over to this corner and listen, as Scott Leysath, The Sporting Chef, dishes on his favorite kitchen hacks.

Hack #1: most kitchen gadgets are things you can throw away.

Oh, and he’s big into brine. It adds moisture, flavor, and all that briny goodness replaces what would taste like blood. Ewww.

More of what you will learn:

* What do coolers have to do with moist meat that stays hot for hours?

* Should you let your guests see you remove cooked chicken from a cooler, wrapped in a towel?

* When is it a good idea to freeze cheese?

* What does soup have in common with books?

* How many times did Michelle’s family start the kitchen on fire while deep frying dinner?

(A: zero, because they called it supper! rimshot… But there’s more to the story.)

* Do you know what it takes to make good bone broth?

* get ready as Scott begins his war against bullion cubes.

* What, for God’s sake, is the difference between stock and broth?

* Does anybody still have a fondu pot? How about the little forks with color-coded markings so you can keep your cheese bath separated from everybody else’s?

Until next time, keep your hooks wet but your fish fillets dry in thick paper towels, so they can soak up the flavor of what you cook them in!

Not sure if we drank enough during this show… 

Off The Record Podcast – Episode 5 – Transcript

Intro: Good day and welcome to Off the Record. You’ll find us at the intersection of interesting ideas and great pairings. It all tastes good when these two cook it up, so let’s listen in to The Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath, and outdoor industry insider, Michelle Scheuermann, as they talk wild game, wine, and anything else that comes to mind. Time to sample and sip our way through the best part of the day as we go Off the Record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

Scott Leysath: Welcome to Off the Record with Scott and Michelle. I’m Scott, Scott Leysath. I host a couple of shows on Sportsman Channel: Dead Meat and The Sporting Chef. And you Michelle, what do you do?

Michelle Scheuermann: I drink wine with you, it’s what we’re doing right now. Cheers. Salud. I am @ladysportsman on Instagram, so please do follow me; follow Scott, @thesportingchef on the Gram. The Gram is interesting, Scott isn’t it?

Scott: You call it “The Gram”?

Michelle: I call it “The Gram” because it’s all for the Gram.


Scott: Yeah, uh-huh.

Michelle: And there’s a lot of people who do a lot of things for the Gram, I’m not one of them. I post about wine and my cat usually, but I could post a lot more interesting things, I just don’t think people would care.


Scott: And I don’t think that stops people from posting things.

Michelle: No, it doesn’t. Like a lot of people… Right, for some reason I have this barrier, I guess.

Scott: I don’t care who had a sandwich today, by the way, and what kind it was. And Michelle does most of the posting for The Sporting Chef and Dead Meat…

Michelle: So maybe that’s why I’m not so much into my own.

Scott: ‘Cause you have to do everybody else’s? Right, right.

Michelle: I have to do everyone else’s social media, so I’m not so much into my own social media. Do you think that’s a sign? ‘Cause if you’re trying to hire a social media person and you went to their account and you saw they had less than a thousand followers, which is me, would you think that they suck at doing social media?

Scott: Not necessarily. I would wanna look at your clients and how they’re doing. Because if that’s what you do… It’s kind of weird, you go to some people’s sites that are supposed to be… Let’s say, a web designer, and that web designer has a lame website.


Scott: To me, that is a tip-off. However, they’re not designing it for themselves, they’re designing it for somebody else, so you go to the sites they have developed, even if their… If their ego isn’t involved and if they don’t really care about their own social presence… I think the whole thing has gotten a little out of hand.

Michelle: Well, I think you said it right there, ego. It’s everyone’s ego and I don’t need the followers to pad my ego, but a lot of people do.

Scott: Okay, and we’re doing a podcast, why are we doing a podcast?

Michelle: This is not for my ego.


Scott: But I assume that somebody’s gonna give a shit about what it is we’re talking about. However…

Michelle: Someday.

Scott: Somebody may… It’s not for everyone.

Michelle: Yeah, someone just stopped listening right now.


Scott: Right. So anyway, one of the things that I wanted to talk about today is a lot of kitchen hacks.

Michelle: Oh, yes.

Scott: And…

Michelle: You do have a lot of hacks and I don’t think you know it.

Scott: Well, no, ’cause they’re not really hacks for those of us who do this all the time.

Michelle: Day in and day out, right.

Scott: It’s just what we do. But a lot of people aren’t aware of it and it’s kind of weird when I do something that I normally do and people go, “Wow, can you believe that?” For instance, didn’t you know that when you have a lemon or a lime and you’re going… You squeeze it as hard as you can and you can’t get any juice out of it, stick it in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds, let it cool, and you will be absolutely taken away at how much more juice there is.

Michelle: So I don’t need to buy that lime squeezer I have from Williams-Sonoma?

Scott: You can take 95% of the little Williams-Sonoma gadgets that you bought and stick ’em in a box and have somebody…

Michelle: Right. That would include my strawberry huller that I bought.

Scott: What in the hell is a strawberry huller?

Michelle: Well, it’s a very short growing season, and so you wanna… You really wanna get all the strawberries that you can. And so then you wanna freeze ’em, and so you’re sitting there taking the tops off of ’em and you’re hulling ’em.

Scott: Right. What if you just take a paring knife and do that?

[overlapping conversation]

Michelle: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s cute ’cause it’s red and like a strawberry, it looks like a strawberry.


Scott: Okay, and what do you do with your strawberries? Do you freeze ’em?

Michelle: Freeze ’em.

Scott: What do you freeze them in?

Michelle: Ziploc bags.

Scott: Have you used a vacuum sealing bag?

[overlapping conversation]

Michelle: I have not used this vacuum sealing bag, no. Although I’ve seen you use one or two many, many, many times.

Scott: It makes stuff last a lot longer. Okay, brining is a big deal that I am a big proponent of. I’ve mentioned this a time or two that I prefer the Hi Mountain Brines, but if you don’t have any Hi Mountain Brine and you wanna brine your waterfowl, or your pheasant, or your turkey, or whatever, it’s half a gallon of water to a half-cup each of kosher salt and brown sugar. And what that does is it adds moisture, a little bit of flavor, and replaces, say, turkey blood with brine.

Michelle: So it should be thawed?

Scott: Should be thawed.

Michelle: ‘Cause around Thanksgiving, I go and buy my 18-pound turkey, I need to thaw it in the refrigerator for two days, then I brine it for 24 hours.

Scott: You can also thaw it… You can take a frozen turkey and put it in the brine to thaw.

Michelle: Oh, you can?

Scott: And then once it’s thawed, just leave it in there for another 24 hours. Now, on your Thanksgiving turkey, do you buy… So you’re not buying the super-duper Heritage Farm, $50 turkey?

Michelle: No, it’s Jennie-O.


Scott: Because you can buy such cheap turkey. You buy $50 worth of groceries, they throw in a turkey. And so, I get the cheap turkeys and I brine them overnight in that saltwater solution or the Hi Mountain stuff, and then I… So while turkey timers pop up at about 185 degrees, way overcooked. So if you want the perfect Thanksgiving turkey, soak it and brine it overnight, I don’t care how you cook it, but I want you to bring it to 165 degrees, not 185 degrees, then you put it into the smallest cooler it’ll fit into, and I normally take that cooler and I make sure that it’s very clean and sanitized, and I’ll fill it up with hot water to get it pre-warmed. I have a round cooler that’s got the little spigot on it type of deal, and I’ll take a 15 to 20-pound turkey, hold it by the legs after it’s cooked, put it breast-side-down into that cooler, and then close the lid for two hours.

Michelle: Don’t you put something on top?

Scott: If there’s air space between turkey and lid, I put foil on top of the turkey and then some clean dry towels for insulation between the foil and the lid. And what that does, I’m telling you, two hours later, assuming that nobody’s opened the lid and nobody believes that it’s gonna be hot, you’re gonna pull that turkey up by the legs, the legs come off in your hand. I have no reason to make this up.


Scott: It will be… There’s nothing in it for me. I’m not selling coolers or brine. But after it sits in that cooler, what it does is it steams in its own juice, you’re gonna lose the crispy skin, so you can pop it back in there and crisp the skin up.

Michelle: Yeah. If you need to, but…

Scott: It’s the most moist turkey you’ll ever have. You should probably wrap duct tape around it.

Michelle: Really?

Scott: Otherwise somebody’s gonna come and open the damn lid.


Michelle: Or just don’t tell them about it, right? Just don’t tell them.

[overlapping conversation]

Scott: As soon as you open the lid…

Michelle: You’re done, you’re lost.

Scott: Right. All the steam escapes and you’ve lost it. So before Thanksgiving, try it with whole chicken.

Michelle: Try it. So I did it… I had a summer party, I don’t know if I ever told you this, ’cause you told me about the cooler thing. I had an Orion cooler, like 25-quart cooler. Just tiny, little cooler. And I was cooking some wild game at the party, but I knew that I needed something tamer. So I just took a whole chicken breast and slapped it on the grill and let it cook until however, you told me. However long to cook it till… I don’t remember. And then I threw it in the cooler, put the towels over it, ’cause it’s still a chicken breast in a 25-quart cooler. And we let it sit in there for two hours, and then people started coming in over for the party and I said, “Oh yeah, I got a chicken in the cooler.” And they’re like, “What?” And I said, “Just give me a minute.” And so people were a little, I think, put off by watching me take the chicken out of the cooler. So I don’t recommend actually doing this in front of an audience because there’s something about the cooler and having food in it is a problem for people.


Scott: Your people.

Michelle: My people, yeah. Even though like you say, I sanitized it, it was clean, the chicken was wrapped in tin foil anyway, I mean, whatever, and then it just fell apart and I just put it on a plate and said, “Here. Just… “

Scott: Incredibly moist.

Michelle: Yeah, just start… And they were shocked. They were shocked.

Scott: Right. But if you take a whole chicken that has more mass and more heat and let’s say you…

[overlapping conversation]

Michelle: And that’s what I did, it was a whole chicken, yeah.

Scott: You put two or three whole chickens in there. The more mass you have, the longer it’s gonna stay hot. But on your average turkey or chicken, just put a chicken into a little Playmate coolers, the little ones, and leave it in there for two hours. What’s cool about it, you can get it done ahead of time, you carry it with you. Those of us who do catering and thing, we have Cambro containers that keep things hot as we transport. So several years ago, we went to somebody else’s house for Thanksgiving. I put two 15-pound turkeys that I had just taken out of the oven into a cooler, and it wasn’t even a super cooler like an Orion or a Yeti or something like that.

Michelle: It’s a normal everyday cooler.

Scott: Came back five hours later, opened the lid, big thing of steam comes out, and they were incredibly moist. What you’re gonna get is the most incredibly moist turkey or chicken or whatever.

Michelle: Yeah, I have to do that this year. I gotta do that more often.

Scott: So there’s a hack, brine it, put it into a cooler, especially your Thanksgiving turkey, you could imagine, you don’t have to worry about timing. ‘Cause timing all these different dishes at Thanksgiving is usually the big stress deal.

Michelle: Well yeah, if you take it out of the oven a couple of hours early.

Scott: It’s done.

Michelle: And now, you have your oven free.

Scott: You got your oven space.

Michelle: Right, right.

Scott: Another reason not to have two ovens.

Michelle: Right. You don’t need two ovens. This is great. Which is something funny, I was thinking about remodeling my kitchen and my girlfriends go, “Oh, you’re gonna get a double oven?” I said to them, “Do I need a double oven? I didn’t know I needed one.”


Scott: Look in most people’s double ovens and that’s where they keep their pans. They keep their…

Michelle: In one of them?

Scott: Their sheet pans and their baking pans.

Michelle: In one of them, yeah.

Scott: Also, they buy the Wolf ranges and have the little flat top, the griddle.

Michelle: Yeah, never use it?

Scott: They use it to put their little bowl of tongs and spoons, and that kind of thing there. Because to the average person, those flat tops are a pain in the ass to clean. You get a grill brick if you know what you’re doing, but really to do eggs on it or pancakes, it’s a lot easier just to do it in a Teflon skillet.

Michelle: My sister got me, from Sur La Table, a griddle pan that covers… And I have the oven that I can have the bridge burner, and I only use that for pancakes, that’s all I use it for. And it is a pain in the butt to take it out, and then I have to… And to use it and to clean it, but it works really great just for pancakes. So yeah, there are certain things that I have purchased or received as a gift and I probably have re-sold them. And then there’s certain things that actually did work out.


Scott: Do you ever freeze your cheese?

Michelle: No.

Scott: Okay. You’re a cheese…

Michelle: I am a cheese person.

Scott: You’re a cheese person, right.

Michelle: You go into my cheese drawer right now, I literally have five different types of cheese.

Scott: What’s your favorite cheese?

Michelle: Yellow.

Scott: Yellow is not a flavor.


Scott: Yellow or orange are not flavors of cheese.

Michelle: I don’t eat Swiss.

Scott: Because?

Michelle: It’s a flavor thing. Yeah, and the holes, the holes kind of bother me.

Scott: You know people are gonna say that’s weird, right? Why would a hole in a cheese bother anybody?

Michelle: Wayne doesn’t eat goat cheese, I don’t mind goat cheese, ’cause they say it smells like goat. I don’t get that.

Scott: It doesn’t smell like goat.

Michelle: It doesn’t smell like goat, but for some people, goat cheese bothers them.

Scott: Alright, you and Wayne, do you share most of the same views on your food and drink?

Michelle: Probably, ’cause we both grew up in the Midwest.

Scott: I know, but I mean, you know…

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: Are there any foods that he really likes that you don’t like?

Michelle: Sushi, he is big into Sushi.

Scott: Oh, that’s right, he likes sushi and you’re not… But you eat sushi.

Michelle: I’ll eat it with him, Yeah, I mean…

Scott: The rolled stuff though not the sashimi.

Michelle: Yeah, I don’t eat sashimi, no. I don’t really care for tempura either, I don’t see the reason in deep frying it but…

Scott: You don’t deep fry anything? You ever had fried chicken?

Michelle: I don’t deep fry at home because when I grew up, my family used to deep fry and started the kitchen on fire several, several, several times. So I don’t deep fry at all.

Scott: But you know there are people that go through life deep frying and never set anything on fire, right?

Michelle: Yeah, I mean, we never changed the linoleum in the kitchen, like the linoleum was always burnt. I can still see it right now.


Scott: Right. So you got some things you need to work through.

Michelle: Right. But I think everybody has that. Everybody has that.

Scott: I’m not pointing fingers.


Michelle: So go back to the cheese, yeah, so freezing cheese.

Scott: Freezing cheese, so I freeze cheese.

Michelle: Why?

Scott: Well because, if I…

[overlapping conversation]

Michelle: You can’t eat it quick enough?

Scott: If I’m about to go on the road for two or three weeks or whatever and…

Michelle: But then when you un-freeze it…

Scott: It depends on what you do with it. If you’re just gonna be using it to melt on top of something, freezing it doesn’t matter.

Michelle: But you’re freezing it in your FoodSaver?

Scott: I’m freezing it in the FoodSaver. Yeah, the FoodSaver has these hand-held deals now that are pretty handy.

Michelle: I haven’t seen this.

Scott: It’s special bags and the bags are reusable and it’s got this little hand-held unit, that’s really good for cheese, cold cuts, that kind of stuff.

Michelle: Smaller things.

Scott: You don’t use it for raw stuff like you do a regular vacuum sealer. It’s a hand-held unit that’s really… I use it a lot.

Michelle: It won’t take up a lot of space in your kitchen.

Scott: Doesn’t take up a lot of space. And okay, another thing when I’m freezing stuff, if I’ve got soups, stews, sauces, things like that…

Michelle: Do you freeze soups?

Scott: I do, I put them into a Ziploc bag and I put it flat in the freezer so that it freezes flat. As opposed to this odd shape, bulky-looking thing. And then once it freezes flat like that, then I transfer it to a FoodSaver bag, and it takes up so much less space, ’cause you can basically put it into your freezer like a book, and you don’t have all these odd shapes that you’re trying to sort through and look for your chicken broth.

Michelle: Why are you freezing soup though?

Scott: Because I’m gonna make a big batch of soup, and so rather than having canned soup, I’d rather have my own soup. And or stew or Chili Verde or anything like that. I’m gonna always make a big batch and freeze it.

Michelle: Of whatever.

Scott: Of whatever it is.

Michelle: I’ve just never done that, I’ve just never… ‘Cause again, I didn’t really grow up that way.

Scott: Right.

Michelle: I mean, the Schwan’s man visited us, the Schwan’s man ever visit you?

Scott: I know who the Schwan’s man is, I see the trucks driving around every now and then, but I’ve never met a Schwan’s man.

Michelle: Having the Schwan’s man come to your house was like the shit, I mean that was…

Scott: Did you have milk delivered? You’re not that old. You wouldn’t have done that.

Michelle: No, I grew up on a dairy farm. I drank out of the bulk tank.

Scott: Oh yeah, you drank out of the cow.

Michelle: I drank directly from the cow.

Scott: Straight out of the cow.

Michelle: Yep, that’s why mom and dad say I’m so tall.

Scott: ‘Cause you drank straight from the cow?

Michelle: And pretty.


Scott: I can’t argue with tall or pretty.

Michelle: Wine is kicking in.

Scott: Wine is kicking in.


Scott: Alright, so freeze it flat. Another thing, if you’re freezing soups and stews, really what I like to do is freeze it in a Ziploc bag, and then, put it into the FoodSaver bag, whether it’s a big batch or not.

Michelle: Okay.

Scott: How about making bone broth? You know bone broth is the big deal now.

Michelle: It’s a huge… It’s a huge thing.

Scott: “We’re getting bone broth and go on fasting.”

Michelle: Well, and you’re in California, so.

Scott: So, the problem is you go to…

Michelle: You can’t argue with that.

Scott: You go to a store, you go to Trader Joe’s here in California, and you get the bone broth and it’s not bone broth.

Michelle: What is it?

Scott: It tastes like chicken or beef stock to me, it’s thin. Bone broth made the right way, when it cools off it’s like Jello.

Michelle: So it needs to have that layer of fat…

Scott: Well, it’s more of the collagen. It’s more of what you’re pulling out of those bones. And that’s where you’re gonna get that healthy…

Michelle: So what bones are you using?

Scott: Anything.

Michelle: So do you save bones?

Scott: Oh yeah, if I’ve got a whole bunch of pheasants, turkeys, whatever it is, I’m making duck’s broth, I’m making deer broth. I’m roasting deer bones, you crack ’em open.

Michelle: Really?

Scott: Make a stock out of it. Yeah, yeah.

Michelle: Do you freeze these bones until you’re ready to use them?

Scott: Yeah, I have piles of bones till I’m ready to use them. Let’s say because if you’re gonna make stock or broth, it’s best to make a giant batch all at once, rather than having to make a whole bunch. You know my wife would come home and she always knew when it was a stock day or a broth day because all the windows were foggy…

Michelle: Fogged up.

Scott: And the blinds probably needed to be wiped out and that kind of thing, but as hunters, we throw away way too much of our game. All too often…

Michelle: So you’re trying to encourage people to…

Scott: Well, use the whole thing. Does it make sense to remove the breasts of your pheasants or turkeys and then throw the rest away and then cook with a bouillon cube? No. Or a can of broth?

Michelle: I was gonna ask you about the bouillon cubes.

Scott: It looks like food-colored salt.

Michelle: Do you equate the bouillon cube to cream of mushroom soup? Are they on the same level?

Scott: Well, here’s the thing about cream of mushroom soup.


Scott: What I get out of a bouillon cube doesn’t taste anything like, let’s say chicken or beef. It tastes like salty, whatever.

Michelle: So the difference between a bouillon cube and you making your own chicken broth is night and day?

Scott: There is no comparison, really. It’s…

Michelle: So I need to start saving my bones…

Scott: Right.

Michelle: Freeze them with my FoodSaver, which I do have a FoodSaver unit, it just, I’ll be honest with you it… It takes up a lot of space.

Scott: Well, and it’s not so critical to freeze… To use a FoodSaver to saving bone. Just throw ’em in a Ziploc bag…

Michelle: And throw it in the freezer, until you’re ready…

Scott: When you get enough of them, you roast the bones…

Michelle: How do you know you have enough?

Scott: Whatever, I mean there’s no real, “It takes six pounds of bones and 12 onions… ” It’s so simple, you get a big pile of bones, you throw it into a roasting pan and you can use a foil pan like you do with your Thanksgiving turkey, throw in some celery, carrot, onion…

Michelle: Are you just using remnants?

Scott: And save… Yes, save the trim ends of your celery, carrot, onion, you could throw it in there with the skins on, nothing bad’s gonna happen. You can hit it with a little pan spray if you wanna brown it a little faster, throw it into an oven at about 425 degrees.

Michelle: Really?

Scott: To get everything brown. And if you guys hear the little pitter-patter of feet that’s Mac and Floyd passing through…

Michelle: Hey guys. Floyd…

Scott: Hey Floyd…

Michelle: He’s ignoring me. Yeah, he’s ignoring…

Scott: Floyd’s being taunted by squirrels outside right now. Hello Mac.

Michelle: Mac’s a lover.

Scott: So you brown them and that’s gonna give it more flavor, it’s gonna give it that roasted depth of flavor. After everything’s brown, you dump it into a stockpot, cold water, put some more… You can throw some garlic and fresh rosemary, that kind of stuff in there, and just let it simmer all night long, uncovered low heat, it’s gonna concentrate the flavor, you can actually… In the morning, you can strip all the good meat off that and use it for something, but you pour it through a colander, get the big chunks out then you pour it through the same colander with some cheese cloth, pull out the paper towels to get the little chunks and then reduce, reduce, reduce, that’s bone broth. You can do that with, if you’ve got pheasant…

Michelle: Do you have to reduce so much?

Scott: It really concentrates the flavor, and it’s gonna save a lot of space in your freezer. And so you can do a combination, you can do a rabbit, turkey, quail, chukar, pheasant broth and just call it an upland game broth or you can do an antler game broth, but instead of wasting, instead of broasting out these animals and throwing the rest away…

Michelle: Save it.

Scott: You’re using the whole animal now.

Michelle: And it sounds like you can sell it.


Scott: Well, you could if it wasn’t wild birds, cause you can’t sell wild pheasant. 

Michelle: Well, you could sell it to your co-workers because everyone… ‘Cause you’re right, everyone’s fasting with bone broth. I don’t think I… I tried fasting, I’m Catholic, I tried it for Jesus and it just didn’t… Just didn’t work out, sorry.

Scott: You’ll have to find some other way, to do what you do. What about… How do you peel garlic? I’m gonna take a guess that you have at least one garlic press.

Michelle: So I was at a Pampered Chef party.

Scott: Oh boy.

Michelle: And Pampered Chef, I think sells four different kinds of garlic presses and I did buy one of them, it really just mutilates the clove, but it works, but then your hands still smell like garlic, you’re still…

Scott: And you still have to chop it up a little bit, or not?

Michelle: No, no, no, but you still have to remove the paper from the press, and so your hands smell like it. And then you have to wash it. Is it easier just to chop it? Probably.


Scott: And if you take… If you’ve got two metal bowls that I use… Stainless steel bowls that fit together that are the same size, you throw the whole garlic bulb in there, and you put the two pieces together, so it’s like a ball now, and then you shake it really hard, that separates… It separates the cloves from the bulb and the skin off the cloves, you just pull these clean cloves out.

Michelle: But what if I don’t need the whole bulb?

Scott: Then throw in three cloves and do the same thing with the skin on and it’ll take the skin off.

Michelle: I’ll have to try this, I’ll let you know. I’ll try it.

Scott: And, see, I go through a lot of garlic. So I buy a lot of cleaned and peeled garlic, what I’ve found…

Michelle: ‘Cause it’s just easier for you?

Scott: ‘Cause I’m going through so much of it, and restaurants typically do that too, what I don’t use is the chopped garlic in a jar.

Michelle: Different?

Scott: Doesn’t taste like garlic to me.

Michelle: Really?

Scott: No.

Michelle: It’s garlic.

Scott: I know. If you do use the stuff in the jar, I highly recommend you double the amount that the recipe calls for.

Michelle: I’ve never purchased garlic in a jar either.

Scott: It just doesn’t taste like garlic to me.

Michelle: It’s more expensive, obviously, you’re buying packaging now versus just buying this bulb.

Scott: It’s not gonna set you back too much, but still it’s very convenient, and a lot of times we forego flavor for convenience, it’s like grabbing that bouillon cube as opposed to making stock. You make stock in a big, big batch and you freeze it in batches, and you get that part out of the way.

Michelle: Is stock different than the bone broth we just talked about?

Scott: The bone broth is just more reduced, and you can look at the definitions of stock and broth and it’s very ambiguous, and I…

Michelle: So maybe you don’t reduce it as much if you want it to be more…

Scott: If you want it to be thinner, but what’s good about the bone broth that’s really, really concentrated is, it takes up less room in your freezer and you can always add water to it. And after your bone broth is done, you’ll notice, you’re gonna have that great depth of flavor, you put just a little bit of salt in there, and it just brings the whole thing… It makes everything come alive.

Michelle: I’m pretty sure people are gonna bookmark this, I don’t know if you can bookmark podcasts…

Scott: I don’t know either.

Michelle: But they should. They should bookmark this one.

Scott: And we’ve talked about keeping fish wrapped in two-ply paper towels, we’ve touched on that, keep your fish dry.

Michelle: Yes keep it dry.

Scott: Keep it dry instead of keeping it…

Michelle: So it can absorb good things.

Scott: Floating around in a bag of fish juice. If the fish is dry, really dry, wrap it in two-ply paper towels keep it dry. If the paper towels get wet, then replace them, and that way when you take your really nice fish and you put it into a skillet with a splash of white wine, and who knows what, it will be absorbed, the flavors will be absorbed by the fish instead of competing with funky fish juices.

Michelle: Do you deep fry your fish?

Scott: You know, I deep fry every now and then.

Michelle: Do have a deep fryer or do you…

Scott: I have a deep fryer. I mean, I don’t…

Michelle: Have you tried the air fryers?

Scott: I have not.

Michelle: I haven’t either. See I might do that. I might try an air fryer.

Scott: Right.

Michelle: But I don’t think I will.


Scott: For me, it just sounds like another thing to move to the garage.

Michelle: I just don’t need another appliance in my kitchen.

Scott: Right.

Michelle: So again, when I had these people come out to remodel my kitchen, which is not gonna happen because they wanted a ridiculous amount of money. The first people that came out, wanted $160,000.

Scott: That seems like a lot. And I’ve seen your kitchen and I don’t know what you could do for $160,000.

Michelle: Moving walls.

Scott: Oh yeah.

Michelle: And then the second people came out and they wanted $70,000, still moving some… Still opening up walls because “I needed to open it up to let light in,” even though the entire side of the house faces the south and has windows. Didn’t quite understand that one either, so I told them no, but… So the thing is now, the latest person I’m working with removed the soffits, the home was built in the ’80s, so there’s soffits above the kitchen cabinets.

Scott: Right.

Michelle: And then take the cabinets all the way up to the top, like what you have, and then up at the top, then you have storage.

Scott: Okay.

Michelle: Except I have nine-foot ceilings. And granted, I’m six feet tall, but that’s still way up there.

Scott: But that’s a good place to put your air fryer.

Michelle: That’s a good place to put ’em.

Scott: And all your other crap that you go, “Why did I buy this?”

Michelle: Yeah. You remember fondue?

Scott: I do.

Michelle: I still have one of those.

Scott: My son, who will be 23 coming up here soon. He and his girlfriend went to the…

Michelle: Fondue palace place? Yeah, what’s it called?

Scott: Fondue… Or whatever it’s called… Something or other…

Michelle: What’s it called? It’s a chain, but yeah, I know what you’re talking about.

Scott: Yeah, The Cheese Vat or… I don’t know what it’s called. But, I remember… ’cause I’m an old… Whatever.

Michelle: Cheese Vat? I love it.

Scott: I don’t know what it’s called… It’s gonna come to me.

Michelle: I need to Google it.

Scott: Anyway, you know, everybody used to have fondue pots with the little spheres?

Michelle: Well, that was in the ’70s. Right?

Scott: Right. I don’t know. I think it’s a little annoying, but…

Michelle: I mean it’s fun. It’s kitschy. It’s fun to do at a restaurant. Melting Pot.

Scott: That’s it.

Michelle: Melting Pot. Do they still have them around here?

Scott: It’s not the Cheese Vat?

Michelle: Not the cheese… There’s still one in Minneapolis where I live.

Scott: There’s one around here somewhere. There’s one in the Sacramento area, where I live.

Michelle: When’s the last time you went there?

Scott: I’ve never been to one.

Michelle: I think we should go.

Scott: I don’t wanna.

Michelle: I think we should go.

Scott: How about if we just heat up … 

Michelle: It opens at 4:00 PM tonight.

Scott: Why don’t we just heat up a thing of frozen cheese?

Michelle: Can I text Janell?

Scott: Yes, that’s my wife.

Michelle: I think we should go.


Scott: So we’re going to The Melting Pot.

Michelle: And see what she says.

Scott: I am surprised that concept still exists.

Michelle: I’m surprised it’s still open, I agree.

Scott: Because people… I mean, it used to be a home thing.

Michelle: I agree. Yeah. And it’s not cheap.

Scott: No. And it seems like way too much work just to eat a freaking meal, to me.

Michelle: Four-course experience. $50 a person for a four-course experience. You can add lobster tail for another $16.

Scott: I don’t…

Michelle: That’s not cheap.

Scott: I don’t think I need to.

Michelle: I know we’re here in Sacramento, but that’s still expensive.

Scott: So before we go off into other areas, I say, let’s wrap this hack mess up. Let me talk about what we’ve covered. We talked about brining…

Michelle: Yes.

Scott: And I’m…

Michelle: The cooler.

Scott: Brining, but I’m talking about brining your Thanksgiving turkey, upland game birds, rabbit, whatever. It’s gonna add flavor and moisture, pop it into the smallest cooler it’ll fit into. If you go to The Sporting Chef website and go to the Thanksgiving turkey thing, it’ll tell you all about that. And also check out our YouTube site. The Sporting Chef YouTube has a ton of recipe stuff. Keep your fish wrapped in paper towels, keep it dry, make large batches of everything, freeze it flat, if you wanna save some space, how to make bone broth. Microwave your lemons and limes for 15 to 20 seconds, if you wanna squeeze a whole lot more juice out of it, there’s the whole garlic peeling thing with the bowls… Oh yeah…

Michelle: You don’t need to go to Pampered Chef.


Scott: You don’t need to go to Pampered Chef, get two bowls. I hate to take somebody’s livelihood away from them but didn’t get the… Peeling tomatoes and peaches and things.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: Boiling water, you drop a tomato into boiling water and then immediately dump it into an ice bath, skins come right off. Same thing with peaches and…

Michelle: But why am I peeling a tomato?

Scott: A lot of recipes call for seeded and peeled tomato. If you’re making a tomato sauce, the skin can get in the way.

Michelle: You know what I have?

Scott: Some kind of special thing?

Michelle: I do have a special thing, it’s called my mother-in-law. So she, every year, makes a huge batch of tomato sauces, boy those dogs are really, really hungry right now.

Scott: They’re eating right now, yes. So if you’re hearing somebody eating in the background that’s Floyd.

Michelle: It’s not us.

Scott: No.

Michelle: But yeah, she uses her mason jars, and so every… When they come up and visit me, I’m like, “Can you bring me some more tomatoes?”

Scott: Real tomatoes.

Michelle: Yeah. So I have just mason jars about… It’s like my bug-out room.

Scott: Right.

Michelle: It’s my mother-in-law’s mason jars of tomatoes and jellies and jams and then she freezes stuff and she needs a FoodSaver, that’s what she needs.

Scott: Right. Well, let’s get her one.

Michelle: Yeah.

Scott: Alright, those are your hacks.

Michelle: This is probably the most beneficial podcast in the whole face of the podcast world.

Scott: In the entire universe of podcasts.

Michelle: I think so. Alright, until next time. See you guys.

Scott: See ya.

Outro: Well, time sure flies when you’re loading up on good food, good wine, and great conversation. Find more Scott Leysath at , where you can also nab a free wild game e-book and sign up for his two times a month newsletter, track him on social media, and see how to watch The Sporting Chef airing on Sportsman Channel and Dead Meat on Sportsman Channel and MyOutdoorTV. For more Michelle, check out .She runs her own marketing communications firm, handling PR, social media, and more for some of the biggest names in the outdoors. That’s it for now. We’ll see you next time when, again, we go Off the Record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

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