This Kitchen Gadget May be Harming Your Cooking

A Common Kitchen Gadget to Avoid

What is this common kitchen gadget, which you are probably using a lot, that may be harming your cooking? The answer is going to surprise you... But if you are using a clock to determine how long to cook items, you are probably getting worse results than you would if you were using other means.

Cooking by TIME is the best way to cook if you like inconsistency. When you cook with a clock, you relinquish all control over your cooking. If you enjoy the excitement of being unsure whether your chicken breast is raw or burned, keep cooking with a clock. But, this can lead to great frustration in the kitchen.

Inconsistency cuts away at your confidence and you become unsure when to STOP cooking.  This is the “Unconfidence Zone” when you keep cooking and cooking because you’re unsure.


I fully understand this. It’s a lot more embarrassing to serve an undercooked piece of chicken than it is to serve a rubbery one. So, the clock says to keep cooking and you do.


In reality, cooking by TIME is the WORST way to cook because it doesn’t address all the variables involved in cooking something well and this is why the clock is one kitchen gadget upon which you should never rely.

What the clock doesn’t understand is that everyone’s stove is different

...pots and pans are different, chickens are different from each other, and your desired results from cooking can be different than what the recipe wants.


Every semester in culinary college, a student will ask me, “chef how long should I cook this?”  The answer is always the same. I reply, “until it’s done”.


That’s why you’ll never cook with a clock again when you take back control of your cooking and recognize when your food is “done”.


The real key to empowered cooking is to be able to cook with your EYES,

to observe reactions and quantify your application of heat so you know EXACTLY when your food is done and you can stop cooking at the perfect point.


All food items go through 4 temperature stages as they cook. You can WITNESS each of these “road markers” in cooking and make your own decisions based on what you know to be true.


Proteins like a chicken breast or steak “coagulate”, they stiffen and shrink as they cook. When you know what to look for and the temperature at which this happens, you can SEE that your steak is just the way you like it.


Any food filled with moisture will have dramatic changes when you subject them to heat. They start to sweat, moisture pools and evaporates. This is another observable cue that a clock can’t possibly anticipate. A clock might have hands, but it doesn’t have eyes!


These are just two of the empowering insights I reveal in my Free Webinar Workshop, “The 5 Skills Taught In Culinary College That Are Essential In All Cooking”.


This online cooking webinar exposes the fact that home cooks are taught differently than tomorrow’s professionals. I’ll be sharing the inside scoop on what is being kept from you when it comes to cooking like a pro and taking control of your cooking back from that clock!


Discover the difference between how professionals and home cooks are taught in my next
FREE Webinar Workshop

Claim your FREE Spot for the next webinar session by CLICKING HERE
FREE Cook Webinar Event

About Chef Todd

Chef Todd Mohr is a Certified Culinary Educator who has empowered home cooks all over the world with the reliable, dependable, repeatable METHODS behind cooking that build confidence, generate creativity and enable anyone to cook with the ingredients THEY desire.


Leave a Comment

  • Mrs. A
    9:03 PM - 28 June, 2017

    I only use a clock when baking, for example a cake. I will set it for maybe 20 minutes and of course that depends on the cake as well. Let's use a regular pound cake for an example. I set 20
    Minutes when I put it in the oven and that gives me enough time to clean up the mess from preparation. In 20 minutes I check the cake and I don't set the timer any more. I keep my eyes and nose on the cake. I am old fashioned and have a straw broom in my kitchen that is only used for cooking ! I take a straw from that broom to test my cakes for "doneness"! Yep, I was taught how to cook by women that used no recipes or clocks ! They were old fashioned southern cooks. My husband has not steadily gained weight for 30 years by me being a bad cook !! I do have a collection of recipe books. I use them for ideas. I may go through 3-5 of them looking at the same dish to get ideas of different sorts of things being added to a certain dish by different cooks. In the end I may use some, all or none of what I researched. I cook my food based on my families likes or dislikes . My eldest daughter used to make a joke about this one particular chair in the kitchen that she coined "the fattening chair". It is a bar stool that sits across from where my magic happens and as I cook and things are done I use whomever is sitting in that chair as my "taste tester". She used to as she says unfortunately be sitting there when I cooked and she was quite often the tester ! She swears that is why she lost weight after she moved away is because she was not still sitting in that chair ! She did sit in it enough to take in some cooking lessons and now she is a good cook at the age of 26. She cooks southern style as well but to a lesser degree than myself. She does a lot of low fat and on-the-go items that do not require time on the stove or in the oven. She works 2 jobs and lives alone so her style is easily understood. So the "take home" from this is no clocks and recipes used for ideas, and not to copy! Cooking this way puts your own individual signature on everything that comes from your kitchen and what better thing could shere be to sign off on than a delicious dish you prepared that someone remembers you when they taste that same or almost the same dish and they remark about how good it may be EXCEPT there is something missing because they recall how delicious that same or almost same dish but the one they remember that was "THE BOMB" was better and it was made by you !!! Nope, in my opinion, having someone remember your dish in that manner is the best thing any cook could receive !!!

  • Lori
    1:16 AM - 9 January, 2017

    My question is how does one know a good thermometer verses one that is not so good? Meaning which one should I believe is correct if the stove and the thermometer show different temps? Why I say this is I have gotten a thermometer and it never had the same read out. So I guess I am asking can you tell us a name brand one? Thanks

    • Chef Todd Mohr
      2:04 PM - 9 January, 2017

      Hi Lori!
      I can't tell you a brand name of thermometer because they all make high and low quality lines. You can calibrate your thermometer by plunging it into boiling water or ice water to gauge how close it comes to 212F/100C or 32F/0C.

      I prefer the digital versions, they work on electrical impedance and don't lose their calibration unless the battery dies. The spring type thermometer are the ones that can become inaccurate when bumped or dropped.

  • Chef Todd Mohr
    11:57 AM - 19 September, 2016

    Hi Terry!
    If you are having difficulty with your membership, please send an email to That's the fastest way to get response.

  • Rebecca
    4:26 PM - 12 July, 2016

    What is the best thermometer to get? I mean there are just SO many out there! Digital, non digital, read-only, stay in the meat (usually in the oven) ones...

    • Chef Todd Mohr
      5:59 PM - 12 July, 2016

      Hi Rebecca!
      I suggest having an oven-proof thermometer that would stay in the oven to assure your oven isn't lying to you. This is the metal dial type that ranges from 150F-500F.

      The most useful tool you can have is a digital instant-read thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of foods. This can be plastic with a metal probe that ranges from 32F to 250F or more.

Leave a Comment