A hair dryer can do more than just style your hair. NPR and America’s Test Kitchen suggest you should keep a hair dryer in the kitchen for some clever cooking uses, including melting chocolate and getting perfectly crisp chicken or duck skin.
Photo by Morgan Walker/NPR
According to NPR:
The technique dates back to 1978, and it was pioneered by culinary guru Marcella Hazan, whom you might call the patron saint of Italian cooking in America.
Hazan’s classic recipe for roast duck contains this unusual twist: Dunk the duck in boiling water and then thoroughly go over it with a hair dryer, Hazan writes in Essentials of Classic Italian.
The result, she says, is duck skin that’s “succulent” and “deliciously crisp” but not oily.
Blasting the poultry with a hair dryer before you roast it dehydrates the skin and helps remove some of the fat from the skin that can make it less crispy. The technique can be applied to chicken, turkey, and even fish.
America’s Test Kitchen offers three more uses for the hair dryer in the kitchen: getting a professional-looking glossy finish on cakes, restarting a grill fire and shaving chocolate.