While it’s supposed to be an industry secret, after the right amount of praise, attention, and compliments on their tattoos, any line cook will inform you that the key ingredient in restaurant-quality cooked water is superior equipment. Lucky for you, my tattoo-compliment-quota has been met (I have a single tattoo) so—since you’re asking—here’s everything you need to cook water, the restaurant way.
Ice Cube Tray
Behind every great cooked water recipe is an even greater ice cube. This is why you must make your own ice. Restaurants have been doing this for decades. In fact, many argue that the faucet-to-table movement of the late ‘90s made cooked water what it is today. It’s been reported that no Michelin-starred restaurant that sells cooked water has considered using store-bought or freezer-made ice cubes since.
If you’re making ice at home, nothing beats this Everyday Silicone Ice Cube Tray from W&P. The cubes are substantial, the trays are sturdy, and the colors are fun.
To cook water intelligently, you need to know every temperature in your kitchen. This means that at any given moment you should be able to provide an accurate temperature reading of the stove, oven, freezer, refrigerator, your left pinky, and the sweet potato sprouting in the back of your pantry.
When I need accurate measure of temperature, I use the OXO Thermocouple Digital Thermometer. It gives you a reading in 2 to 3 seconds. Then, to be thorough, I’ll get a second reading from my Yummly Smart Thermometer which conveniently syncs up to my phone.
To cook water with any degree of consistency, all water quantities should be measured in grams. One of the first things you learn in any professional kitchen is that measurements should always be taken in both analog and digital forms. This isn’t for a lack of trust—both are adequately accurate—but rather as a sign of respect for all the great water measurements that have been made previously.
When I weigh water the analog way, I use a Typhoon Farmhouse Kitchen Scale. For digital measurements, this Zwilling Enfinigy Kitchen Scale is top of the line.
Another little industry nugget for you: cooked water isn’t a thing—obviously. But if a world existed where I needed a bowl of water to look gorgeous I would serve it in these bowls from Vietri.
What other equipment do you think is absolutely necessary for cooking water? Let us know in the comments below!