There are plenty of reasons people love — and justify having spent $400 on — their Dyson Supersonic Hair-Dryer. The Allure Best of Beauty and Readers’ Choice winner has the fastest digital motor on the market, is super ergonomic, and is quieter than most conventional hair-dryers, to name just a few. And now, you can add a crispy finish to the list of reasons why you may want one for yourself. No, it won’t leave your hair crispy — it will apparently give roasted chicken skin an incredibly delicious texture.
Food writer Helen Rosner welcomed her Twitter followers to follow her on a pretty unique cooking journey earlier this week, posting, “Happy snow day, I am using an astonishingly expensive hair-dryer to remove all moisture from a chicken to maximize skin crispiness when I roast it,” accompanied by a photo of her doing exactly that. The astonishingly expensive hair-dryer in question? Why, the Dyson Supersonic, of course.
She shared the recipe and photos of the finished meal, and we have to admit, it sounds and looks amazing. But being that we’re Allure, we just had to ask her how she came up with the idea of using the Dyson Supersonic to as a cooking apparatus.
“Marcella Hazan was definitely the progenitor of the idea,” Rosner told Allure, referring to the late cookbook queen who reportedly came up with the concept of using a hair-dryer during meat preparation back in the 1970s, “but it also owes a little bit to Alton Brown — he famously has a recipe for homemade beef jerky that uses a box fan, which stuck in my head. For crisp skin, whether you’re cooking a chicken or a duck or a fish, you want there to be as little water moisture as possible, which is sped up by a fan. And that’s all a hair-dryer really is — a hand-held fan that you can pretty easily bring into the kitchen.”
Although the idea of using a fan has been stuck in Rosner’s head for a while, she originally purchased the Dyson Supersonic for her head, not for cooking. “I wish I could say I got it for cooking, but it started out life as a hair-only appliance,” Rosner explains. “A year or two ago I started getting very sensitive to how loud my old T3 hair-dryer was, so to avoid hearing loss, I started wearing earplugs when I dried my hair, which was a spectacularly huge pain in the ass. I read that the Dyson was way quieter than other dryers, so honestly, that’s why I bought it. And it is quieter! The fact that it’s way, way, way better at drying my hair than any other dryer I’ve tried is just a bonus. The fact that it helps my roast chicken be so great is a double bonus.”
Ah, but is it better at chicken-crisping than it is at hair-drying? Not exactly. “You could use any hair-dryer on the chicken — even one that doesn’t have a ‘cool’ setting, though it’ll smell a little chickeny while you heat-style it,” she said, basically giving us all permission to start keeping an inexpensive hair-dryer in the kitchen exclusively for culinary purposes. She’s far more likely to commit to the Dyson for beauty purposes, however. “As for my hair, I can definitely feel the downgrade when I use any other dryer now.”
Understandably, Rosner has gotten a pretty huge response to her cooking method, with more than 1,600 people liking her initial dryer tweet and a subsequent essay about the process in The New Yorker, her usual food-writing stomping grounds. However, some Twitter users made some pretty ridiculous (read: condescending and arguably misogynistic) comments. “A lot of the most frustrating replies were from people who seemed to think I was using the dryer to cook the chicken, not to dry it — people being like, ‘Honey, that’s what the oven is for’ — which, to be honest, tells me a lot about their own kitchen skills if they don’t know how important it is to dry chicken before putting it in the oven. I love when that happens: people revealing their own ignorance by inaccurately pointing out mine.”
She continued, “In the photo that I posted, you can see my thumb holding the dryer, and I think my manicure didn’t do me any favors with that crowd. (Shoutout to Paintbox Soho, by the way — their gel manis are so amazing that I can be elbow-deep in a chicken and never worry about anything flaking off.) But I’m 100% sure that if the picture showed a gnarly dude hand with hairy knuckles, the same people treating me like a ditzy idiot would be losing their goddamn minds over this epic kitchen hack, or whatever. Like, ‘Finally, my bro, your wife’s hair dryer is good for something!’ You know what? You can have a glittery pink manicure and cook a fucking terrific roast chicken. I do it all the time. If people can’t see past that, it’s their loss.”
Fuck yes, Helen Rosner.
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