08/06/2012 10:00 EDT | Updated 10/06/2012 05:12 EDT

The voice of experience: Some cooking wisdom from Gary Fordham

Dorchester, Ont., mechanic Gary Fordham has had no formal training in cooking but has learned a great deal in decades of experience and experimentation. Here are some of his conclusions:

— The most underestimated condiment is chili sauce. "You can eat it hot, you can eat it cold, you can put it on a hot dog or on eggs and bacon. You can do anything with it and it's amazing."

— "Salt's just not good for you and I cook without it."

— Instead of using hot sauce or pieces of hot pepper to spice up a dish, use a little of the juice from a hot pepper.

— "When you're cooking rice, don't just stick to water. Use chicken broth, beef broth, tomato juice, clam sauce, oyster sauce — anything out there that's liquid."

— His favourite cooking vessel is a big, old cast-iron Dutch oven. "It has even heat distribution and, once it's seasoned, you never have to worry about it."

— On eating out: "If you can't make breakfast, you can't make anything. If you get a bad breakfast someplace, don't go back for anything else."

— "I don't boil anything. Boiling takes the taste and nutrients out of meat. But don't be afraid of steaming. Steam is the answer to a lot of problems."

Source: Gary Fordham.