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  • New cooking requirements?

    Anyone heard anything about the new cooking merit badge requirements?

  • #2
    Rumor here is that the new requirements are somehow harder. Maybe the first requirement will include personal safety and first aid, i.e. "Explain the hazards of ..." or maybe a really hard life skill requirement like "Brew a cup of coffee for your scoutmaster. To pass this requirement, the scoutmaster must say "Now that's a great cup of coffee. May I have another cup?".

    Anyway, this rumor has fueled a rush to start if not finish Cooking under the current requirements.


    • #3
      There are people over on Bryan all up in arms over this and I can't figure out why. Cooking is a necessary life skill, more so than most of the other Scoutcraft skills. Not trying to denigrate Scoutcraft, but you have to eat every day. If we made a Eagle Required Laundry MB that required doing your family's laundry for 30 days I suspect moms would be much more supportive of the program. Even if they double the required number of meals it is still fairly easy to do. They are going to cook and eat anyway. Without looking it up I think it is cook for two others, so a patrol can have two cooks. The backpacking meals do not have to be done on a actual backpacking trip, just using the methods. If the increased emphasis is on indoor cooking as rumored, so what ? Buy the groceries and cook for your family for seven consecutive days. Prepared. For Life.


      • #4
        Some people simply do not handle any changes well. For some reason it is always the end of the world. Just ignore. It should have never been removed in the first place IMO.


        • #5
          Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
          The backpacking meals do not have to be done on a actual backpacking trip, just using the methods.
          This makes it consistent with Camping Merit Badge, which is designed to get Cub Scout survivors to Eagle without ever walking into the woods with packs on their backs.


          • qwazse
            qwazse commented
            Editing a comment
            Of all the types of outings where a boy can cook independently (simply because most backpacking meals are done in groups of 3 or 4 max).
            You'd think a troop would simply schedule more backpacking excursions just so boys would have more opportunities to work on the MB.
            [looking for the wishful thinking emoticon ...]

          • Brewmeister
            Brewmeister commented
            Editing a comment
            Yes but it is really impractical to haul the two-burner camp stove, 20 pound propane tank, kitchen box requiring 4 pallbearers, dutch ovens, and 20-foot dining fly into the wilderness.

          • koolaidman
            koolaidman commented
            Editing a comment
            Don't forget the dutch oven table so you don't have to lean over to turn your lid.

        • #6
          Gee, my wife and I went on a vacation last week and used a one-burner backpack stove the whole week. We didn't have a problem, and didn't starve to death. It takes a bit more planning, but that comes with experience and actually doing it. Reading about it in a book does not make one an expert on the subject. Circumventing a requirement only insures the boy will never learn to do it right if needed.

          Being able to cook on a two-burner stove is great. Making the adjustments to a one-burner is laudable, but cooking on an open fire takes real skill beyond turning a adjusting screw on the burner. Taking that progression into account, a scout that can cook on an open fire will be able to adjust better to a burner stove far easier than the scout who has to because of necessity have to cook a meal on an open fire.

          Short changing the requirement short changes the scout.



          • #7
            I agree with skeptic, it never should have been removed in the first place. I was there when it happened, too. I earned Cooking MB, got the badge with the silver thread around it, then a few months later it wasn't required anymore. But while I think it should be on the required list, I think something else should have been removed. But I don't want to divert the thread with a discussion of what that should have been. Though I guess it has already been diverted; the question was, what the requirements are.


            • Builder
              Builder commented
              Editing a comment
              Heh. Like you I had to earn Cooking as a "required" badge right before "the change". Unfortunately, by the time it was awarded to me they had run out of the silver border version. My sash has a green border Cooking MB sewn on it....

          • #8
            Originally posted by RememberSchiff View Post
            Rumor here is that the new requirements are somehow harder. Maybe the first requirement will include personal safety and first aid, i.e. "Explain the hazards of ..."
            The first requirement under the current badge does that:
            1. Do the following:
              1. Review with your counselor the injuries that might arise from cooking, including burns and scalds, and the proper treatment.
              2. Describe how meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy products, and fresh vegetables should be stored, transported, and properly prepared for cooking.
              3. Describe the following food-related illnesses and tell what you can do to help prevent each from happening:
                1. Salmonella enteritis
                2. Staphylococcal enteritis
                3. E. coli (Escherichia coli) enteritis
                4. Botulism
                5. Trichinosis
                6. Hepatitis


            • #9
              Yes but I was thinking with less talk and more show
              1. Explain the importance of washing your hands including how often. Show how to properly wash your hands in the kitchen and in the field. List the diseases that may spread from improper washing and their symptoms. How should bathroom trips, runny noses, and sneezing be managed (No snot in the pot!)
              2. Show how to properly clean and store pots, pans, utensils, water containers. If you use cast iron cookware, show how to clean and season it.
              3. Explain common injuries such as burns and knife cuts and show how to treat those injuries.
              4. How do you keep food safe and determine if it is not? (Add a lot of detail here on checking temperature, bulging containers, freshness dates, cleaning vegetables, cross contamination, etc.) What illnesses can occur from the improper storage, cooking, and serving of food. How do you recognize and treat?

              My $0.02


              • RememberSchiff
                RememberSchiff commented
                Editing a comment
                Yeah paranoid about bacteria, a bout of food poisoning is not fun.

              • perdidochas
                perdidochas commented
                Editing a comment
                There are field signs for temperature. No need for a thermometer while cooking. I've used these for the 25 years I've cooked on my own. The only time I've had food poisoning is from eating an egg salad sandwich that had been left out on a courtesy table.

                For example, with chicken, you can tell temperature by the color of the juices coming out. You can also tell the temperature that the meat has reached by how it feels when poked by a fork. The same with most cuts of meat.

                I basically agree with BD, it verges on paranoid.

              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                I disagree those are reliable indicators. How many scouts can really use these field tests with any degree of reliability ?
                Last edited by King Ding Dong; 09-17-2013, 01:14 PM.

            • #10
              ?? I think we agree that checking temperature is important. I did not mention a particular method. I have not used a thermometer except at home with oven and microwave. If that makes me paranoid, okay.
              Last edited by RememberSchiff; 09-11-2013, 03:11 PM.


              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                I cook my thanksgiving turkey to temp in the oven using a thermometer, but not for fear of bacteria, but I really hate dry turkey.

              • Scouter99
                Scouter99 commented
                Editing a comment
                Had an adult sit a plate full of rare chicken on the table last year; I would've appreciated the objectiveness of a thermometer. Ate a lot of bread that night.

            • #11
              I actually use a thermometer when I'm slow-cooking meats on the grill. I'm not as sure of the field tests.


              • Twocubdad
                Twocubdad commented
                Editing a comment
                ALRIGHT! To which forum do we we spin the thread on smokers? Not that crazy about smoked turkey and chicken, KDD. The little bit of smoke isn't worth the time it takes. But I still have a couple pounds of 'cue in the freezer from the last round of butts I smoked. Excellent. And let me tell you about the Nova Scotia-style salmon I made back in the spring. Oy!

                What smokers do you guys use? Semi, sorta staying on topic, I use 3-4 digital thermometers in both the meat and cabinet. Of course that to keep the temp from getting too high, not to ensure minimums.
                Last edited by Twocubdad; 09-22-2013, 08:47 PM.

              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                Once the kids came along just don't have time to babysit wood or charcoal. Have a Bradley analog modified with an extra 500w element. Custom Auber PID digital dual probe controller. Elcheapo hood set up in my garage and dryer vent out the window. Love to cold smoke steaks for an hour of oak before grilling. The Jim Beam oak is real good.

                The trick with chicken or turkey is to cut way back on the smoke time and use apple.

                Yeah we should start a new thread in open discussion.

                I really want to expand into salmon. Love to hear your advise.
                Last edited by King Ding Dong; 09-22-2013, 10:06 PM.

              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                I cooked competition Q a couple of times. I disagree with KCB standards and why in the world am I spending $1,000 on meat and then $500 to enter a contest...

                here is my pit.....old school. I like a nice mix of oak and hickory.... old school


                I have smoked most poultry, waterfoul, upland game and most 4 legged critters from north america.