Is Cooking Manly?

by Brett & Kate McKay on July 9, 2008 · 75 comments

in Blog, Is It Manly?

Each Thursday we ask whether you think a certain object or subject is manly. Make sure to check out past Is it manly? polls. Now for this week’s question:

Is cooking manly? Vote. Discuss.

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{democracy:14}

A reminder if you haven’t already. Make sure to enter to win $79 worth of Ritual men’s grooming products.

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jaye July 9, 2008 at 8:56 pm

I think this falls into the “Does the pope wear a funny hat?” query. A man who cooks is self sufficient and capable, and thus manly. He might not always do the cooking, but being unable to he might find himself eating out far more than he should.

2 Lee McKusick July 9, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I agree with Jaye. And I think the poll so far says the same.
Also, a man who can cook has an extra trick up his sleeve for impressing his woman, which certainly adds manliness points.

3 Kate July 9, 2008 at 9:11 pm

I find it interesting that the results are so lopsided, not because I don’t think cooking is manly, but because of all the men I have met in my life, the majority, while certainly not opposed to cooking, still didn’t know how to, or rarely did it. It seems like more guys like the idea of cooking than actually cook. Which is a shame, because women find a man who can cook incredibly attractive.

4 pp July 9, 2008 at 9:49 pm

Cooking has been considered a mans profession since generations and across many cultures. I cant see the reason behind the question. Between i know many men who can cook really well, but tend to act like bad cooks when mother/wife/girlfriend is around.

5 CalebC July 9, 2008 at 9:55 pm

Absolutely.
Especially if it evolves fire.
And even more so if it involves building a fire.

6 Frank July 9, 2008 at 10:21 pm

My girlfriend is out of town for the week and her 17 year old daughter is off counseling at summer camp, That leaves me and my lady’s 15 year old son on our own for the week. So, what was tonight’s dinner? I grilled a tri-tip on the Weber. I used my special dry rub and stoked the grill with mesquite charcoal and hickory chips for smoking. Our only side dish was potato chips. Now, that’s real MANLY cooking. I had to use the opportunity of this estrogen-free week to show the boy the manly art of BBQ. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. My dad taught me how to grill and I have an obligation to pass the sacred knowledge on to the next generation.

The tri-tip was Q’d to perfection, BTW. I ate half of it and washed it down with a generous amount of Wild Turkey. Best dinner ever!

7 Neil Simpson July 10, 2008 at 12:29 am

Of course cooking is manly….helplessness or dependence on someone else to do things for you can never be manly.

8 Thomas Murphy July 10, 2008 at 12:54 am

The greatest chefs in the world are men

9 Kurt July 10, 2008 at 2:31 am

Still, it would be nice if the cooking shows didn’t contain so many un-manly men.

Providing a meal is manly, no doubt about it. Putting together some metrosexual work of art because cooking is currently all the rage is…questionable.

10 Novel July 10, 2008 at 2:47 am

The most important meal for a man to be able to cook? Breakfast.

11 Jon July 10, 2008 at 2:55 am

I believe that cooking is one of the more manly things that can be done in life. Even though many people grew up with mom’s home cookin’ and figures like Julia Childs, the realm of cooking is definitely manly. There are few things manlier than working with sharp knives, specifically prepared ingredients, searing hot pans, time management so a meal comes out right, presentation (proof that you have an eye for the artistic and appealing), and working with something raw and ugly to make it something beautiful and delicious. Once all of that is done? Cleaning. Taking the time and pride in your work to return the chaos you may have created in the kitchen back to a clean and respectable place. Oh yes, cooking is about as manly as it gets

12 Jimmy July 10, 2008 at 2:58 am

I will say that when I was married, I rarely cooked, if ever.

Now that I am single again, I spent some time perusing the internet in order to learn how to cook. I must say that if you have half a brain and can follow simple instructions, there is no reason you can’t cook. I have also found that on every occasion, a woman is extremely impressed by a man that can throw a meal together.

Every man should have a few basic meals that they can whip up in a snap, along with a bottle of wine that compliments it.

13 Conibear Trapp July 10, 2008 at 3:28 am

‘Course it’s manly. All of history’s best chefs have been men.

Besides, who can lower a turkey into a boiling pot of oil until the whole thing overflows and starts a massive fire? Women aren’t man enough to do that!

14 C Smith July 10, 2008 at 4:17 am

Is Jamie Oliver a rich bloke?

15 Pat July 10, 2008 at 4:19 am

Mom always said “If you can read, you can cook.” If you can’t cook you have never really lived independently and if you have not lived independently how can you be a man?

16 Granata July 10, 2008 at 4:42 am

I’ve just recently started taking cooking seriously when I made it a habit to fix breakfast on Saturday mornings for the family. The family likes to eat and I like spending an hour and a half before the rest of the house gets up focusing on a task that I know will be appreciated.

17 Adam July 10, 2008 at 5:04 am

I cook for my wife and four kids – you’re dang right it’s manly! I’m the priest, pastor, and _provider_ for my family; that doesn’t stop when I clock out at work.

My wife is slowly learning how to cook, but all the good meals are cooked by yours truly. Shhhh, don’t tell her I said that!

One funny thing though, and I believe someone touched on it earlier – my meals consist of meat and maybe a side. A side being beer. Or chips and queso. I told my wife that if she wants our kids to eat anything green, she’d have to cook it herself or keep cut veggies in the fridge with ranch dressing at all times, so she does.

THAT’S a MAN!

18 matthew July 10, 2008 at 5:17 am

The ability to grill a steak is a quintessentially manly task.
To do it well demonstrates supreme manliness.

Unfortunately, I have done neither. More for lack of a grill (they don’t fit well in apartments) than anything else.

All other cooking is manly as well, and a man who knows his way around a kitchen is indeed a manly man.

19 Trey Morgan July 10, 2008 at 5:19 am

When my wife tells me I look sexy to her when I’m cooking in the kitchen, then yes it’s manly. But then again, she also tells me I look sexy when I’m dusting. Hey wait… I’m beginning to catch on.

:)

20 Dave Navarro July 10, 2008 at 5:28 am

Cooking is MANLY.

Cooking her favorite stuff? Manlier.

21 Dr Awesome July 10, 2008 at 5:56 am

It depends. There are few things manlier than preparing meat over a fire. There are few things less manly than cooking something with a name like couscous or quiche. It’s not the act, it’s the food.

22 Morydd July 10, 2008 at 6:13 am

I’ll have to disagree with Dr. Awesome. While preparing meat over a fire is manly, cooking something like couscous or quiche is even more manly. A monkey could figure out how to cook a steak with enough practice, but to be able to prepare a meal that will impress women, parents, bosses and clients requires intelligence and security. It’s not the food, it’s the knowledge.

23 VegasDad July 10, 2008 at 6:59 am

Ask any woman and she’ll tell you it is. Chicks did a man with mad culinary skills.

24 Robert J. Walker July 10, 2008 at 7:05 am

While cooking is manly, I don’t think that its attractiveness to women always has much to do with its manliness. Being attractive to women is manly, sure. But for a fair number of women, at least, the attractiveness has less to do with the fact that you can cook because you’re a competent man, and more to do with the fact that you can cook and therefore *she doesn’t have to.* And attracting women chiefly because you allow them to be lazy isn’t manly.

This is probably material for a whole separate article, but too many women, I think, tend to look at men as sort of free-range accessories. If you don’t think so, think about how many women make up their minds that they’re dissatisfied with their man’s wardrobe, even if he dresses well, because it clashes with their *own* style. (Although some men, honestly, could use the help.) So in that sense, a handbag is nice, but a handbag that can cook…!

Fortunately, there are many women that value men for more than what they look like and what they can do for them. That kind of woman will value a man’s ability to cook as a sign of competence and self-sufficiency. Attracting that kind of woman, now *that* is manly!

In any case, cooking (well) with fire is definitely manly!

25 Richard July 10, 2008 at 8:27 am

I hope it is, because I like to cook.

As far as manly cookbooks go, I recommend The Joy of Cooking. It’s to the point, there are no color pictures, and the recipes are clear and to the point. It’s all about the food too, none of this “now put it on a floral plate with a linen napkin for best presentation” type stuff.

Also, spend a little on spices. Having good spices on hand can improve everything from omelets to steaks.

26 Herch July 10, 2008 at 8:30 am

I like many of the comments made here, and agree with a lot of them. But I want to add a couple thoughts.
Cooking is about provision. Traditionally, a man’s task is to provide not only for his family but his community. In my experience, the best times spent with family and friends is around a good meal and drink with good conversation and laughter. The ability to provide these things in abundance, especially in a spirit of hospitality and kindness, sharing of your blessings and bounty is a capstone of manliness. I take great pride in a well-prepared meal that really satisfies the hunger of the folks around me. It isn’t about the compliments, though those are nice, it’s about the sense of connection and comradery with your fellow human on a very basic, may I say, primal level.

Cooking also gives man another connection to woman, especially the mothers/wives who always take care of us ; a way to help understand them (and we need all the help we can get there) and a way to show our appreciation. I was taught to cook by my grandmother. The woman put more love than anyone could ever measure into every meal she prepared. While men have a hard time saying what they feel, cooking like she taught me to cook allows me to prove my feelings without having to say it.

Another influence in my ability to cook was/is my father, who is a beast of a man. He’s been a fireman for 35 years and a carpenter during his off hours. You don’t get more manly than that. He’s known at the fire house as being “The Cook”. Since everything he does is manly. And since he cooks. I can only surmise that Cooking is Manly.

27 Jim July 10, 2008 at 8:44 am

When referring to cooking as a masculine skill, a picture of a Chinese man wielding a giant cast iron wok over a high fire comes to mind. Cooking with a wok is a dynamic ritual which has been around for thousands of years. It epitomizes the no-nonsense, get down to business attitude characteristic of men.

28 Scott July 10, 2008 at 11:13 am

Kitchen utensils are just tools, and everyone knows it’s manly to use tools!

As for grilling, which is cooking, after all, how much more manly does it get?

Just don’t wear any flowery aprons…

29 drakono July 10, 2008 at 11:14 am

As long as it involves meat. Bonus points for firing up the grill.

30 Karl July 10, 2008 at 12:14 pm

I think cooking has at various times been seen as a womanly thing because of the whole breast feeding thing. No seriously. There are few things more distinctly womanly than the ability to feed another human right from one’s body. That ability to feed others became associated with the ultimate in nurturing, and being nurturing is often associated with women. Besides in primitive societies it was always the men who killed the meat, and the women who cooked it up. Having men cook is a more recent phenomena, at least when you consider the great expanse of human history.

31 betty July 10, 2008 at 12:35 pm

I thought I was an excellent cook until I met my boyfriend (then I found out I’m an incredible baker, but merely a mediocre cook).

He is absolutely magic in a kitchen! Not only has he introduced me to all sorts of amazing things I’ve never tried before (avocado, artichokes, asparagus, shellfish, mushrooms, truffle oils, etc.), but he does things to flavors and heat I’d never have attempted either. Plus, it’s just adorable and sexy watching him dicing things while bouncing to Slayer or the Melvins.

32 Alex July 10, 2008 at 12:41 pm

I think this is more a question of “when is it manly?”

Chef – manly
BBQ/camping – manly
Home cook – gray area. And for no reason other than we have all grown up with society depicting the woman as the cook and dad as the bread winner. I think this is quickly falling out of the societal mindset in this day when mom and dad work and the cook is who ever gets home first.

33 Bill July 10, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Fundamentally, yes. But there generally has to be meat and (preferably) fire involved. An exception might be eggs in an iron skillet. It’s dairy but it’s manly.

34 Matthew July 10, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Cooking is very manly. Pioneers all over the world were predominantly men, and they had to feed themselves. They were self sufficient a and had to take whatever life threw at them.
Part of being a man is being able to feed yourself. Bonus points if you feed others too.
What’s the most manly cooking vessel? Any cast iron skillet or dutch oven of course. They go anywhere a man does, over a fire in the back country, on the grill in the back yard, or on the stove in your kitchen. A cast iron vessel is so basic it’s on the Periodic Table (Fe). No man should be without them.

35 Greg July 10, 2008 at 5:16 pm

Absolutely, cooking is manly. My cooking has a decidedly uncomplicated and somewhat non-creative slant to it, but that’s what makes it manly. With that said, my wife and I have fairly well defined cooking roles: I am the sous chef in the kitchen when she’s at home for dinner, and I have COMPLETE control at the BBQ. Nobody comes near the grill. In fact, I find that a certain measure of a man’s character is determined by his willingness (or unwillingness, preferably) to hand someone else the tongs. I sometimes test people and ask if I can flip a burger or steak when we’re at a BBQ. It does not happen at my grill.

36 Basil Moss July 11, 2008 at 6:44 am

Has whoever started this poll ever been in a commercial kitchen? There cannot be many more macho working environments in any other profession.

37 santa July 11, 2008 at 6:46 am

I have always heard that the world’s greatest chefs are men. And as a man in his late 20′s I am proud to say I know how to cook. It is a shame that women my age hardly even know how to make a decent meal. I am serious… I think most women born after 1984 don’t know how to make a meal without a microwave. My last few girlfriends were so pathetic in the kitchen, one even thinking that ramen noodles was actually cooking.

38 Tom July 11, 2008 at 10:20 pm

I think so, my father in my opinion is very manly, and he likes to cook dinner. Al Pachino once said “Anywhere you go, the best cooks are men”

39 Moe Rubenzahl July 12, 2008 at 7:13 am

I can’t believe you’d even ask.

I’ll fling into the mix my favorite Rita Rudner quote: “Men like to barbecue. Men will cook if danger is involved.”

40 Bob July 12, 2008 at 5:35 pm

I enjoy cooking. It may not look fancy or stay not-on-fire but it is tasty and my fiance loves it

41 Lee July 13, 2008 at 4:49 pm

“Home cook – gray area. And for no reason other than we have all grown up with society depicting the woman as the cook and dad as the bread winner.”

I say it’s pretty not-manly to have society (or a web site) tell you what is or is not manly.

So let me tell you. Cooking is manly. Cooking impresses women. Cooking allows you to entertain your friends. Cooking is a way to give pleasure to a number of people simultaneously in a broadly socially acceptable context.

Is it manly? You’re damn right. And a properly prepared quiche is delicious, and anybody who thinks that eating delicious food makes you less manly don’t really have any substantial manliness to worry about.

42 FingerSoup July 16, 2008 at 11:16 am

Considering the restaurant industry has a history of being dominated by men (even to the point of sexism in the workplace), I’d say it would be impossible to say cooking isn’t manly.

I’d say most men love to cook. Look at barbecuing. Meat, fire and knives are always manly… then there’s secret recipes – You can be the “international spy” trying to find out what Bob does to his ribs to make them fall off the bone, or conversely, hold that secret ingredient so tight, that it will follow you to the grave making you a culinary legend amongst friends… “Hey – do you remember Bob’s ribs? It’s a shame we’ll never see the likes of those again….”

Then there’s the mad scientist aspect…. Playing with acids (vinegar and citrus), Bizarre mixtures of powders (Do you actually know what is in curry powder?). trying to blend a perfect mix of plant and animal. Testing those concoctions on yourself or other human subjects, without even going through laboratory or animal testing (Although if the dog doesn’t like it…). Some of my most diabolical schemings have created the “secret ingredient” that is worthy of people spying on… It’s amazing what a can of coke can do to meat…. Oh no, I’ve said too much….

And of course there is the serving of food. Giving out the food to your guests, choosing what goes on the grill, deciding what gets served, and what stays in the fridge. This will satisfy the bread-winner complex for any men. It might even satisfy a man’s god complex…. “COME, foolish mortals! TO my grill, with plates for the offering! I give gifts of Maple glazed grilled pork chops, with cheese drenched potatoes and beer!” Then there’s hunting your own game meats, or cooking live shellfish… Any man with a god complex could say what lives or dies…. Ohhh, the power of cooking… I will let my guests live by boiling them a lobster each, or shooting a deer. Take life to give to another! MUHAHAHAHAH

But you’d better be good at it, so people can stroke your ego, and follow you through to the next meal. A GOOD cook will receive rave reviews from guests and will lead them through many a meal…. A bad cook will have his followers turn on him and leave. “There’s something wrong with the Chicken…. I’m going to the hospital” are words that will crush a man’s soul, and leave hem bereft of friendship. Poisoning your followers with untasty food is a surefire way to keep them away for good.

43 abdullah July 17, 2008 at 2:10 am

a man should be able to cook, but maintaing the home and nuturing its occupants is still the role of women. if there are women around, they should do the cooking.

44 Marisa July 18, 2008 at 3:52 am

Don’t know if it’s manly or not — but it sure is sexy.

45 I Am An Evil Taco July 18, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Maintaining a home is the role of a woman?

Abdullah, I pity your wife.

That aside cooking is most assuredly manly. Any skill, really, when mastered can become a manly endeavor. It’s all in the confidence of the person doing it. Knitting was popularized in large parts by sailors, who got bored on cruises and made clothing. It’s a matter of self sufficiency, and that’s never not manly.

Personally, I don’t get the fascination with meat + fire = manly, though. The most manly dishes to me are stuff like stuffed manicotti. The kind that one italian uncle makes, better than anyone you’ve ever met. I think cooking with cheese is more manly than cooking with meat, personally. And no, I’m not a vegetarian.

I also don’t really care about it impressing women. I find cooking to be another way a man can provide for his family, and another example of the renaissance man. Cooking is something we have to do every day, to survive. To not master it seems foolish. But, I’m in training to be a chef, so I might be biased.

46 FingerSoup July 22, 2008 at 10:01 pm

Evil Taco – The answer is the North American stereotype of a “traditional family”.
In general, the stereotype is that men are the ones to light fires, build things, provide sustenance (typically hunter/gatherer stuff) and control the elements. Women are traditionally seen as quiet pillars, making their man look good with all the supporting elements. They are the organizers, home-runners, and supporters of men.

Thus, following the stereotype, The Woman, usually acts as hostess, and is generally who welcomes people to the home, and basically does the “behind the scenes” work in the kitchen – The salads, the prep work for the meat and such. The man, is usually out by the grill, typically with beer in hand, flipping burgers over an open flame. It is very infrequent that one will see these 2 roles completely reversed.

To further the stereotype, After the man has come home from a long work day, he is tired, and would like his stay-at-home wife to serve him dinner and take care of him. this is where most people (Like abdullah above) see cooking as a woman’s job. On the other hand, on the weekend, the man loves to roll out the grill and provide for his friends and family in a different way. by mastering the element of fire in a controlled environment, the man likes to light the barbecue. The man, taming nature’s most dangerous and unpredictable element gives him a sense of power over nature. Then taking the meat – once a living being, and placing it on the grill, only amplifies that sense. “This animal I place on the grill has not mastered nature like we have…” once again, inflating the sense of power through ego. The man is complemented on his mastery of the grill. The Woman is complemented on the recipes used.

Of course, as I said, this is an incredibly stereotypical view, and in real life, does not always pan out that way…. But it’s how it’d go if you were watching “Leave it to Beaver” with a touch of Al Bundy…..

47 Matt July 24, 2008 at 8:54 pm

As I once heard someone say….

Cooking involves fire, sharp objects, and dead things. What isn’t manly about that?

48 JazzMonkey August 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm

It absolutely is “manly” to be a great cook. Just taking charge, creating something useful and beneficial to all is the most manly endeavor of them all. Doesn’t matter if it’s a business, a new-fangled gadget, or cooking a great meal.

That, and I think being able to prepare a meal that is not only nutritious and sustaining but also innovative and creative is a fine example of a well-integrated man.

49 przepisy kulinarne August 14, 2008 at 10:09 am

Thank you for this article, I appreciate it even more because it is not so common to find those kind of things on the net. Thnx!
I like to cook very at home. Greetings from Poland.

50 Alan September 27, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Dutch oven cooking is very manly, anything Cacciatore especially. Even the name is manly, Cacciatore means “In the style of the Hunter”, and it’s where meat is braised in flavorful liquid. Cast iron skillets are also manly, along with anything involving fire.

51 Nicolas Matias October 12, 2008 at 10:12 am

@abdullah – Well I think that -leaving aside the sterotype- a man that really can cook and set an elegant table for any meal (just an informal lunch at home) says a lot of himself, since the preparation of meals involves some kind of elegance, take something simple as a salad, you have to be careful enough to chop the different ingredients in a shape and size that permits a person to take a decent bite of it. Also the combinations of ingredients talks about the good taste of the person that made it. And so – on, in my opinion Abdullah just have to go back to the middle ages….

52 Joey Miller December 22, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Using knives and fire to satiate hunger? Cooking is a culmination of manliness. Of course, much has been done culturally to femenize it — fluting a cakes icing so that it looks like a happy teddy bear, for instance, is unmanly. But in essence, cooking is science, one of the original uses of tools, and basic to providing to oneself; and all those things are manly.

53 Curtis January 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Of course cooking is manly! But some men fall into a few frou-frou trends that decreases the over all manliness of their cooking.

-Fear of mistakes. The first thing to realize is, mistakes will happen. You’ll burn something, you’ll add the wrong ingredient, you’ll undercook a few things. Some stuff will get thrown out, some will get ate by the dog, some will taste surprisingly delicious. You really have to watch out for that last bunch, because some of those will put you in the emergency room. You will screw up. Learn from your mistakes, and overcome. And when your woman makes fun of you for setting off the smoke alarm, tell her to get her skinny butt out of your kitchen before she messes something up.

-Lack of creativity. When I find a recipe, I only follow it to the letter once. After the first batch I’m already thinking up ways to improve it. Flavorology, (Maybe some cayenne?) Chemistry (Should I increase the amount of baking soda?) and Thermodynamics (cookie sheet bad! Cast Iron Good!)all come into play. Making the same thing over and over again is boring. You should always be trying to improve and specialize.

-Over reliance on gizmos. Some tools are cool, some are awesome. Some are just stupid. Know when to get a new gizmo, and when to just sharpen your knives. Don’t buy anything that some screaming guy on TV is trying to sell.

-Sticking to the same genre. Yes, cooking steaks with a grill or fire is Manly to the max, but if that is all you can do, then you need to grow your portfolio. Get a slow cooker and try making chili or stew, get an ice cream maker and make up some ice cream for the kids. Throw some ears of corn or potatoes wrapped in foil next to those steaks the next time you fire up the weber. Grab a cast iron skillet, and make up some bacon and eggs. Bonus points if you hijack the mrs’ oven and figure out how to build made-from-scratch biscuits. The fire and the grill is the beginning.

-Labeling something as too feminine to fool with. Strawberry shortcake looks pretty feminine until you find some young vixen eating strawberries and whipped cream off your torso. Baking looks pretty feminine at first, but there’s alot of complicated chemistry going on with those biscuits. (Baking soda IS NOT baking powder, don’t make the same mistake I did.) Veggies sound feminine, until you throw them in a slow cooker with a huge slab of beef and make a roast. Bread? Bread can be the culinary equivelant to Rocket science at times.

54 Allstar January 26, 2009 at 10:35 am

Cooking is about the manliest thing you can do.

My favorite dish to manufacture: A medium well pan seared sirloin with a big, buttery baked potato, a napa cabbage salad with balsamic vinegrette dressing and backyard tomoatoes, and an ice cold glass of amber beer.

It’s manly to love your mother’s cooking, but it’s even manlier to cook like her.

It’s also very manly to have a candle-lit dinner waiting for your significant other when she gets in on occasion.

Dying of malnutrition a month after college: Extremely un-manly.

55 kevster March 3, 2009 at 11:02 am

@Joey – Fluting a cake so that it looks like a teddy bear is unmanly?
I don’t have daughters, but if I did, I think that being able to produce something like a happy teddy bear cake for a daughter’s birthday would only serve to help build an image of me in her mind of a man who can do anything.

56 J. Kokkinis November 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Cooking is a necessary skill. One cannot always make it to a restaurant or have a woman around willing or able to cook.

If a person likes to eat then they should know how to cook. Pure and simple.

If cooking is unmanly then one has just insulted Colonel Sanders, Chef Boyardee and several men who have become excellent chefs.

57 Ian January 11, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Cooking, in any context, is manly.

As Robert Rodriguez, director of many manly movies such as Sin City, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico has said, “Not knowing how to cook is like not knowing how to f*ck.”

58 Gene January 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Women dig men who cook, and what women dig in a man is manly.

59 The_Outlaw January 14, 2013 at 11:45 am

My Nonno (Grandpa) was the best cook within my entire Italian family.
He was also very macho ( a manly man ) imvho.
So I would have to say; ‘Yes’ men who can cook are capable of being very manly men.

60 CAS February 4, 2013 at 10:02 pm

A man that likes to cook likes to please others. My wife loves that I cook and is always telling her girlfriends about things that I have cooked and they all say they wish their husbands liked to cook. I don’t cook every meal just when I am in the mood for something special. I get to drink, play with fire, and swing around sharp objects…Hell yes it’s manly! For those of you guys that don’t cook you should give it a try. It is very satisfying to work hard in the kitchen and produce a delicious meal for those that you love.

Cheers

61 Elias March 7, 2013 at 7:53 pm

I fail to see how fixing up sustenance is feminine.

62 Sean+ March 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm

I would invert the question somewhat and ask: Is being unable to prepare food for oneself manly? Is being dependent on somebody else for a meal manly? Is it manly to reduce one’s options? Is being incompetent manly? Is the answer to all those is “yes,” then cooking is unmanly. Otherwise, it’s manly.

63 Eric Grant April 27, 2013 at 1:51 am

Cooking is VERY manly! Look at Hank Hill. Nothing is more manly than a man and his grill.

On a more serious note, I guarantee you that every restaurant you go to is predominantly male cooks, with a female wait staff. This falls into the irony category, however, because the stereotypical gender role is for females to make dinner.

64 Richard April 27, 2013 at 6:46 am

Definitely manly in extenuating circumstances. When by oneself, unless needed, unmanly. If cooking on a grill, manly. The butcher from Gangs of New York, manly. Cooking because you know your wife/girlfriend is coming home soon, and you’ll probably get laid after, very unmanly – but purposeful. If you’re a cook and can juggle knives, yes manly, but if you’ve become a cook, being of a mafia family, very unmanly. Stuck in the wilderness, only if you’re either fending for you’re life or saving others.

65 Brian May 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

My wife was a stay-at-home mom for the 10 years. This year, she has gone back to work full time as a teacher at my children’s private school. The shift has been dramatic and hard on her and in an effort to help out, I have taken on many of the cooking duties, however, I do it in a manly way. I have learned to grill more than just a steak or a hamburger; I have learned to properly use a dutch oven (which is cool for camping as well), and I have learned to cook using cast iron skillets (a great and manly forearm workout!). The appreciation of my wife knows no bounds, the compliments of my kids is the ultimate reward, and nothing says “Manly” like feeding your family.

66 Gabrielle June 4, 2013 at 6:28 pm

It needs to be done weather a woman is around or not.

Do you like meat?
Do you like beans?
You need to cook. Cooking is not a Gender. It is life.

67 Rohit Ramachandran June 26, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Yes. Self-sufficiency is manly.

68 Doug Davis August 15, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Couldn’t put it better than Rohit. Just an obvious example for American males: would you call the guys that went with Lewis and Clark unmanly? They scoped out their prey, gutted and skinned it, then cooked it. I’d bet most of them could sew and mend. In that way they put to shame almost all of our pre-packaged, throwaway generation. Yes, self-sufficiency is manly. And just flat-out cool too.

69 Phil Avorque August 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Cooking is a way of survival in my opinion. It was never woman thought of it at the first place. Now, today’s generation says, cooking is for house wives. so does the man goes to work. But the truth is cooking is manly but not to kiss somebodies ass to do it (or to impress someone). there’s a limit. Manly man doesn’t have to impress, and cooking is way of survival. which is a man really invented in the first place.

70 Chefistopheles August 19, 2013 at 7:36 am

There are no exceptions to when, or what food… Cooking, without question, is manly…

High heat, whether from open fire, or hot oil in a saute pan… Sharp blades (has anyone else ever been bitten by a mandolin?)… I’ve been burned, stabbed, sliced, and burned again.

As for the meat vs non meat… Saying that cooking steaks on a grill is manly, but preparing asparagus amandine, or a perfect hollandaise is not, is like saying that Larry Bird, or Steve Nash are less manly because they couldn’t dunk, and instead utilized finesse games… Manly doesn’t just consist of blunt and brutish methods, the ability to show mastery of timing, finesse, and attention to detail are equally manly.

Which brings me to the point of presentation. When you do something, and you do it well. There is nothing wrong with presenting it in a way that makes it look good. If you make a killer risotto, why just plop it in a bowl when you could add a little flair… That’s like, having the skill to construct an amazing home, and building a simple shack, just because, “making it look nice makes me girly”…

Oh… also… being secure enough in your masculinity, to do something that whatever society you live in thinks is less masculine, and doing it well, without negotiating your manliness. IS MANLINESS.

71 Tim October 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm

In the old Army (The tougher Army in my mind) the cook was a respected part of the squadron. He wasn’t the portly person the movies portray, he was a man! He trained, fought, and marched alongside his comrades, and he had to provide enough food for everyone to remain healthy and capable. Of course cooking is manly!

72 WendyBird December 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm

The manliest men I’ve ever known were my Uncle, Great Uncle, and Grandfather, and whenever there was a family gathering they were the ones who presided over cooking. My grandmother baked, and might make dessert, but anything that required open heat was the domain of the men. It was one of his great beefs with my Step father that SF couldn’t cook and considered the kitchen to be off limits too him until mealtime.

The family recipe book is full of very manly meat and potatoes dishes from my Grandfather. His legacy lives in the kitchen and on the family grills forever.

73 Dave December 9, 2013 at 5:29 pm

I don’t remember how it happened but I somehow became the camp cook when we boys would run hunting and fishing camps. Mostly I either roasted things over the fire or cooked them in an iron skillet over coals. We ran a fishing camp one summer that had someone in it for ten weeks straight. We cleaned and ate what we caught or killed and smoked cheap cigars afterward. Manly stuff it was.

I still cook today in the kitchen. My cooking is made more manly by using mostly big iron skillets and dutch ovens. A ten-inch blade kept so sharp that everyone else in the house is afraid of it adds a bit too.

It is quite satisfying to have your woman exclaim, “Oh my!” when she has her first bite of a meal you prepared. Rewards will follow your efforts.

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