Duplicate the Mythbusters' 5-second-rule surface-culture explorations in your own kitchen! (You may not want to eat there again!)
Kitchen science: using ice cubes to cool very hot crock pot stews to a temperature where they'll be safer when refrigerated.
Also, split up very hot things-to-be-chilled into smaller portions, to avoid them remaining at temperatures where Things Like to Grow for very long. Recommended: food handler's card training, much in the same way that most computer-geeks have accumulated enough general machine knowledge to pass an A+ course, even if they have never gone for that.
Cookbooks and recipes are the reusable code of the cooking world. Someone else figured out that this hack works. It will probably work for you, perhaps with a little tweaking. Keep to the standards until you're comfortable customizing it.
The crockpot is a wonderful method of doing a batch job while cooking.
http://cookingforengineers.com/ is a wonderful place for kitchen geekery. Take note of the recipes -- they're very easy to follow if you're used to following graphic diagrams. Flow is left to right and top to bottom, like typical English-language writing.
For the love of gods, under-salt while cooking and bring the shaker, rather than over-salting.
Do not thermally shock your cookware -- if it's hot and needs to be washed, get the sink started running *hot* water, rather than dunking it in COLD.