I do believe that the methods that are most widely used have been tried and tested and have had proven results.
I'm sure there is a lot of experienced trainers that add a twist or 2 to their program which has had positive results,but I'd say most are still big named based.
Even Lardy say's that his program is Carr based,but how many dog's did he train to be able to improve on it?
I dont think it is close minded to believe in proven results.
Good news about cooking is if you mess it up you can throw it in the trash and start over or feed it to your dog.
Good luck with the stick and string ,its cold out!