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18 Cooking Tips: Chefs Share Their Secrets

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18 Cooking Tips: Chefs Share Their Secrets
Photo Moyan Brenn/Flickr

This Reddit thread where chefs and homecooks share their best cooking tips and advice is the gift that keeps on giving. Previously we brought you 24 cooking tips from chefs; now here are are 18 more, honed over hundreds of collective years in professional and domestic kitchens.

Warning: this could change how you cook forever, you can't unsee these.


When starting to cook, you should taste your food before and after adding a new ingredient, and throughout cooking. This will let you know how different ingredients and techniques affect food, and will help you cook without using a recipe in the future.


Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp knives.


When making pork chops cut the ribbon of fat so that it is in pieces instead of one long piece. It prevents the chop from curling in the pan and cooking unevenly.


Peel your carrots. Not everything needs to be on high heat. A good chef knife will be the only tool you really need for home cutting. Save your bacon fat. Soups are the best way to use leftovers. 


When grilling burgers, make a small dent on the top of the patty with your thumb. when they cook, they'll stay flat, rather than shrinking and getting very tall in the middle.


Do NOT put cast iron stuff (skillets, grill pans, etc) in the dishwasher. Unless you like ruining things.


If using raw chopped onions in a dish, soak them in cold water first to draw out the sulfates.


You can use a little baking soda to help caramelize things. All grains should be cooked in stock instead of water, if possible - even vegetable stock will add richness and flavor. Always use low-sodium stock, as it makes it easier to control the flavour.


Boil your beets with clove and coffee beans. They'll be heavenly. Or foil roast 'em, that's fine, too.


Mix one part sugar and water, heat it and stir until all the sugar dissolves. Brush this in-between layers of a cake and keep it super moist and awesome for longer.


Make hardboiled eggs super easy to peel: add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water when you boil them! 


Don't use any oil on your pasta while boiling. It doesn't do anything to help it cook and makes the sauce run off. Salt is fine though.


For pie crusts, put everything in the freezer first for an hour. Try a 75/25 butter shortening ratio. Keep the fat cold cold cold while you cut it into the flour. Use ice water to form the dough. The bowl should remain COLD.


Mushrooms contain a lot of water. Don't wash them, brush the dirt off.


Don't cut lettuce, tear lettuce.


Don't smoke. You'd be amazed at how damaging smoking is to your taste buds. It's like being a sculptor who is all thumbs, you cripple your ability.


If you put a wooden spoon across a boiling pot (like when making pasta) your water will not boil over.

After more cooking tips? Here are 10 top tips from Gordon Ramsay.

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