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Chefs spend years perfecting their craft and, from lots of trial and error, they pick up some amazing tips and tricks for cooking perfect dishes.
The best thing is when chefs pass on these gems of culinary knowledge and in an ongoing Reddit QnA - What are some some tips and tricks that everyone should know about cooking? - chefs have been piling in to offer their advice.
There are hundreds of different pieces of cooking advice from chefs of varying degrees and some of them are really useful for home and professional cooks to consider.
Below we’ve collated a few of the best tips from chefs considering some of the advice that can easily be applied in your own kitchen.
Click through to the Reddit page to read the rest, here’s our selection of the best.
Whatever you're sautéing, don't crowd the pan. Get a bigger pan or cook in batches but the reason your potatoes/veggies/etc. aren't getting brown and crispy is because they're drowning in their own juice.
A falling knife has no handle. Forever true. Don't learn this one the hard way.
One tip I learned about making roux is to cook it until it starts to smell "nutty".
Stop lifting the lid off of a pot of rice. Look at me. LOOK. AT. ME. STOP TAKING THE LID OFF THE GODDAMN RICE. YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT MUSHY OR CRUNCHY RICE AND IT'S EITHER BECAUSE YOU DON'T MEASURE OR YOU WON'T LEAVE THE LID ALONE. The steam cooks the rice, by taking the lid off you RUIN EVERYTHING FOREVER.
Smell the seasoning you want to add while tasting. It's the opposite effect of plugging your nose so you don't taste things. The flavors will combine and you'll know if the seasoning is going to work before adding it.
Steaks continue to cook even off the grill.
Black pepper burns at 325F so it should be added at the end.
A chef taught me that sprinkling pepper onto strawberries makes them taste like strawberry-flavoured candy. I tried it and definitely recommend it.
Quote from a friend "Use real butter, it's a mistake to even have margarine on hand"
Learn some basic flavor combinations. A good way to figure this out is to read the history of the spice trade. That way you will know what spices and flavors go with what. A few examples French- lemon + parsley; and/or carrots, onions, celery. Tarragon, chervil, sage, herbs de provence Italian- tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive oil, hot peppers, oregano, bay leaves, Mexican- Lime + Cilantro, coriander, cumin, hot peppers Thai- Lime, Mint, Cilantro, shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, galangal, Thai basil, green pepper.
There is no recipe on Earth where simply one clove of garlic is enough.
Wash your god damn hands.
A good sauce can save almost anything. Learn how to cook at least three sauces from memory with every day ingredients. A red wine sauce (cup or so of red wine, some butter, salt, onions and pepper) can turn any cheap steak into a great meal. Simple marinara can be made for under $10 bucks, and is just as good as the $20 pasta you get at Maggiano's. Find some recipes you like, and memorize them.
If you need to juice a citrus fruit put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, you'll be surprised how much more juice you'll get.
If your soup is a little over salted, place a peeled potato in the soup. Remove the potato after 15 minutes. If it's still salty order a pizza.
Learn to reduce onions. Once you're good at onion reductions, a whole world of sauces opens up and people will think you're a cooking god.
One of my alround weapons is mustard. Almost everything works with a little extra mustard.
Brussel sprouts need to be cooked roasted for at least 20 minutes to evaporate off the chemical that makes them taste bitter and "cabbage-y."
Proper method for peeling cloves of Garlic... The Flat of the Knife method is great for smashing garlic, no doubt. This is a quick and easy way to prep garlic for tossing into a pan, etc. But... not necessarily the best way to peel garlic. Take your cloves (I often cook with more than one, so this works well with multiple cloves), and put them in a bowl. Take a matching bowl or a plate and cover the bowl with the cloves in it. Pick it up, and shake the bowl vigorously. Like you are trying to play the maracas during a seizure. Really shake them. After about 20 secs, put the bowl down on the counter, remove the covering bowl/plate and what do you know, your peeled, clean garlic cloves are nestled in their own bed of stripped skins. Leaves the cloves intact and is great for other prep methods.
Kosher salt. I tell this to every person I talk to about cooking. Your food will taste much better and it will be much harder to oversalt your food with kosher salt than it will with iodized salt. I guarantee that you will notice a huge difference once you make the switch. edit: contrary to popular belief you are not actually food.
Mire Poix (2 parts onion, 1 part celery 1 part carrots, and garlic), these are MAGICAL THINGS. Use them always. Mise en place. A french term for "Everything in it's place". Good for kitchen, also good for the rest of your life. And cooking with beer and wine is fun, but harder to do than it looks. Drink it instead, you'll get a better result.
Thickening soup or chili. Chili - use more tomato paste and potentially corn starch. Cream soups - Corn starch or flour (corn starch will stick together, so you need to whisk it hard).
Buy a meat thermometer and learn how to use it. It takes all the anxiety out of roasts and poultry. Also, learn how to brine. Brining (soaking food in a solution of salt, sugar, and (sometimes) spices) will insure that you're not going to have dry turkey ever again. Oh, and fat tastes good. Don't be afraid of it.
Blanche your tomatoes (dip them in boiling water for 30 seconds), and peel the skins off before making your tomato sauce, the skins are wicked bitter.