21 Chefs Share Crucial Cooking Tips And Tricks That Everyone Should Know.
Sear it, roast it, cook it, Bop It.
Chefs of Reddit were asked: "What are some some tips and tricks that everyone should know about cooking?" These are some of the best answers.
1/21 Use a proper knife and cutting board. Learn to take care of your knife. Try not to cut yourself. I have met many people who don't enjoy cooking because of how difficult it is to cut anything. This should never be the case.
2/21 I honestly don't know how so many people can cook without salt and pepper. Whenever anything or anyone says season the food. Only use salt and pepper. I usually use Kosher Salt (in those boxes. I like the texture) and freshly ground pepper. White, green, red and black peppers are just varying degrees of ripeness or the peppercorn fruit. PROTIP - White pepper powder cauterized wounds without any burning or stinging.
3/21 Steaks continue to cook even off the grill.
4/21 Match flavors. If you're cooking something with bacon, use the bacon fat to saute your vegetables. Cook a steak with butter. Use white wine if the food you're cooking is light in color. Use red wine if the food is dark in color. Don't use butter if you're cooking vegetarian. Don't add chicken stock to a beef based dish. (There are, or course, some exceptions to this rule. That is for a later time though...)
5/21 Cooking chicken alfredo? Season the chicken, season the pasta, season the sauce. Never assume that one flavor element will permeate the whole dish. The difference between a $1 plate of pasta and a $12 plate of pasta is putting the right amount of salt in the water.
6/21 Don't discount a good stock. Every time I cook something I save the bones to use for stock. Basic stock is: Water, Carrots, Celery, Onions, bones. Feel free to add a little something else, but never salt or pepper because you don't want a stock to add any saltiness to your meal.
7/21 Chop with the rear part of the blade, not the tip, in a rolling motion.
8/21 Always, ALWAYS taste your food while cooking. I always have like 5 spoons beside me while cooking. This allows you to accurately adjust seasoning, flavours, and cooking time.
It is tough at first to know what to adjust, but you get better at it with time and it will really improve the quality of food you make (especially over-salting).
9/21 Garlic makes everything better.
10/21 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.
11/21 Use weight--not volume--to measure ingredients for baking.
12/21 Pay attention to plating. A nice, clean, warm plate can make the difference between an OK meal, and a great meal. Most restaurants I've worked in aren't serving anything special, they just serve it in a way that makes it look special. If you treat your homemade stuff like it was in a five-star restaurant, you can make Hamburger Helper taste like scratch-made casserole.
13/21 The Roux - Probably one of the most useful things in cooking, it's used as base for sauces. heat up a few tbs of butter in a saucepan and stir in an equal amount of flour. Once it is thick and frothy you can add a liquid of your choice for the base of your sauce (milk or chicken stock are my favorites) add as much as necessary to reach your desired consistency. Add spices or melt cheese to make a great cheese sauce. Be creative!
14/21 Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp knives.
15/21 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.
16/21 Whatever you're sauting, 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.
17/21 Don't start cooking until your mise en place is completely squared away. Get out every knife, tool, and pan you will need. Measure out all of your ingredients, and put all of them on the counter next to your stove. When you are on step 1 of your recipe, you should know what steps 2 and 3 are. With most recipes, you don't have time to go back to the cookbook to double-check what you're doing while your chicken dries up into leathery bits in the pan. Plan ahead, and make sure you're ready to finish your dish before you start it.
18/21 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.
19/21 A falling knife has no handle.
Forever true. Don't learn this one the hard way.
20/21 Using your dominant hand, touch your pointer finger to the muscle at the base of your thumb, on the palm. The fleshy part that you can move freely.
When you use your pointer finger and press down on that muscle, that is rare. Middle is medium rare, ring is medium, pinky is well done. (Don't ever cook meat to well done.)
21/21 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.
When you're a kid most adults will tell you one thing or another is "cool" and "fun." Odds are you're too young to form any kind of opinion on the matter one way or another. You're a kid, right? You don't know what you're eating for breakfast. However, when you get older and form that larger worldview, you realize that yeah, maybe that one time when you were a kid actually wasn't fun.
These are those stories.