This will be a good one that we can all learn from!
We’re about to learn some useful cooking tips from folks who are well-trained in the art of cooking. And these aren’t even the tips they learned in culinary school.
These are pointers they learned from years of experience and now they’re passing them on to us!
Are you ready to get smart?
Let’s learn about some helpful cooking tips from AskReddit users.
1. A time-saver.
“Take a small hand towel and either loop it through a belt loop or between your waist and your belt so it hangs over your leg.
As you move around, then, you always have something to wipe your hands/your instruments on and you don’t need to go out of your way to do it!”
2. Pasta hack.
“When making a sauce for your pasta, you should add some of the water you used to boil the pasta into the sauce.
This will help the sauce bind better to the pasta and make it taste better.”
3. Use your senses.
“Pay attention to all your senses.
Sautéing things like onions sound different at different stages. More of a hiss at the start as the steam escapes settling down to a crackle once all that’s left its vegetable and fat.
Similarly everything you cook will have subtle changes to the way they smell as they cook. There have been many times when I have been multitasking and my nose has alerted me to check on whatever I have in the oven.
I’m not talking about smelling burning but just the subtle changes as certain stages of cooking are reached. Eventually it becomes second nature.”
4. I did not know that!
“Add about a half of a tablespoon of sugar to your chili or spaghetti sauce.
It takes some of the acidity out.”
5. Skip it.
“Extra Virgin Olive Oil is not for frying things!
It has a very low smoke point and will break down.
For higher (but still not very high) heat, you want regular Olive Oil, not Extra Virgin.”
6. A substitute.
“You can use soy sauce or fish sauce as a substitute for salt for a better umami taste.
Also, because you’ll need less due to the concentrated flavour, it’ll naturally be less sodium.”
7. Get it all lined up.
“Mise en place.
Have all your stuff lined up and ready to go before you start.
You don’t want something to burn because you’re busy looking for the tablespoon or opening a can of something.”
8. Good advice.
“Learn cooking techniques instead of recipes.
Don’t approach recipes like they’re magic spells in the Harry Potter universe. If you wiggle your nose wrong or put in a bit too much of some seasoning you’re not going to end up with a completely different dish.
Alton Brown does an incredible job of teaching a cooking technique and then showing you a recipe that applies that technique.
If you learn a process instead of a rote recipe you will know how to cook dozens of dishes, and it’s really the only way to develop skills in the kitchen.”
9. Take care of that knife.
“Always scrape the ingredients from the cutting board into a pot with the back of the knife.
It will help the blade stay sharp longer”
10. Don’t forget to clean.
“If you’re a home cook always clean up after your self while you’re cooking.
You’ll thank yourself after you’ve eaten and you’re full and you don’t have a sink full of dishes and stuff to put away everywhere.”
11. Don’t do it!
“A falling knife has no handle.
If you drop a knife, get the hell out of the way and let it hit the floor. Washing it is easy enough.
Try to catch it and you could be visiting the emergency room.”
“Recipes are a road map.
You don’t have to follow them exactly, its okay to deviate.
Unless you are baking, in which case, follow the recipe exactly.”
13. I’ll have to try that.
“You can use the stem of broccoli. Just peel, slice and fry it in the pan.
14. Keep it hot.
“Professional chef here.
Hot pans make a world of difference.
Never start anything in a cold pan.”
15. Nice and easy.
“Keep it simple.
Something with 3-4 ingredients that go really well together is better than something with 12 ingredients that clash with each other.”
16. Salt it up.
“Salt early, salt late.
Adding salt at different points in cooking dramatically affects results.”
17. Don’t even bother.
“There’s literally no point, and even a health hazard, to “rinse” pre-cut chicken and salmon.”
18. Be mindful of this.
“Electric stoves are much hotter than gas.
A high setting on gas will get you a nice sear, but the same on electric will burn.
It’s not something to worry about in the kitchen, but definitely at home.”
19. Avoid the lumps.
“Always use cold water to mix with flour or cornstarch to make your gravy.
It won’t get lumpy.”
20. Avoid at all costs.
“Please don’t buy pre-marinated meats in butchers and grocery stores.
They’re usually older cuts of meat being ‘rescued’ with a marinade to cover the unfreshness and smell.”
21. Do it yourself.
“Make your own stock.
Save the parts of veggies you didn’t use like ends of onions, inners of peppers, and chicken bones in a ziplock in the freezer. Just make sure you don’t put anything bitter like cabbage or brocolli in. Also never put lemon rind in, it will make it super bitter and inedible.
Sweet things like carrots or squash are a must, even pieces of apples are delicious. And I always make sure to put in some celery. Put it all straight from freezer bag to pot, cover with water, throw in a few bay leaves and salt and pepper and simmer for like two hours.
I always try to have chicken stock on hand… so much better than store bought broth, and you control the sodium. Your soups will never be the same. Also delicious to use to cook rice.”
22. A touch of heat.
“A few drops of a hot sauce like Crystal or a fish sauce can be unrecognizable in a vinaigrette, dip or sauce but it can take it to otherworldly levels.
A touch of heat, umami, sugar or acid can turn a flat dish into something people crave. Little drops, add more.
Stop when you taste it and start salivating.”
23. A good tip.
“Using scissors to cut things.
Cherry tomatoes, dough, pizza, some cuts of meat, veggies….
So much faster, less to clean up and way cleaner cuts.”
24. Everything has a home.
“You’ll move faster if you maintain the saying of ‘Everything has a home, and if it’s not in my hand, it’s in its home.’ This way, you can rely on everything being exactly in its place.
Also, stay clean. Not just by wiping up crumbs after you use a cutting board (keep a sanitized towel nearby for a quick wipe and it’ll become second nature), but by always keeping ‘landing spaces’ clear.
You go faster when your space is flexible, and that only happens if you stay clean.”
25. Save it.
“Save. bacon. fat.
Filter cooled, but still liquid bacon fat through a paper towel into a coffee mug or similar heat resistant container. It stays fresh uncovered in the fridge for months. Use it anywhere you’d use butter, lard, or oil to infuse a bacon flavor.
This will obviously make the best gravy, but the pro tip is to use bacon fat instead of butter or olive oil to saute veggies, especially leafy stuff like kale, spinach, or greens.”
26. Working with MSG.
“Culinary school never teaches you to use premade seasoning powders (Knorr stock powder etc) or MSG.
It is essential for certain food businesses. By the way MSG reduces the amount of salt you have to use so in a way it is healthy.
In Culinary school, MSG is never talked about or used and I ended up having to learn how to use MSG (how much to use in my recipe) when I opened my business.”
27. Just like an assembly line.
“Work like an assembly line.
Cut all the ends off, then peel everything, then split everything, then slice. Having 500 veggies to chop will take so long if you do each, from beginning to end, individually.
When you change jobs or motions or tools, you slow down to recalibrate. The less you change actions, the faster you can get.”
Okay, now it’s your turn!
In the comments, share some food tips that you think will help us out in the kitchen.
Thanks in advance!