20 Cooking Tricks to Level Up Your Inner-Chef

Do you dream of putting up a restaurant one day? Or do you simply want to unleash your inner Gordon Ramsay or Rachael Ray? Before you reach your culinary goals, you need to master the ins and outs of your kitchen. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has the skills for cooking. Millennials do not know how to cook, according to a recent survey. And even if you do know how to, there are lots of things to learn to raise your culinary game to the next level.

One of the keys to success in the kitchen is learning essential cooking tricks.

Continue reading below as we discuss some of the best kitchen hacks you should start doing today.

The Essential Cooking Tricks You Need to Know

The world’s best chefs all have tricks up their sleeves. They have their personal styles and approaches to their culinary recipes. 

Nevertheless, there are essential cooking tricks that you can use to en route to becoming the best chef you can be. Here are 20 that you can start practicing right now:

1. Salting It Right 

When cooking dishes, there are times they end up tasting bland. The simple response is to add some salt. Don’t hesitate to add a dash until the blandness disappears.

The perfect approach is to add salt, but not at the end. Instead, garnish your dish with salt continuously as you cook. This tip will keep you from over-salting your creations.

adding salt to spice up a dish

2. Sweeten It Right

Much like salt, you also need to sweeten some of your dishes. But make sure to sweeten them right. If you’re preparing a tomato-based dish, add up to three pinches of sugar to enhance the flavor.

When sugar comes in contact with the sourness of tomatoes, it yields a rich and bolder taste. The same thing goes for dishes that feature savory ingredients. These include your beets and carrots that require a balancing of flavors.

3. Steak Perfection

If you want to build a restaurant that serves excellent meat dishes, you need to learn how to cook your steak to perfection. Steak is the second-most favorite food among Americans next to pizza. Thus, you need to cook your steak right.

Never cook your steak shortly after taking it out of the freezer. Instead, let it sit for about an hour or two. 

After reaching room temperature, you can put it on the pan and start cooking. Though this process will take much longer, it will yield better-tasting results compared to rushing things.

cooking hacks how to prepare a juicy steak

4. Egg Slicer for Fruits and Veggies

Are you having a hard time slicing your fruits and vegetables in even portions? Use your good old egg slicer on some of your softer ingredients. 

The egg slicer is sturdy enough to evenly slice mushrooms, strawberries, and kiwis, among others. Moreover, it also keeps your fingers safe from accidental cutting. 

5. Wine on Your Ice Cube Tray

Wine is one of the most essential ingredients you must have in your kitchen. Sometimes, you will have leftovers from cooking your dishes. Instead of drinking them all up, consider reusing them for tomorrow’s dishes.

Empty an ice cube tray and fill it up with leftover wine. Cover the tray with plastic wrap before freezing. You can then pop out these wine cubes the following day for your stews, soups, and sauces.

Furthermore, fill up another tray but this time with your favorite coffee blend. Use it for a dose of a powerful iced java drink.

6. Getting that Clear Broth 

One of the most important tricks you need to learn is preparing a clear broth. This is quite tricky, as you need to use a lot of chicken. You also need tons of patience.

Prepare your chicken meat and bones and some water. Make sure the water is enough to cover the chicken. Cook the meat and bones for about three hours.

Make sure to use low heat. Also, you want to skim off the floating suds. As for your vegetables, add them after the first or second hour of cooking.

Additionally, strain the broth using cheesecloth for the best results.

7. The Magic of Olive Oil

Another ingredient that offers remarkable flexibility is olive oil. Unleash its magic by drizzling some olive oil to your dishes. Use it on your pizzas and pasta.

You can also dollop some of it on your meat and fish dishes. Don’t scrimp on your olive oil. Pick a high-quality extra virgin olive oil to give your dishes that flavorful impact. 

olive oil kitchen tricks tips and hacks

8. Deglaze Your Pan Always

Do you wash down the brown bits that stick at the bottom of your pans? Put a stop to that practice. Those brown bits are the ones that add flavor to your sauces.

Instead of washing down the brown bits, deglaze your pan. Use stock or wine to deglaze your pans and use it as your base for your sauce.

9. Pasta in Its Sauce

When preparing pasta, cook it until it is almost done. Thereafter, transfer it quickly into the sauce and finish it up there. This will allow your pasta to absorb all the key flavors.

If the sauce is a bit thick, adding a little pasta water should thin it out. Additionally, the pasta water will give your dish that glossy finish.

To save time, you may want to invest in a portable pasta maker. This tool is helpful especially if you’re cooking at a friend’s house. 

pasta chef hacks tips and tricks

10. Low Heat for Eggs

To keep your eggs from becoming rubbery or dry, you need to cook them using the right amount of heat. Always use low heat when cooking your eggs. Also, don’t heat your pan too much.

Heating the pan way too much will cause your eggs to brown. Stick to low heat for that perfect texture and consistency.

11. Limit Your Nonstick Pan Usage

Are you a fan of the nonstick pan? Consider limiting its usage and stick to the traditional one. Nonstick pans will not give you the amount of heat that you need to achieve the crust that you want.

They keep you from reaching that right amount of crispy, rich texture on your dishes. Limit your nonstick pan usage to your pancakes, eggs, and French toasts. Beyond those, it is best to stick to your traditional pan.

12. Crusted Perfection

Speaking of that perfect crust, you can achieve crusted perfection for your fish dishes by using the right amount of heat. Always sear your fish in a hot pan.

But make sure not to overcrowd it. Too many pieces on your pan can lessen the heat. As a result, your fish will not achieve the crispy brown texture that you want.

13. Perfect Shape for Your Patties

When it comes to your burger patties, you want to get the shape perfect. To pull this off, toss the patties down hard on your cutting board. The impact will help force the air bubble out of the patties. 

Next, go to the center of the patties and press an indent. This will keep your patties from puffing at the center.

how to perfectly shape your hamburger patties kitchen tips tricks and hacks

14. Don’t Poke Your Meat

Resting meat is one part, the other is to stop poking it while cooking. Keep the heat of the pan high then flip your meat once. Leave it as is and don’t give it a poke.

Allow the meat to cook. Let it release its natural juices without the help of any scraping with the spatula.

Also, let it rest for a bit before cutting.

15. Always Use the Right Tools

When cooking any dish, make sure you use the right tools. Also, you need to hone your knives every time you cook. Never use a dull knife when cooking. Make sure to sharpen your knives before cooking.

Hone and realign them accordingly to keep the edge from warping.

sharpen your knives DIY method

16. Acid for Flavor

Apart from salt and sugar, you can also add that flavorful kick by adding a little acid to your dishes. Give those fats a dash of vinegar. A squeeze of lemon juice can also awaken the flavors of flat dishes.

17. Toast Your Spices

If you want to get the most out of your spices, give them a toast. Get your dry pan and place it under low-level heat. Place your spices and give them a few minutes of toasting. 

You can also do the same with your nuts. Toast them for about 10 to 15 minutes inside the oven at 350 F.  

kitchen tricks toast your spices hacks

18. Butter on Your Sauces

Butter is another versatile ingredient you can use with almost any dish. To give your sauces that rich and glossy shine, give them a few pats of cold butter straight from the fridge. Do this as you are about to finish cooking your sauces.

19. Paper Bags for Ripening

If you are going to use fruits but are still several days away from ripening, hasten the process by storing them inside paper bags. Use the brown paper bags and place your kiwis and avocados. Fold and close the bags accordingly.

For your other food items that you wish to store, a resealable silicone food bag is a great option.

20. Boil for Easy De-Skinning

Last but not least, you should learn how to de-skin your raw potatoes with ease. To do this, take a knife and cut around their equator. Place the potatoes in boiling water and let them simmer for about 15 minutes. 

Gently remove the potatoes and transfer them into a basin with cold water. After cooling, you can slide off the peels like a breeze.

Get All the Tools You Need and More

You don’t need to go to good culinary schools to build a solid foundation. By following the essential cooking tricks above, you can do more in the kitchen and achieve better results. But you also need to invest in high-quality kitchen tools.

We invite you to check our selection of home and kitchen items. We offer dependable products at reasonable prices. Get all the tools you need by ordering today!

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