Photo by Yente Van Eynde from Pexels
Considering the mammoth days most chefs put in, and the dedication they have to their craft, these masters have a lot to teach us about the art of cooking. While they have thousands of tricks to share, we sought out the five most fundamental secrets guaranteed to take your home cooking to a whole new level:
1. The first rule of cooking
Always work with quality tools. This means your knives must be sharp, and you should always go for well-made utensils and quality cookware sets. If you’ve never felt the unadulterated bliss of effortlessly slicing into a tomato with a perfectly sharpened knife, it can be easy to convince yourself that such things aren’t necessary. If this is you, you’re going to have to trust us on this one. Investing in a good set of knives, a sharpener, and a new high-quality cookware set will change your life.
2. The trick to perfect protein
Whether you’re cooking a juicy steak, some freshly caught fish, or a plump chicken breast, there’s a way to ensure your meat stays moist and tender every time, without fail. Get your pan nice and hot, sear the meat on the stovetop, and then finish it in the oven. This allows you to get the perfect crispy finish on the outside while ensuring the inside is cooked to perfection without going dry. As a bonus tip: instead of using oil or butter, use both! These two work together like magic, with the butter adding richness to the meat while the oil prevents the butter from burning.
3. Less is more (in more ways than one)
Whether you’re baking a cake, roasting meat, or browning anything, be sure to remind yourself: less is more. It can be tempting to just cram everything into the tray or pan to ensure the job gets done in one shot. However, you’d be surprised at how detrimental an effect this can have on your food. Crowding the pan lowers the overall temperature, so you’ll never be able to achieve that crisp, caramelized effect we all drool over.
When it comes to baking, the “less is more” rule applies to the art of mixing your ingredients.
Over-mixing can cause your dough to become tough, meaning your creation won’t rise to the light and fluffy perfection you’re hoping for. Mix until the batter has fully combined and then resist the urge to keep messing with it.
4. Secure your chopping board with this simple trick
A chopping board that slips and slides on your kitchen counter is more than just annoying. Considering you have a knife in your hand, it’s downright dangerous. To keep yourself safe and sane, place a moistened paper towel under the board. It won’t budge, and you can use the towel for cleaning once you’re done!
5. Clean as you go
If you already do this, congratulations: you’re working your kitchen the way the professionals do. Not only does this tip keep your workspace clean and orderly, but it also cuts down on the risk of cross-contamination. You’re also far less likely to spin around quickly and knock a stray knife off the bench if you’re ensuring everything is cleaned and put away as you go. Even if you manage to leap out of the way of the falling blade in time, you just don’t need that kind of stress in your life.