You don’t need culinary school, expensive stuff or even experience to be a better cook. All you need is a dash of knowledge, the internet and a little motivation to cook more.
Which is why we’ve gathered you 15 tips from kitchen pros that will make you the envy of all your foodie friends:
1. You will cook more if you already have peeled groceries – As soon as you get back from the grocers, peel and chop onions and garlic and store them in the fridge. Wash as many fruits and vegetables as possible as well to eliminate that feeling of laziness where you go “OMG I gotta wash everything before cooking, this sucks” and give up.
2. Adjust salt in stages – Instead of just adding salt to your meal at the last stage, consider salting bit by bit throughout the cooking process. This will allow the salt to distribute evenly and there is a very low chance of over-salting the food or having it turn out bland.
3. Pound a garlic clove to loosen its skin – This is a trick my mother taught me years ago – instead of painstakingly peeling garlic with your fingers, just pound a clove with the flat side of a knife. Doing this breaks it up a little, making it easier for the skin to come off.
4. Up your cake box game with this tip – Most cake box recipes call for an egg, some oil and water. Substitute these ingredients with soften butter, milk and add one more egg and I promise you that the cake will taste like how you imagined it to taste like when you read the words “Super Moist” on the box.
5. Soak raw onions before serving – If the dish you’re making calls for raw onions upon serving, be sure to soak them in ice cold water first to reduce the pungency of the onions. Cold water extracts the sulfates out, making them tolerable.
6. Cleanest way to cook – Always, always, always cook as you go. This will give you less stress over your overflowing sink and will tire you out a lot less. Also, that feeling you get when you’re done cooking and only have 1-2 things to wash is amazing and you should try it.
7. If you need softened butter right now, grate it – If you’re aching to bake a cake and need softened butter but only have hardened ones in the fridge, you can always use a cheese grater to help it soften faster. It’s either this or putting a hot cup over tiny blocks of chopped butter and TBH, grating it is faster and I ain’t got time to wait. #impatientchef
8. Make extra creamy and fluffy scrambled eggs with cornstarch – I’ve been using this tip ever since I heard about it. The creamy and fluffy eggs isn’t the only thing that’s good about this tip. The best part is your eggs would only take 15 seconds to cook. Add half a teaspoon of cornstarch to each egg for the best eggs ever.
9. Keep the heat down low for the perfect sunny side up – And that’s all you need to do. Just keep the heat low and let the egg fry a little. Once the egg whites start solidifying and turning opaque, that egg’s ready to go.
10. Don’t leave the containers completely closed when storing hot foods – Lift an edge of the container to let the food cool down safely. Containing it when it’s hot causes the food to overwork itself, hence spoiling it faster.
11. Line your measuring cups and spoons with a little oil before measuring sticky stuff – If your recipe calls for a cup of butter or honey, be sure to line your measuring cups or spoons with a little olive oil first. This will help t he ingredients to slide out faster and hence, less waste.
12. Salt, rinse, dry and sear on high – The number one rule in conjuring the perfect steak or browning your meat (besides salting and rinsing) is that you need to pat them dry or else the meat boils. So you need to be sure that the meat is dry before searing it over high heat for that crisp outer crust. Also, be sure to use kosher salt when cooking steak so the meat doesn’t absorb too much salt.
13. Place a damp kitchen towel over food when reheating in microwave – Usually when you reheat food items like rice or pasta in the microwave, it dries them out. To avoid getting rubbery and dry rice ever again, place a damp kitchen towel over uncovered food and then reheat.
14. The buttermilk substitute – If you’re in need of buttermilk but don’t have any in the kitchen, you can always make your own version of buttermilk by adding a dash of vinegar/lemon juice to a glass of milk. It’s fool proof, it’s cheap, it’s everything you need.
15. Keep moisture and bugs out of flour with this pro tip – Stick it in the freezer. I’m serious. When you leave flour outside, it collects moisture and attracts insects besides adding weight to the flour making your measurements inaccurate. So do yourself and your flour justice by storing it away in the freezer.
Have fun cooking! And remember, the kitchen is everyone’s place. 😉