What are some good cooking tips that chefs know?
I'm an amateur chef at best, but these are tips that will save you a lot of kitchen heartbreak.
I'm going to let you in on a few professional cooking tips that will help make your everyday cooking simpler and stress-free.
I'm going to share with you the kind of things you would only learn working in a serious restaurant kitchen.
These are the 5 things I bring home with me from my culinary office.
- Anchor Your Cutting Board
Here is one I don't see:
Everything done in this picture is wrong;
I'm not a chef but I love cooking. I avoid eating at restaurants because I want my food freshly made with fresh ingredients as much as possible and everything made from scratch.
And along the way I picked some tips related to cooking:
1.Although I always thought that the thermometer was irrelevant.After all, who in this planet does not know when the food is ready? WRONG!!! Using it, takes the guessing away and cooks the food to perfection. No gimmicks with hands, fingers, or smells that takes you nowhere. YOU HAVE TO HAVE ONE. When the recipe calls for it use it makes a huge difference.
You want perfect fries, roast, chicken, or steak without having to wait to"rest" your steak? Better have one.
2. Always follow the recipe to the point when is the first time you prepare it. After the first time, make the corrections you want and even improve it.
3. When cooking pancakes use a light coat of oil instead of butter to get rid of the smoke.
4. When cooking pasta for spaghetti, fettuccine or something like that, put some flavor to the pasta itself by adding some onion and bay leaves to the boiling water. especially when you use canned spaghetti sauce. Nothing worse than eating tasteless pasta with cheap canned sauce. Try it and see what you are missing.
5. Get yourself a cooking timer to get the guessing and stress away.
6. When making an apple pie, prepare your sliced apples and let them rest for a while to release the excess of juice to prevent a soggy crust. Also, put some flour on the crust before you add your prepared apple or whatever pie you are making.
7. When preparing poached eggs:
If using just enough water when poaching the eggs, put a very light coat of oil on the pan to keep them from sticking.
Take the guessing away from knowing if your water is hot enough-let it boil then reduce it to simmer and you are set.
You want to add some more flavor to your eggs besides the vinegar? Add some Italian seasoning to your water.
8. Make sure you have all your ingredients ready BEFORE you begin to prepare your recipe to avoid free stress on yourself.
9. A restaurant secret: Add a pinch of salt to your coffee before you brew it. Takes the bitterness away.
10. Fix a small dry eraser board to your fridge door to remind you of stuff that you run out or need.
11. When frying bacon on the pan, at the beggining,add some water to finish cooking and render the fat. Once is fully cooked, is up to you how well done or crisp you want it. It will bring up the full flavor of the bacon and you won't burn it.
Slow down rotting
Store tomatoes stem end down to keep them from spoiling as quickly. This prevents air from entering and moisture from exiting the scar where the tomato once attached to the vine. Storing them at room temperature rather than in the fridge also makes them last longer.
Give bananas a longer life
Keep bananas fresher, longer by wrapping the end of the bunch with plastic wrap. Better yet, separate each banana. The plastic wrap blocks ethylene gases from releasing out of the stem, consequently ripening the fruit too fast (see number 8).
Speed up ripening
Be a total magician and morph a banana from green to yellow or a peach from crunchy to juicy all with the help of a paper bag. When fruit is tossed into the bag, concentrated ethylene gas helps it ripen faster.
Save cut fruit from browning
You've probably heard that a little squeeze of lemon juice can keep apple slices from looking unappetizing. A mixture of one part honey to two parts water works much the same to keep fruit from browning. The citric acid and vitamin C in lemon juice as well as a peptide in honey slows down the oxidation process that causes discoloring.
Prevent brown sugar from hardening
Help brown sugar stay soft and scoopable by tossing an orange peel or a slice of apple along with the sugar into an airtight container. For a quick fix, microwave brown sugar next to a small glass of water. The moisture within the microwave will help break up the block of sweetener.
Avoid plastic wrap disasters
Had enough of wrangling plastic wrap? Store the roll in the fridge to store leftovers with less of a hassle. Chilling the wrap makes it easier to transport it from the roll to your bowl.
Get creative with covering food
They're known for hair hackery, but showe caps are not limited to the bathroom. Cover leftovers with a fresh cap (right in their dishes) to keep bugs and unidentifiable particles from tainting food. They're reusable and a helluva lot easier than repeatedly removing and replacing plastic wrap or tin foil.
Check if eggs are still (incredibly) edible
Gently place raw eggs in a bowl of cold water to see if they've gone bad. If the egg sinks to the bottom, it's a-OK. If it floats, it has seen better days. Over time, the liquid inside eggs evaporates through the porous shell, leaving a gas bubble inside. The floatier it is, the older it is.
You've received many good answers, but I'll just toss a few more in. here's a quick Top 10:
1) Take your best knives to Ace or TruValue for sharpening a few times a year -- nothing is more important than extremely sharp knives;
2) Most sauces and soups and stews and chilis are best started with a mirepoix (onions, carrots, celery, garlic);
3) Let your beef sit! It will be so much juicier if you give it ten minutes before serving.
3a) if it's USDA Choice or USDA Prime, start it on the stovetop and finish it in the oven -- that stuff is too darn good to grill!
3b) Use some red wine or sherry or beef broth or even water to de-glaze the fond at the bottom of the pan, then spoon it over the meat and potatoes....that's the difference between a good meal and a very good meal.
4) Fruits! Experiment with peaches and plums and apples and pears and pineapple and raspberries and tamarind and mango and dates and figs, etc.! Over fish, in particular, fruits are a fabulous way to add your own personal touch of creativity.
5) Anchovies or the dreadful Marmite are a good way to start a red sauce, to get a savory "umami bomb" going. Trust me, you won't taste them at all, but it will add depth and complexity to pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, marinara, "Sunday gravy", etc.
6) Heat and sweet -- some minced jalapeno and some agave nectar can bring a bland dish to life.
7) Always have some Campbell's cream of mushroom and some Lipton onion soup powder available. You never know when you'll need one or both to jazz up a casserole or roast or stew.
8) Vinegar. It's associated with poor countries and poor people and poor cuts of meat that have started to go bad....but that tang, when added to perfectly fresh and expensive meats, is a real kicker. Add it early, before the meat has fully browned.
9) Add the garlic in last, before any liquids -- don't let it burn. Give it about a minute, until the smell fills your kitchen. Then add the tomatoes or wine or broth.
10) Have fun and take chances! Worst case scenario, you have to order pizza or Chinese delivery.