To be a good chef you don’t necessarily need to go to culinary school or fill your kitchen with expensive equipment. You don’t really need that much experience. All you really need is a bit of knowledge and some super tricky kitchen hacks to be a better chef.
For example, vodka is not only fun to drink while you’re cooking, it also enhances a certain dish that’ll surely WOW your guests. (But you’ll have to continue to get the details…) You won’t even believe what you should be doing with chicken fat…
30. Grilled Cheese
Next time you’re planning on preparing grilled cheese, make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before preparing them. Take some fluffy softened butter to spread on the bread so it’s effortless.
By using room-temperature cheese, the cheese will melt more consistently and you won’t run into the issue of burning your bread. It’s that simple!
29. Match Your Plate Temp with Your Food
If you’ve ever prepared a sizzling dish for a group of people only to have it get cold shortly after serving, it’s because of your plate temperature! If you warm or cool your dinnerware, you will without a doubt upgrade your eating ventures.
We’re not saying to do it every single time you cook, but it’s definitely a nice touch when cooking for guests. Put your plates in an oven at 200 degrees for 5 minutes to warm them. To cool them, just place them in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
28. Soak Your Onions
If you’re planning on preparing a dish that requires raw onions, soak the onions in cold water before adding them to your meal! By soaking them you reduce their pungency.
Cold water takes out the sulfates in onions. They will be more tolerable in your dish!
27. Keep Your Knives Sharp
Try to constantly keep your knives sharp. To keep them sharp all you have to do is clean and store them correctly! Always hand-wash your knives to keep them nice and clean.
Consider using a wooden cutting board as well. It will have the least amount of harm to the edge of your knife. It’s important not to ever throw your knives in the dishwater or soak them for long periods of time. When you store them, try to keep them in a wood block. It prevents dulling.
26. Upgrade Your Coffee
Next time you’re brewing coffee, add a pinch of salt and some cinnamon to the grounds before you brew them. The salt will take out the bitterness!
The salt also brings out the savor of the coffee. Cinnamon in your coffee will just change your life completely. It’s amazing!
25. Tenderize Your Meat
All it takes a sample of baking soda. It raises the alkalinity of the meat, which makes it more defiant to stiffening while cooking. Just be careful! Because it leaves such a heavy taste, you need to be cautious of how much and how long you use it.
Try not to marinate for more than 15 minutes if you’re just going to use baking soda. Consider including some lemon or lime juice to neutralize the taste of baking soda.
24. Cook in Stock Not Water
You can improve the taste and richness of your food by making it in stock rather than water. You’ll be astonished in the difference it makes!
You may also want to go for low-sodium stock. You’ll be able to govern the flavor more easily.
23. Reduce The Bitterness in Tea
If you’re making ice tea, add a nip of baking soda to it. It cuts down the bitterness!
The baking soda plays as a neutralizer for the tannin in the tea. The tannin is what gives tea that bitter taste.
22. Kosher Salt
Always use kosher salt or sea salt rather than table salt. Why? Because of its size!
The large crystals in kosher salt or sea salt upgrade the texture and taste of your meats. In most cases kosher salt is higher quality. It’s less pricey than sea salt and easier to control because it’s flakier.
21. Salt, Rinse, Dry
Salt, rinse, dry, and sear on high heat for a rally crisp cut of meat. These steps help remove moisture from the outer surface of the meat. This makes the crust deliciously crunchy.
Again, try to use kosher salt. The meat won’t consume too much of the salt.
20. Salt Your Veggies
Next time you’re preparing a hearty salad, salt your vegetables before adding them. It will illuminate the taste of the salad without making it “salty.”
It also assists to allow your veggies stay nice and crispy by bringing out the excess water inside them. We all know that a good salad needs a good crisp to it!
19. How to Thicken Your Chili
All you need is tortilla chips or mesa flour. Add density to your chili by simply adding crushed tortilla chips or mesa flour to it.
Mesa harina is similar to corn flour. You could also mix the flour with beef before adding it to the chili for an additional savory chili recipe.
18. The Velveting Method
To tenderize your meats, try practicing the velveting method. All you have to do is mix egg whites with cornstarch. By layering meat slices in cornstarch and egg whites you give your meats a nice silky texture that’s never too tough or too dry
When you sustain the moisture on the outside of your meat you keep the temperature down and bring down your chances of burning or overcooking your meat. To bring out more flavor, consider adding rice vinegar or rice wine to your meat.
17. Make Your Eggs Fluffier
You can make your eggs fluffier and creamier by adding cornstarch to them. The best part is that it will only take 15 seconds for the eggs to be done after you add the cornstarch.
Cornstarch shields the eggs from overcooking and turning rubbery. Who doesn’t like their eggs nice and fluffy?
16. The Perfect Cake
In order for you to bake the perfect cake, you need to make sure the weight of the sugar is identical to the weight of the flour. Also make sure the eggs are equivalent to the fat.
Remember, we’re talking about weight, NOT volume. The weight ratio of the eggs and fat doesn’t need to be identical, but try to stay inside a 20% variation. Make sure you have a nice kitchen scale handy.
15. Buttery Pastries
All it takes is cold ingredients. That’s it! Cold ingredients will make your pastries buttery and flaky.
Use cold butter, flour, and sugar to keep the butter from melting before you put it in the oven. Use too! Cold water contains gluten development.
14. Baked Goods
When you’re preparing baked goods, always add salt! Use any kind of salt.
Just make sure you don’t overdo it. If you add a little half teaspoon can really heighten the flavors of the other ingredients and spices.
13. Add Vodka to Your Pie
Because water hardens the dough, adding vodka can add more liquid to assist you deal with the dough. Vodka is made up of 60% water and 40% ethanol. Don’t worry, your pie won’t taste like vodka. The majority of the alcohol gets cooked away.
Vodka will make your pie flaky and tender. You could even use different alcohols to match your specific kinds of pie. For example, brandy goes really well with pumpkin pie.
12. Improve Your Stews
You can execute the flavors in sauces and stew-like dishes by simply adding a spoonful of peanut butter or mustard. You’ll be surprised at the difference it makes!
Next time you’re making mac and cheese, add a dab of mustard. It will give it some kick! Peanut butter is great for thickening stews and giving them an amazing layer of mystification.
11. Searing Meat
When you’re steaming or browning meats, make sure you pat them dry, add salt, and never overload the pan. It’s crucial to take your time!
When you’re searing meat, make sure to wait so that you really let the caramelization take place. You also want to be sure the pan is warm or even hot, and use either a stainless steel or cast-iron skillet.
10. Basted Eggs
Basted eggs are just as tasty as poached eggs, except they’re way easier to make! They’re very similar steamed fried eggs.
To make basted eggs, crack them into the pan as if you’re were about to fry them. Then add water and put a cover on the pan. The results are perfectly runny and delightful eggs.
You can add an enticing texture to your burgers by adding breadcrumbs to the mix. It’s amazing!
When you add breadcrumbs to your burger mix your burgers maintain their shape. Additionally, it gives them a slight crunch.
8. The Next Level
A dash of balsamic vinegar will upgrade your snacks and meals! You can add it to just about anything.
Try adding balsamic vinegar to strawberries, roasted veggies, and definitely your noodles. It’s not only good for you, but it tastes amazing!
7. Meat Thermometer
No one likes to ruin their $25 steak. The biggest mistake we make is cutting into it to find out if it’s medium rare.
Consider buying an instant-read digital meat thermometer. It’s expensive, but if you want to enjoy your expensive steak, you need it!
6. Delicious Veggies
All it takes is a few ingredients to really spice up your veggies. Just add a little salt and sugar into some white vinegar!
Pour the ingredients over thinly sliced veggies and let them soak for about 20 minutes. It’s simple and delicious!
5. Cake Layers
We’ve all wondered how in the world all the pros make their beautiful layer cakes. Did you know you could actually do it yourself at home?
The secret, dental floss! You don’t need expensive knives or professional skills. All it takes a dental floss to make your layer cakes look professional.
4. Miso Paste
Add a nice touch to your sweet potatoes with Miso Paste! It will take the baked sweet potato beyond the realm of semi-healthy comfort food.
All you have to do is roast the potato directly on your oven rack for about 40 minutes at 350. Once it’s done, split it open, scoop out the insides, and add a teaspoon of miso paste. Mash it with a fork and return to the potato skin. It’s incredible!
3. Check Your Spices
A lot of ground spices tend to die very quickly. You want to make sure they’re still good
Next time you’re preparing a meal, take a whiff of your spices. If they don’t smell like anything, they won’t taste like anything either. You don’t want flavorless spices in your cooking. It’s pointless.
For gorgeous scalloped potatoes and perfectly julienned carrots, you need a mandoline. Your friends will think you’re a pro when they see the way your veggies look.
If you’re scared to use one, wear a cut resistant safety glove. It will help you get comfortable using it at first.
1. Save The Schmaltz
That’s right! Save the schmaltz! Chicken fat is great. You can fry onions in it or sauté greens for a richer flavor. You can even spread it on your toast.
Next time after eating roasted chicken, drain the liquid fat into a plastic container and store it in your freezer. It also works with bacon fat.