7 Cooking Secrets You Learn From Chefs

1. Use And Instant Read Cooking Thermometer

The quickest way to screw up a 30$ Ribeye is to cook it well done. Found in almost every professional kitchen, an instant read thermometer will never leave you wondering if something is cooked through again.

“I think many cooks are afraid of undercooked meats. A good thermometer is a cook’s best friend.”

-Emeril Lagasse

 

2. Set It And Forget it

When in doubt set your oven to 350F (180C). Most times it will work out fine unless you are slow cooking or braising, then go for 225F.

3. That’s (Too) Hot

Yes, you can serve dishes too hot for anyone’s good. Think soups/broths or dense dishes like lasagna. It’s hard to pick up flavors when you’re focusing on not burning your mouth. Remember to let certain foods rest a bit, it’s better than everyone blowing on each bite at the table.

4. The Knuckle Shield

Call it the “the claw” the “knuckle shield” or whatever you want but the technique is to curl your fingers under your knuckles to create a flat surface to rest your knife against as you chop. This will save your fingertips and give you 10x the accuracy on your chopping.

Photo: @ruchikala

5. Pay Someone To Sharpen Your Knives

We know there’s a lot of knife honks out there who will tell you to get a wet stone and sharpen knives yourself but for a modest price, you can usually get this done where you bought the knife or a just do a quick google search for your area. Sharpening a knife is kind of like tuning a piano, unless you know what you’re doing, paying a professional every couple months is worth it.

6. Make Sure You Have The Right Sized Knife For The Job

You don’t need that knife block brimming with handles your parents had, it’s overkill. Even if you have no knives to your name, a good start is to get a basic chefs knife for day to day and a paring knife for smaller jobs. The truth is most professional chefs use cheap, easy to sharpen paring knives like this 7$ one from Victorinox.

7. Go Cold To Lose Fat

Starting bacon or pancetta in a cold skillet will help render the fat. The outcome will be crispier with no threat of burning.

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