Cooking comes easily to some people, and not so easily to others. Luckily, these professional chefs are dishing their biggest cooking hacks to make a not so easy task a little bit easier! Here are a few general cooking tips to help you manage your time better and be a little more organized in the chaos that can be a kitchen!
Sharpen your knife skills
“Always keep your fingers tucked in on your non-dominant hand, using your upper knuckles to guide your knife as you slice. If your fingertips are tucked in, you can’t ever cut them! And for the highest degree of control over your knife. hold the knife by the blade, pinching the bottom of the blade between your thumb and the side of your forefinger. Grip your middle, ring, and pinky fingers around the handle for support, and avoid laying your forefinger over the spine of the knife.” –Sydney Willcox, The Brooklyn Kitchen
Get smarter with how you cut veggies
“Use a mandoline to cut down on prep time and ensure consistent slice sizes for your veggies.” –Willcox
“Try a seasonal ingredient in an unexpected way! If you have never tried juicing a sweet potato you will be pleasantly surprised. The starch in potato makes your drinks lightly creamy, and the flavor combination is perfectly sweet. This is a dessert vegetable juice, packed full of vitamins A and B complex and beta-carotene.” –Matthew Kenney Plant Food + Wine Miami
Cooking Tip-And to top it all off
“To make an impression on your guests, throw a simple garnish on your finished platter: mMicrogreens are easy and beautiful, or take an element from the dish, such as whole herb sprigs or extra spice, and add just a small amount to create a pop for the eye.” –Willcox
“Always put your liquids in your blender first—water, juice, broths—and then load your more solid ingredients—veggies, leafy greens, fruits. This takes stress off your blender motor, and as the blade spins your ingredients are more easily pulled down into the blender vessel and your blends are more consistent, smooth, and creamy. Adding your liquids first will lengthen the life of your blender and your ‘blends’ will come out perfect.” –Nina Curtis, The Ranch Malibu
Is it getting hot in here?
“Don’t be scared of the heat! If you are looking for a sear, you need to bring on high levels of heat. Without a smoking-hot pan, it will be close to impossible to achieve a crispy, caramelized browning on your steak, pork, chicken or fish. Also be sure not to overcrowd a pan when searing, otherwise the pan will cool down too much, and there will not be enough heat from the bottom of the pan or circulating around the meat in the pan.” –Willcox
Cooking Tip-Be a little salty
“Be sure to use a high-quality coarse salt for finishing your dishes: This is an easy way to really transcend your home cooking to restaurant-level quality. You can also use flavored salts, such as smoked salt, to add depth.” –Willcox
Olive oil makes everything better
“Take a note from Mediterranean dwellers and finish your dishes with a little drizzle of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil; it will make for a silky finish!” –Willcox
Let’s get juicy
“Never stab the meat with a fork or knife to flip it over. These punctures allow juices to escape and can lead to drying of the meat and less-flavorful protein. Always use a spatula and/or tongs when you need to turn your meats.” –Aaron Taylor, STK
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