Secret cooking techniques and tips from home chefs

“When you’re in a rush, this little trick will save dinner. “

Cooking is an art – and there isn’t much you can learn from reading recipes. Sometimes you just need to experiment and try new techniques and ingredients on your own. So Redditor u / katieasaur asked, “What’s your secret technique that you haven’t seen in a cookbook or online?” Some of the answers have been fascinating and I can’t wait to try them out in my own kitchen.


“When you’re in a rush and need to thicken a sauce quickly, microwave roux in a mug. It usually doesn’t take more than a minute to turn golden and ready to use.”


“Replace some of the liquid in your waffle batter with seltzer water or another soft drink like Ginger Ale and sparkling wine. The result: the softest, most airy waffles ever. “


“Soak the onions in lime juice for a few minutes before tossing them in salsa or putting them on tacos. This eliminates that awesome, raw taste. Plus, lime adds nice acidity to your food anyway. “


“I always start cooking the mushrooms in a dry pan for a few minutes to remove some of the moisture before adding any oil or butter. They brown so much better that way.”


“Use frozen flour when making pie crust. The first step in making a pie crust is to cut butter into the flour. Most recipes recommend using very cold butter cut into small pieces. Freezing the flour you use means the butter stays cold longer. “


“When baking, freeze the butter and grate it with a microplate. This is the easiest way to get very thin chunks of cold butter that distribute evenly throughout your dough.”


“When baking cookies, biscuits, or anything that calls for puff pastry, also freeze the mixing bowl and dough cutter. This keeps the dough cooler and allows for better baking results. “


“Quickly marinate the red onions in about 30 minutes using your microwave. Heat the vinegar and a little water, sugar and salt in the microwave. Then, throw in the onions. Add it. a few spices if you want to get fancy. If you do this at the start of your meal prep, they’re ready to use by the time your dish is on the table. “


“I learned this trick from my grandmother. She would take the leftover pie crust, brush it with butter, a pinch of cinnamon sugar, and roll it into mini cinnamon buns. Bake them for a delicious little extra treat. It’s like two desserts in one. “


“I freeze excess lemons whole. You can microplan the zest, peel off the white skin, and microplan the flesh of the lemon. Or let the flesh thaw and use the juice. “


“Adding a touch of baking soda to oatmeal or polenta cuts cooking time in half. It’s my favorite time saver for dinner. “


“I use a garlic press for much more than garlic. It is suitable for many chopping and grinding needs. Try it for anchovies, herbs, coarsely chopped peppercorns, cumin seeds. , etc … “


“When I bake banana bread, I gently mash the banana while it is still in its skin. I try this gently so that the banana does not split. With this method, the banana comes out pre-mashed without any of the coarse strings attached. It’s usually so soft that you don’t even need a fork to mash it further. Plus, it’s one less bowl you need to clean. “


“I mix the mushrooms together into a paste, then use the paste to add an umami flavor to anything I’m cooking.”


“Put a small teaspoon of sodium citrate in your mac and cheese. You won’t need to use Velveeta or American slices or an overload of butter. With a little sodium citrate, you can use it. any cheese you want (young or old, soft or hard, any blend of multiple cheeses) and you will always get the perfect, creamy texture. Heat the sodium citrate just enough to melt the cheese, and voila. The texture is the same as a canned mac, but it tastes much better and heats up better too. “


“Add soy sauce or fish sauce to spaghetti, chili and soups for a deeper, more flavorful flavor.”


“Very delicately fold the whipped egg whites into the pancake batter using a whisk. It makes the pancakes so much better, softer and more decadent. “


“Freeze chopped or minced garlic in olive oil in an ice cube tray. It’s very convenient. When you need garlic in a pinch, you don’t need to stop it. that you do to peel and chop the garlic. Just throw a cube in anything you cook. “


“Clean your pots while they are still hot after cooking. This greatly facilitates the disposal of all leftover food. all my pans are in very good condition. It doesn’t take a lot of heat for most waste to come off noticeably more easily. And for seasoned casseroles like cast iron or carbon steel, it’s a great way to avoid rubbing with an abrasive, which can certainly damage the seasoning. “


“Brown a little butter in a frying pan, then add breadcrumbs and cook for about a minute, being careful not to burn it. This is the most delicious vegetable garnish, poured over roasted cauliflower, green beans, etc … “


“If a baking recipe calls for fruit juice (like lemon, lime, apple cider, etc …) I use double but reduce it by boiling it. Boiled juice really amplifies the taste.”


“Add shredded cheese into hard taco shells about a minute before cooking is finished. Not only does it keep the taco shells together, but it tastes really good, too.”


“I make huge batches of roux, then divide them into small silicone molds. I keep the roux in individual portions in the freezer, then use it as required by recipes like gravy, macaroni and cheese. , the béchamel sauce, etc. .. “


“Use Jello vanilla pudding powder in place of half the sugar when baking cookies. It keeps them super soft for days and gives them a cake-like interior.”


“When making a chocolate recipe like brownies or chocolate cakes / cupcakes, replace some of the water with the same amount of freshly brewed, cooled coffee. The taste is amazing and the coffee actually enhances the flavor of the chocolate. “


“Instead of making French toast with milk, substitute Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur. The result is so delicious.”


“If you are making homemade chicken fillets or fried pork chops, chop the pork rinds and use them in place of breadcrumbs.”


“Add a little mayonnaise to the beaten eggs before scrambling them or making an omelet or quiche. This adds bulk and makes them light and chewy.”


“Better than Bouillon paste adds a lot of complex flavor to anything you cook like rice, sautéed vegetables or even meatballs.”


“Taco seasoning (like the El Paso brand in the yellow box) is my secret spice that I put in almost all sauces and marinades … even though I don’t cook Mexican dishes.”


“I use Pepperidge Farm Chess Cookies in my banana pudding in place of the standard Nilla Wafers. Visually you can’t tell the difference, but the taste is so much better.”


What’s your favorite underrated cooking tip, trick or trick? Share in the comments!

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