Cooking can be a confusing and mystifying experience. For many of us, watching a professional chef on TV can make us feel like we’re doing everything wrong. From the way we use our knives to something as simple as putting olive oil in a pan, it seems like there is a “better” way to do everything.
With that in mind, here are eight useful cooking tips straight from some of the world’s best talent in cooking.
1. Don’t be afraid of heat
The frying pan is one of the most commonly used pieces of cooking equipment. It’s also used wrong more often than not.
To get good results from many foods, you need high heat. Things like steak, salmon, and many veggies require a lot of heat to get the proper amount of caramelization.
The secret is to make sure that
- you’re using plenty of oil. You need olive oil, butter or some other lard-y ingredient to make sure that you dish tastes great and doesn’t stick to the pan.
- yu have a quality pan. A great nonstick pan that really works as it is advertised is priceless in cooking. Using a good nonstick pan can help you cook at the heat necessary for proper cooking.
Look: You can’t be afraid of fat. Sure, it’s important to balance the amount of carbs, protein, and fat that you use.
Remember, fat makes everything taste better. Most people don’t get the flavor that they want out of most foods because they are too modest with their use of butter. Ask any keto devotee — fat doesn’t make you fat! If you’ve ever watched a video of Jamie Oliver cook a steak, you know what we mean.
3. Use two baking sheets for even cooking
Most conventional ovens heat more from the top or bottom. To remedy this issue, put an empty baking sheet on whichever side is hotter. This will even out the heat distribution in your oven and help things cook as they should.
4. Chop Garlic Early
Before you get your other ingredients ready, peel and mince your garlic. It takes a little time for garlic’s nutritious benefits to release after it’s chopped. After you mince it, pour a bit of olive oil over it and let it rest while you prep the other ingredients.
5. Add fat at the end
When you add butter or oil to the beginning of your cooking process, it mixes with the other ingredients added. That’s good, but if you want a deeper and richer flavor, add some more at the very end. This will allow it to stand out a bit more for a better overall taste.
6. Use Brines
It’s a bit too easy to produce a dried, bland chicken breast. Take water, salt, and sugar and combine them in a large bowl. Place your poultry in the brine and allow it to marinate — usually for a couple hours. This will allow your meat to stay juicy and tender while cooking.
7. Cook your steak in beef fat
One of the best ways to maximize your steak cooking experience is to allow the fatty side of your steak to sear first. This releases some of the juices from the steak, creating a natural fat for your meat to cook in. It also creates a good sear where there is normally just fatty flab.
8. Finish with acid
Acids — like lemon juice or apple cider vinegar — add a level of complexity and flavor that’s hard to get with just spices. Add a splash of acid to the end of the cooking process for meats and veggies.
It’s no secret that modifying a few simple methods and processes for how we cook can drastically change the results we get.
Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment in the kitchen. There are many ways to make cooking easy, fun, and sustainable.