Chefs Share Their Most Valuable Cooking Tips
Believe it or not, one of the most valuable cooking tips I've picked up after years of cooking came when someone told me that putting something on high heat doesn't necessarily translate to a good dish. Cooking is chemistry, after all. The integrity of a dish can be compromised when you're a novice who thinks high heat means something will cook "faster" or properly.
If you've had some trouble picking up the basics in the kitchen, you can thank Redditor IvetteCramer, who asked the online community,
"What is your most valuable cooking suggestion?"
"Everyone forgets acid."
"Acid. Everyone forgets acid. Lemon juice, lime zest, red wine vinegar, and so on. Salt is your most important seasoning, but acid is the unsung hero of many dishes."
Yes! I am a huge fan of lemon juice and red wine vinegar in particular. The change you see in your food once you add some acid is incredible.
"It's worth it..."
"It's worth it to spend some extra money on your equipment. Good equipment makes cooking so much easier."
"People underestimate the reward and convenience of having a garden. At supermarkets, you have to buy whole bundles of herbs even if you only need a few spoonfuls. Herbs tend to go bad very quickly once picked so you need to find some way to use the rest of them. With a garden, you can just trim off what you need and leave the rest on the plant.
Also, fresh garden tomatoes are one of the greatest things you can ever eat. For anybody that doesn't like tomatoes, there's a great chance that you just haven't had a really good one yet."
"Had to buy..."
"Freeze leftover ingredients. Freeze fresh knobs of ginger. Tomato paste where you use one tablespoon and still have a whole tin left? Put it in an ice cube tray, then once frozen can transfer to a container. Had to buy whole celery only to use two stalks? Chop the rest and freeze it in containers. Leftover stock? You get the picture."
"At some point..."
"If you refuse to eat vegetables because you think they taste bad, that just means you aren't flavoring them properly. Add some salt, oil, and/or garlic. It's hard to overstate how versatile garlic is; other than desserts and salads, it makes virtually every dish better. If the vegetables still taste bad, add more salt, oil, and/or garlic. At some point, you'll find a flavor balance with the right amount of salt, oil, and/or garlic that works for you. And this is way healthier than just eating potato chips and candy bars all day."
Seasonings are your best friends. Invest a bit. Over time, I have amassed quite the collection––and these days I have a full cabinet.
"It is indestructible..."
"If you don't have a cast-iron pan, go buy one. It is indestructible, nonstick if you season it properly (which is really easy to do), and doesn't have the chemicals regular nonstick pans are coated with! Also makes virtually everything taste great!"
"Learn to hold..."
"Learn to hold a knife correctly. It's not difficult and it's a game-changer."
This is a fact––I have had more than a few accidents over the years as a result of carelessness.
"Trying to slice and dice..."
"Prep. Trying to slice and dice, measure, and find that little-used lid while you are cooking is the fast lane to a poorly cooked meal."
It's probably the most "boring" part of cooking, but prepping in advance will absolutely save you headaches in the end.
"If you add stock/broth..."
"If you add stock/broth to a dish, be careful if you're adding more salt. Stock and broth already taste quite salty. But sometimes the other seasonings and flavours can help to balance it out.
Speaking of salt, a lot of the time if you feel as if a dish is under-seasoned, the smallest amount of extra salt can make all the difference, so try that before adding a load of other random seasonings otherwise it may end up tasting terrible."
"How and where..."
"Think about the heat. Think about the food. What's the water content? Where is the heat touching/penetrating the food? How and where is the temperature of the food changing based upon the kind of and direction of the heat? I've been improvising based upon my intuition regarding thermodynamics for years, and seldom screw anything up as long as I approach my cooking with those basic questions in mind."
We hope those of you out there who've been struggling with your cooking game have taken some extensive notes. Cooking is one of those skills that pays incredible dividends––learn and you'll thank yourself later.
Have some tips of your own? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
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We all indulge in fast food from time to time.
Even if we know what we're eating isn't exactly healthy, sometimes the salty, fatty mass-produced food is the only thing we want.
Resulting in our making weekly, if not daily, visits to a nearby chain.
Then, of course, there are the chains that we make every effort to avoid.
We've likely tried places at least once simply because everyone is always talking about them.
But after having one bite, we have trouble seeing exactly what all the fuss was about and vow to never return.
Even if it might be the only option at a rest stop or even the only available food for miles, we instead opt to wait and be hungry.
Redditor BungOnMimosas was curious to hear what people considered to be the most overhyped fast food chains around, leading them to ask:
"What do you think are the most overrated fast-food chains? Why?"
"Food As It Should Be"... Or Not...
"I know it's not technically 'fast food', but Panera Bread pisses me off."
"Insanely expensive for extremely average food." - Reddit
"Their quality has decreased so much in the past few years and they’ve added weird sh*t to their menu like pizza and chicken sandwiches."
"Massive identity crisis and crap food."- asm233
Things Ain't What They Used To Be...
"All of them, now that they charge real restaurant prices."- P00pf4rt5
"As much as I hate to say it, McDonald's is the only place that I can think of that the quality hasn't changed much."
"I mean, that's a pretty low bar, but it is what it is."- gnatman66happy ronald mcdonald GIF by McDonald's CZ/SKGiphy
"The majority of them, especially the really big ones (McDonald's, Wendy's, BK, Pizza Hut, etc)."
"The prices are no longer fast food prices and the quality is not there like it used to be."
"Far better local options that cost roughly the same at the end of the day."- senorita_diablo
Consistency Is Key...
"You can go to the same location three separate times, have the food made by the same staff, and receive 3 wildly different results."- AndrewLampart
Not So Popular Anywhere, It seems...
"KFC in France became so bad."- SterBout
"KFC."- calm4ufried chicken animation GIF by octavioterolGiphy
Likely Won't Go National...
"Idk how wide spread they are, but in the Buffalo NY area there is a chain called Mighty Taco."
"They were even voted best tacos a few years ago."
"It is absolutely terrible food."
"I’ve tried to like it and given them 3 chances."
"Each time I couldn’t eat more than a couple bites."
"Absolutely terrible and I’m disgusted even thinking about their sour vomit in a tortilla."- aa-2020
"I think I’ve answered this question before but definitely for me, it’s Subway."
"Nothing but a giant hunk of bread."
"I’m editing this to add that part of my anger about Subway is how good it used to be."
"I can remember the days of nearly a whole can of tuna salad delicious sub."
"And a Veggie sub with Swiss cheese and piles of yummy veggies and the sweet Vidalia onion sauce."
"It’s all gone to sh*t."
"I would’ve been perfectly OK with increasing price but the big drop in quality pissed me off."
"Oh woe is me with my first world problems."- Mysterious-Region640football ok GIF by Subway ColombiaGiphy
Quantity Doesn't Guarantee Quality...
"Starbucks is a scam."- cmkeller62
Tasty, But Not Worth It...
"I’m going to say Five Guys."
"Not because the food isn’t good, but because I’m not paying $20 for a burger meal."- 2PacTookMyLunchMoney
"Dairy queen grill and Chill for sure."
"I worked at one for a lil' while and 1 burger combo is $14.56 CAD."- lolidk13Ice Cream Miracle Treat Day GIF by Children's Miracle Network HospitalsGiphy
And Not In A Good Way...
Big Kahuna Burger, it kills you."-Darklock2022
No two people have the same taste in food.
Some people know to avoid crappy food, while others eat literally nothing else.
There are several movies I've watched so many times I think the viewings outnumber the days I've lived.
And much like a favorite tv series or movie, who wouldn't love to start again anew?
Experiencing that first time but with that feeling of... "I'm gonna love this forever."
We never appreciate the first time enough.
But that's life.
Warning: there are spoilers below.
Redditor Jacale1 wanted to discuss all the movies we wish we could experience new all over again, so they asked:
"What is one movie that you wish you could watch again for the first time?"
There are a lot of mystery movies I'd love to redo, just to figure out the killer sooner.
Gasps!Raining The Shawshank Redemption GIFGiphy
"The Shawshank Redemption."
"A great nominee. Will never forget gasping when that rock went through the poster, and again when the warden pushed his arm through and ripped it down.... wow."
Over and Over
"Edge of Tomorrow."
"Is it bad that I got enjoyment knowing Tom Cruise died a lot in that movie. Never on screen, but it happened. Over and over. I hate that guy. How the hell was he the same height as Nichole Kidman in the movies they acted in together. Rhetorical question."
"Honestly the whole reason I watched the movie to begin with is that he kept dying over and over."
“'Stardust'- if you don’t know you’ll never know."
"I’m surprised that a fantasy romcom can be so enjoyable, for a straight guy. It’s just the right balance between fantasy, comedy, drama, and romance. Most of the female cast are very easy on the eyes too."
"I swooned when Yvaine glows while dancing on the ship, and when she talks emphatically to the mouse in the caravan. This movie has a lot of A listers, and they deliver. I’m not gonna lie, I have probably watched it half a dozen times."
"The book has so much more in it, even having seen the movie you'll feel like a child again."
"I watched this with my wife, who has never seen it, and that's about as close as you can get to watching it for the first time. It really displayed just how good the movie is. Also I love Aliens just as much for different reasons."
"Came here looking for this! I watched it for the first time with my dad when I was 11, and it’s one of my favorite childhood memories. Amazing movie."
Hey Arnoldsci-fi GIFGiphy
"I first watched this as a kid when I knew Arnold was the good guy in movies, and I had not seen T1. I wish I watched T2 for the first time after having watched T1. The mall scene would have been even more mind blowing."
T2 was definitely bada**!! I'd redo that.
"Bro, I'll go further. If I could watch the Nicholson covered in blood scene or the final scene between Damon and Wahlberg, I would be so freaking happy. The sheer acting clout on display for the first is near a masterclass while the last scene was just so business like, I'd love to relive that scene with fresh eyes. I love this freaking movie."
"The original Star Wars. Man, that blew our minds! It totally changed movies from then on. We'd never seen such incredible special effects. The story was so fun and the experience was amazing."
"Even though I’m not a franchise fan, I can get behind this answer. Because when I saw it first run, I was fourteen, and nothing like it had ever been done. I think it was the first movie where the special effects were the movie? Now that’s standard. It’s a reason people see many films now."
"So, for sheer originality, I’d watch it again, but only for the first time. I barely recall the second movie."
"The 6th Sense. I audibly gasped in the theater. All the clues are obvious on rewatch but that first time, before anyone knew M. Knight Shyamalan was a twist guy... wow."
"I never got to see it the first time. My girlfriend at the time (now wife) inadvertently let slip the ending thinking I had already seen it. I have never seen the point in watching it knowing the ending. But I did enjoy The Village."
"I watched it again and it was more of a sad film than a thriller."
"Spirited Away. I was blown away by how beautiful and bonkers it is."
"Saaaaame! Every single Studio Ghibli film, but Spirited Away especially! I’ve still watched it a million times though, and it’s always special. If I’m in a bad mood that film always cheers me up!"
"Also, Avatar-the last air bender. I know it’s not a movie, but I felt like it deserved a mention. I’ve watched the whole thing several times, and it’s always great, but I do wish I could forget it and rewatch it. I’m 35 btw... lol."
Great Scott!Doc Brown Shock GIF by Back to the Future TrilogyGiphy
"Back to the Future."
"I'd love to watch that in the cinemas... Now from the future."
Now I want to go to the movies.
There is no one way to anybody's heart or libido.
Sexy doesn't always have to equal raunchy.
I've known people turned on by music, books, nature, and even funerals (don't ask).
What starts someone's engine is a mystery.
Redditor asexyjohn18 wanted to hear about all the things that get people in the mood, so they asked:
"What is a non sexual trait that turns you on?"
I love a walk. A little strut. Nothing like getting the heart racing.
Tingleshair GIF by SB NationGiphy
"Getting my head scratched or having someone run their fingers through my hair."
"Same. It’s so pleasant when the tingles run down your spine... ;-) "
"When a girl genuinely laughs at jokes I make."
"I remember being on a first date with a beautiful woman and I made a bit of corny joke/comment and she laughed at it. I remember thinking, damn, wait till I get to my good stuff. I did get to my good material apparently as we were married. She gives me as many laughs as I give her."
"Kindness. When I see someone going out of their way to help others for no other reason than it’s the right thing to do… that is some truly attractive vibes."
"Apparently it's vanishing from this world really fast. People who show kindness often end up in losses (of course not everytime but most of the time yes). It really breaks my heart."
"Probably the sexiest thing out there. Someone can be smoking hot, funny, talented, etc. But if they're not kind, they're unattractive."
"Smiling right at me, and men stretching. LAWD HAVE MERCY!!"
"I have trouble smiling at women. Is this a turnoff for them? And ones I like are really hard to smile at. Because I know it's always going to be some really weird big smile if I am crushing which makes me feel like a super duper creep."
SimplicityHappy I Love You GIF by Warner Bros. DeutschlandGiphy
"Sorry if this is too kinky but i like it when they care about me."
"Too far man. You need to rethink your choices."
Sometimes it's all about the heart.
Eye 2 Eyei see you GIF by VH1Giphy
"When a guy explains something to you in a calm and understanding voice. Bonus points for gentle eye contact."
"Being crazily intelligent. Screw dirty talk, I want you to explain some unexplainable s**t in my ear."
"Heck yes. My best connections have been with a philosophy/history professor turned chancellor, an environmental engineer, and a neurosurgeon, all 3 Summa cum laude grads and conference speakers in their fields. The downside to genius though is complete absorption in their fields leaving little time for in person connection."
"Everyone should know how to cook. Hunger knows no gender. I like to eat good food so I learned how to cook. I asked my mom one day and she reacted surprised. She was more than grateful to have an opportunity to teach me the ‘finer’ aspects of cooking, as she called it. Lol. I love food."
"My girlfriend, now wife, likes to jokingly say I got her into bed with a well seasoned steak and homemade fries. I mean we did sleep together almost immediately after we finished dinner so maybe she’s right. That old saying comes to mind. 'The quickest way to the heart is though the stomach.'"
"When I ask my husband for help when I repot my plants and he delicately cleans and moves the leaves. He is a mechanical engineer and he works with huge pieces of industrial equipment, seeing him so tenderly caring for my plants just makes me melt."
Limbs A LotExcited Thomas Lennon GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Men doing intricate work with their hands."
"I second this, also someone who can play guitar/bass real real well... just watching their hands, whoa mama."
Well, it seems that just about anything can get someone in the mood, especially if you're kind, courteous, and especially a good cook.
Anything to add? Let us know in the comments below!
Even just in the past decade, items that used to seem too luxurious or expensive for "average" people to purchase are now incredibly affordable. And inaccessible produce and personal hygiene products are close to a distant memory.
It's fun to think back about how far we've come.
Redditor Repulsive_Ad_1163 asked:
"What previously luxurious thing is now considered normal?"
"Vanilla. It’s the second most expensive spice by weight, even today… but for some reason, it’s associated with bland or mundane flavor. Go figure."
"Today's produce is a crazy luxury."
"You are telling me that in Ontario Canada, I can get perfectly ripe bananas in January? Insanity."
Car Bag Phones
"I remember my dad having a bag/car phone in the '90s for his business and people thinking that was a huge deal."
"25 years ago, I was in high school, and we watched a corporate video in class. It was one of those of how the future will be all bright and shiny, as long as everyone uses brand X."
"The video was by Motorola, and it described the future. And they weren't that far off, stuff like zoom calls from the beach. But the one thing that had everyone in the class laughing and dismissing the video as bulls**t?"
"The eight-year-old with her own cell phone. Because 'no parent would ever spend that much money on a phone for a kid.'"
"The only way there used to be to get aluminum was to find native deposits of it. Meaning, basically, pure nuggets or otherwise tiny little deposits. Which were exceptionally rare. Hence the precious nature of aluminum."
"Aluminium didn't become the ridiculously disposable commodity it is today until we learned how to break bauxite with electricity."
"Running Water. I live in a rural part of Alaska in the summer, it is still a luxury there."
"Power windows in a car."
"Car backup cameras. I think they're mandatory standard features on cars now."
Readily Available Food and Water
"I LOVE that I can buy pre-butchered meat and vegetables I didn't grow and pasta I didn't make, etc."
"I read 'Little House on the Prarie,' I'm not butchering the pigs and preserving the meat in barrels/smoking it over two weeks, and it's awesome!"
Flat Screen TVs
"The first flat screen TV I saw was at a Bose store in the Spring of 99' and it was 42" for $15k! By today's standards, it was a fat flat screen of lower pixel quality. Crazy how cheap you can get one for now!"
"Eating meat every day, my grandfather was born during WWII and he told me that he only ate meat once a week when he was a kid. I can't speak for other countries but in the French countryside that was considered a luxury post-WWII."
"If there was one random thing I remember from middle school social studies/history, it’s going to be the fact that purple pigment was for the elite."
"I'm old enough that when I was a girl, most sanitary napkins still had a suspender belt that you attached the pad to; the 'beltless' maxi pads that arrived in the '70s were a game-changing deal."
"And tampons? Revolutionary, although they required a large body of marking reassurance that girls' virginity wouldn't be ruined by tampon use..."
"Agatha Christie once said, 'I never thought I would ever be so poor that I would not have servants, or so rich that I would own a car.'"
"But Honestly this statement is still quite true around the world."
"In places like southeast Asia, many families have live-in helpers or servants and they are quite poor themselves. Yet they can't afford a car."
"My dad used to always put an orange in my stocking and explained that it used to be a big deal because the fruit was hard to find."
"I carried on the tradition with my own kids. My 20-year-old, who I still make a stocking for, told me this past Christmas that it doesn't feel like Christmas if he doesn't get an orange in his stocking."
"He said when he has kids, he'll carry on the tradition and explain why. It made me feel good to know that it was as important to him as it was to me."
It's amazing to think of how the economy and our lifestyles have evolved over the years, and how expenses have changed to reflect that.