Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

We all think we're good cooks, don't we?

There's a sense of pride when you prepare something by yourself, lovingly crafting a meal for yourself or your loved ones with your own hands. However, that pride can quickly fall away when you make something for someone and you see the look of disdain pass over their face, showing their complete and utter contempt for the food you've made them. How do you avoid that? How do you make yourself better in the kitchen?

The internet. That's how.

Reddit user, u/askredditiscool, wanted to hear about:

What are the best cooking tips everyone should know?

Let's Start With The Practical

There's the practical skills, the ones you should be putting into practice every time you step into the kitchen.

Slice Slice Slice

Sharpen. Your. Knives.


Recently bought some sharpening stones. The difference is immediately apparent


Make Them Smaller. Duh.

Cut potatoes into pieces before boiling them, I know it sounds obvious but you wouldn't believe how many people I've met who always put the entire thing in water only to complain about how long it took to cook


MORE. Not Less. MORE.

Add more garlic.

Also the difference between an average cook and a good cook is often adding more butter and/or seasoning.


If a recipe calls for one clove of garlic, always use at least two cloves. Even if the recipe is "How to cook one clove of garlic"... use two.


Use Anything Else

Never use glass or bamboo cutting boards. The glass is harder than your knife edge and will ruin the edge quickly. Bamboo, while having a relatively low average hardness, has localised areas that are tougher than steel. These are often sold as an environmentally responsible alternative to wood, but, like glass, these will destroy your knife edge.


No Oil Flakes On It

If you are oven cooking something like chips or pizza, instead of putting tinfoil on the baking tray, use baking paper instead.

It still keeps the baking tray clean, the food cooks just as well, and you don't have to worry about the foil sticking to your food and tearing when you dish up. Nothing ruins a pizza like having little flakes of foil on it


The Lesser Known Tips And Tricks Of The Trade

​Then there's the lesser known tips, the ones you probably haven't hear of, even in passing, but should keep in your chef's tool belt.

Pair Oil With The Base. Simple.

Pasta sauces hack my aunt thought me when I was just beginning to cook, it's pretty obvi but beginners may like it: if you are frying something, always "pair" the oil type to sauce base.

Making chicken alfredo? Sauce is based on cheese and milk, so fry your chicken on butter. Bolognese? You'll be using tomato sauce as base, so fry the meat on olive oil.
Carbonara? No oil, just use bacon's natural fat.
Red wine sauce? Make your veggies on butter.
Pesto? Olive oil, etc.


No One Wants To Clean Up That Mess

Lay chopsticks across the top of the bowl to prevent rice from boiling over in the microwave. (No more setting the bowl on a large plate to catch the spillover! \o/ )


Feel Like There's A Painful Story Here...

Never use wet oven gloves. NEVER.


Imagine flash steaming your fingers at 450 degrees.


Don't Wait Too Long

If your cookies look all the way done when you pull them out they are already burned


Yes! Instead take them out when the bottom edges just start to brown. Leave them on the pan for 5 minutes so the bottom and edges crispen up. Remove from pan, set on plate or cooling rack for 5 minutes. Eat.

Perfectly light crispy outside, gooey warm inside. Heaven on Earth.


Never Boiled Again

My dad is a chef, so growing up with him has taught me a lot about cooking. I've seen some good tips here already (season your food, season as you go, use sharp knives, preheat the oven etc.) but a really good tip especially for people who are not that fond of vegetables: oven roast them!

[Roasted] veggies are the best, just give them a little oil and seasoning (I usually do salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder) and give them 20-30 minutes depending on how big the veggie pieces are. If there's a type of vegetable you usually don't like because you've only tried it boiled to oblivion, try oven roasting it. I hate boiled Brussels sprouts, but oven roasted they're my favourite.


SALT. All The Salt.

Bread dough and pasta dough need extra salt.

Not [enough] salt makes for a bland flavorless product.


The Obvious Standards To Hit

Then there's these skills, the ones you've probably never even considered, but to ascend to the level of great cook must be a standard to achieve.

Takes Off The Coating

No metal spoon/spatula should touch nonstick pans/pots..


You Are The Master And The Commander

This is the advise I give all my new cooks I'm training:

You are stronger and smarter than everything in the kitchen. If it needs to be hotter, turn it up. Knife is dull? Sharpen it. Recipe says to bake for 20 mins but you think it needs 30? Give it 30. Don't let the food rule you. You're in charge.

Also, clean while you cook. You'll be amazed how many dishes can be done in two free minutes.


Two Different Philosophies On The Same Coin

Unless you're baking go by taste rather than the exact measurements of a recipe


And if you are baking follow the ingredients and amounts exactly.


For Those In The Back:



and if you've been working with peppers WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER COOKING


Keep an open mind, keep your ego in check, know you always have something to learn, and you'll be slicing and dicing with the best of them.

And spices. Always, always use more spices and seasoning.

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