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Cooking mistakes you can easily avoid, according to pro chefs

Listen to the experts and leave these troubled cooking tricks behind. Read on to find out which cooking mistakes you can easily avoid according to professional chefs!

You can find cooking tips, hacks, and tricks all across the internet, from TikTok and Instagram creators, and even from your well-meaning friends and family. But how do you know which tips to trust? If a tip is in the recipe notes on a cooking blog is it reliable?

Since we all don’t have the time or wherewithal to go to culinary school or spend years working in a professional kitchen, we decided to turn to the best source—trained and seasoned chefs who’ve honed their skills in professional kitchens, and usually spend their spare time testing new recipes or cooking for their families—just like us! We asked chefs everywhere from steakhouses to luxury hotels to cozy bistros what not to do in the kitchen, and some of the answers were surprising.

1. Don’t Wash Your Chicken (or Any Poultry) Before Cooking

“This does not work in killing any bacteria and can actually have the opposite effect and spread bacteria around your kitchen. It will also moisten your skin which will result in it not crisping well when you cook it.” —Chef Daniel Kenney, Clink at the Liberty Hotel.

2. Don’t Heat Up Your Grill Too Quickly

Go slow when heating up your grill! “If your grill grates are so hot they have turned white, you are going to incinerate whatever you put on them. Grilling is done on high heat, but do not overdo it, allow your grill time to get to the right temp, and place your hand above the grill. You should be able to hold it there for no longer than three to five seconds. When you apply your protein or vegetables to the grill, you should hear the sizzle and not see flames engulfing your product.” —Chef Ryan Marcoux, Grill 23 & Bar.

3. Don’t Cook Meat Right Out of the Fridge

“You should always let it temper (rest on a cutting board or plate) for at least 10 to 15 minutes prior to cooking. This allows for more even cooking.” —Chef Robert Sisca, The Banks Fish House.

4. Don’t Press Your Burger on the Grill

“You should never press a burger while over a heat source as the juices that keep it nice and deliciously moist will literally run out of the meat. A simple way to keep the juice in your burger and also cut the cooking time down would be to form the burger into a thinner patty before placing it on the grill.” —Chef Daniel Kenney, Clink at the Liberty Hotel.

5. Don’t Add Oil to Pasta Water

You may have heard that adding oil to your pasta water helps the noodles not stick, but that’s not the case. “That’s bull****. And a waste of oil.” —Chef Matt Broussard.

6. Don’t Add Salt to Your Marinade

One of the most common mistakes a lot of cooks make is to add salt to the marinade while marinating any proteins for longer times. “Salt is a de-moisturizer in its natural state and if you add extra salt it can lead to over extracting the flavors too much and can lead to dry meat or seafood.” —Chef Suraj “Sunny” Chopra, Rebel’s Guild at The Revere Hotel.

Cooking tricks that are only taught in culinary schools

How to get Juicy Meat Every Time

If you’ve had chicken or pork chops in a restaurant, you may have wondered how the chefs keep them moist and juicy. They brine the meat – it’s not just for turkeys. Soaking the meat in cold, salted water infuses it with a rich flavor and juicy texture before it’s even cooked.

How to Get the Perfect Steak

Do you take your meat out of the refrigerator and put it straight on the grill? That’s not how the chefs do it. They take the steak out and let it sit for an hour or so at room temperature before cooking it. Having the meat at room temperature before you start cooking means it will cook more evenly.

Learn to Season Properly

One of the first things students in culinary school learn is to be generous with the salt. Without it, food tastes bland. If you’re worried about over-salting your food, then season with salt continuously through the cooking process, tasting as you go, rather than salting heavily at the beginning or end of cooking.

How to Make a Perfect Burger Patty

Do your homemade burger patties puff up in the middle when you cook them? Try this chef’s trick: toss the patty down hard on your chopping board to force the air bubbles out of it. Then, press an indent into the center of the patty. This will create a nice, even burger that won’t bubble when you cook it.

Perfectly crispy bacon is made in the oven

A seasoned recipe developer, Knific has perfected the art of bacon. If you want that wonderfully crispy consistency, Knific says to ditch the frying pan and place your bacon strips evenly on a baking sheet lined with a metal rack. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. The sheet pan method allows fat to drip down and the heat to work its way all the way around the slices, creating crispiness.

How to Make a Clear Broth

Making a clear and tasty chicken broth involves a lot of patience, but it’s worth it. Cook your chicken meat and bones in just enough water to cover them, for at least three hours. Keep the heat low, and skim off any frothy scum that floats to the top. Don’t add the vegetables straight away, but wait until the chicken has simmered for an hour or two hours before adding them. If you want a super-clear broth, strain the liquid through cheesecloth at the end of cooking.

Make Good Use of Olive Oil

This liquid gold can be used in pasta dishes, pizzas, fish and meat dishes to provide a kick of flavor, and add a silky finish. Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil, and add a dollop to your cooking. Olive oil from different countries will have a different taste – Greek olive oil has a distinct taste, as does Italian. Experiment with a variety of oils.

Making the Tastiest Pasta

To get restaurant quality, beautifully flavored pasta, follow this tip. Before the pasta is fully cooked, transfer it to the sauce for the last couple of minutes of cooking. This helps the pasta absorb the flavor, and makes the sauce cling to it better. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the leftover pasta water until it reaches a smooth and silky texture.

Read more at: 16 cooking tricks that are only taught in culinary schools

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