10 Cooking Hacks Pro Chefs Swear By

Pro Chef 2

If you love to cook but sometimes find yourself frustrated with the process, you are not alone! Sometimes it feels like we toil away in our kitchens only to come away with a less-than-appetizing meal.

To make your life a little easier in the kitchen, we're sharing 10 Common Kitchen Hacks that both make food tastier and bring maximum flavor to your meals. 

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1. The Secret to Thick and Rich Pasta Sauce

When boiling your pasta, save some of the water you used. It will be loaded with starch from the pasta. Add it to your sauce for a more sublime result!

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2. Controlling Your Garlic

When you add garlic to a dish, process matters. If you want the garlic flavor to be prominent, add it later on. But if you prefer it to be smoother, then throw it in at the start to mellow the flavor. Remember, the longer garlic cooks, the less intense the flavor.

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3. Save the Stems

If you're using herbs like parsley or cilantro, don't toss the stems. Save them for soups or stews. The same goes for celery leaves. The greens from carrots and beets are even great for salads and sautées. You'll be amazed by the edible possibilities of the greens you might otherwise throw away!

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4. The Salty Details

It may sound silly, but sprinkling salt into your dish from up high, about 10 inches or so, can make a big difference for your dish. Doing so will help it distribute evenly. Also, add salt in small amounts as you go through the cooking cycle. This way, you can be sure it is added to taste. This goes hand-in-hand with tasting your food as you cook it to ensure the best flavor.

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5. Warm Feelings

So, you've cooked the perfect meal, but by the time it gets to the table, it's already cold. To avoid this, heat dishware in the microwave for 30-90 seconds prior to plating. This will help the meal stay nice and toasty.

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6. Egg-sactly

If you've ever had trouble with pesky shell bits getting into your eggs, it may be the way you're cracking them. Flat surfaces will make for an even crack, while bowl edges will push the shells inwards, getting caught in the whites and yolk.

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7. Spicing Things Up

Store-bought spices are convenient. But if you get whole spices and grind them yourself, you will enter a brave new world of bolder flavors.

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8. The Secret to Juicy Meat

When grilling or searing meat, it may seem easier to pierce it with a fork to flip it over. But that just lets the juices flow out, making for a dryer result. Use tongs or a spatula instead.

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9. Proper Olive Oil Use

Olive oil is favored by many, but it should be primarily used as a condiment. If you're frying, use vegetable oil. It'll be more neutral while olive oil can overpower the dish's flavor.

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10. No More Onion Tears

We love onions; we hate cutting them! Believe it or not, hold an unlit match in your teeth to prevent tearing. The sulfur will stop those onion fumes in their tracks, preventing you from tearing up.

These hacks will have you slicing and dicing through dishes you thought you couldn't make at home. All you'll need is a white apron, and the transition to pro status will be complete! 

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