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People Are Sharing The Basic Cooking Hacks Everyone Should Know, But Most People Don't

Whether you microwave everything, or you're basically a pro, I bet you're gonna learn something new here.

Whether you're a hot mess in the kitchen or practically a pro, I think it's safe to say that cooking is an art form in which you're constantly learning new things.

So in the spirit of learning something new, Redditor u/Sunieta25 asked, "Cooks of Reddit, what is the best kitchen advice anyone should know?" here are 19 of the very best tips and tricks they shared:

Note: Submissions have also been sourced from this similar thread.

1. "Contrary to popular belief, it often doesn’t work out great if you add your chopped/minced garlic first to hot oil or butter. It burns so quickly and tastes yuck. I like to brown something else first, like onions, and then add the garlic. The onions are like a burn buffer!"

Garlic and oil in a pan with a big red X over it

2. "The amount of garlic flavor is dependent on WHEN you add the garlic. Add it early for light flavor, add it late for bold flavor."

Chopped garlic on a cutting board with a knife

3. "A dropped knife has no handle, so don't try to catch it when it's falling. You WILL get hurt."


4. "You follow instructions when baking. You follow your heart when cooking (...but not too much.)"

Person mixing batter in a glass bowl

5. "Sometimes when you think something needs more salt, what it really needs is acid — lemon juice, vinegar, etc."


"I recommend choosing an acid based on what you are cooking. Italian? Try some red wine vinegar. Mexican? Try some lime juice. Additionally, if you are working with anything cream based, add acidity literally right at the end or else your sauce/dish will curdle."


6. "If you want crispness on the outsides of your meats, you should pat them dry before seasoning and putting them in oven or over heat."

Person patting meat dry with paper towel

7. "Clean while you're cooking. WHILE."


"'Always be cleaning' is important to end-of-meal satisfaction. It’s such a drag to look up at the end of a great dinner and see a monstrous cleaning task ahead of you."


8. "A blunt knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. Always keep your knives sharp."

Person chopping cucumbers on a cutting board

9. "Adding is easy, but removing is hard. People like to argue that you should liberally add butter and seasoning, but tastes differ. It's totally fine to put in less if that's what you fancy."


10. "If you’re getting annoyed because it’s taking you too long to peel garlic, place an unpeeled garlic clove under the flat side of your kitchen knife and press on it with your hand. The garlic peel will separate easily and your garlic will be crushed."

A person crushing garlic under a knife on a cutting board

11. "A good kitchen should be equipped with a plentiful supply of clean, dry towels."


"If your towels or oven mitt get wet (or your hands are wet while using them on something hot), they will NOT protect your hands."


12. "Massively improve the quality of your proteins (chicken, beef, tofu, anything) with fond. Fond is the dark brown stuff that sticks to your pan when you're cooking. It's not burnt unless its actually black. To get it off the pan and on the food, pour in either an alcohol or acid to dissolve it and get the now-brown liquid to coat your protein."

13. "Soy sauce goes on more than just Asian foods. Try a dash in scrambled eggs or towards the end of your caramelized onions. It is a savory salt flavor that compliments many dishes."


14. "Cooking bacon in the oven is exponentially easier to perfect and clean up than on a stove top."

Bacon on foil on a baking sheet

15. "For thick and nice sauces, use the water you cook your pasta with."


The starch in the pasta water helps to thicken the sauce and add flavor.

16. "Have ingredients prepared before starting to cook."

Ingredients measured out in rows in bowls

17. "Cinnamon isn’t just for sweet foods. It can be really, really good in savory foods, too."


18. "Taste as you cook, and do it at various stages of cooking (while safe, please don't taste raw meat). Not only does it let you know if you have too much or little of something, but it also helps you develop your palette for what different seasonings do."

A woman tasting food from a cooking pot

19. "Time is the best and most expensive ingredient."


"Pressure cookers and pre-made/frozen ingredients are good, but they won't ever be as good as home-cooked, low and slow meals. I still use those of course, but when I get the chance to break out my crock pot and let time work it's magic...oooh boy it's something else entirely."


Now it's your turn! Do you have a cooking or kitchen tip you swear by? If so, drop it in the comments below!

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.