Professional Chefs Are Sharing The Mistakes We're All Making In The Kitchen, And These Are Really Good To Know, Y'all
"If you want to cut onions without the juices making you cry, chill them first."
There's no question about it — with all the recipe videos out there, we probably all think we're amateur chefs, amirite?
Well, Reddit user Joker042 asked professional chefs to share the mistakes we're all making in the kitchen, and you'll definitely want to take notes:
1. "Cooking too hot to speed things up. If the recipe calls for something to cook for one hour at 350 degress, cooking it at 425 degrees for 35 minutes is not a substitute. Some things just need to be cooked slowly and gently."
2. "Not using a thermometer when cooking meat."
3. "Putting oil in the pot when you're boiling pasta. If you do that, the sauce will just slide right off your pasta. The starchier the water, the better the sauce will stick."
4. "Overcooking eggs. If the eggs are done cooking in the pan, they're overcooked on the plate."
5. "If you want to cut onions without the juices making you cry, chill them first, then chop them while they're chilled."
6. "Instead of adding more salt, try adding an acid instead. A splash of vinegar or lemon juice can make flavors pop without over salting."
7. "Putting your knives in a drawer — it ruins the edges."
8. "Pressing burger patties down as they cook on the barbecue grill — you're just making them drier by squeezing out the juices."
9. "Never add garlic and onions at the same time. Onions take about eight minutes to saute´, and garlic takes about thirty seconds. If you add them together, you'll get burnt, bitter garlic."
10. "You're probably not using the proper knives for what you're cutting. I always catch my wife trying to cut meat with a bread knife."
11. "Crack your eggs on a flat surface, not the side of a bowl or pan."
12. "If you have to drain your rice after cooking it, you're doing it wrong. You should measure two cups of water for every cup of rice — and use proper measuring cups, not a coffee mug!"
13. "Clean as you go. Throw away trash, wipe up what you spill, get unnecessary utensils out of the way. If your kitchen looks like a tornado struck after you're done cooking, you fucked up."
14. "Let the meat rest for the same amount of time it was cooked."
15. "Iodized salt (table salt) is not the same grade as kosher salt — it makes things taste way salty and metallic. So for cooking, go for either Morton's kosher salt or Diamond Crystal, which is a lighter, flaky salt. And keep it in a bowl, so you can just grab a pinch and season whatever you're cooking."
16. "I've even seen chefs on the Food Network cut the top off of bell peppers and then pull out the seeds. Bell peppers are shaped like a cube, so just slice from the top down on all four sides, and you will have easily sliceable pieces."
17. Always use fresh lemon, not that stuff in the little yellow bottle."
18. "To cook bacon in the oven, start with a cold oven. Then rotate the baking sheet halfway through cooking for delicious, crispy bacon."
19. "The most important thing when boiling eggs is to put them in water that's already boiling, not cold water. This way, the skin doesn't fuse the shell and insides together."
20. "It's the fat that carries the flavor. So if you're going to saute´ something, put the herbs and spices in the butter or oil that's in the skillet, not in the flour you're using to bread the food."
21. "My chef brother-in-law taught me how to deglaze a pan to make a sauce like a boss. Leave it hot, and douse it with a cup or more of wine, stock, or water, and you can turn even basic things into an amazing pan of goodness! The stuff in your pan that you're scrubbing off after you're done cooking is all the good shit, so learn to deglaze!"
22. "Not sanitizing your hands and work area after handling raw meat, especially chicken. I can't count the number of time I've had to stop friends or family from chopping salad veggies on the same cutting board as raw meat or just running their hands under cold water for a second to 'clean' them."
23. "If you want perfect roasted potatoes that are crispy outside and fluffy inside, boil them in saltwater for about 5-10 minutes first, then roast them."
24. "Not having things ready and in place. Have you ever been halfway done with a dish and realized you didn't have the cheese grated, and now everything is on hold (or overcooking!) while you grate it? Having everything ready to go at the start lets you add the ingredients when they need to be added."
25. "Cover the pan for eggs that are perfectly sunny side up."
26. "Just finished that awesome, delicious, home-cooked meal? Don't put it on a cold plate from the cabinet. Some ovens have a warm plate setting, or you could even keep a stack of plates in hot water and dry them off right before plating to keep the meal hot."
27. "And practice your recipes. Don't just find one risotto you like and never make a different one. Cook 10 different ones two or three times each. Doing this helps you understand the basics of how to make it, and will allow you to spot bad recipes, recognize good ones, and improvise without one."
Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.