Chefs Are Revealing Their #1 Most Useful Cooking Tip (And I'm Memorizing All Of Them)
These are definitely worth remembering.
Here are some of the best responses. If you have another cooking tip to add, share in the comments!
1. Master cooking techniques rather than specific recipes.
2. When it comes to ingredients, less is often more.
"Something with three or four ingredients that go really well together is better than something with 12 ingredients that clash with each other." —u/daneoid
3. Salt gets the most attention — but acid is actually just as important.
4. Learn how to properly hold a knife.
"Chop with the rear part of the blade, not the tip, in a rolling motion." —u/RicharKing
5. Don't be afraid of seasoning.
6. But be sure to add that seasoning little by little.
"Season in small amounts and taste as you go, you can always add more but once you've over done it you've over done it." —u/ChicagoCowboy
7. Remember that food continues cooking even when it's removed from heat.
8. Don't serve hot food on cold plates.
"Heat your plates before serving. Cold plates leech the heat right out of an otherwise tasty meal. This is especially true if you don't have everything set to finish at the same time." u/OrdinaryPanda
9. Onions can be a secret weapon when they're prepared well.
11. Save vegetable scraps to make homemade stock.
12. Finish savory sauces with vinegar.
"For sauces and gravies, a splash of apple cider vinegar gives a lot of complexity to an otherwise simple sauce." —u/Soranic
13. With herbs and spices, learn how to add and when to taste.
14. Don't over-flip your food while it's cooking.
"In general, just leave your food alone while it's cooking. Stirring and flipping it a lot might feel like you're doing something but you're only making it take longer. Just walk away and let it do its thing. For example, if your grilling or pan-frying a chicken breast, wait until it's half-way cooked before flipping it to the other side. Flipping it more than once slows the cooking process and you won't get that golden-brown coloring you're looking for. You'll also likely dry out the meat." —u/awwjeah
"The best thing you can do for your meats is leave them alone. After you put it in the pan, on the grill, or whatever, DO NOT TOUCH IT. Do not poke, prob, press, squeeze, lift, turn, or anything else until it is time to flip it. Moving it will cause the juices to leak out and disrupt the cooking process, leaving your meat dry and flavorless." u/farsified
15. Fry eggs over medium, not hot.
16. Three knives are all you need.
"You don't need 10 kitchen knives. Three good knives of different sizes, properly sharpened and cared for, should be all you need. Then, only buy other knives if you have a need for them (like one for peeling, etc.)" —u/kniebuiging
"Paring knife, chef's knife, and bread knife. I have never had a need for anything else." —u/AugmentedOnionFarmer
17. Sharpen your knives often.
18. Read the *entire* recipe before you do absolutely anything else.
"Always always always read the recipe through before starting." —u/eclipse_sav
19. Take a cue from the French and mise en place.
20. Always deglaze your pan.
"This one simple trick will change your life. Basically, sauté onions, garlic, etc and then pour in some boiling water from a kettle and stir vigorously. Not only will it pull all the beautiful caramelized flavor a from the bottom of your pan but it will also be spotless when you go to clean it which will take all of about 5 seconds." u/jaycoopermusic
21. Not all meat should be cooked the same way.
22. Don't overcrowd the pan.
"One thing I see frequently done wrong is crowding the pan. If you want to brown your meat, don't fill the pan to the brim. It will only boil in its own juices until it's still pale but also tough. Just put a few pieces in at once, you can place them on a plate once they're done and then do the next ones." —u/notapantsday
23. There's no such thing as too much garlic.
24. Freeze meat before slicing.
"If you are cooking a dish that asks for thinly sliced beef or pork, throw that meat in the freezer. Way easier to cut thin when semi-frozen." —NotZombieJustGinger
25. Don't worry about being too precise.
26. Let your meat rest.
"Rest your meat! If you cut into it and the juices flow out, you are cutting too soon." —u/oogachaka123
27. Be careful with the vanilla.
"Vanilla extract comes out of the bottle REALLY fast." —u/IH8Clothing
28. Before you serve something, do a final taste-test for salt.
29. Clean as you go.
"Do the dishes / clean your workplace while cooking every time you have time. Makes a huge difference in the end." —u/yourbraindead
"You can clean while you cook." —u/aecht
"When you let food simmer, wash up while you wait. Bring to boil, wash up while you wait. Cook until softened/browned, wash up while you wait, etcetera etcetera. —u/iLikeMeeces
30. Forget the term "cooking wine."
31. Or swap white wine for vermouth.
"Julia Child says you can use dry vermouth in place of white wine in recipes, which is great if you only need a splash and don't want to open a whole new bottle." —u/Skirtlongjacket
32. Treat your pasta water like liquid gold.
Note: Some answers have been lightly edited for length and/or clarity.