People Are Sharing Their "I'll Never Tell" Cooking Secrets And They Are Honestly So Good

    You've never used pickle juice for *this* before.

    Most home cooks have a handful of little tricks they rely on time and time again to enhance the flavor of food...including some "secrets" they wouldn't readily admit to dinner guests. So Redditor u/what_the_a asked, "What’s your 'I’ll never tell' cooking secret?" Here's how people responded.

    1. "My snickerdoodle recipe. People love them. They are chunks of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough, rolled in cinnamon and sugar."

    Cookie dough rolled in cinnamon sugar.

    2. "I use jello vanilla pudding powder in all my cookies. It keeps them super soft for days and gives them almost a cake interior. Shhhh..."


    3. "I add pickle juice to tuna or chicken salad. Gives it just the right amount of tartness."

    Tuna salad on a sandwich with tomato, lettuce, and cheese.

    4. "I use a little almond extract in all my baked goods (especially French toast) and a little espresso powder in anything chocolate."


    5. "My boyfriend is always amazed at how my scrambled eggs taste so good. He’s convinced I have magical scrambling powers."

    Pouring beaten eggs into a skillet.

    6. "Always brown the butter. No one ever takes the time to brown the butter."


    7. "I follow the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chip bag to the letter. Everyone thinks I make the best of the best chocolate chip cookies."

    A roll of chocolate chip cookie dough in wax paper.

    8. "Try putting a decent amount of butter in a red sauce. It will taste twice as good and no one will be able to guess the secret."


    9. "I begged my grandmother for her banana pudding recipe and now people beg me to make it. It's the recipe from the back of the Nilla wafer box."

    A girl making banana bread.

    10. "I worked at Jimmy John's and they had us use a little soy sauce in the tuna salad. I've been making it that way ever since."


    11. "I add mashed anchovies or anchovies paste to my salad dressings, pasta sauces, and gravy."

    Mashing anchovies into a paste.

    12. "I buy Costco cashew clusters and use the crumbs at the bottom of the bag as part of my flour when making cookies. People always go crazy for them."


    13. "When making homemade mac 'n' cheese, I season with a secret ingredient — mustard powder.

    Creamy homemade mac 'n' cheese shells.

    14. "If I cook anything that requires bread crumbs, I use chicken-flavored StoveTop stuffing instead."


    15. "For pasta salad, mix the pasta (while still hot) with Italian salad dressing and diced pepperoni."

    A big bowl of Italian pasta salad.

    16. "Instead of milk, I use full fat vanilla or plain yogurt in my bathing mixture for French toast. It turns out perfectly every time."


    17. "Instead of pine nuts (which are crazy expensive), I now make pesto with cooked quinoa instead."

    Homemade pesto and a mortar and pestle.

    18. "When making banana bread, I use overripe bananas, which I freeze and then thaw when it's time to bake.

    "I read somewhere that freezing bananas make them sweeter. Try it. You'll be pleasantly surprised." —u/ncgirl105

    19. "I add salt to hot chocolate. It somehow makes it more chocolate-y.

    A mug of hot chocolate surrounded by marshmallows.

    20. "My wife came back from Norway in love with a MAGIC spice we searched for everywhere. It's MSG."


    "MSG powder. A sprinkling can really elevate a dish. People can be so afraid of it because they've been fed misinformation about its health effects. So unless a guest specifically mentions an allergy, I'll keep adding MSG to my food without telling anyone :)" —u/chasing-the-sun

    21. "I use the ramen seasoning packet (beef or chicken flavor) to make my mashed potato gravy."

    Instant ramen noodles with the seasoning packets.

    22. "Stop using corn starch or flour to thicken stew. Grab a pouch of instant mashed potatoes (I use Idahoan buttery herb or roasted garlic flavor)."

    "Add that, stir it in, and thank me later." —u/Talanic

    23. "Whenever I bake something with chocolate, like brownies, I always add a little bit of coffee. It makes all the difference."

    Chocolate cake and coffee.

    24. "If I boil dry beans to rehydrate and cook them, I'll throw in a marrow bone at the very beginning. The beans soak up the fat and have a luxurious, creamy texture."


    25. "I cook chicken breasts in Italian dressing. The dressing reduces down to a glaze."

    26. "Lard in pie crust. All my pie crust, whether it's for a savory dish or sweet dessert."


    27. "I put extra egg yolks in my scrambled eggs. If I'm making eggs for two people, I use four whole eggs and add two yolks."

    Hands holding an egg yolk over a bowl of beaten eggs.

    28. "I worked in a high-end restaurant that was well-known for its cheesecake. It was just cream cheese and marshmallow fluff blended together, then placed in store-bought graham cracker crusts."


    29. "I put a spoon of Miracle Whip in my cake batter to keep it moist and the result is amazing.

    Girl mixing cake batter.

    30. "I add a dash of cinnamon sugar into any red meat dish or red sauce. Or tomato soup for that matter."


    Do you have a cooking secret you usually keep to yourself? Tell us in the comments below.