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17 Clever Cooking Tips I Learned While Working In Restaurants

AKA why restaurant food tastes so damn good.

Hello! I'm Jesse and I've worked in kitchens my whole life.

When I was 15 I got my first job in a restaurant, and by 16 I was cooking on the line.

Since then, I've picked up a ton of valuable tricks that have changed the way I cook.

So here are 17 of the best insider tricks you can use in your own kitchen:

1. Store your herbs in a damp paper towel so they remain crisp, green, and worthy of a 'gram.

2. For a perfectly golden sear, always dry your proteins with a paper towel before cooking them...

3. ...and let your pan heat up while you're prepping the rest of your ingredients to make sure it's nice and hot.

4. Don't bother buying a fancy peeler (because there's only one type you need, TBH).

5. Place a second sheet tray on top of your bacon to prevent it from curling.

6. Partially freeze your proteins before cutting them to make clean, even slices.

7. Prevent your delicate seafood items from falling apart by using a fish spatula.

8. When it comes to certain knife skills, line cooks are not ninjas ― they just know how to use a mandoline.

9. The secret to making a silky-smooth sauce is a magical cone-shaped strainer called a chinois.

10. Buy your tools at a restaurant supply store, not a fancy cooking store.

11. A cake tester is the ultimate tool for making perfectly cooked steak and seafood every time.

12. Push your seasoning further so you can learn when to stop.

13. Stop fussing around with giant sheet trays and use a sizzle platter to cook just about anything.

14. Food scraps are the secret ingredient to a flavorful meal.

15. Nonstick pans are perfect for frying eggs (but not much else).

16. For maximum flavor, always toast your nuts and seeds.

17. Butter, shallots, stock, salt, and acid are the secret ingredients that make restaurant food taste so delicious.

Let's get cooking!