17 Cooking Tips And Tricks You'll Wish You'd Known About Sooner

    Cook smarter, not harder.

    We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share their best cooking tips for beginners. Here are some of their best:

    1. Crack your eggs on a flat surface to avoid getting bits of the shell in your food.

    2. Invest in a microplane to make prepping garlic and ginger so much easier.

    3. Don't use butter or olive oil for high-temp cooking ― instead, use an oil with a high smoke point (like peanut or vegetable oil).

    4. Completely read your recipe before you start cooking.

    5. Remember that acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar) brightens flavors and brings bland food to life.

    6. Use a teaspoon to easily peel ginger without having to struggle with a knife or peeler.

    7. Have all your ingredients prepped, measured, and ready to go before you start cooking.

    8. Season every step of the cooking process to prevent over-salting at the end...

    9. But if you do add too much salt, throw a quartered potato in to tone down the flavor and absorb some of the excess.

    10. Cook bacon in the oven instead of a frying pan for perfectly crisp strips that are a breeze to clean up.

    11. Prevent cut vegetables from oxidizing and turning brown by storing them in cold water.

    12. Invest in an instant-read thermometer so you don't have to guess if your meats are cooked in the middle.

    13. Dry your proteins with a paper towel to achieve a perfect sear.

    14. Don't be tempted to over-mix your cake batters ― a quick stir is all you need to combine your wet and dry ingredients.

    15. Use the figure-eight stirring technique to prevent the bottom of your pan from scorching.

    16. When thickening a sauce with a roux, add your liquid a little at a time to prevent it from clumping up.

    17. To prevent your cutting board from slipping around, place a wet paper towel underneath.

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

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