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14 Cooking Secrets From Actual Restaurant Chefs

:: takes notes ::

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Here are 14 of the best cooking tricks from actual restaurant chefs:


1. The trick to getting perfectly crispy fish skin is a hot pan and patience.

In an interview with The Daily Meal, chef Stephanie Izard shares her secret to getting crispy fish skin every time. "Just get the pan smoking hot, put in oil with a high smoking point, put in your fish, and after it gets a little bit brown, turn it down, and then it's all about patience," shares the Top Chef alum.

2. Brine your chicken to keep it tender, juicy, and full of flavor...

Chef Marcus Samuelsson's trick to making his famous Red Rooster fried chicken is to simply brine it before cooking it. This easy step of soaking it in cold salt water adds a ton of flavor and makes the meat perfectly tender. Learn how to do it here.

3. And brine your french fries as well.

Chef Ludo Lefebvre's trick to making perfect french fries at his Los Angeles restaurant Petit Trois is to soak them in salt water before frying them. This seasons them from the inside out and removes excess starch for a crispier, more flavorful fry. See the full video here.

4. Use a dash of clam sauce to amp up the flavor of any seafood dish.

In an interview with Uproxx, chef Fabio Viviani of DineAmic Group said, “For any seafood dish, add a little bit of clam sauce." The savory flavor will amp up any seafood dish without overpowering it, and your guests won't even know it's there!


5. If you love the taste of miso but don't love how salty it is, cut it with butter.

Chef David Chang of Momofuku cuts the intense saltiness of miso by folding it into softened butter. The mixture allows him to impart the miso flavor without adding a ton of salt. See how to do it here.

6. For perfect scrambled eggs, cook them in a double boiler.

Heston Blumenthal, chef and owner of The Fat Duck, cooks his scrambled eggs over a double boiler to make them soft, buttery, and custard-like. The low heat slowly cooks them and prevents them from drying out — perfect eggs every time. Get the recipe here.

7. Elevate your cooking by adding a splash of good olive oil at the end.

In an interview with the Food Network, Nancy Silverton of Osteria Mozza said, "Invest in a bottle of high-quality olive oil. Just a small drizzle can really bring out the flavor of pizza, mozzarella, pasta, fish, and meat."

8. Use a cast-iron pan to sear your meats and veggies ― and clean it out with salt and oil.

In an interview with Bon Appétit, chef Justin Smillie of Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria said, "Cooking with a cast-iron pan gives you an incomparable crust, for both vegetables and meat. To clean ours, we just douse it in oil and salt, burn it out, then wipe it clean."


9. Use mayonnaise to keep fish from sticking to the grill.

It sounds crazy, but chef Michael Cimarusti of Providence restaurant swears by it. A thin coating of regular mayonnaise will prevent the fish from sticking to the grill and add a beautiful brown color when cooked. See the full video here.

10. The smaller the baked good, the higher the oven temperature.

Instagram: @sullivanstreetbakery

In an interview with the Food Network, Jim Lahey of Sullivan Street Bakery shares his simple rule of thumb and adds, "For example, I bake mini chocolate chip-toffee cookies at 500° F for only four minutes. Perfect end result."

11. Finish cooking pasta in its sauce so the noodles absorb a ton of flavor.

Chef Alex Pilas of Eataly explains that heating pasta in its sauce during the last few minutes of cooking gives the noodles an opportunity to absorb even more flavor "so the sauce and the pasta become one." See the full video here.

12. Buy fruit at its peak and freeze it for winter baking.

In an interview with the Food Network, chef Mindy Segal of Mindy's Hot Chocolate reveals her secret for enjoying peak produce in the winter: "Buy fruit at its peak at a farmers' market and freeze it in an airtight container so you can enjoy it year round."


13. Instead of throwing away the tops of zucchinis, blanch them in salt water and serve them as a snack.

Chef Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune cooks the tops of zucchinis in salted water for a delicious snack that doesn't cost a lot. Simply serve them with a drizzle of good olive oil and flaky sea salt for the perfect appetizer. See how to do it here.

14. To test if your oil is hot enough, add a pinch of flour and see if it sizzles.

Chef Vivian Howard of Chef & the Farmer tests her fryer oil by dropping a pinch of flour in it ― if it sinks to the bottom, your oil is not hot enough. See the full video here.