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    26 Ridiculously Easy Ways To Seem Like A Better Cook

    You'll be a Food Network star in no time.

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

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    1. Get a perfect sear on meat by patting it dry first, using a hot pan over high heat, and not crowding the pan.

    Learn more about searing here.

    2. Try the mise en place technique so you don't miss a step or forget an ingredient; set out all of your ingredients (measured and chopped) in bowls before you combine any of them.

    Get a set of 12 bowls (in two different sizes) from Amazon for $30.

    Promising review: "I used to think only the hosts of cooking shows, who had other people to wash their dishes, would bother with mise en place. But lately I have been trying this technique with great success. I find that I really like measuring out all the ingredients ahead of time and getting everything ready to go before diving into baking projects. As I do this, I think about the recipe, visualize the steps, make sure I have everything I need, and get centered. It's very orderly and I like that a lot. I make fewer mistakes and recipes turn out perfectly. These bowls are wonderful for mise en place. They are the perfect sizes, and I really like that there are six of each. And because they are so durable and can go in the dishwasher, I don't hesitate to use as many of them as I need for any given recipe. So handy you will be glad you have them!" —SammaLamma

    Learn more about mise en place here.

    3. When chopping an onion, keep the root intact so you can dice the whole thing at once, making the entire process more efficient.

    BuzzFeed / Nifty

    Learn more about the veggies you've been cutting up incorrectly here.

    4. And if you don't know the difference between a dice, julienne, or brunoise, try a cutting board with measurements to tell you exactly what you need to know.

    Get it from Amazon for $23.82.

    Promising review: "Good quality wood and graphics. I was hesitant after some bad reviews of the board breaking after several uses and the graphics wearing off. The company must have redesigned the product. I have used my cutting board nearly everyday since purchase and it's as good as new. The lines are burnished in, not printed so they won't wear off. It's a good size for a small kitchen. It is a quirky addition to any nerd's kitchen; my boyfriend and I love it!" —Adrienne P. Kitchens

    5. Slip a damp paper towel under your cutting board to keep it from moving around as you chop.

    Emily Fleischaker / BuzzFeed

    Making your chopping more precise and saving your fingers from potential slices.

    6. Stock your kitchen with a high-quality chef's knife — you'll be surprised to see how much easier it makes prepping ingredients.

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95.

    Promising review: "Pros: Good quality, good weight, well balanced. As described. Packaging was a surprise, a very nice display box that, I think, really adds to the value. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting a better knife that doesn't already have a good chef's knife. Cons: None, other than its not a Wüsthof." —Rooks Hunter

    7. And store all your knives in a wooden block to keep the edges from dulling.

    Get this one from Amazon for $32.88.

    And keep them sharp with a top-rated sharpener that only costs $5.99. Check out an in-depth review of it here.

    8. Upgrade your standard chicken breast with any of these delicious marinades (all made from only four ingredients!).

    Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

    Check out a whole list of 31 3-, 4- or 5-ingredient marinades here.

    9. Cook less common grains to take your dishes to the next level — they're just as easy to make!

    Like swapping out rice for farro in this recipe.

    Check out a chart that details grain cooking times here.

    10. Cook in cast iron pans — they're basically indestructible, last forever, and you can use them for TONS of simple recipes.

    Get a 10.25-inch skillet from Amazon for $22. Available in four sizes.

    Promising review: "This pan is amazing. If you have never tried cast iron, you should. I have used (far far more expensive) 'swiss diamond' nonstick pans in the past, and while that doesn't scratch as easily as other nonstick pans, it still wears out. This pan, on the other hand, is indestructible. I have left the heat on and forgotten about it, no problem. I can use a sharp metal spatula without worrying. As for non-stickiness, the other day I cooked an egg in it with just a tiny bit of sausage grease. The egg didn't even try to stick. For cleaning, it is a breeze as you just run some water over it and brush off any gunk. If you find out a way to get something to stick to it, you can just put it in the oven to burn it off, and reseason. Try that with a nonstick pan." —M. Champ

    Learn more about why cast iron pans are great and how to take care of them here. And check out a killer selection of simple cast iron recipes here.

    11. Spice up your life (and your food) with a subscription that sends you three different unique spice blends, plus recipes to try them in!

    Get three new and exciting spice blends from Raw Spice Bar for $8 per month.

    12. Or create your own spice blends to add depth and interest to every dish.

    Learn more about spice ideas here.

    13. Hang a pretty and informative chart that’ll actually teach you a damn thing or two about herbs and spices.

    It even tells you the country of origin and how best to use all the spices and herbs listed.

    Get it from Amazon for $11.79.

    Promising review: "This poster is fantastic. It's crisp and clear and colorful. Also helpful and informative. It's really functional decor for a kitchen, which I think is great. I also bought another poster from the same seller so they shipped together (super heavy duty cardboard tube, poster rolled in side with tons of tissue paper to protect edges). For the price this poster can't be beat. I would buy it again in a heartbeat. I can't wait to frame it and hang it!" —Kendall

    14. Whip up fancy-looking soups in no time flat with an immersion blender.,

    This one comes with a chipper, blender and a whisk for all of your cooking needs. Get the recipe for this cream of cauliflower soup here.

    Get it from Amazon for $45.99.

    Promising review: "I love this product. I recently have gotten into soups for the fall/winter season. In the past I used to transfer my baked, roasted, boiled foods to a blender and then back to a pot for finishing. I now can do everything in one pot. I am unclear HOW I lived before seeing an immersion blender recommended on a cooking blog. This is not even including the chopper and additional accessories. I have stored my food processor and can utilize my standing blender less. It is powerful and does a great job of blending my soups into a wonderful creaminess without any leftover chunks. The lower half of the blender is easily detachable which is great for cleaning. It is definitely a new staple in my kitchen." —JK

    15. Keep a microplane in your drawer to easily add boosts of flavor — like parmesan and ginger (so much easier than mincing!).

    Get it from Amazon for $11.98.

    Promising review: "I purchased this after spending two hours zesting limes for a gourmet cookie recipe with the traditional potato-peeler and food processor method. This zester did the same job in 30 seconds with no effort. Totally worth its weight in gold. I've also started using it for grating parmesan. Definitely takes Caesar salads and pasta up a notch. I'm purchasing several more as gifts for my friends." —Amazon Customer

    16. Use some leftover pasta water in whatever sauce you're making — the starch in the water will help make it thick and perfect.


    Learn more here.

    17. Pair the proper pasta with the proper sauce for a combination straight out of an authentic Italian restaurant.

    Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

    Check out a list of common pasta mistakes you may be making here.

    18. Don't cut into your meat to determine if it's done (you'll lose the juices!) — reference this ~handy~ test instead.

    Chris Ritter / BuzzFeed

    And always let your meat rest before cutting into it!

    19. Try an Instant Pot; with seven functions in one, it does everything from making rice to browning meat to slow cooking...and way more (like making a rotisserie-esque chicken with just the press of two buttons).,

    Get it from Amazon for $89.95.

    Promising review: "I can't believe that I love this thing. All my friends were getting them and raving about it. But I absolutely hate my slow cooker, and I figured this device would be much the same. I finally decided to get one when my friend posted that she had made amazing carnitas in it. My husband is Mexican and carnitas are his favorite food, so I thought I'd get one to try it out and hope everyone was right. The first thing I made (after the water test) was the carnitas and they KNOCKED OUR SOCKS OFF. Then I made rice and it came out better than my old rice cooker. Tonight I made ribs and the entire family went wild. I've had this Instant Pot for roughly 48 hours and I'm already using it for a fourth time right now to make oatmeal. Get one. You will not be sorry." —Regina Croskey-Corcoran

    Get the recipe for this Instant Pot "faux-tisserie chicken" here.

    20. Warm your plates before serving to keep the food hotter longer. Small details like that will totally impress your dinner guests and family.

    You can even do it in your toaster oven!

    21. Try your hand at a meal kit like Hello Fresh: they'll send you all the ingredients and surprisingly simple recipes to expand your kitchen horizons.

    Check out a review of Hello Fresh here (#7).

    Plans start at ~$9 per meal.

    22. Seek out five-or-less ingredient recipes that are deceptively easy, but look gourmet AF.

    Looking at you, cacio e pepe.

    Be sure to check out 19 Ridiculously Good Five-Ingredient Pasta Recipes for some inspiration.

    23. Make adding flavorful garlic to any recipe so much easier with a garlic press — no tiny chopping required.

    And it'll keep your hands from smelling.

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    Promising review: "This is a very good press. Large capacity to handle those really big cloves I used to cut in half. What attracted me was the built in cleanerbut I was skeptical. My old press had a separate cleaner that was always lost in the kitchen gadget drawer. This one is attached and works perfectly. I pressed 6 large cloves and popped the remnants out with a single stroke of the cleaner and a quick rinse. No more rinsing and picking and rinsing and poking with toothpicks." —Blues 'n BBQ

    24. Fresh herbs make everything better. Spare yourself from trips to the grocery store (and save money!) with a storage device that'll keep herbs fresh in your fridge for up to three weeks.

    Just change out the water!

    Get it from Amazon for $20.62.

    Promising review: "This gadget is amazing. I bought sage before Thanksgiving, and I've kept it in the refrigerator to see how long it would last. It's now three weeks later, and that sage is still very fresh and completely usable. It will pay for itself by keeping herbs fresh for so long! Everyone who prepares food with herbs needs this." —DP

    25. Upgrade store-bought dinner rolls by brushing them with melted butter, sprinkling on some herbs and flaky salt, and popping them in the oven.

    ::insert gif of Oprah saying "I love bread!"::

    Learn more here.

    26. And if all of that fails, just wear an apron that promises "Great things will be served."

    That'll fool 'em.

    Get it from H&M for $14.99.

    Just add wine:


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