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    17 Smart Cooking Tricks That Can Make A Big Difference

    Send this to the aspiring cook in your life.

    We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share their best kitchen solutions — like tips, tricks, and ways to avoid common mistakes. Here is some of their best advice.

    1. Slice chicken before cooking it.

    2. Preheat your pan before adding food to it.

    3. ...But drop the heat to medium once the pan is heated up.

    4. Don't be afraid of salt.

    5. Sharpen. Those. Knives.

    6. Allow your steak to come up to room temperature before cooking it.

    7. For potato dishes that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, dunk them in ice-cold water before cooking them.

    8. Don't cut into your chicken to check if it's done — use a thermometer.

    9. Don't add olive oil to your pasta water.

    10. Don't rinse pasta after you've drained it.

    11. Season vegetables at the beginning of the cooking process.

    12. For maximum fluffiness, wash your rice.

    13. Cook your meatloaf on a baking sheet — not in a loaf pan.

    14. Work your ground beef as little as possible.

    15. If you're trying an intricate cake design, use fondant — not frosting.

    16. Roast sweet potatoes whole — don't microwave them.

    17. Keep guacamole green by covering it in a layer of lukewarm water.

    Submissions have been lightly edited and condensed.

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