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    13 Basic Cooking Techniques Everyone Should Know

    It's easier than you think. (With videos!)

    Amy Sefton / BuzzFeed

    1. Chopping an onion:

    The trick is: Slicing it into a little grid with a sharp knife. It still takes practice, but this method is ~super~ easy once you get the hang of it. Watch the full video here.

    2. Frying an egg:

    The trick is: Not flipping until the whites are firm enough. And, if you're not feelin' fancy, using a spatula to do the flipping. Watch the full video here.

    3. Slicing a tomato (without getting juice everywhere):

    The trick is: Using a serrated knife (like a tomato knife), and slicing gently using sawing motions. Watch the video here.

    4. Cooking a pot of pasta:

    Fill a pot with water. Boil (and make sure it's srsly BOILING). Add a bunch of salt so your water is nice and ~briny~. Add pasta. Check after about 8 minutes of cooking: taste the pasta to make sure it's as firm or mushy as you like it.

    You don't have to use a giant pot like this one, but make sure you use one that's big enough for the pasta to move around in the water. Otherwise, it might stick to itself. Watch the full video here, and learn how to measure out the perfect portions of spaghetti here.

    5. Creaming butter and sugar:

    The trick is: Using room temperature butter, and occasionally scraping down the sides. Watch the whole video here, and read more about why this is an important step here.

    6. Leveling off flour for baking:

    The trick is: Scooping more flour than you need into your measuring cup (or spoon). Read more about it here.

    7. Cooking an onion until it's translucent:

    Raw, before they're cooked.

    After 7 minutes or so of cooking.

    The trick is: Mostly leaving them alone, stirring only every minute or two! You'll know they're done when they're slightly translucent, like in the photo above. Watch the full video here.

    8. Chopping a clove of garlic:

    The trick is: Using the heel of your hand to smash the clove beneath a wide, flat knife, so the papery skin comes off easily. Watch the full video here.

    9. Browning ground beef:

    The trick is: Thawing your meat completely before you start cooking it. Otherwise, some parts of the meat will cook more quickly than others, and in the end be overdone. Watch the whole video here.

    10. Chopping romaine lettuce for a salad:

    The trick is: cutting out the core, then cutting it into a grid shape (using a knife. Tearing it with your hands takes much longer). Watch the full video here.

    11. Peeling a carrot:

    The trick is: Running a vegetable peeler ~up and down~ the length of the carrot, gently turning the carrot as you go. Watch the full video here.

    12. Pounding chicken breasts to an even thickness:

    The trick is: Laying plastic wrap over the chicken, then pounding it with a meat mallet. Watch the video here here.

    Pro tip: Make sure to do it on a cutting board, to prevent cross-contamination.

    13. Cooking a steak:

    The trick is: Seasoning it, searing it, basting it with butter, and being PATIENT. Get the full directions here.