Cooking Secrets of Chefs
Cooking Secrets of Chefs
Here’s the truth – there are shortcuts and secrets that the pros use in commercial kitchens. These little tricks are used to save time, and also cut down on product waste. These simple tricks can be used in your own kitchen to help make you a more proficient and effective cook. Shhhhh…..don’t share these secrets with just anyone!
If you overcook chicken, let it soak in poultry or vegetable broth to re-hydrate it.
Improve the intensity and taste of a sauce by reducing it instead of adding additional salt and pepper.
After roasting a protein (chicken, beef, or pork), reserve the liquids and use them to make sauces or soups.
All leftover veggie trimmings can be saved in the fridge, made into broth, then frozen in Ziploc bags.
Having problems with your rice? Always rinse rice with water until the water runs clear. This eliminates the extra starch, and keeps the rice from sticking.
Instead of using more salt, use fresh lemon juice – you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Accidentally over-salt a soup? Wash a potato, cut it in half, and put it in the liquid. The potato will soak up some of the excess salt.
Instead of chopping fresh herbs, try using scissors for a cleaner result.
Tired of smelly garlic or onion hands? Run your hands under water while rubbing them on a stainless steel spoon. Afterwards, wash your hands with soap and water.
Keep a small notebook in your kitchen. Write down your original recipes; you’ll be surprised at how much information you have to share with your family and friends after a year!
Clean your coffee pot with cold water, kosher salt, and lemon juice…you’ll love the results.
Store your bread in the fridge instead of the counter – It can last up to a week longer.
Don’t worry about consuming a dairy product a few days after the expiration date. This is a “suggested” date. Give the product a smell; if it doesn’t have an odor, it’s still ok to eat… I promise!
Never use soap and water on a Teflon pan. Simply wipe it out with a paper towel and store.
Don’t buy olive oil in a clear container! Always purchase oil in a metal can, if possible, because sun-light can damage the contents. Store your olive oil in a cool, dry place.
When baking, remember the phrase: a pint a pound, the world around. A pint of liquid weighs about a pound.
It’s more likely that you will cut yourself on a dull knife, not a sharp one.
Washing your poultry can get rid of most of the bacteria before cooking it.
Instead of making traditional crème fraiche, just mix together ½ cup sour cream, ¼ cup heavy cream, and a dash of salt and pepper.
If you want your meat to be tender while braising or roasting, add some tomato product. Tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, or tomato juice will do.
Spray your grill with Pam, then spray your food prior to cooking to prevent the food from sticking.
Adding salt to your blanching water will help retain the color of vegetables.
To keep pie dough from sticking to a surface, roll your dough out on a floured cloth.
Always let your meat reach room temperature before cooking or grilling. This prevents the meat from seizing up, resulting in a juicier, tender piece of meat.
Never cut a piece of meat immediately after it has cooked. Let it sit for 10 minutes to prevent all of the juices from spilling out.
If you haven’t used your spices after 18 months, throw them away!
Fresh herbs last longer if you wrap them in a damp paper towel and refrigerate.
Don’t panic if you have a little mold on your cheese. Cut off that portion; the rest can still be used!
Bacon fat sure scares people, but it adds tremendous flavor to fried eggs!
Lemon juice can be used as a preservative. If you cut a head of lettuce, toss it with some lemon juice; it will last an extra few days.
Looking to thicken a soup and want to avoid extra calories? Cook, then mash a potato. Add it to the mixture; it will become thick and creamy!
Add chicken stock to your mashed potatoes instead of butter and cream.
Toss some dark chocolate in your chili before serving… just a little!
Keep a scale in your kitchen to help keep track of quantities – this will help keep your recipes consistent.
Buy unsalted butter. This way you can control how salty a dish becomes.
Fresh fruit juices make excellent vinaigrettes.
After making guacamole, throw the avocado pits in the mixture before storing. This helps the dip from discoloring.
Add crushed pineapple to cake mixes to make them moist and flavorful.
Lastly, and most importantly, butter always makes it better!
Chef Chuck Kerber