15 Great Cooking Tips

Even the greatest chefs need a helping hand from time to time, and thanks to Epicurious – a digital brand for consumers interested in food and cooking related topics and started by Condé Nast in 1995 – here are some of the best things you can do to be a better cook right now.

  • Buy an instant-read digital meat thermometer – the quickest way to ruin a great steak is to cut into it to see if it’s medium-rare, with a thermometer you’ll never have to do that again.
  • Write in your cookbooks – make a note of what improved a recipe for you or what spoilt it, that way you’ll always know what to do to achieve excellence.
  • Master the Quick-Pickle – whisk a little salt and sugar into some white vinegar, pour over thinly sliced raw vegetables, wait 20 minutes and enjoy.
  • Have your knives sharpened professionally – do this once a year, it will make your chopping faster and more precise.
  • Replace your non-stick pan – if your scrambled eggs don’t slide off the pan without using oil or butter it’s time to buy a new pan.
  • Treat your herbs like flowers – to keep them from wilting, trim the stems, put them in a glass of water covered with a plastic bag and put them in the fridge.
  • Double your batch of rice or quinoa or bulgar – having cooked grains in the fridge means you’re only minutes away from fried rice, pilafs and robust salads.
  • Keep your work area well lit – not only will it help you to see what you’re doing, but it’s a lot safer in the long run too.
  • Replace your kitchen sponge regularly – yes, they harbour an incredible number of bacteria and if you’re using the same one for too long, that’s all making its way onto your crockery and cutlery.
  • Dry your salad leaves with a kitchen towel – forget the salad spinner, simply put your leaves in a clean dish towel, gather the ends and swing it around until your salad is dry.
  • Toast your spices – a quick spell in a dry pan over medium heat wakes dry spices up and releases their oils, which means everything will taste more vibrant.
  • Season some of your vegetables with sugar – the taste of items like carrots, squash and tomatoes is enhanced by adding a dash of sugar.
  • Always keep lemons in the fridge – they’ll keep for longer which means you’ll always have fresh lemon juice to add to everything from dressings to cocktails.
  • Air-dry your chicken – after you’ve unwrapped and rinsed your chicken, pat it dry, salt it generously and then leave it uncovered in the fridge for a few hours before roasting, the bone-dry skin will roast to a crackly, crunchy, golden brown.
  • Taste and season at every stage of cooking – because if you wait until the end, it’s probably too late.