We asked the Buzzfeed Community to share some of the best cooking tips and tricks they learned from cooking in restaurants. Here are some of the life-saving hacks they swear by.
1. Core iceberg lettuce by smashing it onto a cutting board.
“You can core a head of iceberg lettuce by slamming it, core down, on the counter-top. The core will pop out all in one piece!”
Check out this video to see how it’s done.
2. Never struggle with peeling hard-boiled eggs again with the help of baking soda.
“Add baking soda (about 1/4 teaspoon) to your water when boiling eggs. It will help the eggshells peel off easier.”
3. Achieve perfectly juicy chicken every time by brining.
“Soak your chicken in a brine whenever possible!”
Learn how to make an all-purpose poultry brine here.
4. Quickly clean up after peeling vegetables with plastic wrap.
“When peeling vegetables, lay a piece of plastic wrap over your cutting board and peel above it. When you’re done, pick up the plastic for an instantly clean cutting board.”
5. Secure your cutting board with a damp kitchen towel.
“Put a dish towel under your cutting board to keep it in place as you chop things. It is also helpful if you are rolling out dough on a cutting board.”
6. Remove the skin of toasted nuts with a tea towel.
“Roll toasted nuts in a tea towel to easily remove skins.”
Check out this video to see how it’s done.
7. Dredge bacon in flour before cooking for optimum crispness.
“Lightly flour bacon before cooking it on the stove top. It comes out nice and crispy and there is no splatter.”
—Jean Presiler Melek, Facebook
Check out a step-by-step guide to dredging bacon here.
8. Steam-baste your eggs for a new take on sunny-side up.
“I worked as a breakfast cook for a bit in college where I learned how to make basted eggs. I haven’t had to flip an egg since! You get the same runny yolk/cooked whites effect as over easy, without risking broken yolks.”
Learn how to perfect the technique here.
9. Use a touch test to cook steak perfectly.
“When I was working as a server and it was slow, my chef friend would teach me little cooking tricks. The one that I use the most is how to tell if a steak is done. When you press on it and it feels like you are pressing on your chin, that’s rare. If it feels like you are pressing on your nose, that’s medium. If it feels like you are pressing on your forehead, that’s well. I use this all the time and now I am the steak grill master at our house!”
10. And use the surprisingly accurate finger test to perfectly cook rice every time.
“When cooking rice, add your liquid until it comes up to the first knuckle on your index finger (placed so the tip is touching the very top of the rice). Cover with foil and place in an oven for 45 minutes at 350°, or 30 minutes in a convection oven. Perfect rice every time. No measuring required.”
11. Three Words: Mise. En. Place.
“This may not be an actual cooking hack, but it makes cooking so much easier. Have all your ingredients prepped, measured and ready to go. When you actually start the cooking process, it’s as easy as can be and you’re not scrambling for things at the last second.”
12. Soak peeled onions in ice water before cutting to prevent tears.
“Soak onions in ice water right before chopping them to help with the crying.”
13. Season every step of the cooking process to prevent over-salting at the end.
“Season your food liberally, but taste as you go along. You can always add salt, but you can’t take it away!”
14. Prevent cut vegetables from browning by storing them in water.
“If you are cutting potatoes but don’t want to use them immediately, store them in water so they don’t turn black.”
15. No peeler handy? Use the back of your knife.
“Use the back of your knife to peel carrots and other hearty vegetables.”
16. Deep-fry expensive cuts of meat for even cooking throughout.
“Deep-fry your steak. The oil doesn’t penetrate the meat and the technique cooks it evenly throughout. Afterwards, pop it on the grill for nice marks.”
Check out a step-by-step guide to deep-frying steaks here.
17. Dry off any meat or tofu with a paper towel to achieve a perfect sear.
Note: Submissions have been lightly edited for length and/or clarity.
Source: Getty Images, Youtube and Buzzfeed