25 Amazing Cooking Tips and Hints

“I melt butter in my homemade tomato sauce. Even if a recipe doesn’t call for it, a bit of butter leaves your sauce with a lovely, extra creamy flavor and texture.”

“I add an extra egg and substitute melted butter for the oil when making cake from boxed mix. It’s a long-time hack used by cake decorators and produces really amazing baked goods from cheap boxed mix.”

“When I cook ground beef (or any ground meat) in a skillet I use a potato masher to break it up in the skillet. It cooks perfectly and evenly in about 10 seconds.”

“I use lemon zest in so many recipes to give it a vibrant zing. I’ll grate a little over salads, pastas, even sandwiches.”

“Using baking soda to make a quick marinade. A small amount of baking soda does some amazing things to meat…just make sure not to overdo it. Also, if you soak cheap cuts of beef in baking soda and water for about 30 minutes before marinating they will become so tender.”

“Using a chicken stock cube (Knorr if I’m feeling fancy, but usually those cheap $1 boxes) in my pasta water while the pasta cooks. It has two benefits: First it flavors the pasta water and adds umami when you use that starchy water for your sauce. It also makes your pasta itself taste extra delicious.”

“Whenever you’re making breadcrumbs from scratch, toast the crumbs in a pan along with a small amount of oil and chopped garlic and herbs. Then use those garlic and herb-infused breadcrumbs to cook whatever it is you’re making from chicken cutlets to meatballs.”

“Using a waffle maker to make a bunch of foods that aren’t waffles. Think: hash browns mixed with avocado and cheese, paninis, cinnamon rolls from a can, and more. I’m certainly not the first to discover the many uses of a waffle iron, but I’ve tried making many things in it.”

“If you’re ready to bake and realize your butter is too cold, grate it using a microplane or cheese grater. It almost immediately thaws.”

“When I make a boxed chocolate cake or brownies I substitute cool brewed coffee for the water. I find it makes the flavor so much richer.”

“I keep knobs of ginger in the freezer and use a microplane or grater to shred the frozen ginger into sauces, fried rice, and more.”

“When you’re making a melt or panini, toast the bread first. Toasted bread stays much crisper and doesn’t get soggy when you add tuna, condiments, or other ingredients.”

“It may seem counterintuitive, but adding a little extra salt in desserts like cookies, brownies, pies, and even cakes brings out the sweetness while simultaneously prevents it from tasting cloyingly sweet.”

“Elevate your simple buttered noodles with a little white miso paste and a fresh parmesan. Egg noodles in particular taste especially delicious when prepared this way.”

“Everyone knows that toasted bread crumbs on mac ‘n’ cheese are great, but here’s a trick you maybe haven’t tried: Bake the bread crumbs separately from the mac ‘n’ cheese (just enough to get them nice and toasty). Then you can sprinkle it on top of the noodles. You get more coverage on your mac ‘n’ cheese and the bread crumbs achieve peak crispiness.”

“Substitute some of the liquid in Belgian waffles with seltzer or some other carbonated beverage like ginger ale. The result: super airy, fluffy waffles.”


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