15 Tiny Cooking Hacks That’ll Make Everything You Cook Taste Better

Cooking is an art, and mastering the kitchen requires more than just following recipes. Discover the secrets to elevate your culinary skills with these practical cooking hacks. From prepping ingredients to enhancing flavors, these tips will turn you into a kitchen maestro.

1. Uniform Chopping:

Chop ingredients uniformly for even cooking. Consistent size ensures everything cooks evenly, preventing smaller pieces from overcooking and larger ones from remaining raw.

2. Hot Oil for Better Results:

Wait for the oil to be hot enough before adding ingredients to the pan. The sizzle ensures a flavorful sear, as cold oil may lead to the food soaking it up instead of crisping.

15 Tiny Cooking Hacks That'll Make Everything You Cook Taste Better

3. Dry Meat for a Perfect Sear:

Before cooking, dry meat with a paper towel to remove surface moisture. This simple step enhances the searing process, creating a crisp outer layer.

4. Add Garlic Last:

When working with aromatics, add garlic last to avoid burning. This holds true, especially for minced or chopped garlic, preventing bitterness and maintaining its aromatic essence.

5. Clean As You Go:

Set up a scrap bowl on the counter and load dirty dishes into the dishwasher promptly. Keeping things tidy streamlines the cooking process and minimizes cleanup efforts.

6. Season After Browning:

For ingredients like mushrooms and zucchini, season after browning to prevent sogginess. Salt draws out moisture, so let them develop color first before adding seasoning.

7. Brine for Flavorful Chicken:

Brine chicken breasts before baking for extra flavor and juiciness. A quick soak in salt and water enhances moisture retention, making your chicken irresistible.

8. Season During Cooking:

Season as you cook, not just after adding all ingredients. Building layers of flavor gradually ensures a well-balanced and delicious final dish.

9. Balance Salt with Acid:

If you’ve added too much salt, balance it with acid like vinegar or citrus. This trick adds depth and counterbalances flavors, preventing a flat taste.

10. Don’t Skip Deglazing:

Capture flavor-packed fond by deglazing the pan. Use liquid to lift the brown bits, incorporating them back into your sauce or meal for an extra boost.

11. Finish with Butter for Richness:

Add a bit of butter at the end of pan sauces for richness and shine. This culinary technique, known as “monter au beurre,” enhances both flavor and texture.

12. Account for Residual Heat:

Remember that dishes continue to cook after turning off the heat. Account for residual heat, especially with eggs or meat, to avoid overcooking.

13. Transform Scraps into Broth:

Save bones or veggie scraps to make homemade broth or stock. Reduce waste and enhance future stews, soups, or sauces with a flavorful base.

14. Keep Knives Sharp:

A sharp knife is safer and more efficient. Regularly sharpen your knives to improve ease of use and overall kitchen safety.

15. Rinse Rice Before Cooking:

Rinse rice in a bowl or strainer before cooking to remove surface starch. This prevents clumping and ensures a fluffier end product.


Q1: How do I identify if the oil is hot enough?

A1: Look for swirling or rippling in the oil when you move the pan. Avoid smoking, as it indicates the oil is too hot.

Q2: Can I brine chicken for a shorter time than suggested?

A2: Yes, brining for as little as 15 minutes can enhance flavor and juiciness.

Q3: What’s the purpose of deglazing?

A3: Deglazing captures flavorful fond from the pan, adding depth to sauces and meals.

Q4: How often should I sharpen my knives?

A4: Regularly sharpen knives every few weeks or as needed, depending on usage.

Q5: Is it necessary to rinse rice before cooking?

A5: Rinsing rice removes surface starch, preventing clumping and ensuring a better texture.

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