14 clever cooking hacks that will make you look like a pro in the kitchen

Even the most experienced of home cooks sometimes need help in the kitchen, and very often knowing the right recipe is not enough for preparing delicious meals. In fact, a good recipe is not just about the right ingredients. It’s also about sautéing, roasting, grilling, frying, and baking. That is why we can never stop learning to become a star chef in our kitchen.

  1. Turning meat too often makes it lose its crispy crust and natural juices, leaving your steak flavorless and dry. However, a challenge with this method is to know when it’s time to flip the steaks. One easy way is to shake the frying pan a little. If the meat slides easily, then it’s time to turn it over.
  2. Frying food with extra virgin olive oil is a big mistake: it begins to smoke at a higher temperature, affecting the taste of your dish and making it less healthy.

  1. Gently drop your egg into a deep bowl of cold water. A very fresh egg will sink to the bottom and lay flat. If the egg balances in the water, it is about two-three weeks old but still good. The eggs that float to the surface have gone bad and should not be eaten.
  2. Serving just-cooked meat is wrong. Taking the time to let meat ’rest’ after cooking ensures the best possible texture and flavor.

  1. A layer of lemon slices between the fish and the grill not only prevents fish from sticking but also adds some flavor.
  2. Sprinkling herbs with a pinch of salt will help you keep the greenery from sticking to your knife.

  1. If you need to soften butter quickly but don’t want to melt it, use this simple trick: put a glass of water in the microwave, and heat it up a bit. Then pour the water out, and place the glass over a piece of butter. Under the glass, the butter will start melting after a few minutes, and you will be able to use it easily.
  2. Wine can actually stay fresh for only a few days after opening.

  1. Putting too much food in the frying pan at one time is probably the most common cooking mistake. If you want to get tender, juicy meat, rather than tough and dry meat, leave enough space between pieces so that they are not crowded.
  2. When baking something in the oven, it is better to add the cheese 5 minutes before removing your dish from the oven. Otherwise, it will burn and turn into a hard crust that is almost impossible to chew.

  1. Lay a kitchen towel underneath your cutting board to keep it from slipping.
  2. Potatoes should be mashed using warm milk only. Cold milk will make your potato turn gray.

  1. If you need to hard boil a lot of eggs (like when you are feeding a big crowd), don’t start a pot of water to boil. Instead, cook them in the oven.
  2. If you need some mayonnaise but don’t want to go to the store to buy it, simply blend together 1 egg with 150 ml of olive oil.

Illustrated by Victor Senin for BrightSide.me