Culinary school can be expensive, but it’s still arguably one of the best places to learn the respectable craft of cooking from some of the best instructors the world has to offer. Unless you have an undying passion for cooking, you probably won’t want to invest an insane amount of cash and years of studying.
Alternatively, you can scour the Internet culinary pro-tips, or just invent your own cooking robot to make your meals for you.
For those home cooks looking for quick tips to improve their personal culinary skills, Bright Sidecreated a YouTube video that highlights some cooking tricks that chefs only reveal in culinary school. Their tips and nuggets of advice range from cooking the perfect egg to making sure your pie crusts stay nice and moist.
Below are 15 tips and secrets that’ll make your kitchen experience so much better. While these factoids are a bit cursory, and your cooking talents will probably be more nourished coming from a real life instructor, you won’t have to break your wallet in culinary school to learn these particular tips.
You can also check out the video above for more details and whimsical cooking animations.
Culinary School Tips
The Perfect Steak
Don’t cook a steak that comes straight from the fridge. Allow it to get to room temperature first, because letting it sit for an hour or two allows the steak cook evenly.
To avoid dry meat, put it in a brine (three cups of water, a quarter cup of salt, and a quarter cup of sugar). Let the meat brine about one hour for two pounds of meat. Before cooking, pat the meat dry to get that nice crisp.
To enhance the flavor of some herbs and spices, toast them on a skillet for a little while. Then take a mortar and pestle to grind the spices.
The Perfect Dough
If you’re making your own dough, make sure to take the butter and eggs out the night before to let them get to room temperature. If you’re using yeast, store the dough in a warm place until it becomes puffy — resulting in an airier pastry.
To get the perfect crust on fish from a grill, spread some mayonnaise over your meat with a pastry brush.
Cooking Steak Without Using Oil
Once the skillet is hot, introduce the steak from the side so that the fat renders. Then, you’re able to cook your meat in beef fat rather than using excess oil.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Before whipping up boiled potatoes, dry them on a skillet so the excess water evaporates (careful not to fry the potatoes). The result is creamy, fluffy mashed potatoes.
Before cooking vegetable cream soup, fry the veggies first to caramelize the vegetables and enhance the flavor. You can then introduce water or broth.
Adding two tablespoons of sour cream to whatever pancake mix you make keeps the batter from cracking while you cook it and results in fluffy pancakes.
Seasoning with Sugar
Adding a small amount of sugar to dishes with tomatoes (pickled, fresh, or paste) will reduce the amount of natural sourness. Just make sure to not be too heavy on the sugar.
The Perfect Fried Egg
To get that picture perfect egg, heat a frying pan and add some butter over minimum heat. Make sure the butter melts, but doesn’t sizzle and then add the egg.
Clear Chicken Broth
If you want that pristine soup broth that you can see straight through, cook the chicken on low heat without a cover for a minimum of three hours. Make sure it doesn’t boil and remove the suds constantly. After the first hour and a half, you can add the vegetables to the broth.
Putting a bowl of water, or ice cubes in the oven under your crust prevents your dough from drying out too quickly. The steam keeps the exterior of the dough moist.
Over a pan of medium heat, add cooking oil and butter. Add the onions and fry them with salt. Using salt reduces the onion smell, cooks the onions faster, and starts the caramelization process.
If you’re scared of using too much garlic, you can add garlic juice to your plate to avoid having garlic breath. It should flavor the meal without leaving a lasting impression on your breath.