25 People In This Online Thread Are Sharing Their Best Cooking Secrets

Published 1 month ago

It’s no secret that the realm of cooking is filled with mystery and intrigue, with each chef holding their own culinary tricks up their sleeves. Recently, on Reddit, one user posed a tantalizing question: “What’s your ‘I’ll never tell’ cooking secret?”

The responses flooded in, offering a glimpse into the clandestine world of hidden ingredients and covert techniques. Here are some of the most intriguing answers that might help you enhance your dishes.

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Image source: anon, Sorin Gheorghita / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Try putting a decent amount of butter in a red sauce. It will taste twice as good and no one will be able to guess the secret.


Image source: AriMeowber, Megumi Nachev / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Friend of mine taught me to put herb and garlic cream cheese in my mashed potatoes. Tried dill pickle on my own and if you’ve never had dill pickle mashed you are in for a treat.


Image source: skakkuru, Polina Tankilevitch / pexels (not the actual photo)

I use olive brine/pickle brine to add flavour to a lot of dishes like casseroles, stews, etc. It adds a nice depth of flavour.


Image source: anon, Barbara G / pexels (not the actual photo)

I add sour cream to my boxed Mac n cheese. Makes it creamier and so rich.


Image source: anon, Daniel

If a cake recipe calls for milk and eggs; a can of 7-Up (soda) works equally well. The cake is extra moist and light.

My friend introduced it to me as Newfie Cake. All you need is one box of Betty Crocker (or similar alternatives) and instead of eggs and milk, one can of 7-Up. I HAVE used it in a brownie and muffin mix, and have had good success.


Image source: anon, Maddi Bazzocco / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Adding salt to hot chocolate. It doesn’t make it salty at all, but it makes it somehow more chocolatey. Everyone always says my hot chocolate is the best, but I just use prepackaged with milk and a dash of salt!


Image source: davy_jones_locket, Alesia Kozik / pexels (not the actual photo)

What’s the secret ingredient you add to tomato sauce?  Pureed carrot if I’m trying to cut the acidity without sugar.


Image source: chasing-the-sun , Douglas Muth / flickr (not the actual photo)

MSG powder: a sprinkling can really elevate a dish. But people can be so afraid of it because they’ve been fed misinformation about its health effects. So unless a guest specifically mentions an allergy, I’ll keep adding MSG to my food without telling anyone.


Image source: poopieschmaps, Leeloo The First

I’ve recently discovered the wonderful world of anchovies! I’ve been adding them to nearly all of my savory dishes. Really takes the complexity up a notch by incorporating an umami-ness. My family doesn’t know, cause if they did they wouldn’t eat it. When I can’t find the jarred ones, I settle for the paste. I’ll usually add it when sautéing my garlic in butter. Unless you’re allergic, you should give it a try!


Image source: pm-me-souplantation, Lisa Fotios / pexels (not the actual photo)

What is your favorite seasoning for popcorn?  Kraft Mac & Cheese packets.


You have to brown the butter, no one ever takes the time to brown the butter.

Image source: anon


Image source: Life_On_the_Nickle, https://unsplash.com/photos/brown-cookies-on-round-brown-bowl-kID9sxbJ3BQ / unsplash (not the actual


Jello vanilla pudding powder substitutes half of my sugar in cookies! It keeps them super soft for days and gives them almost a cake interior.


A tiny amount of tarragon in fries (frozen or homemade), not enough that you get flecks of green on every fry, just a bit enough to get the aroma but people usually have a hard time wondering why the fries taste so good.

Image source: BuyTheBeanDip


Image source: AlcuinCorbeau, Annushka Ahuja / pexels (not the actual photo)

Adding mayonnaise to eggs when scrambled, omelet, or quiche. It increases their volume and makes them light and fluffy.


Image source: JMSidhe, Taryn Elliott / pexels (not the actual photo)

Adding a splash of orange juice to pumpkin or banana bread. The acidity really adds some brightness against the spices.


Image source: LeoMarius, Dids .

Espresso powder when baking with chocolate. It intensifies the chocolate flavor.


Image source: Professor_Burnout, Monica Turlui / pexels (not the actual photo)

Substitute some of the liquid in Belgian waffles with seltzer or some other benign-flavored carbonated beverage (like ginger ale). Result: super airy, fluffy waffles.


Image source: envydub, Alex Bayev / pexels (not the actual photo)

When water is called for in a recipe, I use chicken broth instead. It has never not been way better.


Image source: PeachasaurusWrex, Gio Bartlett / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I add instant mashed potatoes to soup to thicken it up if it turns out too thin.


Image source: helenfeller , Grooveland Designs / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I worked at Jimmy John’s for a while and they had us use a little soy sauce in the tuna salad. I’ve been making it that way ever since (10 years)


Image source: dalore, Angela Bailey / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Baking powder on your chicken skin for extra crispness.


Image source: Jerkrollatex, Aliona Gumeniuk / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I keep parmesan rinds in my freezer for stock, sauces, and stews. I just throw it in after everything else to simmer. It makes a remarkable difference especially in tomato sauces.


Image source: DreadandButter, Diliara Garifullina / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Lemon zest in garlic butter, specifically for garlic bread. It’s an absolute game changer, even just a little bit.


Cook your rice in broth instead of plain water. Total game changer.

Image source: shinobi500


Image source: GranaVegano, Karolina Grabowska

I’ve replaced salt in 75% of my cooking with mushroom extract powder from the Asian market, it still seasons but bumps the umami.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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cooking, cooking hacks, cooking secrets, cooking tips, food, secret ingredients
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