35 Game-Changing Cooking Hacks Revealed By Folks Online
The internet has become a treasure trove of knowledge, and when it comes to cooking, platforms like Reddit provide a space for culinary enthusiasts to come together and share their expertise.
In a recent thread initiated by the user u/Aurora_Breeze, the Reddit community witnessed a delightful exchange of special cooking secrets. From innovative techniques to unconventional ingredient combinations, these food-savvy Redditors opened up a world of culinary possibilities.
More info: Reddit
Silking cheap meat before using in things like stroganoff or fajitas. In a bowl, mix some oil, spices/seasoning along with something acidic like soy sauce or port wine. Drop the sliced meat in and mix well, then sprinkle baking soda over the top… Enough to make everything start foaming, then stir all again well into a foamy stew and leave it set on the counter for at least 20 minutes. The meat once cooked will be super tender, like in a Chinese takeout dish.
To make grilled chicken more tender and delicious, marinate the meat in salt water for about 30 minutes before grilling.
I used to always oversalt my food if I found it a bit bland but then I read somewhere to use lime juice instead and it really does brighten up the flavors.
Salt, fat, & acid. That and bouilleon were the trade secrets I picked up when I worked in kitchens back in the day.
Okay, brace yourselves for the ultimate flavor bomb: add a dash of fish sauce to your spaghetti sauce. I know, I know, it sounds wild, but trust me, it’s the secret umami weapon that’ll have everyone asking for your recipe.
Have a spray bottle of just water on hand to squirt into your oven before putting in your baked goods. The added moisture almost always improves the texture.
For an instant umami blast to any dish. Grind a mix of dried mushrooms to a powder and add as needed.
When making cakes, always sift the flour before mixing to make your cakes softer and smoother.
I use carbonated water in pancakes.
I have a recipe that uses vinegar and baking soda, the best pancakes I have ever eaten bar none! You don’t taste the vinegar at all but they are so fluffy.
Use a little espresso (powder) in your brownie batter. It doesn’t give a distinct coffee flavour, but it really brings out the taste of the chocolate. Even my coffee hating friends don’t notice it, but love my brownies.
Use salted butter in chocolate chip cookie recipes. Game changer!
Cut fresh garlic cloves lengthways if you’re going to fry them. They are so much more resilient to burning than cross-cut. Agitate heaps, of course. Works with chilli and ginger, too. Thanks, Bali! The best 3 things you taught me
When I’m making a sauce for red meat using a red wine, I crumble up a small piece of dark chocolate in it. I don’t know if a lot of people know that, but nobody in my family knew.
Clean as you cook.
To lessen saltiness in a dish, I add potatoes, especially on broths/soup.
Asking chocolate cake of brownies? Add a touch of cinnamon. People will taste it but not recognize it. (My experience). It amps up the flavor.
When cooking rice or vegetables, use chicken or beef broth instead of plain water.
I use Better Than Bouillon to add flavor to many of the dishes I make – I keep jars of the chicken, beef, and veggie flavors in the fridge to use as needed. I use the beef flavor in pretty much anything that has ground beef, a tablespoon per pound when cooking the meat gives it so much more flavor than using just salt.
Image source: lovezofo, Tijana Drndarski / unsplash (not the actual photo)
However many cloves of garlic the recipe calls for, multiply that by at least 3x.
Image source: peachandbetty, Conscious Design / unsplash (not the actual photo)
When cooking in a frying pan, don’t turn whatever you’re cooking unless it moves around freely when you wiggle the pan. If it is still stuck to the bottom, that side isn’t done yet. It’ll free up naturally once the crust has formed.
Add pancake mix to your omelet to make them fluffier. That’s what IHOP does!
Parmesan rind in your tomato sauces, stews, etc. It gives a little flavor boost. Anchovy paste cooked in with your aromatics is fantastic it gets nutty and delicious.
A little bit of brown sugar in a tomato base (such as chilli) doesn’t really affect the flavor but will help cut the acid and make it easier on your stomach.
If you want to make a crisp and fresh salad, soak the vegetables in cold water for about 10 minutes before using.
Tried this the other day and the difference is insane. Brings sad leaves back to life.
You can do the same with vegetables like carrots or celery. Let them soak in some water for a bit and they’ll go from dry and wrinkly to fresh and crunchy pretty quickly!
Add a bit of sugar to salty dishes. Add a bit of salt to sweet dishes. Perfection.
MSG is not the villain. Use it sparingly.
The recipe on the back of the Toll House chocolate chip bag, follow it to the letter. Everyone thinks I have the best of the best chocolate chip cookies.
Took a cooking class with a chef who worked for the US Olympic team at the Bejing games. His instructions for pasta:
Salt the hell out of the pasta water. It should taste like seawater. The pasta will absorb some of that salt and taste amazing. Don’t bother with oil in the pot, the oil will float on top and not touch the pasta anyway.
Reserve a splash of pasta water for the sauce. It helps thicken it. But since it’s super salty, plan the salt in the sauce accordingly.
Don’t oil the pasta. You want the sauce to stick to the pasta and it’ll slide right off if you use oil. Select a good quality olive oil for a finishing touch. Good quality olive oil will taste grassy and peppery in the back of your throat.
If you’re baking and want something to be really tender but stable (like a cake), try reverse creaming. Instead of creaming your butter and sugar and then adding in ingredients, add your softened butter (or shortening or what have you), to your flour mixture first. Essentially, it limits the development of the gluten which is what can make baked goods tough. It’s a good way to closely mimic store-bought mixes while still being home made.
Worcestershire sauce in any beef stew/ beef mince dish.
Okay, this is coming from a professional chef who specializes in baking, so listen up! If you cook anything cake-like and the ridge of the pan is higher than what the thing rose to, then you can add a layer of icing immediately after it comes out of the oven. Yes, it’ll melt, but then the texture will change to a midway point between ganache and normal icing after it’s cooled back down again! Also, the seal it creates is so strong, that it preserves the moisture of the thing underneath. *Perfect* for making brownies that aren’t hard as rocks, like most people’s! Especially because, after they’ve cooled, if you cut the brownies up, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and then freeze them, then they’ll have retained enough moisture and crumblyness to end up with a taste and texture that’s nearly indistinguishable from an ice cream sandwich! *Try it if you don’t believe me*!
Image source: ntrrrmilf
Put a couple cloves of garlic in the water with the potatoes you’re going to mash. They get soft enough to blend in. Perfect garlic mashed potatoes.
Don’t rinse your raw meat! It’s actually a really good way to spray bacteria all over the place!
Image source: Environmental-kid101
Use a meat thermometer. That stuff is expensive and you want it cooked just right.
Image source: onlythebestformia
Add food coloring to your food, or turmeric, to make people not want to eat your food when they see it in the fridge.
Unless you’re my grandma, who saw a bright orangey yellow gloppy tuna salad in the fridge and went “Time to scoop this with my bare hand onto my baloney sandwich.”
Don’t be like grandma.
Image source: SolaceinIron
There’s a reason genuine San Marzano tomatoes are triple the cost of other canned tomatoes.
If you’re making quality sauce, buy them and don’t second guess it.