16 Of The Best Cooking Tricks Straight From TV Shows
Binge-watching all those cooking shows has definitely paid off.
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Put a small indent in the center of your burgers before grilling to help them cook evenly.
“Bobby Flay taught me to put an indent in a burger before grilling so it doesn’t bloat in the middle.”
Burgers shrink a bit when cooking, causing the middle to bulge. To prevent this, make an indent in the middle of your patty with your thumb. See how to do it here.
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To properly clean leeks and remove all the gritty mud, slice them in half and fully submerge in water.
“It sounds so simple, but I learned how to properly clean leeks from Rachael Ray. Just slice them in half, throw them in a bowl of cold water, and swish them around until all the mud falls out of them.”
—Lynne Carpenter, Facebook
See how to do it here.
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Always keep your knives sharp.
“From the OG TV chef, Julia Child: SHARPEN YOUR KNIVES. Even my mom (who is a great cook) doesn’t do this. She recently came to visit and couldn’t believe how much nicer it was to use sharp knives.”
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For more accurate baking, use a food scale to weight your ingredients.
“Those adorable British bakers know what’s up. Precise measurements set you up for such a better bake. I also use mine regularly for portion control with my meals — it basically lives on my counter!”
Measuring by volume (in cups and tablespoons) is not as accurate as measuring by weight — and small differences can make a big difference in certain baked goods. For serious baking, invest in a kitchen scale and start using recipes written in grams.
Finish cooking your pasta in the sauce to help bind it all together — and always reserve a bit of the water.
“Scott Conant on Chopped taught me to cook pasta to al dente then toss it directly into the hot pan with your sauce to finish cooking it. This has made a huge difference for me when it comes to the sauce coating and infusing into the pasta. I can’t do it any other way now!”
“This might seem minor, but it’s useful: always reserve a cup of the water used to cook pasta, because adding it to whatever sauce you’ve made will help it adhere to the pasta! Thanks, Rachael Ray. :)”
Check out 11 other mistakes you might be making when cooking pasta here.
Always warm up your milk when adding it to a roux).
“From cooking shows on PBS and different YouTube channels, I learned to warm your milk when cooking with it. Cold milk will make your roux (the flour and butter mixture used to thicken a sauce) clump up, which means you’ll have an awful cream sauce or cheese sauce. Slightly warmer than room temperature (warm, not hot, and definitely not boiling) is an ideal temperature for milk.”
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Remove your scrambled eggs from the heat before they’re done cooking. The residual heat will continue cooking them.
“When cooking scrambled eggs, Gordon Ramsay says something along the lines of, it’s okay to remove the pan from the heat before they’re fully set to avoid over-cooking. Best eggs ever!! “
Ramsay actually adds a dollop of cold crème fraîche to further stop the cooking process in addition to taking them off the heat. See how he makes them here.
If your meat is sticking to the grill, it probably isn’t ready to flip yet.
“If meat is still sticking to the cooking surface, it’s not ready to flip.”
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If your recipes calls for room temperature eggs and butter, make sure to actually bring them to room temp…
“My cake batter used to always split after adding cold eggs straight from the fridge.”
If your recipe calls for room temperature butter or eggs, it’s for a reason. Room temp butter creams and mixes with other ingredients better — and room temp eggs whip easier. See how to quickly bring eggs and butter to room temperature here.
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But if you’re making pie crust, use cold butter.
“When you want flaky pie crust, use cold butter.“
Cold butter doesn’t completely incorporate into the dough and creates little pockets that create flaky layers in the oven. If your butter is too warm, you won’t end up with a tender, flaky crust — so it’s important to work fast and keep it cold. Check out four other tips for making perfect pie crust here.
Mix and portion burgers in a Ziploc bag to make clean up a breeze.
“When making hamburgers, score the beef into section before forming to avoid having a “Franken-burger” (a burger that you take little pieces from the other burgers because it’s too small) — from my sprit animal Rachel Ray.”
An easy technique is to simply throw ground beef and seasonings in a bag, shake it up, then portion into patties using a chopstick. Learn how to do it here.
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