Contrary to what you may have heard, you shouldn’t ~always~ wash your rice before you cook with it. For example, if you’re making risotto, paella, or jambalaya then you don’t want to rinse the rice because it’ll get rid of the extra starch. Losing this starch will prevent the ingredients from soaking into your rice, and we don’t want to lose any flavor from the rest of your ingredients.
Never press down on your burger patties while they cook. Doing so removes all the juices from the patties, and it’ll make the burgers suuuuper dry. Instead, always make your burgers a little thinner in the center and thicker on the sides (they’ll plump up evenly while cooking, don’t worry). And when it comes to flipping your patties, only do it once. The more you flip them, the drier they’ll become.
Always pat your meat dry with a paper towel before seasoning it. Doing so will give your breading and seasonings something to stick to, so this really helps with the searing process and will allow the meat to develop a nice crust.
If you ever struggle to get the smell out of your cast iron skillet (like, after cooking fish), just fill it halfway with kosher salt, bake it for a few minutes, and then wash it out. This will basically make your pan as good as new. Just make sure you re-season it with oil when you’re done.
When it comes to fried rice, you should always be using day-old rice from the fridge. If you don’t have any leftovers and need to make a fresh batch, make sure your rice is cooled and dried before cooking. And for an even fluffier fried rice, make sure your eggs are as fresh as possible.
Stop smothering the bread for your grilled cheese with butter. Instead, cover both sides of each slice with mayonnaise. This will make the sandwich much creamier and give you that perfect crunch and golden color.
And if you’re making a sandwich or burger on the griddle where heat doesn’t always evenly circulate, place a metal bowl on top of it to trap in the heat and perfectly melt the cheese. You can even squirt a little water inside the dome to create a steaming effect and really get things nice and melted.
When it comes to homemade chili, alwaysssssss use dry beans instead of ones that come from a can. This will really help to give it the right texture you’re looking for. Basically, chili is one of those foods that should never be rushed, so take the time to cook down all your ingredients and sweat out all of their flavors. Also, make sure your dried herbs and spices are as fresh as possible when making chili because they’ll really enhance the flavor.
Never forget to remove the membrane from your ribs before seasoning them. Not only is it super tough and chewy, but it also prevents the sauce and rub from penetrating the meat, so they definitely won’t be as flavorful as you want. This will also help to bring in that smokiness to the meat while grilling.
Leave. Your. Meat. Alone. While. It. Cooks. For example, if you keep moving your steaks to check their sear or to flip them over, they’ll turn gray and won’t develop the desired crust. The same rule applies with chicken, or else you could tear the meat and have some of it stick to the pan.
If you’re making stock for something like chicken noodle soup, there are three secret ingredients that’ll make it taste extra fresh, but you’d probably never think to add them: cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemons. The cinnamon will give off that warm goodness, the nutmeg will add to the overall flavor profile, and the lemon will give you a bite of freshness. Pro tip: squirt the lemon juice into the pot ~and~ place the entire fruit inside while the soup cooks.
To make perfectly leveled cake layers, don’t cut straight across (because your cake is more likely to rip that way). Instead, keep your knife parallel to the counter, and spin the cake along the serrated edge. That’ll easily cut through everything and give you even layers every single time.
Add coffee to your cake or brownie batters to make them even more chocolatey. For cake, the coffee should be hot and freshly brewed, and for brownies, you should add coffee granules (like, what you’d make instant coffee with). This will really help to enhance the flavors and make everything a lotttt richer.
For perfect, evenly cooked, never-burnt popcorn, always pop your kernels in a metal bowl on the stove instead of in the microwave bag. And if you’re someone who likes to add your own salt and butter, you should always salt the kernels ~before~ they’re popped, and add the butter ~after~.
When it comes to storing certain herbs, never put your basil in the fridge. Basil does ~not~ like the cold, so just trim the stems and store the rest in a cup with water (like you would a bouquet of flowers).
If your meatloaf is often dense and heavy, it’s probably because of the way you mix the ingredients together. Instead of compacting everything, try aerating it by lightly mixing and patting it with a fork or your fingers. Also, cook the meatloaf on a baking sheet instead of in a loaf pan. Loaf pans trap all the grease and fat, which will make your meatloaf super soggy.
And finally, stop cooking your food with extra virgin olive oil. Not only is it more expensive than regular olive oil, but it also has a lower smoking point, which means it’ll burn at a lower temperature. Think of it this way: regular olive oil should be for cooking, and extra virgin olive oil should be for finishing (like on dressings and dips).
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