Have you ever been in your favorite restaurant and wished you could cook like the chef there did? Even if you asked and received the recipe from them, chances are you could not replicate that particular meal just the way they did. The reason is simple, it is because no matter how much you simply follow the instructions there are little secrets in how a chef approaches a recipe that make them a pro.
It can be how they add their ingredients together, or even the type of tool they use. But now we will share with you a few of these time-honored tips that many professional chefs use in their kitchens, no matter whether they are cooking in New York City or Timbuctoo.
When to Add Seasoning
You are hard at work making that favorite sauce for a fancy dinner and the recipe calls for adding a bit of seasoning. It might be fresh herbs or simple salt and pepper, what it is doesn’t matter as much as when you add it in. For most of us, we add it in as we blend the ingredients, but the pros don’t.
Chef Alex of Paris Club reminds us that seasoning should always be the very last thing you add to anything, especially sauces. Have the ingredients ready to add, but hold off until everything else has been added and stirred into the sauce. Then, and only then, do you add that pinch of whatever seasoning will bring all the many flavors out for your family to enjoy.
Use the Right Tools
Pretty much every chef we talked to said that using the right tool in the kitchen at the right time was an essential part of being a great chef. For some that might mean using a rice cooker to make the perfect rice with very little fuss. For others, it might be making use of sous vide equipment to ensure that the meal being presented is flavorful and juicy.
From as simple a tool as a wooden spoon to as complicated as a pasta machine, having the right tool for the right task is every bit as important in the kitchen as it would be in your home garage workshop. Having it at hand can be critical to a recipes success.
The Trickiness of Ovens
If you have ever tried cooking at a friend’s home, you know that different ovens will work differently and even show their temperature a bit different. It is not that uncommon to hear from someone that their oven “cooks a little high” and even in the world of professional kitchens ovens differ.
But because so many baking recipes need exactly the right temperature to come out perfect, knowing exactly what your oven temperature is when you place that cake is key. For many chefs that means using an independent thermometer to ensure that the oven is exactly at the right temperature when you are ready to use it.
Lemons and Onions
These two basics are in so many recipes that knowing how to make the most of them is one trick that many chefs share. With lemons, we want to be sure we get every drop of that precious lemon juice for sauces, so to ensure this pop it in the micro for around five seconds before you juice it.
This breaks down the cellular structure slightly, releasing the juice more readily. As for chopping onions, the one skill every chef must have, be sure to put your cutting board under a good strong vent so that you don’t have watery eyes while chopping. We want to see perfectly when handling sharp knives, especially at times like this!