Tired of meticulously following highly-rated recipes from expert chefs but still ending up with meals that bear no resemblance to the beautiful photos in the cookbooks? Do not let this stop you from trying. The truth is, there are so many general tips and tricks professionals apply to their cooking that they just will not all make the book. Here are five chef-approved tips you can use to upgrade your cooking today:
1. The Right Cookware
The importance of high-quality cookware is often overlooked by home cooks. Think about it though, would you use the cheapest tools to apply your makeup or renovate your house and still expect perfect results? Of course not. Investing in the best cookware sets for your needs is the first step to achieving the best cooking outcomes. Quality cookware sets are made from the safest, most durable materials, so you and your family can enjoy better cooking for longer.
2. The Correct Choice Of Oil
A top chef will never settle for the first oil they spot when preparing a meal and neither should you. Wiser decisions about your choice of oil will help your cooking to retain its flavor and be healthier. Fat content and smoke point should inform your decisions of which oils you use for different meals.
For example, nut oils like almond or macadamia oil are lower in saturated fat making them heart-healthy choices for your cooking. Their smoke points, however, are not equal. Almond oil is lower and ideal for low-heat cooking or drizzling over salads whereas macadamia oil’s high smoke point means it will retain its integrity even when frying!
3. Never Skimp On Seasoning
Seasoning is one of the simplest ways to take your cooking to the next level. There’s no wonder people today are using more spice varieties than ever. The common mistake here is not taste tasting and assuming too much will overpower the meal.
Salt, pepper, seeds and fresh spices should be a staple in your kitchen. Never skip seasoning and taste as you go to get the flavor you want. Don’t be afraid to improvise and go off-recipe when mixing flavors. As long as you add small amounts gradually, you might even improve the dish.
4. Fresh Spices Only
Let ‘fresh is best’ be your mantra in the kitchen and the grocery store. Where possible, choose the fresh option to a dried option in spices, but always keep dried spices on-hand just in case. Not only does this mean stronger flavors but fresh herbs and spices can save you money. You can buy peppercorns in bulk and grind them as needed for that restaurant-finish to your meals and easily plant fragrant herbs like parsley and mint which are fast-growing and low maintenance.
5. An Organized Pantry
You’ll never see this emphasized in a cookbook or cooking TV show but every chef does it. Keeping your pantry organized and prepared for your cooking will save you a lot of time and stress when you’re stuck in the process. Place all the ingredients you plan to use close to you and don’t neglect your preparation time. This can help avoid mistakes and allows you to take your time in perfecting your meal.
Now you’re aware just how simple some of the top strategies used by star chefs are, there is no reason for you not to up your cooking game. After shopping for the right cookware and supplies and a bit of kitchen reorganization, schedule a dinner with your loved ones at your place. Let them be the judge of your ‘newfound talents’!