26 Cooking Tricks from the World’s Best Chefs

Many cooking tricks are second nature to the World’s Best Chefs after year of practice. As with any career, you hone your skills to use your time efficiently for the best possible outcome. Chef’s are no different. There are time saving tricks and methods that any chef will have. Some have shared them for this article. Take notes. Your next dinner party could be your best yet.

    1. Know What You Are Doing – Before you begin to prepare a recipe, read it through to the end.
    2. Clean While You Cook – Keeping a clean workspace is necessary for optimizing your time.
    3. Hone Those Knife Skills – “Keep those fingers tucked in.” The best knife skills advice given from most of the leading chefs is to tuck those fingers in. When keeping your fingers tucked in and you use your upper knuckles as a guide for the top of your knife, you will develop a professional posture for chopping and slicing used by most successful chefs around the world.
    4. Cut Veggies Smarter – “Master the use of the Mandoline” To reduce the amount of prep time and for consistent slicing of vegetables, learn to use the Mandoline safely. Safety is key with the easy slicing aid. There is a shield to use for safety. Use it and save your fingers and knuckles from serious cuts.
    5. Don’t Cry Over Onions – “Putting onions in the freezer for 10 minutes or in ice water for the same time before cutting into them prevents your crying eyes when chopping.” There are many tricks Chefs use for this process. Other options include keeping a piece of bread in your mouth, cutting the onion under th kitchen hood vent, wearing goggles and keeping your mouth shut and breathing through your nose only are other. See what works for you.
    6. Use Ingredients in New Ways – “Get out of your comfort zone with foods and try new things” Look around in the fresh markets for produce you haven’t used and try something new. Juice new foods for extra flavors you might be missing. Create dinner with only “locally-farmed” produce and keep your local farmers in business.
    7. Don’t Forget the Garnish – “Make your plates a presentation” Create a work of art on your meal presentation and feel really good about what you have created. Chef’s value presentation of their foods in restaurants so much, there is a person overseeing each dish before it leaves the kitchen. Make your dish pretty with a garnish and impress yourself and your guests.
    8. Blend Better – “When using a blender, start with liquids in the container first to chop or juice” Solids will get stuck without a liquid in the container to take the stress off the chopping process. Your blender pulls down into the center and pushes up from the walls. You can continuously add ingredients from the top as the mixture forms. Lengthen the life of your blender motor with this process.
    9. Have Plenty of Dry Towels at Hand – Keep wiping up your mess as you go and have dry towels ready to pull the hot pot out of the way or open the oven to check the roast.
    10. Turn Up the Heat – “Searing needs high heats for success” If you are new to searing, the method seals in the juices and adds flavor to what you are cooking. Don’t overcrowd the pan and start with a hot pan, then add a bit of oil then your meat, chicken or fish. Don’t touch what is cooling until you see the caramelization that has formed, then flip onto the other side. Practice the method and your meals will improve. Another hint: use the stove hood exhaust when you sear.
    11. Let Your Meat Sit Out Before Cooking – “Professional chefs don’t cook cold meat. Take your beef out of the refrigerator ahead of cooking and let it get close to room temperature before you cook.” If you put a cold roast in the oven it will be cooked on the outside and cold on the inside. Starting from room temperature allows a more even range of cooking from outside to the center of the meat. This works for grilling steaks and chops as well.
    12. Cooking evenly in the Oven – “Chefs know that ovens don’t keep a consistent heat throughout so whenever roasting or baking, you must rotate the pan half way through the cooking time to cook evenly.” Alternating racks on different levels is also needed if baking in tiers.
    13. Cooking with the Correct Oils – “Oils have different smoking points. Butter for instance burns very fast. Learn about oils and know which oil to cook with for your foods.” It will take a little time to learn the oils and how fast they burn. It will be valuable when you are concerned with the quality of your final result. Here are some tips: High-heat oils are almond, canola, avocado oils can be used to cook at high or low temperatures without worrying about the oils burning. On the other hand, low-heat oils include butter and various nut oils like walnut, hazelnut and macadamia nut oils have a low smoke point and will burn quickly. Use this as your guide: High-heat, frying and searing oils include Peanut, Corn, Canola, Grapeseed and Safflower oils. Safflower oil handles the highest heat level at 510F. Medium to low-heat oil best for all-purpose cooking such as baking, roasting, sautéing and marinating is Olive oil. Coconut oil is good for baking but has a high in saturated fat and cholesterol levels. Take due care if you are from a family with heart disease.
    14. Keep the Meat Juicy – “Use tongs to flip meat” Puncturing your chicken or steak will leak the juices necessary to keep the flavor in. It only makes sense to never use a fork or knife and put a hole in the food while cooking.
    15. How to test the ‘doneness’ of steak when cooking – Chefs know by just touching the center of the steak exactly how it is done. The key is to compare the meat’s firmness to the firmness of your hand as shown in the image. Rare compares to the touch of the fleshy part of the palm of your hand when thumb and index finger touch. Medium-rare compares to the touch of the fleshy part of the palm when your middle finger touches your thumb tip. Medium compares to the touch of the fleshy part of the palm when ring finger and thumb touch and well-done would be the touch as compared to the fleshy part of your palm when your pinky finger touches the tip of your thumb. Sounds crazy but try it. See the image:


  1. Let Meat Rest After Cooking – “Let the roast rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. Let the steaks rest 5-10 minutes before slicing” This is one of the most important tips for a successful meal of steaks or roasts. Resting means taking the meat out of the pan and placing on a dish, carving board or serving plate, covering with a tent of foil to keep it warm and leaving it alone for a specified amount of time. What does this do? It will allow the natural juices within the meat that was pushed to the outside rim of the meat during the cooking process – move back into the meat evenly. Your meat will be more juicy throughout and more tender by doing this. Those who have had dry roasts and steaks now know what went wrong with their meals.
  2. Slice Meat Properly – “Know how to slice for most tender results” You just need to look at the meat or roast to know how the grain runs. Slicing “cross” the grain will give you the most tender results to serve up that expensive investment for your meal. Learn how to slice your roasts and steaks against the grain.
  3. Finishing touch #1 Salt – “Not all salt is the same quality.” Use a high-quality salt that is coarse like sea salt, kosher salt, pink salt to finish off your dishes. Chefs know to sprinkle salt over the top of their dishes to perfection.
  4. Finishing touch #2 Olive Oil – “A High-quality olive oil drizzle over a dish finishes up the plate” Watch any cooking show and you will see most chefs just drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dish before serving savory dishes. It finishes off the plate and adds just a hint of silky flavor. Try it.
  5. Fry fried chicken twice – “Fry your chicken twice for extra crispy.” Professional chefs frying chicken for that extra crispy feature to keep customers coming back is the secret tip. Deep fry for 10 minutes. Take out and let rest and drain on rack for 10 minutes, then pop back into a higher temperature for another 3 minutes to add crisp to the outside. Your family will be home on time for dinner for this meal.
  6. Drain Fried Foods before Serving – Always drain fried foods on a rack to keep the crispy and rid the food of excess oils before serving.
  7. Take Advantage of Seasonal Ingredients – “Take advantage of seasonal locally grown produce. Berries, tomatoes, cucumbers… whatever is local. Find recipes and make extra to freeze or can so your family has the enjoyment of indulging year round.”
  8. Get a More Flavorful Pasta – “Chefs debate about this process but I do this and have always with complete success. Add olive oil and kosher or coarse sea salt to my pasta water when boiling pasta. Salt will season the pasta and the oil keeps the pasta from sticking together and provides flavor as well.” You will have to try and judge for yourself.
  9. Homemade stock is Better – “Learn to make your own stock and you will up your game.” NO self-respecting Chef would use canned stock. Learn to make stock and freeze it in small portions for convenient use.
  10. Chili’s Burn – “Cutting hot peppers and chili’s tend to leave a burning residue on hands. Quell that burn by squeezing lemon juice onto your hands. The juice will neutralize the burn.”
  11. Garlic Smell on Hands – Eliminate that garlic smell on your hands by running your hands over a stainless-steel pan under running water. Other methods include washing hands with Salt & Lemon (unless you have a cut on your hand). Baking soda and water works. Coffee is reported to work as well but it stains if you do it enough. See what works best for you.

Short & Sweet Tips:

  • Clean as you cook
  • Taste your food.
  • Don’t crowd the pan. Get a bigger pan or cook in stages.
  • Deglaze your pan for added flavors bringing your juices all together for the dish.
  • Homemade breadcrumbs are always tastier than store-bought.
  • For extra special breading on fried foods, dip the food in a mixture of eggs and milk flavored with rosemary before breading and frying.
  • To test if your oil is hot enough, add a pinch of flour and see if it sizzles.
  • To stop that cutting board from sliding around on the counter, place a damp paper towel underneath the board
  • That box of baking soda from 5 years ago is not going to work that well anymore.”
  • Don’t take chances. Burns last forever with a scar. Caution takes only a few minutes.
  • Loose clothing and hair: Loose clothing, long sleeves, and long hair can be fire hazards in the kitchen. Roll up sleeves, tie your apron tight, and tie up long hair before cooking.
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy near the kitchen
  • Never turn your back on a pot cooking on your stove or step out while you’ve got something cooking

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