Cooking Hacks That Will Make You A Master Chef

by Debolina Raja
Let’s be honest, we all enter our kitchens expecting to come out with a dish that’s worthy to be rated by the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, or Heston Blumenthal. And while our cooking skills may not be on par with those celebrity chefs we love watching on popular reality TV shows, there’s absolutely no reason we can’t aspire to be one of them.

After all, nobody’s going to complain about a steaming stack of buttery pancakes in front of them, are they? Cooking can be quite an intimidating task, especially when you have guests to wow. We're here to help. After taking these pointers, you’ll be looking for more opportunities to create that magic to wow your family and friends.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to become a master chef, all on your own.

Start With The Right Temperature

You may know that dropping in that piece of chicken or fish (the bread-battered ones) can soak up a lot of oil if it’s not hot enough. But, there’s one problem—you don’t have an oil thermometer. Fortunately, there are ways around that. You can simply use a kernel of popcorn to test the oil’s temperature. Heat up the oil and throw in the popcorn kernel. Once the oil reaches a temperature of 479° Fahrenheit (350° Celsius), the corn kernel will pop. 479°F is the perfect temperature at which you can do any type of frying.

What’s Your Flavor?

Flavor packs in your instant noodles add a ton of taste to your dish. Try and save some for a rainy day. A little goes a long way. With those flavor packs you’ve saved, you can add a whole new level of depth to an otherwise normal dish. Let your creative instincts bubble to the surface, we say. Simply toss in those flavor packs in different recipes, even the ones you didn’t think they will go with. From adding it to your dips and soups to sprinkling it on your popcorn, fries or even in your omelet, there’s a lot that you can achieve with those tiny tastemakers.

Think Outside The Box

When looking for inspiration, read the box. Quite literally. It does come with a printed recipe that’s rather simple. Besides, when you’re bored of the usual recipes you turn to, what are you going to do? You have an easy recipe on the box, and more often than not, it’s really tasty. All you have to do is follow the instructions. Now, you can prepare it with the exact same ingredients mentioned in the recipe, or substitute a few for healthier alternatives and turn it into a ‘new’ recipe and make it your own. Either way, you’ve saved yourself a great deal of thinking time.

That’s A Spicy Meatball

Spaghetti and meatballs—bring it on! Oh, wait. You don’t have any meatballs and you’re really not in the mood to make them from scratch. Well, we’ve got the perfect solution for you—use sausages! No, don’t freak out. This is a rather delicious substitute. The only bit of effort on your part would be getting the meat out of the sausage casing. Now, some of them meat does have flavor, but you can spice it up some more after you’ve taken out all the meat. Then, all that’s left is for you to turn them into balls, fry and add to the sauce. Yes, it’s really that simple!

There’s Something Fishy

More often than not, people turn to frying fish over grilling simply because the fish tends to stick to the grill pan. Well, here’s an alternative that will make life simpler, and a whole lot healthier. Simply season your fish the way you want, then place a thin layer of mayonnaise on aluminum foil and wrap the fish in it. Place it on the grill when the temperature is absolutely ready. This way, you’re ensuring the fish remains moist, and you’ve avoided the extra oil that the fish soaks up.

Rustle Up A Mean Burger

There’s definitely no denying that a juicy burger is as satisfying as it is frustrating. Cooking up a juicy burger is simple. After you thoroughly season the meat, add celery, garlic, onions or parsley to create a delicious patty.

Make sure you don’t pack it all in tightly. Instead, lightly form a burger patty and fry it on the grill. Make sure you don’t press it down while cooking. This will cause the juices to ooze out and go dry. Also, make sure you don’t go too thick with the patty because this will mean the outsides get overcooked while the middle remains raw.

Cooking really isn’t rocket science. It can be unnerving, but there’s nothing a few simple tips and tricks can’t take care of. Besides, when you realize just how simple it is, you might never want to get takeout again!
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