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People Are Sharing Their "I'll Never Tell" Cooking Secrets And They Are Honestly So Good

You've never used pickle juice for *this* before.

Most home cooks have a handful of little tricks they rely on time and time again to enhance the flavor of food...including some "secrets" they wouldn't readily admit to dinner guests. So Redditor u/what_the_a asked, "What’s your 'I’ll never tell' cooking secret?" Here's how people responded.

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1. "My snickerdoodle recipe. People love them. They are chunks of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough, rolled in cinnamon and sugar."

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"Stupid easy. I will never tell." —u/blossomteacher

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2. "I use jello vanilla pudding powder in all my cookies. It keeps them super soft for days and gives them almost a cake interior. Shhhh..."

—u/Life_On_the_Nickle

3. "I add pickle juice to tuna or chicken salad. Gives it just the right amount of tartness."

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4. "I use a little almond extract in all my baked goods (especially French toast) and a little espresso powder in anything chocolate."

—u/kaophyre

5. "My boyfriend is always amazed at how my scrambled eggs taste so good. He’s convinced I have magical scrambling powers."

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"I finally realized he doesn’t know I use butter, and I feel like I can’t reveal it now." —u/what_the_a 

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6. "Always brown the butter. No one ever takes the time to brown the butter."

—roadtrip-ne

7. "I follow the recipe on the back of the Tollhouse chocolate chip bag to the letter. Everyone thinks I make the best of the best chocolate chip cookies."

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8. "Try putting a decent amount of butter in a red sauce. It will taste twice as good and no one will be able to guess the secret."

—u/deleted

9. "I begged my grandmother for her banana pudding recipe and now people beg me to make it. It's the recipe from the back of the Nilla wafer box."

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10. "I worked at Jimmy John's and they had us use a little soy sauce in the tuna salad. I've been making it that way ever since."

—u/helenfeller

11. "I add mashed anchovies or anchovies paste to my salad dressings, pasta sauces, and gravy."

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"No one can identify the taste and everyone loves it!" —u/ebtuck

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12. "I buy Costco cashew clusters and use the crumbs at the bottom of the bag as part of my flour when making cookies. People always go crazy for them."

—u/coffee-jnky

13. "When making homemade mac 'n' cheese, I season with a secret ingredient — mustard powder.

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14. "If I cook anything that requires bread crumbs, I use chicken-flavored StoveTop stuffing instead."

—u/Liakela

15. "For pasta salad, mix the pasta (while still hot) with Italian salad dressing and diced pepperoni."

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"The hot pasta will make the pepperoni sweat and the grease amplifies the flavor." —u/goldengirlsmom

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16. "Instead of milk, I use full fat vanilla or plain yogurt in my bathing mixture for French toast. It turns out perfectly every time."

—u/bethster2000

17. "Instead of pine nuts (which are crazy expensive), I now make pesto with cooked quinoa instead."

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"It makes a really nice thick paste and it's perfect for pizza, in lasagna, etc." u/gingerzombie2

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18. "When making banana bread, I use overripe bananas, which I freeze and then thaw when it's time to bake.

"I read somewhere that freezing bananas make them sweeter. Try it. You'll be pleasantly surprised." —u/ncgirl105

19. "I add salt to hot chocolate. It somehow makes it more chocolate-y.

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"Everyone always says my hot chocolate is the best, but I just use prepackaged with milk and a dash of salt."" —u/ouTPhaze

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20. "My wife came back from Norway in love with a MAGIC spice we searched for everywhere. It's MSG."

—u/kaldrazidrim

"MSG powder. A sprinkling can really elevate a dish. People can be so afraid of it because they've been fed misinformation about its health effects. So unless a guest specifically mentions an allergy, I'll keep adding MSG to my food without telling anyone :)" —u/chasing-the-sun

21. "I use the ramen seasoning packet (beef or chicken flavor) to make my mashed potato gravy."

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22. "Stop using corn starch or flour to thicken stew. Grab a pouch of instant mashed potatoes (I use Idahoan buttery herb or roasted garlic flavor)."

"Add that, stir it in, and thank me later." —u/Talanic

23. "Whenever I bake something with chocolate, like brownies, I always add a little bit of coffee. It makes all the difference."

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24. "If I boil dry beans to rehydrate and cook them, I'll throw in a marrow bone at the very beginning. The beans soak up the fat and have a luxurious, creamy texture."

—u/KinkyQuesadilla

25. "I cook chicken breasts in Italian dressing. The dressing reduces down to a glaze."

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"It's super simple and the taste is delicious." —u/cadebasil

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26. "Lard in pie crust. All my pie crust, whether it's for a savory dish or sweet dessert."

—u/FluffyBlizzard

27. "I put extra egg yolks in my scrambled eggs. If I'm making eggs for two people, I use four whole eggs and add two yolks."

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28. "I worked in a high-end restaurant that was well-known for its cheesecake. It was just cream cheese and marshmallow fluff blended together, then placed in store-bought graham cracker crusts."

—u/Busker12

29. "I put a spoon of Miracle Whip in my cake batter to keep it moist and the result is amazing.

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30. "I add a dash of cinnamon sugar into any red meat dish or red sauce. Or tomato soup for that matter."

—u/TooHardToChoosePG

Do you have a cooking secret you usually keep to yourself? Tell us in the comments below.

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