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People Are Sharing The One Piece Of Cooking Advice That Actually Made The Biggest Difference In Their Cooking

"It always surprises me that more people aren't doing this in their own kitchens."

If you spend time in the kitchen, you already know that there are lots of tips, tricks, and techniques that can elevate your cooking. So, redditor u/daisylovedoherty asked, "What’s your favorite cooking tip/hack that some people might not know?" Here's what people said.

1. "Always brown your tomato paste before using it to make sauce. The browning process brings out so much more flavor. I'm always surprised to hear many people skip this step."

A bowl of tomato paste on a table.

2. "Add frozen berries directly into your hot oatmeal to defrost the berries while simultaneously cooling the oatmeal to the perfect, edible temperature."

A bowl of oatmeal with berries.

3. "Briefly blanch and shock greens going into pesto to keep the color from turning. It's very simple. Boil water, drop greens in for 30-45 seconds, immediately shock them in ice water and pat dry when cool. As a result, your pesto will be more vibrant in general."

Homemade pesto and pasta.

4. "Add some kind of sugar to savory dishes. Savory dishes always do better with a touch of sweetness as opposed to just pure salt. That doesn't mean you have to add it to every dish — plenty of vegetables and other foods have some natural sweetness to them. But I've found that many sauces taste kind of flat until you add a splash of honey, maple syrup, or sugar to them. Vinegar or acid-based sauces, especially!"

A pot of Bolognese sauce.

5. "Browning your butter makes everything taste better. Do this as your first step when you're making anything with butter, whether it's Rice Krispies treats, eggs, cream cheese frosting, or Brussels sprouts."

Browned butter in a bowl.

6. "I par-cook my bacon in the oven until it is cooked through but floppy, then I portion it out and wrap the slices in brown paper towel and toss them into the freezer. When I want to cook bacon (say, on my cheeseburger), I just unwrap one portion and finish it in a frying pan. Not only is it speedy, but there's also a lot less mess because most of the fat has already cooked off in the oven."

Slices of fresh fried bacon in a pan.

7. "Freezing ginger and grating it using a handheld microplane is so much easier than peeling ginger and mincing it. This simple method makes cooking with ginger such a breeze."

Hands grating ginger with a microplane.

8. "Take any boxed corn muffin or bread mix and replace the wet ingredients with a can of creamed corn. Just don't skip the egg! Even the cheap Jiffy brand comes out tasting like a homemade masterpiece."

Freshly baked corn muffins in molds.

9. "Instead of boiling in water, steam your eggs in a pressure cooker for easy-peel hard-boiled eggs every single time."

Woman's hand holding a peeled Hard-boiled egg in front of bowl of eggs.

10. "Add a pinch of baking soda to your pasta sauce. The baking soda will neutralize the tannins from canned tomatoes that make it taste metallic."

Cooking tomato sauce in a Dutch oven.

11. "Bake cheesecake with a water bath. Cheesecake is the only thing I can make well. I take a 9x13 pan and almost entirely fill it with water. I place it on the rack below the cheesecake and let it preheat with the oven. My cheesecake comes out perfectly, slowly, and evenly every time."

A slice of cheesecake.

12. "Sift your eggs before poaching them. If you poach an egg normally, you get that unwanted egg white foam on the surface of the water. The sifting removes the bits of white that are liable to break away, resulting in a perfectly poached egg."

A poached egg on avocado toast.

13. "Freeze freshly caught fish in water (completely covered) in Ziploc bags. The water keeps the fish from getting freezer burn, and once defrosted, it comes out tasting so fresh. I've had fresh halibut stored in my freezer this way for two years. Thawed and cooked, it tastes like it was caught just yesterday."

Fillet of white fish with parsley.

14. "The trick for cutting bell pepper has been life-changing for me. Normally, I would cut the stem out of the pepper from the top, which always ends up making a mess of seeds. But recently, I've been turning the pepper upside down and making four cuts. I then peel down each slice, leaving a nice, organized clump of seeds in the middle. The result: no stubborn seeds stuck to my sliced peppers."

Sliced bell pepper.

15. "As soon as I get my groceries home, I wash and trim my produce and let it dry a bit in the dish rack. Then, I put it in an airtight plastic container lined with dry paper towel. It stays crisp and fresh for weeks. This method practically eliminated produce waste and spoilage in my kitchen."

Hands washing spinach in sink.

16. "I've starting salting chicken and pork before I freeze it. When it defrosts, the salt brines and tenderizes the meat. It makes the end result taste amazing."

Chicken drumsticks in a baking dish.

17. "I just recently learned that pouring a little alcohol onto raw fish just before cooking takes away the fishy smell."

Two pieces of salmon in a pan.

18. "If you add a little bit of almond extract to a vanilla cake, it makes it richer. Your homemade cake will truly taste like it's from a bakery."

A slice of vanilla cake.

19. Whenever I make potatoes (pan-fried, baked potatoes, or even mashed), I first cook the potatoes in the microwave for about 10 minutes. This saves time and effort, and my potatoes always come out perfect. They peel very easily once they're cooked, and then, you can slice them up and toss them into a pan with olive oil, garlic, and onions. It only takes a few minutes to brown them to perfection."

Baked potato wedges

20. "Using MSG in my home cooking. I have a pepper grinder that contains a roughly 3:2:1 ratio of black peppercorns, coarse salt, and MSG on my table at all times. It just makes everything taste better."

Seasoning veggies in a skillet.

21. "When you're making boxed mac 'n' cheese, don't add the milk. Instead, use the starchy pasta water, and only enough to loosen the sauce if it needs it after all that butter."

Creamy macaroni shells and cheese.

22. "Toast your tortilla chips for nachos before adding the cheese. This prevents them from becoming soggy. It's also helpful in building a firmer base if you're planning on adding heavy toppings."

Nachos in a bowl.

23. "When you're making cake from boxed mix, try replacing the water with buttermilk and subbing equal amounts of melted butter for oil. It makes it taste so good."

A woman whisking cake batter.

24. "I used to boil my spaghetti separate from the sauce, but now, I cook it directly in the sauce. It's one less pan to clean, and it gives the pasta an amazing flavor."

A forkful of pasta in tomato sauce.

25. "When reheating any food that changes texture in the fridge (like burritos, pizza, rice, etc...), drape a moist paper towel over it before microwaving. It helps return moisture to anything that tends to dry out in the fridge."

A slice of pizza in the microwave.

26. "Whisk a bit of cold butter into your sauces to finish them for a beautiful glossy finish. It’s the reason why almost all sauces you have at a restaurant just taste better."

A buttery sauce with parsley.

27. "Cook your protein in parchment paper. Cooking chicken breasts, bone-in, wrapped tightly in parchment paper is the technique that made me realize I can cook. It ensures the juiciest chicken ever, and it's almost impossible to overcook. This technique is great for cooking fish, too."

White fish fillet baked in paper.

What's your best cooking tip that more people should know about? Tell us in the comments.