81 Ways to Be a Better Chef

Whether you have trouble boiling water or are a foodie who loves spending time behind the stove, these tips and tricks will make cooks of all levels better at their game. Here are a few dozen of our faves.

Prep and Cleanup

60. Wet a dish towel, wring it out, and spread it flat under your cutting board. This will help keep the surface in place.

61. Peeling veggies? Trimming fat from meat? Add all scraps to one big bowl. (A colander sitting in your sink is ideal.) It’ll keep your counters clean as you go, making it easier to prepare your meal.

62. Buy a pair (or two) of kitchen shears. They’re faster than cutting food with a knife. Use them to chop herbs, break down a whole chicken, dice dried fruit, and slice tortillas.

63. Moving food around your cutting surface with your knife blade down dulls the edge. Instead, just quickly turn the knife over and use the spine to push your chopped pieces aside.

64.To tell if your knife needs sharpening, slash the edge of a piece of paper. Sharp knives will cut cleanly; a dull knife will tear the paper.

65. To deep clean a wood cutting board without chemicals, rinse it, sprinkle salt on top, and scrub with half a lemon. The salt acts as an abrasive, while the acid in the juice sanitizes and deodorizes.

66. Try a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to remove spots from stainless-steel pans. To save a pan in which you burned food, sprinkle on a spoonful of baking soda, some salt, and enough water to cover, then let sit overnight.

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