People Didn’t Realize How Helpful These 47 Cooking Tips And Tricks Were Until They Started Using Them

People Didn’t Realize How Helpful These 47 Cooking Tips And Tricks Were Until They Started Using Them

How would you rank your cooking skills, pandas? On a scale of “somehow manages to burn cereal” to “can bake a flawless soufflé with your eyes closed”, where do you fall? Personally, I grew up watching way more Food Network than I would be proud to admit, but despite the fact that my child brain was supposed to be soaking up information like tres leches cake soaks up milk, many of the tips and tricks I heard went in one ear and right out the other. So as an adult, I’ve put in countless hours reading recipes, experimenting in the kitchen and studying videos to feel confident preparing a homemade meal. And I have to admit, it was totally worth it, because I love cooking now!

But there's always more to learn, especially for my fellow amateur cooks out there. So below, we’ve gathered a list of helpful tips and tricks Redditors have been sharing that might be the exact game-changers you need to feel more at home in the kitchen. From learning how to properly dice veggies to purchasing small appliances that will save you loads of time and energy, these tips might go a long way in elevating your culinary skills. Be sure to upvote the responses featuring hacks you plan to utilize the next time you're responsible for dinner, and then if you’re hungry for even more tips from Bored Panda that can improve your kitchen literacy, check out this delicious list next!


Turn the stove down. Not everything is better when cooked faster.

Image credits: Ofbatman


Don't always trust recipes. Taste and season.

Image credits: madewitrealfruit

Regardless of how well you currently know how to cook, I think it's safe to say that we're all interested in getting better. Being able to prepare meals that are even more delicious than what you would receive at your local restaurants can save time and money, and when you're in control of the ingredients, you can create even healthier dishes that perfectly fit your palate. Plus, being an excellent chef will allow you to create wonderful dishes for your friends and family members, and it might even help you find love. According to one survey from The Little Potato Company, 86% of Americans find cooking to be an attractive trait in potential partners, and two thirds of Americans reported that they would be more likely to go on a first date with someone who mentioned cooking on their dating profile. No matter what incentivizes you to upgrade your culinary skills, I'm sure you won't regret it!

To gain more insight on how this conversation started in the first place, we reached out to Reddit user Degofreak, who reached out asking for game-changing cooking tricks. "I love cooking. I'm the main cook for my family, and I'm psyched about anyone who takes an interest in cooking at home," they told Bored Panda. "The question was asked because I thought there are so many people who might be able to help each other. When I read an online recipe, I always read the comments. That's where the magic happens." Degofreak noted that they love crowdsourcing cooking tips online, and we have to agree! So that's what this list can be for all of you, pandas. Feel free to channel your inner Gordon Ramsay and share your best cooking tips and tricks in the comments.


Using good sharp knives.

Image credits: Pdog1926


Big cutting board

Image credits: Herrobrine


Start with a completely clean kitchen and empty sink(s) and a lot of the time you can serve dinner and have 80% of the cleanup completed as well.

Image credits: bornelite


Every recipe blog has a “jump to recipe” button somewhere near the top. Discovering that I could skip the backstory made me way more open to searching for new recipes.

Image credits: MrFretless


Cook your rice in broth instead of plain water. Total game changer.

Image credits: shinobi500


If you have lots of garlic, peel it then put it in a food processor or blender, then put it in ziplock bags and flatten it out before freezing it. Whenever you need garlic just break off however much you want from the sheet. Keeps forever and is much better than the stuff you get in the jar from the supermarket.

Image credits: ToothbrushGames


Keeping a lemon in fridge, adds freshness to many things. A little acid into soups, gravy, on veggies...

Image credits: justchecking2c


Putting a damp paper towel underneath the cutting board so it doesn't slide around while chopping!!

Image credits: QuietSeaworthiness13


Season in layers

Image credits: rm1618


Getting and using a stick blender. I thought they were gimmicks until I got one (nearly 20 years ago). I've reached for that thing at least 20 times for every time I even thought about getting the full-sized blender out.

Image credits: Drinking_Frog


It’s silly but adding toasted sesame oil to any rice dish, but especially stir fry. Heck, even a simple chicken and rice dishes are a million times better with sesame oil added

Image credits: Practical_Defiance


1. I now freeze my left over tomato paste. I can cut off the amount I need for a recipe and throw it back in the freezer.

2. If you store asparagus in a mason jar of water, standing up with the heads out of the water, it can stay fresh for weeks.

Image credits: funkoramma


Better Knife skills. Makes prep work a breeze.

Image credits: theyoungercurmudgeon


Don’t add food to the pan until it’s the right temperature and hot. But cook bacon from a cold pan.

Image credits: whatisthisadulting


Get all your ingredients out before you start and put them away as you use them. Saves you from realizing you’re out of something halfway through or forgetting if you added something already.


Sliced peppers and onions can go straight into the freezer fresh and come straight out and into the hot pan, no need for thawing.

Image credits: spoopysky


Heavier seasoning and learning (or looking up) good seasoning blends. Also making my own salad dressing (so much better!)

Image credits: naturetherapy47


We don't eat bacon that often. You can take parchment paper, put a slice on it, fold it over, add another slice, and keep going until you have a roll of individual slices of bacon. Put it in a large ziploc bag and put it in the freezer. Bacon survives freezing just fine, and this way you can remove as many pieces as you want.

EDIT: It is fascinating all the variations people have on dealing with bacon!

Image credits: DrHugh


When adjusting seasoning at the end, if you've added salt and pepper and the dish still feels like it's 'missing something'. Add a splash of an acid.

White/apple cider Vinegar, lemon, lime etc. Use as appropriate for the dish.


I keep a jar in the fridge which contains the drained oil from anchovies, I add mixed herbs and some smashed garlic cloves. A teaspoon full to sauces gives that umami kick, when you don't have anything else.

Image credits: jojosparkletoes


Miso in everything

Image credits: TigerTownTerror


For snacking on veggies instead of spending all that time chopping, getting a Mandolin slicer and cutting up cucumber, bell peppers, carrots etc is so much easier and they look great too.
Also, baking bacon on foil in the oven instead of standing stove side the entire time.

Image credits: Arimon92


Cooking is an art form, baking is science.

You can think of a recipe like a suggestion and improvise accordingly, but when you are baking, precise measurements and methods make all the difference.



Knife skills in general, but learning how to chop onions properly was a game-changer.

Image credits: azemilyann26


If you take a dry paper towel and place it in your bag of spinach or kayle it will last months instead of a week and the bag will always be dry instead of building condensation and wilting the leaf.


Not quite a trick but learning how to use salt properly has made the biggest difference in my cooking. I don’t know who said it originally (it could have been the author but idk) but I read in Anne Burrell s cookbook “taste your food. If it needs something, it’s probably salt.” And keeping that mindset has really helped my cooking without a recipe.


I guess this counts: when I need minced garlic, I just smash the garlic with the flat of my knife and then give it a quick rocking cut for a few seconds. That's almost always good enough- I'm not spending minutes mincing garlic.

Either that, or I'll microplane it

Image credits: JeanVicquemare


Putting eggs in a sieve to strain away any especially loose egg white for perfect and effortless poached eggs.

No whirlpool, no vinegar, no prayers to the poached egg lords - just crack your eggs into a sieve and let em drain for a minute and lightly slide them into gently simmering water for a couple minutes.

Also soft/medium/hard boiled eggs in the air fryer has been pretty awesome too.


1. For more intense garlic flavor, cook your garlic less. So instead of sauteing your garlic with your onions at the beginning add it in like during the last 3-5 minutes of simmering. And you'll only need to add in like 1 clove instead of 10.

2. Don't just add salt when cooking. Add something salty and umami at the same time. I hardly ever use plain salt (major exception is when I'm baking bread), but I go through lots of powdered chicken boullion, soy sauce, miso paste, maggi seasoning, and anchovies.

Image credits: bigtcm


When making hard boiled eggs I switched to steaming them instead of boiling them in water a couple of years ago. I've not fought with a stubborn shell once since I made the switch.

Image credits: Outspan


Pizza dough – Measure by weight and let the refrigerator do its magic for 2-3 days to build a proper flavor profile.

Poached eggs – As another noted, this one baffled me for years until I finally found this tip. Using a fine mesh strainer to remove the wispy whites that cloud the poaching water works incredibly well and results in perfectly poached eggs every time.


When you need to remove the pit from an avocado, just give the back of the half holding the pit a little push with your thumbs. It falls right out and you don't have to do the slippery knife twist maneuver. Ngl was kind of pissed at how easy it was when I learned it.

Image credits: ggtyfp


Realising I can make hollandaise sauce without having to use a bain-marie was a wonderful discovery for me.

Just slowly whisk in 50g of melted butter to one egg yolk, then add lemon juice and season. The consistency’s ever so slightly different, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad difference.

Image credits: blwds


Food processors are underrated. I've just started using mine (after using the blender for years) and behold! Nice tomatillo salsa or chimichurri, no problem. But then I saw that you can use it for pie crusts and biscuits and OH MY GOD WHAT A GAME CHANGER FOR CUTTING IN MY BUTTER. Pre chunk the butter, throw it in, and a few pulses later youre in business.

Image credits: thatcreepierfigguy


Exact measurements are not essential in 99% of things(not counting baking.) Cook to taste, and taste as you cook.

Image credits: DaddyDakka


Cookie dough scoops are an easy way to get an exact tablespoon of anything solid that's annoying to scrape out and level off. Also they're great for stuffing inarizushi/yubuchobap.


Don't blindly follow recipes, no matter how good the food blog looks. I'm convinced a lot of the recipes are untested, and their prep times, cook temperatures, and cook times are often not the ideal amounts. Monitor your cooking and improvise as needed.


I became a better cook when I went vegetarian. Not being able to rely on meat for adding fat and flavor changed my relationship with every other ingredient and radically increased my appreciation for the process of developing flavors. When you can turn a block of tofu into something that you can crave, you've really improved your cookery. Even if you don't stick with it, give it a try.


I freeze lemon juice in those ice “cube” bags.
Now I always have easy and fresh already portioned lemon juice on hand.

Also buy pre cut frozen onions. For a lot of dishes it doesn’t matter what type of onions you use and it saves a lot of time.


Put mashed potato into ovenproof dishes, before cooking drizzle with olive oil. Makes a really nice crisp top.
Handy if you have extra or want to save time when cooking a meal


Slow cook your onions, fry in olive oil on a low heat for about an hour. Add spices at the beginning (salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic granules) maybe some fish sauce or anchovy oil OR something bacon related. This will be the most delicious base for so many dishes: chilli con carne, Bolognese, curry (without the bacon and with extra spices), stews, really anything hearty. Honestly, it will make any dish that involves onions amazing.

Stock cubes are your friend, but are just a helping hand. The more layers of flavour you add, the less need you have for stock cubes, but I do like OXO cubes beef and chicken. Brit here.


The most important thing I learned, years ago from my mentor, was to be mindful of your energy and emotional state when cooking. Your energy goes into your food and people feel that. Never cook angry. Always cook with joy. I have my favorite music going, I'm singing and dancing in the kitchen and having fun, even when it is crunch time. Your food is an extension of you.


It may seem silly but using a whisk to make a rue


Dry the chicken before cooking


Dry brining. Totally changed my roast chicken game and whenever people make chicken without brining it first I can taste the difference
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