10 Best Kitchen Hacks From Pro Chefs
10. Save time by boiling water before you add it to what you’re cooking.
When a recipe (like soup or stew) calls for water to be added part of the way through, boil the water first. Adding cold water will slow the whole cooking process way down.
From Omar Powell, chef at Sugarloaf Country Club in Duluth, Georgia
9. Roast chicken with the legs at the back of the oven.
The back corners of an oven get the hottest, and the legs of a chicken take the longest to cook. Push the legs end of the roasting pan (turned diagonally) back toward one corner of the oven for the first half of cooking. Then move so the legs point towards the other corner for the second half (this will make sure both legs cook evenly).
From Samin Nosrat, chef and teacher at the Pop-Up General Store in Berkeley, California, who got the tip from Jacques Pepin.
8. Rescue out-of-season tomatoes by roasting them.
1. Cut tomatoes in half across the equator and remove seeds (if you care) with your fingers.
2. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar (plus fresh thyme, if you want).
3. Bake on a cookie sheet (lined with a Silpat if you have one) at 200 degrees for a couple of hours.
From Peter Dale, chef at The National in Athens, Georgia.
7. Fold ingredients together with a whisk.
From Gina DePalma, pastry chef at Babbo in New York City.
6. Make dumpling wrappers out of white bread.
From Amanda Cohen, chef at Dirt Candy in New York City.
5. Check vegetables for doneness with a cake tester.
Poke the vegetables you’re cooking with a metal cake tester; as soon as it goes through easily, they’re done.
From Daniel Patterson, chef-owner of Coi in San Francisco.
4. For precise sauté control, work with chopsticks.
From José Andrés, chef-owner of lots and lots of restaurants.
3. For easier peeling, crack and soak hard-boiled eggs.
From Elizabeth Falkner, chef at Krescendo in New York City.
2. For a stronger cracked pepper flavor, use a weed grinder.
From Dave Arnold & Nils Noren, instructors at the International Culinary Center in New York City.
1. Grate ginger (fast) instead of mincing it (slow).
Be sure to use a sharp grater like a Microplane — a cheap, dull one will just turn everything to mush. The fine texture you get with a Microplane means the ginger’s flavor will integrate more evenly with what you’re cooking.
From Susan Feniger, chef-owner of the Border Grill in Los Angeles.