Cooking hacks can often make you question your entire existence but they sure can transform the efficiency of your life. So it’s good news that some of world’s leading chefs have shared their knowledge gained from years in the biz.
Recently Good Food shared some of these tried and tested cooking hacks, all guaranteed to make you a professional in no time (don’t quote us on that). Here’s our top food hacks:
Dicing An Onion
Cutting an onion seems like the simplest task but can often become a nightmare ending in (fire like) tears but chef Andy Harmer explains there’s a few key instructions to follow to make it easy:
- Place the onion on a board with the root facing up and then cut it in half from the root down to the top.
- Put the onion flat side down onto a cutting board with the root facing left (or right, if you’re left-handed).
- Peel onion by pulling the skin back from the tip towards the root, then slice off the tip.
- To create diced chunks, chop from the root end to the top, leaving enough onion connected at the root to hold it together. Then make horizontal slices from the top of the onion towards the root. Cutting through the onion then creates perfectly diced cubes.
This won’t work if you’ve got a completely ~rock solid~ avocado. But if you have one that’s just a few days under, the heat will quickly soften up the whole thing, especially around the edges.
Stop Cutting Board Sliding
Cutting board sliding around? Use a damp paper towel to keep it in place.
For an easy way to de-kernel corn, microwave corn for five minutes then:
How is combining rice and stock so difficult? Our risotto is either too gloopy or too dry and sticks to the bottom of the pan like no tomorrow.
But Melbourne-based chef Joseph Vargetto explains how to stop it becoming all glutinous and an effort to eat.
‘My biggest lightbulb moment was to add really hot stock to the rice, to cover it, and to really boil it, not just add stock slowly and stir the whole time’
Most recipes suggest continual stirring so we can’t wait to go against the grain and give this a try.
Anyone else boil water in the kettle and pour on pasta until it manages to fit into an overly small pan? Well apparently there is a much easier method and you don’t even have to wait for the kettle to boil.
Apparently pasta can be cooked in a frying pan covered by cold water with the heat turned right up. This way the pasta cooks fast but the cold water prevents the pasta going all sticky and clumpy.
Thawing Food Quick
There’s nothing more annoying than having a meal planned but forgetting to take it out the freezer in time. The microwave always seems to be a good option but when the sides of the meat start semi-cooking, it’s kind of gross…
Well good news is that there is another way by placing the frozen food item on a stainless steel tray.
The thought behind this is that the metal defrosts faster than wood or porcelain because it conducts heat better. If frozen food is thawed in a metal dish, the heat is then transferred making defrosting easier.
Cold beers (or any other drink in a glass bottle)
You have guests arriving any minute now, and your beverages are all lukewarm? Well, have no fear, just take a few wet paper towels and wrap them around the bottles before throwing them in the freezer. It will cool your drinks down incredibly fast.
Slicing cherry tomatoes
If you are making a salad and need to chop a whole bunch of cherry tomatoes in half, just stick them between two plates and slice through them with a knife. You can slice a dozen or more of them in one clean movement. Easy as that.
Flick a drop of water onto the pan to know when your pan is preheated:
If these hacks are good enough for the professionals, then they are good enough for me, Michelin star – I’m coming for you!