Whether you’re a cooking aficionado with a burning fire (and often, burnt fingertips) for everything food-related or, on the contrary, entrust your taste buds to your holy kitchen majesty, aka the microwave, you can always take your inner chef to a whole new level. And it’s easier than you’d think.

Thanks to the professional chefs of Reddit, who recently shared what simple things “we're probably all doing wrong in the kitchen” in this thread, we can roll up our sleeves and work on the actual things to improve them.

Think of simple things, like never adding an onion and garlic at the same time (so you don’t have that icky burnt garlic aftertaste in a meal you otherwise put your heart into) or having things, ingredients and tools ready at hand to avoid “someone, help me!”-kind of hysteria in the middle of meal prep. Take your notes, everyone, I already have mine.

#1

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Using tongs, you must clink them together at least five times to channel your inner crab.

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Monday
Community Member
5 months ago

But be careful, if you clink them more than seven times you end up channeling your inner lobster and that never ends well.

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Let’s face it, regardless of how fast we binge-watched Top Chef, Hell's Kitchen, The Great British Bake Off, Masterchef in all countries it aired in, we didn’t actually learn to cook better. Instead, we now know all about the drama, about the blessing and the curse of being a chef, about nurturing your talent, dreaming hard and working harder… Wait, are we still talking about cooking?

So in order to take us all back to Earth, or rather our kitchen counter, and to find out what exactly we can do to improve our cooking game, since we nailed the watching part already, we spoke with Beth Moncel, a food lover and the founder of “Budget Bytes” where she has been sharing her passion for cooking and delicious recipes designed for small budgets since 2009.

#2

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Since I didn't see it in here: instead of adding more salt, try adding an acid. A splash of vinegar or lemon/lime juice can make flavors pop without over salting.

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Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
5 months ago

And it's healthier, btw.

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#3

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Never add garlic and onions at the same time.

Onions take about 8 minutes to saute and garlic takes about 30 seconds. If you add them together you're gonna have burnt, bitter garlic.

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Bardhi's Dad
Community Member
5 months ago

Vampires will never make this mistake.

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#4

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Clean as you go. Throw away trash, wipe up what you spill, get unnecessary utensils out of the way. If your kitchen looks like a tornado struck after you're done cooking, you f*cked up.

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Kivebo
Community Member
5 months ago

What if my kitchen looked that way before too?

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When asked what are the most common cooking mistakes people tend to make, Beth said it’s assuming that if they swap out an ingredient, they'll still get the same result. “Changing ingredients often changes both the flavor and texture of a dish, and in some cases can drastically affect the chemical reactions needed to make a recipe work,” she explained.

#5

Salt your damn pasta water. Salt it liberally.

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Caro Caro
Community Member
5 months ago

Salt like the sea ...

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#6

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid If you want perfect roasted potatoes (oven roasted, chopped pieces) with crispy outside and fluffy insides then boil them for about 5-10 minutes in salt water first. Then roast them.

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Thorsten M. Weisner
Community Member
5 months ago

And if you want them extra extra crispy you should try the belgian double roasting technic. Wash them with salt water and dry them. then roast them on a lower temperatur very short then let them cool on a paper and roast them on higher temperatur until crispy

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#7

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Most people suck at roasting vegetables. Brussel sprouts are the number one f*ck up and most people lose their sh*t when I serve them properly done brussels.

Toss with olive oil (more than you think), salt (more than you think), and any other herbs/spices (e.g. curry spices with cauliflower), lay cut side down on a baking sheet, and throw that sh*t into a 200C/400F oven until it's visibly browned. Depending on the veggie (e..g carrots) you'll probably want to turn over to the otherside and continue roasting for a bit. Once they're done you can toss with pepper or fresh/delicate herbs before serving (e.g. mushrooms with tarragon or parsley).

Just because it's fork tender and cooked through doesn't mean it's delicious. Yet.

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Iris
Community Member
5 months ago

Brussels sprouts is one of the most underrated veggies, so delicious when cooked right! and I'm not just saying that because I'm Belgian ;-)

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Beth reminds everyone that the best way to gain confidence in the kitchen is to practice. “Don't let a failed recipe keep you from trying again. Try new recipes often. The more you cook, the more you'll understand the nuances of cooking and you'll build intuition,” she said. “Before you know it, you'll be cooking freestyle and you won't even need a recipe!” Beth concluded positively.

#8

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid There is a really simple rule when cooking a steak: Leave the steak alone. Stop f*cking with it. Stop poking and prodding and moving it an flipping it around. Let it cook. Let the heat do what it's supposed to do. Get to know your heat source and learn to trust it. Almost everybody I know violates this rule.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
5 months ago

I leave my steak alone, put a timer on, used a meat thermometer, rest it and I still manage to f**k it up. Tried a few different methods and have only managed to get it right ONCE. Followed the same method a few more times without success. Have no idea what I'm doing wrong.

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#9

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid It is the fat that carries the flavor. If your going to saute something, put the herb and spices with the butter or oil that is in the skillet. Don't put them in the flour you're using to bread the food.

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Caro Caro
Community Member
5 months ago

Leave the fat on the meat !

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#10

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Not having things ready and in place.

Have you ever been halfway done with a dish and realize you didnt have the cheese grated? Now everything is on hold (and over cooking) while you grate cheese?

Having everything ready to go at the start lets you add the things when they need adding and helps put dishes out at the appropriate time.

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Raoul
Community Member
5 months ago

Depends on the dish. Sometimes things have to boil for 20 min. Lots of time to either prepare stuff or wait.

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#11

Don’t stare at a toaster, it will jumpscare you. (Learnt this from personal experience)

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ZAPanda
Community Member
5 months ago

Lol

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#12

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Putting oil in the pot when you're boiling pasta. If you do that, the sauce will just slide right off your pasta. The starchier the water, the better the sauce will stick.

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Random Panda
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Nah, I finish cooking the pasta in the sauce. Makes it so much tastier.

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#13

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Sharp knives. Makes things a million times easier, and is actually sooo much safer in the end. Combined with the proper grip and a bit of practice, and suddenly cutting things for prep goes from the most hated step of everything to just another step, maybe even becomes fun for some people.

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mulk
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

YEAH! For me, cutting vegetables, meat, ... is fun! ^^ (it's my "yoga time")

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#14

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Cooking too hot to speed things up. If the recipe calls for something to cook for one hour at 350 degress, cooking it at 425 degrees for 35 minutes is not a substitute. Some things just need to be cooked slowly and gently.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
5 months ago

You're more likely to undercook the inside and over cook the outside if you do that.

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#15

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Crack your damn eggs on a FLAT surface, not the side of a bowl or pan. Cracking on a flat surface makes it easier to open as well as preserving your yolk. If you crack it on an edge it pushes shell inside the egg and is more likely to break the yolk (which sucks if you are making it sunny side up, poached or separating whites) Also, if by some chance there is bacteria or icky gross stuff on the shell it is more likely to contaminate the inside when shell gets pushed in.

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Shelli Aderman
Community Member
5 months ago

After 50+ years of cracking eggs on the side of the bowl, I’m good. Doing it on a flat surface for me just makes a mess, actually. 🤣

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#16

My chef brother-in-law taught me how to deglaze a pan to make a sauce like a boss. Leave it hot, and douse it with a cup or more of wine, stock, or water, and you can turn even basic things into an amazing pan of goodness! The stuff in your pan that you're scrubbing off after you're done cooking is all the good sh*t, so learn to deglaze!

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The Scout
Community Member
5 months ago

It is not even about LEARNING to deglace, the key is just doing it and realizing that the pan residue is your friend. You can make amazing sauces with it, often you do not even need to thicken them. Of course, this only is true if none of the ingredients are burnt, and deglacing works best with cast iron or steel pans. Sorry, but your easy-to-clean-teflon-coated skillet simply is not suitable.

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#17

-Under salting your food!

Everyone is so afraid of sodium but the vast majority of sodium in your diet is coming from processed snacks and fast foods not home cooking.

-Also dry your meat before you sear or sauté it. You’re steaming it if not.

-Taste as you go.

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Kivebo
Community Member
5 months ago

I’d say over salting is a bigger problem.

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#18

Being afraid of fattier cuts of meat. People are so used to that boneless skinless chicken breast that they sub them out for recipes that are 10,000x better using chicken thighs instead. If your primary concern is to reduce fat, sure, but if you're eating in moderation or going for flavor instead of low-fat, thighs thighs thighs my friend.

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Sareaesque
Community Member
5 months ago

plus the thigs are way cheaper

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#19

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Practice your recipes. Don’t find one risotto you like and never make a different one. Cook 10 different risottos two or three times each over a long period of time. Doing this helps you understand the basics of how to make it and allows you to spot bad recipes, recognize good ones, and improvise without one.

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Donkey boi
Community Member
5 months ago

Time for a controversial comment. I hate risotto!

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#20

Idk if this will get buried but my dad is a chef and I know what he would say here.

Always keep trying new things, in different preparations, with different ingredients to compliment them. And if you think you hate a specific meal or ingredient but you haven't tasted it in 10 years, give it a try again.

We were never picky eaters as kids because we were always encouraged to just try things we were unsure about and it opened me up to so many great foods as an adult!

So many people get stuck with what they know for sure they like, not even realizing how much it limits you.

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Donkey boi
Community Member
5 months ago

Unless it Marmite! If you didn't like when you tried it 30 years ago, you're still not going to like it!

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#21

Leave your meat out to go to room temp before you cook it.

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Anonymous Female
Community Member
5 months ago

My dog would snatch it off the counter the second I turn my back!

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#22

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Way too many people over clutter their kitchen and think they need a gadget for everything. In reality, a well-crafted, sharpened French knife, a pairing knife and a peel can get you a long way.

MISE EN PLACE! Everything has a place and everything has a purpose.

Also, steak should never be cooked to more than medium.

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Christopher Bowers
Community Member
5 months ago

Nothing wrong with a well done juicy steak. Some people know how to cook well done steaks and keep them juicy, tender and flavorful.

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#23

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Not sanitizing your hands and work area after handling raw meat, especially chicken.

Can't count the number of times I've been cooking with friends or family and have to stop them from chopping salad veggies on the same cutting board as raw meat, or running their hands under cold water for a second to 'clean them' before going to grab stuff out of the fridge or drawer or even just going about their day.

Same goes for giving your slimy raw-chicken cutting board a quick scrub to wash it using the same sponge you use for everything else.

If it's touched raw meat, it needs to be throughly cleaned and sanitized with hot water and either soap (your hands) or bleach (everything else).

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Jiminy
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Yeah. No. That's nuts. (I mean the bleach, not the soap.)

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#24

Don't buy tomatoes that are pink and have no smell. Fresh, good heirloom tomatoes should have a distinct smell and be nice and red/solid yellow. The walmarts and safeway's of the world are selling you these horrific non-tomato tomatos....devoid of flavor and frequently unripe. Don't do it.

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Kira Okah
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

Never seen a pink tomato, or a smell-less one. Also not everyone can afford or in some cases even find an heirloom variety.

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#25

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid If you have to drain your rice after cooking it, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG!

You should be measuring your rice:water as 1:2 ( 1 cup rice : 2 cup water. Get proper measuring cups, don't use a coffee mug...) and you should no liquid left if cooked properly. Simmer on low after initial boil, lid closed, fluff with a fork about 3/4 of the way, that's it.

And wash the rice until water runs clear. Othersie you're eating dust and bug poop ( Basmati and Jasmine rice mainly...don't wash arborio rice)

MY entire process is:

-Wash rice thoroughly under cold water

-Place washed/drained rice in clean pot and set on stove on low-med heat to slowly dry and toast the rice.

-Add 2bsp oil to the hot dry rice and make it sing, but should not get any color!

-Boil water in your kettle; add salt, pepper and other seasoning(Chicken stock powder is great for rice..or you know, MSG) to your measuring cup, dissolve with the water.

-Dump all the liquid in the pot; it will boil virgorously for like 5 seconds, don't be scared.

-Lower heat to a simmer, cover with the lid ( Big plus if it has a small vent)

-Fluff with a fork at 10mins in, then about 5mins later it should be ready to serve.

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Raoul
Community Member
5 months ago

Both methods (exact amount of water & too much (flavoured) water with exact cooking time) work perfectly fine.

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#26

Chefs Are Sharing 30 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid Pressing/squashing burger patties down as they cook on the BBQ (you're just making them drier by squeezing out the juices IMHO)

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Sam
Community Member
5 months ago

I personally love steak and shake's squashed flat burger patties. The crispy edge bits are the best

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#27

Ex-chef here, and this is a dumb one but I've seen it so many times in student halls. Don't microwave a f*cking steak, or eggs, to cook it.

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The Scout
Community Member
5 months ago

Even the thought of microwaving a steak sends shivers down my spine... But I never understood the american obsession with microwaves. A microwave is a tool for the quick re-warming or thawing of food, not for cooking.

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#28

Pouring water into a grease fire. That's actually SUPER dangerous.

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Jar of Pickles
Community Member
5 months ago

We'd learned that in the elementary school

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#29

NOT using a mandolin for all your veg. A good one, not the cheapo plastic ones.

Where it can take a good 45 minutes to matchstick fine dice your carrots, courgette, red onion, garlic, red, green & yellow bell pepper & ginger.... All this will take about 15 minutes with a nice quality mandolin.

Make sure you get a finger guard and use it, and always use the utmost caution with the beast & go slowly until you gain confidence through repeated uses.

Once you've mastered the mandolin, your knives won't leave the butcher block as often as they used to.

Get one with the V configuration, not one that's just a slant, those are rubbish.

Seriously, mastering the mandolin changes everything in terms of prep time. It's amazing how fast tomatoes get sliced, how blissfully paper thin fine you can get your onions in just a few seconds!

I love that thing. I have one with a handle & a knob that adjusts the depth of the blade, all in one. I think it cost about 70 bucks.

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Kate
Community Member
5 months ago

I've never thought of a mandolin as a kitchen implement. Does a balalaika have a use, too? What about a guitar?

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#30

Toss your hardboiled eggs in an icewater bath right when they're done to make them peel easier.

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Jiminy
Community Member
5 months ago

Nope, this is an urban legend. It depends on how old the egg is, not if you put it in cold water or not.

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