Special Report

23 Surprising Cooking Tips You Learn at Culinary School

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6. Transferring food from cutting boards

Most people use a knife to transfer food from a cutting board, but dragging the knife dulls the blade over time. A dough scraper will do the trick. Also, the scraper is bigger so it can push more food at once.

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7. Adding baking soda to tomato sauce

Many cooks know you can add sugar to your sauce to lower the acidity of the tomatoes. But if you are avoiding sugar, you can add baking soda. You don’t need much — a quarter of a teaspoon should be enough. After adding the baking soda, keep the sauce on the pot for a few minutes.

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8. Preheating ovens, grills, stoves, skillets

It’s important to preheat the cooking appliance you’re using. Otherwise, whatever you’re making will start cooking at a low heat. As a result, the outsides will get done but the middle will still be cold — and the end product will be soggy. Also, if you keep cooking until the middle gets done, your food will be too dry.

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9. Cutting vegetables

How you cut the vegetables you cook should depend on how long you need to cook them. Smaller pieces will cook faster. You don’t want several different sizes cooking at the same time because some may end up being overcooked while others may still be raw.

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10. Ripening avocados

If you need ripe avocados, but the ones you have are not ripe enough, place them in a paper bag with a banana. The banana will help produce ethylene gas, which will expedite the ripening process. (If you want to slow down the ripening process, put the avocado in the fridge.)

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