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12 April, 2016

12 LINE-COOK SECRETS EVERY HOME CHEF SHOULD KNOW

Posted in : Chefs, Tips on by : EyeOnFood Tags: , ,

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line-cook-secrets-every-home-chef-should-know

Line cooks are the thankless soldiers of the food industry, but the back-of-house war zone isn’t the only place their skills come in handy.

Since many of the techniques that keep line cooks out of the weeds and in the good graces of diners are just as useful to the home cook, we consulted a group of industry veterans across the country — from turnpike diner egg flippers to chefs that now run fancy Brooklyn supper clubs — for their best tips and tricks. Read on to learn how to perfectly poach eggs, grill a burger, and cook rice, then act like an adult and go buy a damn knife sharpener.

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Fresh parsley saves frozen veggies

Adding a pinch of fresh herbs to frozen or cheap commodity vegetables like baby carrots masks any lingering freezer taste and brings out their natural aromatics.

Speed-baking potatoes works just fine

Wrap a potato in a damp paper towel, microwave it for eight minutes, and bask in the 30 minutes of time you just saved.

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The bun shouldn’t be an afterthought

Even simple backyard-grilled burgers benefit from buttering and heating the bun like a grilled cheese sandwich.

Salt amplifies flavors

Wonder why home cooking doesn’t taste as flavorful as at a restaurant? It’s because restaurants use incredible amounts of salt in order to bring out the flavors of meat and vegetables, as well as amplify the effect of any additional herbs.

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Pans should be hotter than hell

Unless the pan is hotter than eternal suffering, there’s no way to get the attractive sear or crusty caramelization that makes restaurant proteins so delicious.

Rice needs special care

Everyone has a different method for cooking rice, but one of our line cooks offered up a surefire method that incorporates an extra step of rinsing and a quick fry in olive oil.

Wash rice in cold water by agitating it with your hand until the water turns starchy, then drain and repeat until the water is mostly clear. Then heat up a little olive oil in the pot, add the rice, and stir constantly for a minute or two until fragrant. Next add one cup of water for every cup rice, bring to a boil, simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it steam for five.

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Proteins demand patience

Don’t flip a burger or steak more than once. It may be tempting to check how it’s cooking, but every time the meat is moved it loses some of that juicy flavor. And don’t worry if it isn’t fully cooked when it leaves the pan, as it rested for five to eight minutes the internal temperature will continue to rise and seal in the juices.

Timing is everything

It may seem simple, but many home cooks simply don’t realize that they should start with the dish that takes them the longest to make.

 

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