Whether you’re a hesitant beginner or a consummate professional, everyone who sets foot in a kitchen needs a refresher on the basics sometimes. Here, in no particular order, Delish editors walk you through the cooking tips that changed their lives—and the ones they know will change yours too.

Take Notes As You Go

Did you love Ina’s perfect roast chicken recipe but hate the onion-to-garlic ratio? You won’t remember that when you pull the recipe back out a year from now—but the Post-It you left on the page reminding you so will help.

Read the recipe all the way through before you start

If nothing else, it’ll prevent you from keeping a very hot oven on too long.

Save Your Bacon Fat

There is no limit to how many things you can do with your leftover bacon grease. Fry your eggs in it. Fry your potatoes in it. Make a damn bacon candle! The possibilities are endless.

Put a damp paper towel under your cutting board

This prevents it from swiveling around while you’re trying to do something with a very sharp knife!

Set your timer for a few minutes less than the called for time.

Not only do all ovens heat differently, but you’ll also never really know how yours handles a new protein or veggie at first. That’s all to say you can always fix an undercooked situation—there’s nothing to be done once you go over.

Season and taste as you go

Never just season at the end. It’ll be too far gone!

Trust Yourself

If something doesn’t look quite right, it probably isn’t. You know more about the food you’re cooking than you think!

Add A Little Salt to Everything, Yes Everything

One editor explains you should even salt dessert: “It helps to bring out, accentuate, and deepen all sorts of flavors and will help your sweet treats taste more complex.”

If you bake, Buy A Scale

Baking is a science, after all. Would you mess with what’s called for in a science experiment?


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