Master Chef – 5 Kitchen Hacks to Help You Cook Like a Pro

If you’re like me, then you are glued to cooking shows on TV. The obsession with watching other people prepare and eat food shows no signs of waning, as ratings for programs such as Master Chef and My Kitchen Rules remain sky high. The question that I have for you is this: how much of what you watch do you actually take with you into your own kitchen? We all want to prepare healthy, tasty meals for our families. Watching the pros do their thing on a screen is great entertainment, but testing the skills and techniques that they use in our own homes can take our cooking to the next level. I’ve been watching these kinds of shows religiously for years now, and here are a few things that I picked up and put into practice to improve my own culinary talents.

Calling the Pot Black

I have never seen a TV chef cook a single thing in cheap, shoddy cookware from the dollar store. There is a reason why those kitchens are decked out with high-quality cookware sets: they make a palpable difference to your craft and the standard of the food that you produce. A good pot or pan will cook evenly across the entire surface, won’t cause food to stick and will last you for years. If you’re going to scrimp on something in the kitchen, don’t make it cookware.

Give it a Mise

If there is one skill that I absolutely swear by, it is preparation. Getting all your prepped ingredients together and organised before you start to cook is a technique that will totally revolutionize your cooking.

food on table

The pros call it Mise en Place. It saves you time, eliminates errors and reduces stress. Having all the ingredients in their own small bowls, plates or ramekins creates a little bit more washing up, much to my husband’s horror, however, try it and you will never go back.

Getting in a Pickle

There are just so many advantages to pickling your own produce that I barely know where to start. Firstly, gorgeous jars of colorful vegetables add a visually stunning, earthy dimension to your kitchen. More importantly, you will save an absolute ton of money that you would otherwise have spent on mass-produced products from the supermarket. Pickling is not just for cucumbers. You can pickle or preserve almost everything to add zest and character to your dishes, or to enjoy as they are on the side. Experiment with different vinegars, brines and oils to achieve a diverse range of flavors and textures that your family will love and will thrill guests.

Flipping Out

Few things look as spectacular as the shock of food, flame and pan as the pros flip their food over high heat. It is understandable that many might feel a bit intimidated by this skill. After all, if you mess it up, half your meal could end up on the floor. That being said, it is well worth learning this skill. It is the best way to ensure that your food cooks evenly without burning, especially when using a high flame. In addition, constant stirring with spoons can cause delicate foods to break up, while a gentle flip, if performed well, will keep it intact.

Worth Your Salt

There are so many more ways to add savoury flavour to food than the good old sprinkle of salt. Not that I have anything against salt, it’s simply that there are other options available that can add serious body and complex flavours that make a surprising change from the regular palate. Experiment with fish sauce, miso, liquid aminos and other similar items for something a little different.

We’d love to hear any other tips that you have that help you cook like a TV chef!



Food & Drink

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When I'm not volunteering my time at a local nonprofit, I write about family. Running a household isn't easy, but I'll do my best to share my insights!

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