Culinary Students Share Their Top Trade Tricks For Home Cooking

At any culinary school, food experts learn way more than the average home chef needs to know. But not everything on the kitchen curriculum is a complex recipe, advanced technique, or little-known food chemistry lesson. these top tips shared by up-and-coming master chefs are simple to do at home and can make an immediate impact on your very next meal.

1. Don't fry with EVOO

Do you often use extra virgin olive oil for frying food? If so, you might earn an F in culinary school. Frying with EVOO doesn't work well because of the high heat needed to get that sizzle.

The pros stick with regular ol' olive oil or experiment with peanut, avocado, or other oils. These also might add different flavors to your dishes, so feel free to find your favorite!

2. Be meticulously organized

Nothing speeds up meal prep quite like knowing exactly where everything — from the cooking utensils and bowls to the meats and spices — is stored. You might double the estimated recipe time just trying to find a particular measuring cup.

Instead, keep your spaces well-organized and stick to that layout so you can always find the right ingredients. Don't waste precious time digging through cabinets and making your kitchen a mess.

3. Pasta water has a use

Everyone loves a good pasta dish. After all, it's a quick meal to whip up. But do you know how to make your next Italian dinner even better? Don't pour out the water used to boil the pasta.

Yup, that's the secret ingredient! Once the noodles are cooked, pour a dash of the starchy water into the sauce, making the pasta bind better to it. Give it a go!

4. Add hot sauce

A bit of heat might be your recipe's secret ingredient. Most casual chefs neglect the hot sauce, but a few drops in a sauce or dish can add a pop of flavor that doesn't quite register on the heat scale.

A quick word of caution: make sure to add only a few drops at a time — going overboard on hot sauce will make dinner unpleasant. You might also want to check that your hot sauce isn't that hot to begin with...