100 Greatest Cooking Tips (of all time!)

Food Network Magazine asked top chefs across the country for their best advice.

Page 10 of 10

91. Caramelize onions very quickly by cooking them in a dry nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. They will caramelize beautifully in a lot less time than with traditional methods.
Michael Mina
Bourbon Steak and Michael Mina restaurants, multiple locations

92. To help keep an onion together while dicing, do not remove the root.
Jean-Robert de Cavel
Jean-Robert's Table, Cincinnati

Slice off the pointy stem, then cut the onion in half through the root; peel.




Put each half cut-side down; make horizontal cuts parallel to the board.




Make vertical cuts, starting close to the root end; do not slice through the root.




Holding the root end, slice across the vertical cuts; the diced onion will fall away.





93. Whenever you cook pasta, remove some of the pasta-cooking water (about 1/4 or 1/3 cup) just before draining. When you add the sauce of your choice to the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. This helps sauce to amalgamate; the starch in the water adds body and a kind of creaminess. An old Italian friend of mine instructed me in this finishing touch early on, and I would never, ever leave it out. It makes all the difference.
Nigella Lawson
Nigella Kitchen


94. Making the best ceviche is simple: Use freshly squeezed lime juice and glistening fresh fish.
Douglas Rodriguez
Alma de Cuba, Philadelphia

95. When making caramel, use a nonstick pot. That way, when you pour the mixture out, there is no waste, and cleaning the pot is a breeze.
Jehangir Mehta
Mehtaphor and Graffiti, New York City


96. Don't be afraid to ask the butcher or fishmonger to see the products up close and to smell for freshness. Fish should never smell fishy.
Eric Ripert
Le Bernardin, New York City


97. Always start with a smokin' hot pan!
Cat Cora
Iron Chef America




98. When baking cookies, be sure your dough is thoroughly chilled when it goes on your baking pan. This will allow the leavening ingredients to work before the butter flattens out and your cookies lose their textural distinctions.
Norman Van Aken
Norman's, Orlando, FL


99. My general advice to home cooks is that if you think you have added enough salt, double it.
Grant Achatz
Alinea and Aviary, Chicago

100. Reduce the heat of chiles by removing the seeds. My method is making four straight cuts down the sides. This will create four long slivers, and the cluster of seeds will remain in the center of the chile. The result will be less heat and more great flavor.
Dean Fearing
Fearing's, Dallas

Slice lengthwise along one side of the chile, keeping the stem and seedpod intact.




Turn the chile and slice off another side; repeat to remove the other two sides.




Once you have removed all the flesh, discard the stem and seeds.