Tyler's Ultimate Tips

Get Tyler Florence's tips for making juicy meatballs, hearty chili, perfectly seared steak and more.

Fried Chicken: Bake Before Frying, Use Rice Flour

"This is a very unorthodox way to make fried chicken. You want to bake it at the lowest temperature that your oven can go, 200 degrees F, for two hours. It's slow cooking the chicken where none of the fat escapes and none of the moisture escapes, but the protein just sets. The chicken is going to be medium-well." Combine four cups of all-purpose flour with 1 cup of rice flour. "You get the coating from the all-purpose flour, but you get the crispiness from the rice flour. It literally stays crispy for days. When you fry the chicken, it fries for about six to eight minutes."

Get the Recipe: Extra-Crispy Fried Chicken

Chili: Add Masa Harina

"It's the same powder that they make tortillas out of. If you use stock or tomatoes, you have to reduce it down, but sometimes you need the volume. Masa harina you can find at any grocery store, usually the same place you find flours and cornmeal. You're going to dust it on top of your chili pot, stir it in and then the cornstarch from the masa harina will begin to thicken your chili. Then it's just the perfect texture."

Get the Recipe: Beef Chili

Mac & Cheese: Use Monterey Jack

"Hands-down, the best cheese for macaroni and cheese is really good, soft Monterey Jack cheese. Sharp cheese can be a little distracting. A lot of people go crazy and put four or five different cheeses. I think Monterey Jack is spectacular. There’s also Muenster. It’s that cheese you rarely see in cheese shops. It used to be really popular back in the 1950s. Muenster cheese is going to give you that monster stretch."

Barbecue Chicken: Brine Before Grilling, Add Sauce at the End

"I like to brine my barbecue chicken, pat it off really, really dry and then grill it. You want to baste the barbecue sauce on your barbecue chicken when it's almost finished. If you do it too early, because there's so much sugar in barbecue sauce, it might burn. If you lacquer it during the last third of the cook, it's going to be great."

Get the Recipe: The Ultimate Barbecued Chicken

Steak: Cook It in a Pan

"It's so far superior than actually cooking on a grill. It caramelizes the outside of the beef and forms a delicious crust, and that's where all the flavor is. Grill marks are pretty, but they don't really taste like anything."

Get the Recipe: NY Strip Steaks

Corn: Roast Instead of Boil

"Take fresh corn on the cob with the husks and the silks from the bag straight into the oven, 350 degrees F, 25-30 minutes or until the outside is kind of papery. The corn on the inside is delicious and sugary and full of flavor."

Get the Recipe: Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob

Burger: Use Brisket

"Go to the grocery store and find an untrimmed brisket. It has to be this specifically, and have the butcher grind it twice. What you're going to end up with is a perfect fat-to-lean ratio to create the most succulent juicy burger you've ever had."

Get the Recipe: The Burger Bar

Risotto: Add the Liquid All at Once

"It cooks faster, and the stock has more contact time with the rice, so it’s going to be tastier."

Gnocchi: Bake the Potatoes

"Baking the potatoes really concentrates the flavor. Some people boil the potatoes and then they rice them; I like to bake the potatoes until they're nice and fluffy. Then you can break them down how you would normally break mashed potatoes down, but I like them kind of dry. The dryer the potato is before you make the dough, the less flour you have to use. That's when gnocchi goes from a belly bomb to something that's as light as a cloud."

Get the Recipe: Potato Gnocchi with Peas, Prosciutto and Ricotta

Meatballs: Make a Panada

"It's white bread with the crusts cut off soaked in milk. It's actually just soft bread that dilutes the protein. Then caramelized onions and caramelized garlic sautéed together, parsley, lots of parmesan cheese and fold that together. You can roll them out, put them on a sheet pan and bake them, but the pros shallow fry them in olive oil so they sear on the outside so you get a perfect circle. Then they bake them off or finish them in sauce."

Get the Recipe: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Polenta: Add Fresh Corn Puree

"Make a traditional polenta recipe with ground cornmeal and water, maybe chicken stock and salt, but with corn puree and butter at the end."