50 Basic Cooking Tips You Should Memorize

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Heavily salt the pasta water

A tablespoon of salt per four quarts of water is a good ratio. This allows the pasta to absorb some of the salt, making it more flavorful.

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Boil water first for perfect soft- or hard-boiled eggs

Use enough water to reach an inch over the eggs. Once it’s boiling, lay the eggs in with a spoon and cook 6 minutes for soft boiled and 12 for hard boiled. Immediately drain and place in cold water.

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Keep your knives sharp

In general, hone your knives after each use or every other use, and sharpen them once a year. This makes cutting faster and easier on your wrists. (Every time you use a knife, some of its teeth will be bent or misaligned. You hone the knife to fix them – to return the teeth to their optimal position.)

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Read the whole recipe first

That way there are no surprises. You’ll know in advance if you need to pre-melt or cook anything, or if there’s something that needs to rest overnight.

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Prep and measure all ingredients first

Pre-chop vegetables and measure other ingredients into small containers before you begin cooking. This can save you from forgetting ingredients or rushing around in a frenzy while the stove is on.