50 Basic Cooking Tips You Should Memorize

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Broken emulsions can usually be saved

When making aioli, hollandaise, or other emulsified sauces, separation is common. Rather than tossing the curdled sauce, try re-whipping it with an extra egg yolk or a few tablespoons of hot water.

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Use luke-warm water to activate yeast

Water that is too hot can kill yeast, so use slightly warm water and keep the yeasted dough above 70 degrees while rising.

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Slice beef against the grain

No matter the cut, you can make every bite of beef more tender by slicing perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers.

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Don’t open the oven unless absolutely necessary

A lot of heat escapes whenever the oven opens, and this prolongs cooking time. Use the light to check on baked goods, and only open to baste meat, rotate pans, or check done-ness.

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Substitute all-purpose flour for cornstarch

Cornstarch is a common thickening agent used in gravies and puddings. If you don’t have any, white flour is a fine substitute. Use 2 units of flour for every 1 unit of cornstarch that the recipe calls for.