Basic Tips for Aspiring Chefs

Chefs Often do not Share their Secrets, but Thanks to the Ones who did we have These Amazing Tips for You

Are you planning to go to a prestigious culinary school and hope to become a superstar chef someday? Well, like everything else in culinary studies – it all starts and ends with cooking. We’ve sat down and talked to a couple of chefs lately and they gave us some tips that could be useful for aspiring chefs such as yourself (assuming you’re reading this blog post). They’ve also summed up chefting as being in the perfect time and place to prepare sumptuous meals that is inspired by both your intellect and emotion. You do not cook food to please your customers, no. You need to be satisfied with your cooking before you can make customers exclaim superlatives about your cooking style.

You can bet that if you’re not satisfied with your own cooking, then other people won’t be happy with it too! So, in order to get you started, here are some tips from multiple chefs who have been in the business for more than a decade and that will help you in your culinary career.

How long should you stew beef?
Most people think, especially those who only have a slight idea about cooking in general, that stewing beef should take over 5 hours in order to get the right kind of tenderness to the meat. However, science begs to differ as this article points out that too much heat concentrated on the meat will cause it to lose moisture and dry out. Yes, this is possible even if you’re stewing it in over 4 liters of water. The ideal time in stewing beef should only be 2-3 hours. Anything more than that is bad cooking.


Perfect pasta starts with cheese paste
No matter how well you steam a pasta, it will only taste as good as the kind of tomato sauce you’ll pour onto it. And that almost always ends up in a disaster. Chefs know what’s best for their pasta. Wanna know the secret to making great pastas? Well, one chef was nice enough to share her secret although she refused to be named and she told me that making a cheese paste will almost guarantee any pasta will taste great! All you have to do is grate some cheese (parmigiano reggiano or robiola), add ground pepper and about 2 teaspoons of water, then mix them together. The cheese paste works perfectly well with any tomato sauce, so you won’t have to worry about the pasta or the tomato sauce.

The best turkey is cooked simply
Whether you’re roasting turkey for thanksgiving or just some other special occasion, keep one thing in mind – keep it simple. Chefs understand that there are actually various ways to cook a turkey and you being enthusiastic about attending a culinary school would absolutely want to go out of your way to creating the perfect turkey recipe even before you even started taking lessons, but they say that you should go for the basic recipe. There’s nothing wrong with having such ideals; however, if you want to make a delicious turkey, then just do what this blog post says and you’ll not waste your time, effort and money in creating one.

Your apple pies and par-cooking
Par-cooking refers to the technique of partially cooking foods so that they can be finished later. If you don’t want your apples to turn into mush when you make apple pies, then you’ll have to par-cook your filling. That’s the only rule to it.

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The secret to making great potato fries is cornstarch
When you cook French fries for big time restaurants, you don’t cook it like they do in fast food stores. No, that’s because as a chef you must also take into consideration the health benefits that your cuisines can give to your customers. So you use cornstarch as a marinade coating for your fries along with the seasoning and olive oil, and you bake them in the oven instead of deep-frying them in a liter of oil.


The cookie rule
Creaming is absolutely essential to making cookies and other similar treats. Although you may think that baking really good cookies is unimportant, think again! That’s because in culinary arts every minute detail has to be looked into and ensured of the highest quality – yes, and that means baking cookies also. So cream your butter, sugar and cream in a cream whisker for at least 5 minutes in order to get that “mechanical leavening” texture of the cookies. This simply means that creaming is physically cramming air into a dough so that it’ll puff up in the oven like a hot-air balloon.

Chefs want you to Know the Difference Between a Batter and a Dough

The general rule of thumb is usually, if the mixture can be kneaded into a shape, it is often a dough and if it can’t, most likely it is a batter. So the next time you make pancakes be sure to make a batter and not a dough.

Hard boil your eggs perfectly every time
The secret to making perfect hard boiled eggs every time is to use cold tap water, add 3 tablespoons of vinegar (this will help peeling the egg shell easily) and steam it for around 10 – 15 minutes. You will need to keep it warm for another 15 minutes after turning off the stove, make sure you cover the lid to keep the heat encapsulated to cook the eggs thoroughly.

Replace condensed milk with cream cheese when you make pumpkin pies
If you weren’t able to make your pumpkin pies perfectly the first few times, don’t feel bad about it because a lot of people suffered the same fate. The problem is that most people use condensed milk to make their pumpkin pies and so they get soggy crusts and grainy textures for their pies. However, if you use cream cheese, then it will all change and you will see a smooth texture and flaky crust for your pumpkin pies instead.


Blooming flower potato cut
There is a way to cut a potato that will make it bloom like a flower and you can read it all here!

Your scrambled eggs should never be rushed
People think that the secret to making great scrambled eggs is adding a lot of ingredients to it, but the fact of the matter is that you can make an amazing scrambled eggs with a couple of additives. The best way to cook scrambled eggs is to not overheat the pan, scrambling it gently as you cook it (once you pour the beaten eggs on the pan you lower the temperature from medium to low), and wait until it gets that fluffy texture to it before you serve it.

Between roasting and baking your veggies
Always set the stove temperature to high (preferably you’ll get more than 500º Kelvin) if you want to roast your vegetables, otherwise you’re only baking them with less heat. Cut denser vegetables into smaller parts in order to roast them well and do not roast all your veggies at once, because it will never get roasted. Roast them portion by portion to get them done perfectly.

Touch your meat
Checking how your meat is done is mostly done with a meat thermometer, but did you know that there’s another way to do it? Well, it’s called the finger test and you do it by checking that lump of flesh under your thumb whilst you touch your thumb on each of your fingers. It usually goes like this:

  1. Spread your palms open and then touch the fleshy part under your thumb. Check to see if your meat feels the same way. If it does, then that means that the meat is raw.
  2. Let your thumb touch your pinkie, then touch the fleshy part under your thumb again. Now touch your meat. If they feel the same, then that means your meat is well done.
  3. This time let your thumb and ring finger touch each other and repeat what you did before. If the meat feels like this, then that means that your meat is medium cooked.
  4. After that let your middle fingers touch your thumb, then repeat the steps above. Your meat is medium rare is the fleshy part under your thumb feels the same as the meat.
  5. Finally let your thumb and your index finger touch, then touch the fleshy part under your thumb. Your meat should be considered rare cooked if it feels the same way as that lump of flesh under your thumb when you touch it.


A common mistake about cooking in a frying pan
Never ever put food into a cold frying pan. I know most of you already knows this, but I just want to remind you chefs-to-be to always pre-heat your frying pan before cooking anything in it. If this information is new to you, then I suggest you watch some cooking shows at the Food Network or some other places.

In case you didn’t know…this is how you should cook rice
Raw rice from the rice mill or one imported from Asia in a sack have rice starch in it, so what you need to do first is to rinse them off. Rinsing them off at least 3 times should be enough to clear the rice off of starch when you pour in the water for the fourth time. Do not stir the rice when you cook it. Let it cook on its own – actually the water will cook it for you.

Jalapeño color and texture coding
Not everyone is a fan of extremely hot jalapeños, so if you picked the wrong ones and used it for your recipe, then you might end up having angry-looking customers. The trick to choosing the ideal jalapeño with just the right kind off heat to it is to check for its ripeness and white lines and flecks that look like “stretch marks.” Basically the redder the jalapeño, the hotter it is and sometimes it doesn’t matter if it’s green or red, if it has a lot of stretch marks, then you can bet it’s notoriously hot!

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