OK so most of us don’t have a culinary degree and we may not all be budding contestants for MasterChef or My Kitchen Rules – but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn the skills and techniques of a top chef. Often, it’s the simple tricks that can make all the difference to the masterpieces you create in the kitchen - and here we share our top 10 chef hacks that will change the way you think about cooking.1. Cut onions without the tears
If you’ve ever tuned in to the Food Network, you’ll know that the technique for cutting onions without those tears that sting your eyes is to use a sharp knife. This will avoid you having to put too much pressure on the onion, which causes it to release more juice. The more juice it releases, the more chemicals will get into your eyes that will induce tears. Another proven trick is to freeze the onion for about 15 minutes before cutting. Try either of these tricks and you’ll stop the tears when you chop up your onions.2. Fresh onions without the bite
Fresh onions always give that extra bit of flavour to salads or sandwiches but sometimes they can be a little too pungent. The trick that Iron Chef’s use is to wash the onions in cold running water and dry them off with a paper towel before adding to the dish. This will reduce the sulphurous gas that causes onions to be so pungent.3. ALWAYS rest your meat
Ever cut into a perfectly cooked piece of meat only to find the juice just floods out all over your plate? The key to a perfectly moist piece of meat without all that juice running everywhere is to let it rest - at least 5 minutes for steaks or chops and at least 10 minutes for roasted meats. This also gives you the double bonus of locking in the flavour of the meat.4. Perfectly caramelized onions in no time
More about onions. The best way to achieve perfectly caramelized onions is by adding a little sugar to a dry pan first. Cook it until golden brown then add your onions with just a pinch of baking soda. Cook over a medium-heat while adding a tablespoon or two of water every time it looks a bit dry or starts to burn. There you have it. Perfectly caramelized onions in a flash.5. Sharp knife for a happy chef’s life
How many times have you been frustrated when cutting your ingredients with a dull knife? Knives are one of the stars in the kitchen so, it’s important that you sharpen them regularly. You might not always notice it, but over time microscopic dents will form on your knives. These are not usually visible to the naked eye, but when your knife has dents, it will lose its sharpness and alignment so now is a good time to get those knives sharpened.6. Spice up your dish but check the shelf life
Many of us tend to stock up our kitchen with a lot of different spices and seasonings. Spices and herbs can really change the flavour of a dish, but everything has a shelf life and using out of date ingredients does not make for a good dish. In general, dried herbs last for about a year or two, whole spices last for about four years and ground spices for about three years.7. Chicken stock for life
A really good chicken stock can enhance almost any dish. Forget about those supermarket stocks - make some time during the weekend to cook up a generous amount of chicken stock yourself. Let it cool for a few minutes then keep smaller portions in containers. Freeze it and use it whenever you need it. That will definitely save you a lot of time and add some real flavour to your meals.8. Clean your pans the easy way
You can’t cook up a storm without getting things a little messy in the kitchen, and one of the worst jobs is cleaning those greasy pots and pans. But you can make the clean-up job a whole lot easier by use salt instead of soap and water on your cast iron pans. Salt absorbs the excess oil and helps lift any dried food particles.9. Make sure the balance is just right
A good balance of acidity can make the world of difference to your dishes. Try adding a squeeze of lemon juice to your stir-fried veggies or a splash of vinegar to your soup – that little extra acidity will keep things tasting fresh and yummy.10. Go easy with the salt
While salt is a regular mineral in almost all dishes, no one wants to eat salty food. To avoid this, go easy when adding salt. The trick is to add salt gradually and taste as you go until it meets your desired level of saltiness.
These amazing chef-worthy skills and techniques will change the way you cook. Of course, if you want to give your culinary prowess a real kick-start, you might want to invest in some good quality kitchen utensils or a new cooktop. Don’t worry if your budget can’t quite stretch that far right now - we’re here to help. Just check out our fast cash loans from $1,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Just as easy as learning these cooking tricks, once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours!