Greatest Cooking Tips!

Food Network compiled a list of 100 of the best cooking tips from some of the best chefs, restaurant owners and food experts in the world!

Here are my top 25 favorites from that list:

1. Store spices in a cool, dark place, not above your stove. Humidity, light and heat will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor. – Rick Tramonto Tramonto’s Steak & Seafood, Osteria di Tramonto and RT Lounge, Wheeling, IL

2. For rich, creamy dressings made healthy, substitute half the mayo with Greek-style yogurt. – Ellie Krieger Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger

3. When chopping herbs, toss a little salt onto the cutting board; it will keep the herbs from flying around. – Joanne Chang Flour Bakery & Cafe, Boston

4. If you keep it simple and buy ingredients at farmers’ markets, the food can pretty much take care of itself. Do as little as possible to the food; consider leaving out an ingredient and relying on instinct. – Tony Mantuano Spiaggia, Chicago

5. Homemade vinaigrettes have fewer ingredients and taste better than bottled ones. No need to whisk them: Just put all the ingredients in a sealed container and shake. – Bill Telepan Telepan, New York City

6. For best results when you’re baking, leave butter and eggs at room temperature overnight. – Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics

7. Take the time to actually read recipes through before you begin. – John Besh Author of My New Orleans

8. Recipes are only a guideline, not the Bible. Feel comfortable replacing ingredients with similar ingredients that you like. If you like oregano but not thyme, use oregano. – Alex Seidel Fruition, Denver

9. Invest in a bottle of high-quality olive oil. Just a small drizzle can really bring out the flavor of pizza, mozzarella, pasta, fish and meat. – Nancy Silverton Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

10. Rest, rest, rest! Always let your meat rest — especially off a hot grill! – Melissa d’Arabian Ten Dollar Dinners

11. Plunge vegetables in ice water after blanching (boiling) them so they maintain a bright color. – Maria Hines Tilth, Seattle

12. My grandfather taught me this tip: After you drain pasta, while it’s still hot, grate some fresh Parmesan on top before tossing it with your sauce. This way, the sauce has something to stick to. – Giada De Laurentiis Giada at Home

13. Fresh basil keeps much better and longer at room temperature with the stems in water. – Elisabeth Prueitt Tartine Bakery, San Francisco

14. To cook a steak, I always start by cooking it on its side, where there is a rim of fat on its narrow edge. I render it down so there’s good, flavorful fat in the pan for the rest of the cooking. – Alain Ducasse Adour and Benoit, New York City

15. Don’t go to the store with a shopping list. Go to the store, see what ingredients look good and then make your list. – Alex Guarnaschelli Alex’s Day Off

16. To optimize the juice you get from a lemon or lime, roll it hard under your palm for a minute before juicing. (Or — never say I told you this — microwave it for 10 to 15 seconds.) – Patricia Yeo Lucky Duck, Boston

17. Clean as you go. (Dorky, but I swear it really helps.) – Rick Bayless Frontera GrillXOCO and Topolobampo, Chicago

18. Shoes off, music on, favorite beverage in hand — enjoy your time in the kitchen. – Claire Robinson 5 Ingredient Fix

19. Keep flavored vinegars near the stove so you won’t always reach for the salt. Acid enhances flavor. – Art Smith Table Fifty-Two, Chicago; Art and Soul, Washington, D.C.

20. Prolong the lifespan of greens by wrapping them loosely in a damp paper towel and placing in a resealable plastic bag. That local arugula will last about four days longer. – Hugh Acheson Five & Ten, Athens, GA

21. Cook more often. Don’t study; just cook. – Masaharu Morimoto Iron Chef America

22. Whenever you cook pasta, remove some of the pasta-cooking water (about 1/4 or 1/3 cup) just before draining. When you add the sauce of your choice to the pasta, add a little of the cooking liquid. This helps sauce to amalgamate; the starch in the water adds body and a kind of creaminess. An old Italian friend of mine instructed me in this finishing touch early on, and I would never, ever leave it out. It makes all the difference. – Nigella Lawson Nigella Kitchen

23. When baking cookies, be sure your dough is thoroughly chilled when it goes on your baking pan. This will allow the leavening ingredients to work before the butter flattens out and your cookies lose their textural distinctions. – Norman Van Aken Norman’s, Orlando, FL

24. Season all of your food from start to finish. Seasoning in stages brings the most out of your ingredients and gives you the most flavor. – Jose Garces Iron Chef America

25. Taste as you go! – Anne Burrell Secrets of a Restaurant Chef 

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