A few simple cooking tips can make a bland dish even more delicious or simplify your cooking process. So here are ten essential cooking tips that you should add to your chef’s repertoire!

1. Don’t overload the pan.

You may think there’s enough room in your pan for an extra piece of chicken, but if that’s doubtful, don’t take that risk. It is possible that the heat will not distribute properly over the rest of the food in the pan, affecting the flavor or, worse yet, creating a health risk. As a preventative measure, leave a few centimeters between each food to make sure it is adequately cooked.

2. Let the red meat rest before cutting it up.

Even a well-cooked steak should never have a dry taste. Prevent a steak to lose its juicy by placing it directly on a sheet of aluminum foil after removing it from the oven or grill. Do carefully wrap the steak in the foil and let it rest for about five minutes as it allows the juices to settle before you cut the meat. The meat will continue to cook while in the foil. If you prefer a medium steak, you should remove it when it is done.

3. Store spices in the right place.

Extend the life of your spices by storing them in a cool, dark place. Please do not keep them on top of the stove as heat and humidity can alter their flavor.

4. Turn off the oven before the eggs are cooked.

The trick to making good eggs is not to overcook them! Whether you scramble, fry, or poach them, always turn the stove off a few minutes before the eggs look cooked, even if they seem a little runny. The rest of the heat will cook them to perfection.

5. Chop the herbs with salt.

To prevent the herbs from flying around when chopping, sprinkle a little salt on the chopping board. This will keep them in place.

6. Add salt to the boiling pasta water.

When making pasta, adding salt to the boiling water adds flavor from the inside. The rule of thumb is about 1 to 2 tablespoons for a large pot of water, stir until it dissolves, and once the water is boiling, add the pasta. It sounds simple as it will enhance the taste of your dish.

7. Use the pasta water to create the sauce.

Do not throw the water from the boiled pasta as it will give your pasta another flavor. Before discarding the pasta water, add one cup to your pot. Add the pasta directly into the pan. The water reserved for the pasta also contains starch, which can be used to adjust the sauce’s consistency. Your palate will appreciate it, and the texture will be perfect. Trust me.

8. Always keep a few essentials on hand.

We’ve all been there. You look in the fridge, thinking there’s nothing to eat, so you order take-out, and you stop there. No. Stop there. Check out our list of pantry essentials and stock up for your next grocery shopping spree. It’s easier to be creative with what you have if you have the right tools. Bonus points if you keep meat (chicken breast, hamburger meat, salmon, etc.) and frozen vegetables in your freezer for last-minute meals.

9. Use a paper towel to store vegetables.

It’s never a good idea to throw away food you haven’t touched, especially fresh produce. Extend the shelf life of vegetables by loosely wrapping them in a dry paper towel and placing them in a re-sealable plastic bag. Oxygen is not a friend to vegetables, so get as much air out of containers and bags as possible before sealing them. Also, avoid washing before eating the produce. Make sure you leave enough room in your refrigerator and produce drawer. Overstocking can reduce air circulation in the fridge, causing temperature variations and faster expiration of food.

10. Keep the root of the onion intact for easy slicing.

Onions can be difficult to slice without causing damage. To cut them evenly, do not remove the root. While keeping the root intact, peel the onion and cut it horizontally. Then cut vertically to obtain perfectly chopped pieces.