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Culinary Students Share Their Top Trade Secrets For Home Cooking

At any culinary school, food experts teach way more than the average home chef needs to know. But while complex recipes, advanced techniques, and little-known food chemistry lessons pack every kitchen curriculum, these top 35 tips shared by up-and-coming master chefs are simple to do at home and can make an immediate impact on your very next meal.

15. Don't fry with EVOO

Have you used Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying food? If so, you might earn an F in culinary school. Frying with EVOO doesn't work well because of the high heat needed to get that sizzle. The pros stick with regular ol' olive oil, or experiment with peanut, avocado, or other oils.

14. Be meticulously organized

Nothing speeds up meal prep quite like knowing exactly where everything — from the cooking utensils and bowls to the meats and spices — are stored. Keep your spaces well-organized and stick to that layout so you can always find the right ingredients. Don't waste time digging through cabinets.

13. Pasta water has a use

Everyone loves a good pasta dish. After all, it's a quick meal to whip up. But do you know how to make your next Italian dinner even better? Don't pour out the water used to boil the pasta — that's the secret ingredient! Pour a dash of the starchy water into the sauce, making the pasta bind better to it.

12. Add hot sauce

A bit of heat might be your recipe's secret ingredient. Most casual chefs neglect the hot sauce, but a few drops in a sauce or dish can add a pop of flavor that doesn't quite register on the heat scale. Make sure to add only a few drops at a time — going overboard on hot sauce will make dinner unpleasant.