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Chefs reveal the top 7 mistakes people make when cooking at home

Anyone who has eaten a particularly delicious meal at a restaurant has wondered what chefs know that we laypeople can only dream of.

Now, Reddit is unearthing the answers to that question.

On r/AskReddit, user MrHibbityJibb put out the question: “
Chefs of Reddit, what mistake are we laypeople all making in the kitchen?

More than 2,500 comments later, here are seven of the best cooking tips to fix all the mistakes you make while cooking at home.

1. Too spicy? Add sugar or butter. Too sweet? Add lemon juice.

If you’ve added too much of one ingredient and the dish isn’t tasting right, the perfect counter ingredient can neutralise the damage.

2. Add sauce to your pasta before finishing cooking.

Or, in the more emphatic works of one user: “Finish cooking your pasta IN THE GOD DAMN SAUCE

By cooking pasta in its sauce, with a little bit of the water it was cooked in, the flavour better sticks to the strands of pasta. The dish is better bound together, bringing out the flavour of the sauce.

3. Sharpen your knife every time you use it.

“A lot of people own a honing steel but only use it when their knives start to dull, maybe once a month or less which won’t work,” writes Reddit user WArslett. “A honing steel is designed to be used every time you use the knife, six strokes each side before you use it is sufficient.”

The user describes regular sharpening as similar to “ironing the creases out of a shirt,” keeping the edge sharp for much longer than it would be otherwise.

4. Measure ingredients before you start cooking.

A common piece of advice was to chop ingredients before you start cooking, so everything can be added at the proper time without scrambling.

“Get your goods chopped, get your spices measured, get s— combined, get your kitchen in order,” writes tallthumbelina. “Well-organised cooking tends to be much more fun and much less stressful!”

5. Never try to put out an oil fire with water.

The results will be disastrous.

Instead, smother it with baking soda, salt, or an oil fire-suitable fire extinguisher. Or, just take it off the heat and cover it with a lid.

6. Stop stirring.

Few dishes need to be stirred regularly… except a stir fry. Most, like rice, suffer from over stirring.

7. ‘A falling knife has no handle.’

It’s obvious advice — but sometimes the most obvious still needs to be said, as is the case with this top-rated comment.

Don’t try to catch a falling blade. Just jump back and get your feet out of the way as quickly as possible.

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