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These 11 Tips Will Make You a Better Cook…

These 11 Tips Will Make You a Better Cook…

There are plenty of practical reasons for learning how to cook: saving money, controlling what you eat, knowing precisely what’s in your food. I’m in it for the impractical. I love making a 27-ingredient mole negro when a craving strikes, hosting half a dozen friends on the fly on a weeknight, transforming peanut butter into a four-course meal in under an hour just for kicks.

But I didn’t begin my culinary journey — working at fine-dining restaurants, hosting internet videos and eventually writing a cookbook — with extravagant meals or complex dishes. Every good cook first masters the basics, like correctly holding a knife, salting your food and getting to know your pans and burners. It might not seem exciting, but we all have to start somewhere. (I promise: Even a pro like Gordon Ramsay once chopped his onions slowly, unevenly and probably with a dull knife.) That’s why the team at New York Times Cooking and I have spent the past year working on a brand-new video series to help you learn to cook, whatever the reason.


You may have made a ton of eggs in your time, or you may just rely on the bodega. Either way, there’s so much to learn about this foundational ingredient, and I’ll walk you through it all in the first episode of this series.

Learn how to shop for them well: Understand labeling and get to know the parts of the egg (beyond just the white and the yolk!).

Make the fluffiest scrambles: Learn how temperature, whisking and seasoning can all create different results.

Get perfect crispy-edged fried eggs: You’ll want to go hot and fast in a cast-iron skillet — nonstick skillets don’t retain heat as well — then baste with the cooking fat.

Become an expert on over easy, over hard and sunny side up: Poking the yolks once they’re out of the skillet will help you know how cooked they are.

Boil up easy-to-peel eggs: Cold eggs go into boiling water and then an ice bath once cooked. The drastic temperature changes help the shells separate from the cooked eggs.

Poach gorgeously: A gentle bubbling of the poaching water and some early straining help create a clean shape.

And much more!

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