The Best Secrets for Home Cooking from Culinary Students

  • Making home cooking a little easier, one tip at a time.

When it comes to cooking, who knows better than culinary students? Here are the best secrets for home cooking from the people that would know.


When it comes to garlic and secrets for home cooking, make sure you don’t under-do it. Throwing a clove into a dish just isn’t going to cut it if you want that garlic flavor. You should be using about two cloves of garlic per serving.

Use All of the Broccoli

Most of the time, broccoli stems end up in the garbage can or compost pile, but you don’t have to throw them away! And in fact, you shouldn’t. You can use these tasty little trunks in a bunch of different dishes. Chop the stems and toss them in the pan next time you’re making something with broccoli, and enjoy!

Melt Your Butter with a Cup

Have you ever microwaved butter to soften it? What happened? Did it soften nicely, or did it only soften in one spot and/or you forgot about it for 10 seconds and it was a melty, drippy mess? This is one of the best secrets for home cooking and one you should really try. All you have to do is fill a cup up with hot water and let it sit for about five minutes, to warm the glass. Next, stand your butter stick up and place the cup over the top, again, for about five minutes. Then viola, softened butter. But then again, you could also just set your butter out for a few hours and that will give you the perfect softened butter every time.

Clean While You Cook

Especially when it comes to home cooking, make sure to clean as you go, according to the pros. There are always free minutes here and there while we boil and bake, and who wants to finish a meal just to be confronted with a sink full of dishes. Rinse things and throw them in the dishwasher or even keep a sink half full of soapy water to wash as you go.

Make Homemade Broth

Making your own broth is simple, delicious and will make sure that nothing goes to waste. Have you ever made homemade broth? This is how you do it. Any extra peppers or pepper parts, onion ends, and meat bones can go straight into the freezer together. Add in some carrots and maybe even apple slices to sweeten it a bit, throw it all in some boiling water and let it simmer away.

Room-Temp Eggs

Some recipes call for room-temperature eggs and you should let them warm up if the directions call for it. Warm eggs mixed with dry ingredients are perfect for baking or for an omelet.

All the Pasta

Pasta please! And you can make all you want, as long as you use enough water. People use all kind of hacks and tricks for the “perfect” noodles but in reality, all you need is a big pot and a lot of water. When it comes to the secrets for home cooking, just make sure to mix your pasta often while cooking. This will ensure it doesn’t stick together and be clump-free for whatever you’d like to add to it.

Soy Sauce> Salt

Try using soy sauce instead of salt! It has a different flavor than salt and can be added to dishes like turkey burgers or sauces. It may even give you that “yum, what is that” taste experience.” Just a splash of soy sauce can be a truly flavorful salt substitute.

Butter> Margarine

There is just no substitute for rich and flavorful butter, so don’t try to use one! If you’re want to cut calories, there are other things that can be done beyond replacing your butter. Meals will be instantly improved just by using the real thing. And fun fact: restaurants use nearly a stick per meal according to Anthony Bourdain. No wonder why going out to eat food has so much flavor.

The butter softening trick is solid advice and soy sauce in place of salt can be delicious as well. Which is your favorite home cooking secret from culinary students?