An Ask Reddit thread simply asking “Chefs of Reddit, what are some cooking tips everyone should know?” reached the front page of the social media platform and inspired some interesting and educational answers from home cooks who also happen to have culinary training and work in the restaurant industry. Here are some of the top tips, with some editing for brevity and a link to the actual tip.

The spice measurements in most online recipes are way too small. I usually double them.


Never forget to experiment. Cooking is a science, but it is a science that has to adjust to you. Try new spices and new cooking methods on already known recipes; combine foods you like. Have fun


Don’t smoke cigarettes. It messes with your taste buds and you tend to end up with extremely salty/over-seasoned food. On that note, in general, maintain good dental hygiene.


Olive oil is a condiment and is terrible to fry with. Use vegetable oil or any other ‘neutral’ oil. It has a higher flash point and is pretty much flavorless.


Grinding your own spices makes a whole universe of difference. Even if you don’t feel like doing all the work, buy a manual pepper grinder.


When a recipe calls for you to let something ‘sit’ or ‘rest,’ do not rush this step. Good things happen to the food in that time.


Brown meats must be cooked in small batches. Do not overcrowd the pan. It will cause meat to sweat and it will not brown properly.


A falling knife has no handle.


If you plan on using juice from limes, oranges, or lemons, roll them around, pushing on them, before cutting them.


Mise en place — everything in its place. Have everything cut, and seasonings and ingredients measured, before you start cooking. This way you can focus on cooking.


When cooking at home, microwave the plates/bowls for 30–90 seconds before putting the food on them. Cold plates take heat from food; hot plates keep food hot longer.


Soy sauce goes on more than Asian foods. Try a dash in scrambled eggs or toward the end of your caramelized onions. It is a savory salt flavor that complements many dishes.


Three or four times the amount of butter and salt is a big part of why your food doesn’t taste like restaurant food.


At various stages of cooking, taste your food as you cook it. This lets you know if you have too much of something or too little. It also helps you develop your palate for what different seasonings do.


Sharp knives are less dangerous than dull knives.


The amount of garlic flavor is dependent on WHEN you add the garlic. Add it early for light flavor, add it late for bold flavor.


Salt makes food taste more like itself. Acids, like citrus or vinegar, can also do this. … If your food tastes flat, or like it is missing something, try some salt or acid. 


Learn basic cutting techniques for cutting vegetables.


Do not put oil when boiling your pasta, especially if it is store-bought. The sauce would not adhere to an oiled pasta.


Watch your cooking temperature! You don’t need everything blazing hot. Medium heat is your friend. It gives you more time to get it right.