Sick of the boring, same old dishes? Spruce up your meals to restaurants qualities with these must-see hacks for adding flavor to food. After reading this list, you’ll never want to order takeout again.
1. Cook grilled cheese with mayo instead of butter
Step aside, butter — coating the outside of your grilled cheese bread with mayo beforehand is the best way to get a crispy, lighter than air texture that’s infused with even more flavor than before. Yum.
2. Use an electric mixer for creamier mashed potatoes
Lumpy mashed potatoes have become the norm, for most of us. Even when your hands and arms get tired from endless stirring, it seems like you can never get that effortlessly creamy texture. The fix? Use an electric hand mixer, for zero hand pain, and lump-free mashes. If you don’t have a mixer, use a ricer before mashing for similar results.
3. Add soy sauce to buttered popcorn
This bizarre sounding hack sounds disgusting to some, but trust us, it’s not! Adding the umami of soy sauce to creamy, buttered popcorn will actually bring out the nutty, cheese, and savory flavors.
4. Add coffee to brownie butter
This won’t make for an espresso-flavored dessert. Instead, the complex flavor profile of coffee brings out the natural taste of the chocolate. Rather than making for a mocha brownie, it balances out the overly sweet richness that boxed mixes can fall culprit to.
5. Get crispier bacon by twisting it
Take a piece of bacon, twist it, and place these thin rolls on a baking sheet lined with foil. Then, season your bacon and place it in an oven on 400 degrees for about half an hour
6. Add mustard to mac and cheese
There’s no world in which mac ’n’ cheese tastes bad, but for an amazing dish that Chef Ramsey would be proud of, incorporate any kind of mustard. It balances out the heavily creamy flavors of dairy, adding a little acidity, just like pickles for a cheeseburger.
7. Add apple sauce to meatballs
Meatballs are the ultimate comfort food, but sometimes they come out bland or dry. To ensure moist meatballs every time, add some applesauce! It makes them lighter with a subtle touch of sweetness that’s irresistible.
8. Save your pasta water
Instead of letting all that liquid gold drain out of a colander, save your starchy pasta water and mix it into your sauce on low heat. This won’t just make the texture richer and silkier — it’ll help the sauce stick to your pasta better.
9. Do a hard sear
Grilling or searing your proteins for a couple of minutes before baking it is the ultimate way to get that restaurant quality vibe that blends crunchy on the outside with tender on the inside. You can even dust it in lour or breadcrumbs before cooking.
10. Use orange juice for marinade
You don’t have to buy expensive marinade for your meat and seafood to taste better. Just pour some orange juice in there! This works best with flavors like ginger and honey.
11. Hash browns in a waffle iron
Homemade waffles are a top pick for many home chefs, but hash browns in the shape of waffles are even better! They ensure a crispy finish every time, so you can say goodbye to soggy hash browns with your eggs. Just be sure to grease your iron first.
12. Only use freshly squeeze citrus
While those from-concentrate bottles are cheap and convenient, stay far away from bottled options, because when citrus juice sits around, all that zesty and sparkling flavor get muddy and gross.
13. Use the rind
You can make your soups and stocks more flavorful by adding the supposedly inedible and tough rind of parmesan cheese. However, in long-simmering dishes like soup, beans, or polenta, this is perfect for adding flavor.
14. Soak onion before adding to salad or vinaigrette
Onions taste delicious in salad, but they can kind of have an intense flavor that overwhelms a dish. Instead, mince them up and soak in vinegar for 10 minutes. Resting in vinegar will help soften the flavor and texture.
15. Add seltzer to pancakes
Getting fluffier pancakes is as easy as adding some soda water to your batter. The extra bubbles will help it rise and give you a final result that makes you feel as though you’re eating in a five-star brunch restaurant.