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17 Cooking Tips Our Food Staff Swears By

If a baking recipe specifies room-temperature ingredients, there is a reason: Chemistry! The temperature of your ingredients plays a very big role in the final outcome. I, for one, rarely have the forethought to take my ingredients out of the fridge ahead of time. An easy way to bring your eggs up to temperature is to fill a bowl with lukewarm water and submerge the eggs for about 1 or 2 minutes. VAUGHN VREELAND

When I’m cooking, I keep one large bowl for food scraps nearby. It keeps the prep cleaner and eliminates a back and forth to the trash or compost. KIM GOUGENHEIM

Chopsticks are among the most versatile tools in the kitchen. They’re great for turning greens to coat evenly with salad dressing, tossing noodles or pasta with sauce, plucking deep-fried treats out of oil or boiled dumplings out of water, beating eggs for scrambles or omelets, and flipping roasted vegetables on a sheet pan. With baking, they fill the tool gap between whisk and wooden spoon, incorporating wet ingredients into dry without over- or undermixing. GENEVIEVE KO

I wish I could remember who taught me to start garlic in cold oil. Whenever my first step is to fry garlic, I put the garlic and oil into a cold pan and then turn on the heat, so the fry is gentle, slow and even. The garlic and oil heat up together, so the garlic doesn’t immediately singe on the edges because the oil got too hot, or start to color too quickly. TEJAL RAO

Always keep a few dish towels on hand, neatly folded, to wipe down the stove as you cook, to help clean off cutting boards, to dry knives you’ve washed after cutting the chicken, before slicing the ginger. SAM SIFTON

Always place a dish towel under your cutting board. It’ll keep the board from slipping as you chop or cut. KRYSTEN CHAMBROT

Store a pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven. The hot stone works as a buffer between the oven’s heat source and the food, which helps regulate the temperature of a fussy or uneven oven. It also helps the oven return to temperature faster when you open and close the door. SCOTT LOITSCH

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