Upping your kitchen IQ can be intimidating because there’s just so much to learn. But there’s no need to learn everything at once, and focusing on just a few fundamentals can help you build (or sharpen) the skills you need to learn more advanced techniques and cook just about anything.
And if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Scroll down to learn five essential kitchen skills — and fine delicious recipes to try ‘em in.
1. How to cut an onion
Becoming a home cook means spending lots of time cutting onions, and we’re here to help you do it without shedding too many tears. Simply chop off the top of the onion — the part that doesn’t have visible roots — slice it in half lengthwise and remove the skin. Then, do a series of lengthwise cuts followed by a series of crosswise cuts for the perfect chop.
Keep tears to a minimum by keeping the cut halves of the onion facing down and holding the onion together as you slice it, as well as using the freshest onions possible.
Use your onion in:
2. How to mince garlic
Learning to cut your own garlic is a must-have cooking skill, since garlic lends flavor to so many of your fave meals. And, thankfully, it’s simpler than you think.
Start by removing the cloves from the garlic bulb, and adding several bulbs to a lidded container, such as a mason jar. Shake vigorously to remove the peels, then set the peeled cloves on your cutting board. From there, slice the garlic thinly, then chop the sliced garlic until you reach your desired mince.
Use your minced garlic asap, or freeze minced garlic in ice cube trays and store the cubes in a freezer bag in the freezer for future use.
Use your garlic in:
3. How to cut a bell pepper
Savory, sweet and earthy, bell peppers help form the flavor base for Creole, Cajun and several Latin American cuisines, so it’s important to know how to chop one properly. Our video makes the process easy.
Simply chop off the top of the bell pepper, slice through one side of the bell pepper, then place the pepper on its side and carefully separate the wall of the bell pepper from the core. Now you’re ready to chop. Slide or dice the pepper to suit your recipe’s needs.
Use your bell peppers in:
4. How to boil an egg
There’s nothing worse than an overcooked egg — and rubbery whites and too-tough yolks will be a thing of the past after you watch this video. Our method keeps things simple: Your eggs boil for 10-12 minutes in a pot, then rest in an ice bath for easy peeling. You’ll have all the skills you need for amazing devilled eggs, A+ egg sandwiches and more.
Use your hard-boiled eggs in:
5. How to cut a pineapple
Pineapple is the sweetest fruit at the grocery store — and it can also be the most intimidating to cut up. But fear not, our latest video makes peeling, coring and cutting your pineapple easy.
Simply chop off the top of the pineapple, then use a paring knife to cut away the skin. Cut the tender fruit from the fibrous core — or use a pineapple corer to make the process easy — then you’re ready to chop. Slice your pineapple into rings for a simple-but-delicious dessert, use pineapple chunks to add pops of sweetness to savory meals. Or just enjoy cut pineapple on its own, with a dusting of McCormick Cinnamon Sugar for extra flavor.