Foodies spill cooking hacks they swore they’d ‘never tell’ – like cake mix tip

People are sharing the cooking secrets they swore they’d “never tell”.

On Reddit, foodies stopped holding their cards close to their chest by revealing top tips for making dishes taste great.

More than 13,300 liked the eye-opening thread, which included more than 4,200 responses.

While some of the hacks seem simple enough – like using lashings of butter or seasoning correctly – other ideas were more out of the box.

Home cooks raved about melting anchovies into savoury dishes, modifying pre-made cake mixes and using pickle juice to create plates that taste tangy and well-balanced.

So would you give any of these clever tricks a go? Let us know in the comments section below.


Want to perfectly balance your dishes? You've got to make sure to have an element of sourness to bring out all the flavours.

A Redditor explained: "I add pickle juice to tuna or chicken salad. Gives it just the right amount of tartness."

And it seems to be working for others too, with one commenter admitting: "I can't go back after trying this!"

Nuts idea

Look for flavour pairings that complement other elements in the dish.

For example, coffee goes well with chocolate and nuts pair perfectly with pastry.

A foodie suggested: "I use a little almond extract in all my baked goods (especially French toast) and a little espresso powder in anything chocolate."

You butter believe it

Chefs like James Martin know that butter can take dishes to a whole new indulgent level.

One Redditor revealed: "My boyfriend is always amazed at how my scrambled eggs taste so good. He’s convinced I have magical scrambling powers.

"I finally realised he doesn’t know I use butter, and I feel like I can’t reveal it now."

And to give the butter a deeper and nuttier flavour, it could be worth browning it first.

A home cook suggested: "Always brown the butter. No one ever takes the time to brown the butter."

In the mix

Who said you need any cooking skills to make a delicious dish?

Buying a ready-made mix and following the instructions can impress your mates just as much.

A responder said: "I begged my grandmother for her banana pudding recipe and now people beg me to make it. It's the recipe from the back of the Nilla wafer box."

And another laughed: "That reminds me of some woman who posted a couple years ago about running a successful wedding cake business and being afraid someone would catch her buying carts full of cake mix at the grocery store."

Reely clever

Hear us out on this one.

Anchovies are used in small quantities to flavour delicious dishes as they provide a nice amount of saltiness and umami flavour.

A Redditor recommended: "I add mashed anchovies or anchovies paste to my salad dressings, pasta sauces, and gravy.

“No one can pin the taste and everyone loves it.”

Going against the grain

A couple of foodies suggested using quinoa instead of pine nuts when making pesto.

It's cheaper and can be handy if you are someone with allergies.

A commenter said: "Instead of pine nuts (which are crazy expensive), I now make pesto with cooked quinoa instead.

"It makes a really nice thick paste and it's perfect for pizza, in lasagna, etc."

And another agreed: "My brother in law is allergic to pine nuts, and they are stupid expensive anyway.

"I now make pesto with (cooked) quinoa in place of pine nuts. It makes a really nice thick paste and it's perfect for a pizza base, in lasagna, etc. It's a little too thick for pasta sauce, but I could probably thin it out with more oil."

Seasons of love

Salt is a cooking essential as it elevates the flavour of everything it touches.

A foodie revealed: "I add salt to hot chocolate. It somehow makes it more chocolate-y.

"Everyone always says my hot chocolate is the best, but I just use prepackaged with milk and a dash of salt."

And another suggested: "Salt in EVERYTHING. Really underrated in sweets and baking. I always use 1.5-2x the amount in salt when baking."

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Hot potato

Struggling to thicken your stew? Or left with lumpy flour in the pan? This could be an easy solution.

A Redditor advised: "Stop using corn starch or flour to thicken stew.

"Grab a pouch of instant mashed potatoes (I use Idahoan buttery herb or roasted garlic flavour).

"Add that, stir it in, and thank me later."

Bready or not

If you're not able to get a good rise on your loaves, this handy tip may be a game-changer.

A responder said: "I tell everyone – put citric acid in bread dough.

"Making it a bit acidic makes the yeast go nuts and even 'heavy' breads rise more than you'd expect.

"You could use lemon juice or vinegar I suppose but citric acid (in granules) is easy to find (Indian section of supermarkets, or 'gourmet' store), and will hang out happily in your cupboard forever."

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