“What Is The Cooking Secret You Swore You’d Take To Your Grave?” — 30 Of The Best Responses

Cooking is an art that you keep building the longer you do it. Every recipe might teach you something different like a knife skill, how long something takes, or how to properly time your ingredients. Maybe it will just teach you to make sure the slow cooker is plugged in. 

People on Reddit are sharing their “I’ll never tell” cooking secrets… that they are clearly failing at by telling us. Hopefully some of them are helpful to you! 

Here are some of the best cooking tips I’ve learned: 

  • Find the recipe on a few trusted sites and average them out.
  • Have a back-up plan if your dish fails. No one doesn’t like pizza. 
  • Don’t apologize if it’s not perfect. They might not notice if you keep your mouth shut!



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Stop using corn starch or flour to thicken stew. Grab a pouch of instant mashed potatoes (I use Idahoan buttery herb or roasted garlic flavor). Add that, stir it in, and thank me later. – Talanic 


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I use jello vanilla pudding powder in all my cookies. It keeps them super soft for days and gives them almost a cake interior. Shhhh… – Life_On_the_Nickle 


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I’d never tell anybody how much fresh garlic I put in n anything.. Garlic is actually crack and I can’t get enough.

Also I don’t tell people when I use Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayo in some things. I feel like it grosses people out to think there’s probiotics in the mashed potatoes or the pasta salad lol – commonwhitebread 


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Always brown the butter. No one ever takes the time to brown the butter. – roadtrip-ne 


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my salsa

its just big can of whole toamotes, big sweet onion cut into fourths, one jalapeno with seeds cut up, cilantro and lime juice everyhting into a food processor for aobut 30ish secs add dash of salt at the end.

everyone thinks is so good which it is but i keep telling them its so easy but they dont think it is lol – BooSkylar 


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Mayo instead of butter on the outside of grilled sandwiches. – katekowalski2014 


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Instead of milk, I use full fat vanilla or plain yogurt in my bathing mixture for French toast. It turns out perfectly every time. – bethster2000 


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When making homemade mac ‘n’ cheese, I season with a secret ingredient — mustard powder. – nanahugsforyou 


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I use smoked paprika a lot and people lose their minds over my cooking. – coyote_zs 


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Half sour cream, half greek yogurt for tzatziki – so much richer. – JgJay21 


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My husband says he doesn’t like much garlic. I ALWAYS use a hefty amount in my cooking. He loves it. I just don’t tell him. And he often says “it smells so good in here!” Yeah, I just added the garlic to the pan… – Meggerhun 


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When making banana bread, I use overripe bananas, which I freeze and then thaw when it’s time to bake. I read somewhere that freezing bananas make them sweeter. Try it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. – ncgirl105 


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I tell everyone, but 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. – Tofinochris 


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Whenever I bake something with chocolate, like brownies, I always add a little bit of coffee. It makes all the difference. – jrhea2019 


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Try putting a decent amount of butter in a red sauce. It will taste twice as good and no one will be able to guess the secret. – deleted 



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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. – ouTPhaze 


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I worked at Jimmy John’s and they had us use a little soy sauce in the tuna salad. I’ve been making it that way ever since. – helenfeller 


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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. – mesopotamius 


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I add mashed anchovies or anchovies paste to my salad dressings, pasta sauces, and gravy. No one can identify the taste and everyone loves it! – ebtuck 


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I’ve never been the type to have a secret like this, but if people knew how much cinnamon I used they might have questions. I add it to a lot of dishes to add some earthiness and depth, but not in amounts where you can actually taste cinnamon. – NoNeedForAName 


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My snickerdoodle recipe. People love them. They are chunks of Pillsbury sugar cookie dough, rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Stupid easy. I will never tell. – blossomteacher 


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Squeeze a lemon in your pot of chicken soup. Adds a nice brightness. – juddmeche 


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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. – knave2none 


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If I boil dry beans to rehydrate and cook them, I’ll throw in a marrow bone at the very beginning. The beans soak up the fat and have a luxurious, creamy texture. – KinkyQuesadilla 


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Something I usually don’t share–I make really great burgers, but my secret is I don’t do much to them. I use a good quality ground chuck with 20% fat and I keep the meat very cold and handle it as little as possible and don’t salt it except for the outside right before cooking, and I make a divot in the middle to keep the patty from swelling. Perfect, juice burgers every time, very little work. – TheLadyEve 


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I add pickle juice to tuna or chicken salad. Gives it just the right amount of tartness. – NickyNeptune 


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Brown sugar is the superior sugar. – Discount_Lex_Luthor 


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I use a little almond extract in all my baked goods (especially French toast) and a little espresso powder in anything chocolate. – kaophyre 


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I worked in a high-end restaurant that was well-known for its cheesecake. It was just cream cheese and marshmallow fluff blended together, then placed in store-bought graham cracker crusts. – Busker12 

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Hannah Riley

Hannah Riley a comedy writer and content editor with ADHD living in Seattle, Washington.