The Magic Of Compound Butter – How To Make It and Use It

The Magic Of Compound Butter – How To Make It and Use It

Compound Butter may seem intimidating. Especially when the name suggests something complex and when butter is $7.00 a pound. You don’t want to mess it up. However, compound butter is just a fancy name for butter with other ingredients mixed in. You’ll see in this post that making compound butter is easy, and it’s a great way to add flavour to your butter and stretch your butter a little further. This post has four recipes for compound butter. They are horseradish butter, lemon-thyme butter, herb butter, and finally, the best ever garlic butter. You will learn four ways to forum compound butter, store it, and, even more importantly, use it. So, are you ready? Good! Let’s get to it.

The Basics Of Compound Butter

Compound butter unsurprisingly starts with butter. You can use unsalted butter or salted butter to make compound butter. I prefer to use salted butter. When using salted butter, you know how much salt is in there. You don’t need to add any more, limiting the chance of the final compound butter being under or over seasoned. The butter has to be soft when making compound butter. Take it out of the fridge a few hours before you’re ready to use it to get it to room temperature. Then, beat the butter in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed. Beat the butter for 7 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl at least once or twice. The butter should be light and airy. If I were only making one type of compound butter, I would add the ingredients to the beaten butter and mix it with the electric mixer for a minute. However, because I made four kinds of compound butter for this post, I divided my butter into smaller portions and mixed the ingredients in by hand.

How To Store Compound Butter

You should store compound butter in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. Depending on the ingredients you’ve added to the butter, it should last in the refrigerator for one week and a maximum of one month. In the freezer, compound butter will last for months. As you’ll see below, there are many different ways to form your butter to make it easy to use. The shape you use for your butter doesn’t matter. There’s no rule saying this kind of butter needs to be this shape, used for this, or has to look like this. Form the butter however you want.

Forming Compound Butter

There are four main ways to form compound butter. The first is by far the easiest. That’s to put the butter in a ramekin or small dish. The problem with this method is that if you’re storing the butter in the fridge or freezer, it will be difficult to use. You’ll have to soften it every time you want to use it. So, let’s forget about that method.

Rolling Compound Butter

The second easiest way to form compound butter is to roll it. To roll your butter, you can use plastic wrap, parchment, foil, or even waxed paper. For getting a nice tight roll, I prefer plastic wrap. For this method, lay a piece of wrapping flat on your work surface. Spread the butter in a line about two-thirds down the wrapping, then roll. If using plastic wrap, twist the ends until tight. You can store butter wrapped like this in the fridge or freezer. You can unwrap it and cut pieces as needed. Alternatively, you can chill the butter in the refrigerator for two hours, cut it into coins, and store those coins in an airtight container in the freezer.

Small Butter Rolls

Rather than making a large roll of butter, you can make a small roll. This method is excellent if you sprinkle herbs, seasonings, or even edible flowers into the butter. This works best with parchments or waxed paper. For this method, spread the butter out into a thin rectangle, sprinkle whatever ingredients you want over the butter, then roll it up and pull the paper back as you roll forward. You may find it easiest to chill the butter for 5 to 10 minutes before rolling to help it loosen from the paper. Once chilled, you can cut the butter into little nubs showing the rolled-in ingredients. I didn’t actually roll any additional ingredients into my butter, but you can see how it works below.

Quenelleing Butter

A quenelle is a fancy thing in cooking where we take two identical spoons and pass food between them, forming the food into a quenelle or football shape. It’s easiest to look at the pictures below rather than trying to read a description of the process. This takes practice, but it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. It’s a great way to form butter, as you can see below, but also mousse, ice cream, gelato, and even whipped cream. If you dip your spoons in hot water, you will get smooth edges on the butter, but you will also waste a little due to melting. Butter formed like this should be chilled or frozen in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once chilled or frozen, the butter quenelles can be stored together in an airtight container.

Piping Butter

The prettiest way to form compound butter is to pipe it through a star tip. If you’ve ever piped icing, it’s the same. Put the piping tip into the bag, add the butter, and pipe it into little rosettes or whatever shape you’d like. Next, chill or freeze the butter in a single layer on a parchment or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Once chilled, You may store the piped butter in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. Butter shaped like this is great to have on hand if you regularly have people over. Whether serving dinner or a light lunch, serving butter like this elevates the meal.

Best Ever Garlic Butter

Arguably, the most common compound butter is garlic butter. You can buy it, though store-bought garlic butter is generally margarine instead of butter and would have garlic powder and dried parsley. I’m trying to say that the store-bought stuff isn’t good, especially after trying the recipe below. The garlic butter in this recipe is made of butter, fresh garlic, fresh parsley, and a little bit of brandy to tie it all together. You can omit the brandy, but I suggest keeping it in. You can buy a small bottle of brandy for under $15 and use it in cooking. Its sweetness adds a lot to pork, chicken, or fish dishes. Use brandy in place of wine in almost any recipe.

I don’t think I need to run through the common uses of garlic butter because we’re all pretty familiar with it. But I might as well share some of my favourite uses that aren’t so common. For example, I like to add it to steaks while resting. The butter sits on the steaks, melts, and adds lots of flavours. It’s also great to throw a tablespoon or two of garlic butter into a tomato-based pasta to finish it. So, imagine your sauce is all done, you’ve added the pasta, now toss in a bit of garlic butter, stir it until it melts, then serve. You won’t believe how much flavour that little bit of garlic butter adds to the pasta.

Best Ever Garlic Butter

Garlic butter is not only for garlic bread. Add it as a finishing ingredient to tomato-based pasta, and use it to top a resting steak.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Butter
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 2 tsp brandy
  • 2 tbsp parsley


  • Put the softened butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until the butter is light and airy. Scrape the sides of the bowl down at least once to ensure an even mix.
  • Add the garlic and parsley and beat on medium for two a minute.
  • While the mixer is running, pour the brandy into the butter and mix just until it's incorporated.
  • Stop the mixer and remove the bowl. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper.
  • Dip two spoons in hot water, then scoop up 1 tbsp of butter with one spoon. Pass the butter between the two spoons until the butter is a football shape.
  • Put the formed butter on the sheet pan and chill in the fridge for two hours or freeze. Once chilled or frozen, put the butter in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Herb Butter

If you’d like an excellent table butter, meaning a butter you put on the table for dinner, you can’t go wrong with a herb compound butter. If using it as a table butter, I suggest piping it, but I did a flat roll with it here. This herb butter has parsley, thyme, rosemary, dill, oregano, and garlic. Herb butter is great for adding to soups or sauces. It also makes a great finishing butter for chicken or fish.

Herb Butter

Herb butter makes a great addition to fish, mashed potatoes, pasta, or sauces. It also makes a great table butter.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Butter
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp minced garlic


  • Put the softened butter in the mixer bowl and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until the butter is light and airy. Scrape the sides of the bowl down at least once to ensure an even mix.
  • Add the parsley, dill, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and garlic to the mixer and beat for 1 minute or until mixd.
  • Spread the butter out onto a 12-inch piece of parchment. Roll the butter into a thin log. Chill the butter for 30 minutes, remove the parchment and cut the butter into thumb-width pieces.
  • Put the formed butter on the sheet pan and chill in the fridge for two hours or freeze. Once chilled or frozen, put the butter in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to three months.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Lemon-Thyme Butter

Lemon-Thyme Butter is fantastic with chicken or fish, especially white fish like haddock or cod. You can put it on the fish before or after cooking. Either way, it is delicious. The ingredients are all pretty much there in the name, except black pepper. You can substitute the thyme for dill and get an equally delicious butter if you’d like.

Lemon-Thyme Butter

Lemon-Thyme Butter is great on fish, scones, or even chicken.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Butter
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  • Put the softened butter in the mixer bowl and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until the butter is light and airy. Scrape the sides of the bowl down at least once to ensure an even mix.
  • Add the lemon zest, thyme and pepper. Mix for 1 minute.
  • Put the butter in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  • Pipe the butter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan.
  • Put the formed butter on the sheet pan and chill in the fridge for two hours or freeze. Once chilled or frozen, put the butter in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to three months.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Horseradish Butter

Making horseradish butter is as simple as mixing prepared store-bought horseradish with softened, beaten butter. Horseradish butter is fantastic on a steak, salmon, or even a burger. Like any other compound butter mentioned in this post, You may use horseradish butter before or after cooking. For example, you can put room-temperature horseradish butter on a piece of salmon when it comes out of the oven or off the grill. The butter will melt over the salmon and add flavour. The butter also adds a nice glazed appearance. Alternatively, you can put cold horseradish butter on a piece of salmon, then roast or broil it. This will give the salmon a nutty flavour and a darker appearance.

Horseradish Butter

Horseradish Butter makes a great addition to salmon, steak, or even burgers.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Butter
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp horseradish


  • Put the softened butter in the mixer bowl and beat with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until the butter is light and airy. Scrape the sides of the bowl down at least once to ensure an even mix.
  • Add the horseradish to the butter, and beat for 1 minute or until mixed.
  • Place a 12-inch long piece of plastic wrap flat on your work surface.
  • Put the butter in a long mound on the plastic wrap.
  • Fold the bottom of the plastic wrap up and over the butter, rolling forward to seal. Twist the end of the wrap to tighten the roll.
  • Chill the butter and leave it as is until you're ready to use it, or remove the plastic, cut the butter into medallions and store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to four months.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap-Up

This list of compound butter is in no way definitive. The only limit to the possible flavours of compound butter is the human imagination. Hopefully, this post has sparked your imagination, and you’re thinking of all the other ingredients you could mix into your butter to add extra flavour and appearance. Try the ones I’ve listed, then create your own. When you make your own, I’d love for you to share them as they may inspire other people.

Thanks for reading! Remember that sharing is caring, so share this with your friends and leave a comment below to tell me what you think. Have a great day! I’ll see you back here next Thursday.

Have you signed up for the Chef’s Notes Monthly Newsletter? No? Why Not? Don’t miss exclusive recipes, cooking tips, and behind-the-scenes pictures and stories. Sign up below.

Tequila Lime Scallops and How to Cook a Scallop Like a Pro

Tequila Lime Scallops and How to Cook a Scallop Like a Pro

Well-cooked scallops are like little tender morsels of ocean candy. But, poorly cooked scallops are like bland little rubber bullets. Unfortunately, the line between a well-prepared and a poorly prepared scallop is pretty thin. Today you’ll learn how to make one of my favourite scallops dishes; Tequila Lime Scallops. But, more importantly, you’ll learn how to prepare and cook scallops like a chef so that you can have tender morsels of ocean candy whenever you want. Let’s get to it.

How To Buy Scallops

The best way to ensure that you end up with great scallops is to start with great scallops. Buy fresh whenever you can. If you are buying fresh, make sure they are actually fresh. The scallops at the seafood counter in your local grocery store probably aren’t fresh even though they aren’t frozen. They are likely previously frozen. Ask if the scallops have been frozen or not before you pay a premium for “fresh scallops.”

There are two big differences between fresh and frozen scallops. First of all, fresh scallops are more tender and have a better texture. Frozen scallops tend to be slightly chewier. Frozen scallops also release a lot more liquid than fresh scallops when cooked. This makes it more difficult to get a nice sear on the scallops, and that sear is important for flavour development. If you aren’t sure if your scallops are fresh or previously frozen, cook one up, put it on a plate, and wait two minutes. With a fresh scallop, there will be little to no liquid on the plate after 2 minutes. If the scallops are previously frozen, there will be a white milky liquid on the plate after two minutes.

Size matters.

Usually, when you buy scallops, they come as either tiny bay scallops or sea scallops, which are large. However, a rating scale for scallops (and shrimp) is measured by a “U” followed by a number. For example, U10 or U20-30. The “U” stands for “under a pound,” and the number is how many scallops there should in a pound. So, the lower the number that follows the “U,” the bigger the scallops. If you buy U10 scallops, you can expect there to be 10 or less in a pound. Those are good-sized scallops. More often than not, the scallops you buy at the store are U20 to 30, so there are 20 to 30 scallops in a pound. These are a good medium-sized scallop. But, if you want large ones, ask for the U10s, especially if you are talking to a specialty seafood purveyor. To learn more about sizing and other scallop cooking tips, check out this post I did back in 2019.

It’s okay to buy frozen.

If all you can get are frozen scallops, it’s okay. They can still be delicious. You’ll have to be a little more diligent with them. For starters, you must give the scallops enough time to defrost properly. This means that you will have to transfer them from the freezer to the fridge at least 24 to 48 hours before you want to cook them. Never put them in the microwave to defrost them and never submerge them in water. The microwave will make them rubbery. Submerging them in water will cause them to absorb loads of extra water.

Defrosting Scallops

When defrosting scallops, remove them from their original package and place them on a plate or a sheet pan lined with a paper towel or a kitchen towel. Make sure the scallops have a little space between each one. This space will help them defrost. It’s best not to cover the scallops when they go in the fridge, but if you do need to cover them, do it with a paper towel or kitchen towel rather than a plastic wrap. The towels would be changed in an ideal world after about 12 hours, but you don’t have to do this. Changing the towel will help dry the scallops.

If you need frozen scallops in a hurry.

If for some reason, you need scallops in a hurry and they are frozen, you can quickly defrost them in cold running water. “But wait, you said not to submerge them in water.” Yes, I did say that, and I meant it. If you quickly defrost scallops under cold running water, the scallops must be in a sealed bag. Either the bag they came in or a zip-top bag. Put the bag of frozen scallops in a deep container, put the container in your sink (make sure the sink isn’t plugged) and run cold water over the bag in a slow, steady stream. Defrosting the scallops this way will take about an hour, give or take. It is important to keep the water running to maintain a safe temperature and so that the water doesn’t get too cold.

How To Prepare Scallops For Cooking

Whether you use fresh or defrosted scallops, they will be prepared for cooking the same way. First of all, remove the foot (it isn’t actually a foot, but that’s what people call it). The foot is the little piece of white meat that hangs off the side of the scallops. It is edible, but it gets very chewy when cooked, so it’s always best to remove it. Once that’s done, pat the scallops dry on both sides with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Again, the surface of the scallops must be as dry as possible to get that perfect sear.

How To Cook Scallops

Choosing the right pan for cooking scallops

Scallops are very quick and easy to cook once you know how. The key is to get your pan very, very hot. I know that a lot of people don’t like to cook on high heat. I get it. But, with scallops, if you want that nice sear and rich flavour, high heat is vital. The pan you use should be either a heavy-duty non-stick pan, a very heavy-duty stainless steel pan, or a cast-iron skillet. My preference is cast iron becasue you can get it really hot. But, becasue of the sauce we’re making for the scallop recipe today, a non-stick or stainless pan is best. Again get the pan very hot. If your burner goes to 10, turn it on to 8 or 9 and leave it alone for 2 to 3 minutes.

Cooking the scallops

Once your pan is very hot, add just enough oil to cover the pan’s surface. Don’t use olive oil for this because it will burn and smoke. Instead, use an oil with a high smoke point like canola, peanut, or grapeseed oil. Season the scallops lightly with salt and pepper, then gently place them in the pan one at a time, leaving space between each scallop. When placing the scallops in the pan, start by placing them around the outside edge of the pan, then work your way in. Once you get the last scallop in the pan, go back and check the first one to see how well its colour is developing. Once the first scallop develops a deep caramel brown colour (about 90 seconds of cooking), flip it. Next, go around the pan and flip each scallop in the order they entered the pan and as they colour. Once the last scallop is flipped, go back and recheck the first one. Once the bottom is browned, take it out of the pan and place it on a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat until all the scallops are brown on both sides and are out of the pan.

Don’t crowd the pan!

Wheater using fresh or frozen scallops, you can’t crowd your pan. You need to leave about 20% of the surface of the pan uncovered. This helps the pan maintain its heat. If the pan’s temperature drops too much from overcrowding or becasue it wasn’t hot enough to start with, the liquid will escape the scallops, pool in the bottom of the pan, and boil your scallops instead of searing them. Though this will happen with fresh scallops, it will be much more extreme with previously frozen ones.

Tequila Lime Sauce

At this point, you’ve perfectly cooked some scallops. You can enjoy them as they are, or you can take them one step further and make this delicious Tequila Lime Sauce. To make the sauce, remove the scallops from the pan and take the pan off the heat to let it cool down slightly. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan, wait for it to melt, then add 2 tablespoons of minced shallot or onion. Put the pan back on the heat and cook for about 2 minutes before adding 2 ounces of good quality tequila (the one I used). Cook the tequila for about a minute, then add the zest of half a lime and the juice of a whole lime. Add the scallops back into the pan and toss with about 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped cilantro, then serve.

Tequila Lime Scallops

Seared scallops in a quick Tequila lime sauce finished with cilantro. A quick scallop dish that tastes like summer.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: alcohol, Fish and Seafood, Scallops, Seafood, Summer, summer cooking
Servings: 4 people
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1 lb Scallops, foot removed and patted dry 454 g
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tbsp minced shallot or onion
  • 2 oz Tequila
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime juice and zest


  • Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Make sure the pan is very hot.
  • Lightly season the scallops with salt and pepper.
  • Add the oil to the pan and gently place the scallops in one at a time. Leave the scallops alone for 90 seconds.
  • Gently lift one of the scallops. If the bottom is a deep caramel brown, flip the scallops and cook for 1 more minute. If the scallop is still white or just turning brown, leave it for another 30 seconds or so, then flip it and finish it on the second side for 1 minute.
  • Remove the scallops from the pan and onto a warmed plate. Set aside.
  • Take the pan off the heat and add the butter. Once the butter melts, add the shallots and return the pan to the heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the shallots soften and turn translucent.
  • Pour the tequila into the pan. If you use a gas range, lift the pan away from the flame before adding the tequila, then return the pan to the heat. Cook until the tequila has almost completely evaporated.
  • Take the pan off the heat and zest half the lime into it, then squeeze the juice from the whole lime into it. Return the pan to the heat for 30 seconds. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Take the pan from the heat and add the scallops into the pan, toss with the cilantro and serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap Up

I hope that you’re now excited to buy some scallops and cook them up for yourself. I know the process may seem complicated, but really, at its core, it’s just dry the scallops and cook them quickly in a very hot pan. There isn’t that much to it. If you’re wondering how to tell if your scallops are cooked, that’s not too difficult either. Right now, as you read this, hold your hand out and gently touch the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb. Now, poke the bit of meat on your palm right below your thumb. A perfectly cooked scallop will feel the same when you poke it. I hope that helps. Thanks for reading, remember to share it, and have a great day and a great week! Oh, and if you cook some scallops, share some pictures of them on my Facebook page. I’d love to see them.

Remember to share this post on Facebook or Pinterest if you enjoyed it. Thank you for reading, and have a great day! Remember, there are new Chef’s Notes posts every Wednesday, and you can subscribe below, so you never miss one.

[jetpack_subscription_form subscribe_placeholder=”Email Address” show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” custom_font_size=”16px” custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
7 Simple Tips For Perfect Scrambled Eggs

7 Simple Tips For Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Welcome to my! Today, we will discuss something near and dear to my heart: scrambled eggs. Scrambled eggs are one of the easiest dishes to cook, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. For years, I hated scrambled eggs – they were often heavy, had a weird taste, and looked strange. However, with time and practice, I learned that scrambled eggs could be amazing with just a few simple tips. In this post, I’ll share with you my seven easy tips for making perfect scrambled eggs every time, so you can enjoy this delicious dish just like I do!

Perfect scrambled eggs

Whisk Eggs Just Enough: Avoid Overworking Your Eggs

Whisking the eggs is the first step in making scrambled eggs, but it’s important not to overdo it. Over-whisking can lead to rubbery and tough eggs, while under-whisking can result in bits of white in your scramble.

To achieve the perfect consistency, whisk the eggs until the yolks and whites are fully blended and the mixture has a uniform yellow colour. Avoid incorporating too much air into the mixture, resulting in a spongy or rubbery texture.

Using a fork or whisk, aim for a smooth, consistent mixture with no visible bits of clear white. Whisk just enough to combine the yolks and whites, and then stop. Following this tip will help you achieve light, fluffy, tender scrambled eggs that are perfect every time.

6. Don’t Add Milk Or Water To Your Scrambled Eggs

One of the most common mistakes people make when preparing scrambled eggs is adding milk or water to the eggs. While some people believe this is necessary to achieve light and fluffy eggs, it’s actually an unnecessary step that can compromise the texture of your scramble.

The truth is that milk and water can weigh your eggs down, making them dense and heavy. Additionally, if your eggs are even slightly overcooked, the milk and water can separate from the eggs and create a watery mess on your plate. For perfect scrambled eggs, skip the milk and water altogether.

If you’re accustomed to adding milk or water to your eggs, try preparing them without these ingredients just once. You may be surprised to find that they’re just as fluffy and delicious without the added liquid. Instead, focus on cooking the eggs gently and stirring them frequently to create small, soft curds.

Remember, scrambled eggs are all about simplicity. By using only eggs, salt, and pepper, you can create a delicious and satisfying breakfast that’s perfect every time. So ditch the milk and water and give it a try!

5. Use Moderate Heat and a Pre-Heated Pan

Now that you’ve whisked your eggs to perfection and skipped the milk and water, it’s time to cook them. To start, place a non-stick pan on the stove over medium heat. Give the pan time to heat up for at least two to three minutes before adding your fat or oil and eggs.

A pre-heated pan is essential for cooking perfect scrambled eggs. If you use a cold pan, your eggs will stick like glue, making them difficult to cook and resulting in an unappetizing mess. A non-stick pan is ideal for this task, but if you don’t have one, a preheated stainless steel pan will also work.

Moderate heat is also key to creating light, fluffy scrambled eggs. Avoid setting the heat too high, leading to overcooked, tough eggs. On the other hand, if the heat is too low, the eggs will take longer to cook and may be too moist.

Using a preheated pan and moderate heat, you can achieve perfectly cooked scrambled eggs that are light and fluffy with just the right texture. Keep reading for our next tip on ensuring your eggs are cooked to perfection.

4. Use Butter for Delicious Scrambled Eggs

When it comes to cooking perfect scrambled eggs, the type of fat you use matters. While you don’t need a lot of it, I adamantly believe that butter is the best option for cooking scrambled eggs. There are a few reasons for this.

First, butter adds a rich, delicious flavour to your eggs that cooking oil or pan spray simply can’t match. Secondly, butter can help indicate when your pan is ready for the eggs. Heat your pan as described in the previous tip, then add a teaspoon or two of butter. Once the butter has melted and started to foam, the pan is ready for your eggs. Swirl the butter around the pan to coat it evenly, then pour in the eggs.

Another benefit of using butter is that it can help prevent the eggs from sticking to the pan. While there’s no official science to back this up, many cooks swear by butter for non-stick scrambled eggs. If you’re concerned about the cholesterol content of butter, you can use a plant-based alternative like coconut oil or vegan butter.

To make your scrambled eggs truly delicious, use high-quality butter and fresh eggs. By using these tips and tricks, you can create scrambled eggs that are light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious. Keep reading for our next tip on achieving perfect scrambled eggs every time!

3. Season Scrambled Eggs After Cooking

Salt and pepper are a classic seasoning combination for scrambled eggs, but it’s important to add them at the right time. Adding salt to the eggs before cooking can lead to several problems.

Firstly, the salt may draw moisture out of the eggs, leaving them dry and tough and resulting in a pool of unpleasant egg water on your plate. Secondly, salt can cause the eggs to discolour, leading to grey or even slightly green eggs with an off flavour.

To avoid these issues, it’s best to season your scrambled eggs after they are cooked. Once the eggs are cooked to your liking, remove them from the heat and then add salt and pepper to taste. This will ensure that your eggs are perfectly seasoned and full of flavour without being compromised by excess moisture or discoloration.

For an added burst of flavour, consider adding other seasonings like fresh herbs or spices to your scrambled eggs. Chives, thyme, or parsley are all great options for adding a pop of flavour to your scramble.

2. Don’t Over Scramble The Eggs

Believe it or not, it is possible to over-scramble your eggs. Over-scrambled eggs can look like tiny cheese curds before being pressed into cheese, with a texture that’s far from ideal. For perfect scrambled eggs, you want them to have some texture and body without being overworked.

The technique for achieving the perfect texture is simple. Start by pouring your whisked eggs into the preheated buttered pan, then let them sit for a few seconds. Next, stir the eggs gently with a rubber spatula, then let them sit for a few more seconds. Repeat this process for a minute to a minute and a half or until the eggs are just about cooked.

It’s important to note that the eggs will continue to cook even after you remove them from the heat, so it’s best to slightly undercook them to ensure they’re perfectly tender and not dry or rubbery. By gently stirring the eggs and letting them sit, you’ll create soft, delicate curds that are a joy to eat.

Remember, scrambled eggs should have some texture and body, but they shouldn’t be mashed to a pulp. By using a gentle hand and the right technique, you can create scrambled eggs that are light, fluffy, and absolutely delicious.

1. Don’t Over Cook Your Scrambled Eggs

The final, most obvious, and most important tip is not to overcook your eggs. The French style of making scrambled eggs is to leave them a little bit runny. That’s not what I’m suggesting. What I’m saying is don’t overcook them. When overcooked, they become tough, gritty, heavy, tasteless, and watery if you added liquid to them. Eggs especially scrambled eggs, are fragile when it comes to heat. They don’t like a lot of it. So, once the eggs are about three-quarters of the way cooked, take the pan off the heat. The residual heat in the pan will be more than enough to finish cooking the eggs. Once the eggs are cooked, take them out of the pan and serve them immediately. Perfectly cooked scrambled eggs are a bit shiny and moist. They don’t look dull and dry.

The Wrap Up

Scrambled eggs are a breakfast staple, but making them perfect every time can be challenging. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to go from terrible to amazing. By following the simple tips we’ve shared, you’ll be able to achieve perfect scrambled eggs that are light, fluffy, and full of flavour.

Remember, simplicity is key when it comes to cooking eggs. Eggs are already a nearly perfect food on their own, and they don’t need to be overcomplicated or overworked. The more you add or fuss with them, the more likely they are to go wrong.

Some of the essential tips for making perfect scrambled eggs include using high-quality eggs, avoiding over-whisking, cooking on moderate heat, using butter as a fat, seasoning after cooking, and avoiding overcooking. By following these simple tips, you can create scrambled eggs that are both beautiful and delicious.

If you have any other tips or tricks for perfect scrambled eggs that we missed, be sure to share them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading, and we hope you enjoy perfect scrambled eggs every time. Stay tuned for more cooking tips and delicious recipes!

Thank you for reading this post. Please share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter to help Chef’s Notes grow. Subscribe to Chef’s Notes below, and you will never miss a post again.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy…

Uncommon uses for Common Spices and Seasonings

Uncommon uses for Common Spices and Seasonings

We’ve all got them. They may be in a neat and tidy spice rack or jammed into an overstuffed cupboard that avalanches out every time we open it. Either way, spices and seasonings are our gateway to flavour and our ticket to travel the world without ever leaving our kitchens. Today we will root around in the cupboard, find some very common spices and seasonings and look at how we can use them in uncommon ways to create incredible flavours. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get to it. After you read this, be sure to check out my post, 5 Cooking Principles for Success, to learn some real tips to improve your cooking.




Thyme is one of my all-time favourite herbs and one that I use more than almost any others. It can be used either fresh or dried, though I much prefer to use it fresh. Thyme is commonly used with pork though it is also fantastic with chicken, beef and fish. It can be added to soups, stews and chowders (especially clam chowder), sauces, roasted vegetables, and even bread. Thyme can also work well in sweet applications such as lemon and thyme muffins, blueberry crumble, or even apple crumble. This is an herb that I always have in the fridge and ready to go because it works with pretty much everything.



Rosemary can be used fresh or dried, but like thyme, I prefer to use it fresh. In fact, assume unless I say otherwise that all the herbs on this list are used fresh. It will save us all a lot of time. Rosemary has a strong initial flavour, but it can break down fairly quickly when cooked for long periods of time. For this reason, it is better to add rosemary around the middle of cooking rather than at the start. Rosemary works incredibly well with red meat and chicken, pork and even halibut, cod, and mackerel. It is great with beans, grilled or roasted vegetables and pairs well with lemon and garlic. I love to use it when braising beef or lamb in tomato sauce with a little red wine. Mushrooms and rosemary are good friends and go very well together in pasta with sausage and white sauce or risotto. Rosemary and tomato, either fresh or as sauce goes very well together too.


Parsley should always be used fresh. Dried parsley has little to no flavour and lacks the bright green colour of fresh parsley. You can buy either flat-leaf (Italian parsley) or curly parsley. If you have a choice go with the flat-leaf, it has a better flavour. If you don’t have a choice, either will do. I use parsley mostly as a finishing herb. Not that I sprinkle it over the plate for garnish. I mean, if I’m making pasta, I’ll toss the pasta and the sauce together and finish it with a handful of parmesan, a handful of chopped parsley, and a nub of butter. The parsley adds a fresh, vibrant flavour that doesn’t overpower the rest of the dish. It also adds a bit of colour. Parsley can also be added to soups and chowders. Because of its neutral, fresh flavour, parsley pairs well with just about anything.


Basil obviously can be used to make pesto and pairs incredibly well with tomato in any form. But, did you know that it can be used just as easily with strawberries (especially in strawberry shortcakes), blueberries, peaches and white chocolate? It is also fantastic with white fish, especially when served with white beans. Dried basil can be used in sauces, but fresh is the way to go for other applications. For a surprisingly delicious combination, throw a small handful of fresh basil into your next coconut curry.



Tarragon is most commonly paired with deep flavours like mushrooms and beef. However, a little bit of tarragon in a seafood chowder is a thing of true beauty. It goes very well with chicken, especially with a little lemon as well as beets, and fish. In general, it is best to not use tarragon in combination with other herbs, as they have a tendency to clash.



Sage goes well with beef, chicken, turkey, pork, rabbit, squash, and mushrooms. It can be used in stews and stuffings. It also goes very well with pasta combined with cream sauce, or brown butter, especially with ravioli stuffed with mushrooms, sausage, or squash. Sage can also be used with seafood, especially in Spanish paella.



Margoram is like a milder version of oregano and it can be used in all of the same places. See oregano below for uses.



When most people think of oregano, they probably think of Italian food, especially pasta and pizza sauce, they’re not wrong, but that’s only part of the story. Oregano is common throughout the Mediterranian and in Mexican cuisine as well. There are many oregano varieties, but the oregano in your cupboard can be used for all purposes. I love to marinate lamb, chicken, or pork for Mediterranian flavours in a combination of garlic, red wine vinegar, oregano, and lemon juice. I’ll sometimes add a bit of mint in there too. If I’m going for Mexican flavours, I’ll marinated pork or chicken with oregano, chillies, a touch of cinnamon, orange and lime juice, annatto, onion and garlic. When roasted, pulled, and quickly fried, this will make some of the best tacos you’ve ever had.



Most people don’t cook with mint. That’s unfortunate becasue it can add such great flavour to so many dishes. I love to add it to homemade tzatziki sauce along with a bit of dill. And I use it in my Greek Salad dressing. It is also a secret ingredient in my butter chicken and many Indian curries I make. Once cooked, I finish butter chicken with a small handful each of mint and cilantro. It is incredible.



You either love cilantro, or you hate it. I absolutely love it. One of my favourites uses for it is also probably the simplest. I cut it up, mix it with an equal amount of minced onion and put it on top of tacos (real tacos, not old el Paso tacos). Cilantro is just as common in Indian and Thai cuisines as it is in Mexican. I love to add it to pineapple or mango salsa, salads, and chutneys. Like parsley, Cilantro is a finishing herb and should be added to dishes at the end of cooking. Otherwise, it will lose its flavour and may turn bitter. When making any curry, I throw a handful of cilantro in at the end.

I actually used to be one of those people that hated cilantro because I thought it tasted like soap. But at a restaurant I worked, we had smoked chicken poutine that was finished with a little sour cream and a handful of cilantro. It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I still think about it often and occasionally make it. That poutine completely changed my view and taste of cilantro.

Bay Leaf

Bay Leaf

Bay leaf is commonly added to soups and stews, which is good. It is also an ingredient in Garam Masala. I use it a lot, in combination with star anise and occasionally other spices to flavour rice. It is a straightforward way to add some flavour to plain white rice. I add the bay leaf and other spices right in the beginning when I combine the water and rice. Once cooked and rested, the bay leaf and other spices sit right on top of the rice and can be picked out. Again, this is an effortless way to add flavour to rice with little to no effort.




Fenugreek may not actually be that common in North America, but I’ve seen it in enough spice cupboards to know that lots of people have it and have no idea what to do with it. It comes as either a powder, seeds (which are very hard) or a leaf more commonly known as methi (The Indian name). I prefer to use either the powder or the leaf because the seeds are just way too hard. Fenugreek is a common ingredient in Indian food and is one of the main flavours of butter chicken. Root vegetables tossed with olive oil, fenugreek and salt and pepper, then roasted are delicious. Fenugreek mixed with yogurt can make a fantastic marinade for chicken, lamb, pork, or even a salad dressing.



Cumin is most commonly used in Indian, Mexican and Moroccan cuisines. It is a key ingredient in Garam Masala, as well as hummus. I like to add a few toasted cumin seeds to rice along with a bay leaf at the start of cooking to add a lot of flavour. I use powdered cumin in barbecue sauce, baked beans, and marinades. Honestly, cumin is one of the most used spices in my kitchen. I love it! For something special, mix a little powdered cumin with yogurt and a splash of lemon juice, thinly slice a cucumber and toss it with the cumin yogurt. This makes a great and simple side salad for curry, lamb, or just about anything.



I most commonly use coriander in tandem with cumin. I love the two of them together. Having said that, coriander is fantastic on its own as well. Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant though it doesn’t really taste much like cilantro. If you want to make homemade taco bell or old el Paso tacos, cumin and coriander are your secret (or not so secret) ingredients.



Turmeric is often an ingredient in an ingredient, meaning you’ll find it in Curry powder, mustard, Ras el Hanout, etc. It has a slight, but not unpleasant, bitter flavour that awakens that palate and makes you salivate. A little bit of turmeric added to rice will turn the whole pot yellow, adding a nice colour element to your meal. Potatoes tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and turmeric, then roasted, are very delicious and come out a nice golden yellow colour.

Mustard Seeds

mustard seed

Mustard seeds are obviously the main ingredient in mustard. However, they have lots of other uses, whether whole or ground. Mustard acts as a binder when making vinaigrettes. It is also very commonly used in baked beans, barbecue sauce, and rubs. I add a spoon of mustard seeds to the pot when making boiled dinner or corned beef and cabbage because the mustard seeds help take away any foul smells produced from the cabbage and help you digest the meal. I also like to add a small spoon full of mustard seeds to rice when cooking it on their own or along with a bay leaf and cumin seeds. They add a nice flavour and, again, help with digestion.

Fennel Seeds

fennel seeds

Fennel seeds have a mild anise flavour that goes very well with pork (especially in sausages), duck and chicken. They are one of the five ingredients in Chinese Five Spice. You will also find it in Garam Masala, Herbes de Provence, and Ras el Hanout. One of my favourite uses for fennel seeds is to toast them and add them to pizza sauce. They add an incredible flavour that is hard for people to pin down. You will often find fennel seeds in Eastern European baked goods and even sauerkraut.

Star Anise

star anise

Star anise is not only the most photogenic of all the spices; it is also one of the most underused. Like fennel seeds, star anise is one of the five ingredients in Chinese Five Spice. I love star anise with anything pork. I often braise pork belly or ribs in a combination of soy sauce, honey, star anise, and pepper. The anise flavour pulls something really magical out of the pork. Star anise is another ingredient that I love to throw in rice. It can be used along with the other ingredients I mentioned, on its own, or just with a bay leaf. Either way, it will be some of the best rice you’ve ever tasted.



Cinnamon is generally considered a sweet spice, commonly used in desserts, but that’s not even half the story. It is the third of five ingredients in Chinese Five Spice and a main ingredient in Garam Masala and Ras el Hanout. It is also widespread in Indian, Mexican and Middle Eastern foods. Cinnamon pairs very well with beef, lamb and goat, root vegetables and squash. One of my favourite uses of cinnamon is to add a little bit of it to a pot of Chili. It really brings out all of the other flavours. I think that cinnamon is one of the most underused and underrated spices in North America.



The most obvious use for nutmeg is in pumpkin pie and pumpkin-spiced things. But, there is so much more to that little nut than pairing it with pumpkin. I like to add a tiny bit of nutmeg to cream sauces and even mashed potatoes. I add it to spinach and cottage (or ricotta) cheese when making lasagna or ravioli. It is fantastic with braised beef, lamb and fish. When making braised collard greens or swiss chard, I add nutmeg to boost the flavour. I also use it a lot when making Cuban food, especially red beans, and Jamaican food like jerk spice.


There is a world of possibilities held within the confines of your spice cupboard. I hope that this post has helped to illuminate that world to you. Obviously, this post is not exhaustive. There could be an entire blog dedicated to just this topic. We’ve only scratched the surface, but that’s better than nothing. The point is that I hope you look at the spices in your cupboard a little differently now. And that you experiment a little more with what they can do and be used for.

Thank you to Sue for suggesting this post. If you have a suggestion for a post, tell me in the comments, email me, or message me on social media.

Thank you for reading this post. Share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter to help Chef’s Notes continue to grow. Subscribe to Chef’s Notes below, and you will never miss a post again.

About me

7 Turkey Cooking Tips For This Thanksgiving

7 Turkey Cooking Tips For This Thanksgiving

It’s only a few days away. Can you believe it? Before you know it, you and your family (or maybe just you) will be gorging yourselves on mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and of course, turkey. Last Thanksgiving, I shared four different and unique turkey recipes in “A Tale of Four Turkeys.” This year, I will share my seven Thanksgiving turkey cooking tips with you to help you make one bird exceptionally well.

With everything going on this year, and people not being able to gather for Thanksgiving, many people will be cooking a turkey for the first time. But don’t worry, whether you are new to this, or you’ve been cooking turkey your whole life, I’m sure you will find some, if not all of the information in this post helpful. So, let’s get to it.

1. Defrost

Defrosting in The Fridge

First and foremost, you are likely buying a frozen turkey. It is important to defrost it properly to keep it safe. The last thing you want is to make anyone sick. The best way to defrost a turkey is in the fridge. But this takes a long time. For example, I recently defrosted a nine-pound turkey in the fridge for four days. After the four days, the body cavity was still full of ice. A bigger turkey may take up to six days to fully defrost in the fridge. Essentially, if your turkey isn’t in the fridge defrosting right now, it should be. If you defrost the turkey in the fridge, make sure to sit in a large pan or bowl to collect any liquid that melts off the bird.

Defrosting in Water

Another safe way to defrost a turkey is to put it in the sink or (clean) bathtub and submerge it in cold water. Change the water every hour until the bird is fully defrosted. This technique will defrost the bird in about a day. For a massive turkey, it may take two days.

Defrosting at Room Temperature

Defrosting a turkey at room temperature is a big no-no. I know that some people reading this have done this their whole lives and have not made anyone sick. But, it is very, very risky. At room temperature, the turkey’s surface will go into what is known as the danger zone. That’s the temperature range between 4°c and 60°c at which bacteria grow exponentially. Even though the turkey is mostly still frozen, bacteria are growing on the surface and have the potential to make people very sick. For this reason, it is never a good idea to defrost a turkey, or anything really for that matter, at room temperature.

2. Dry the bird

One step that people often miss when preparing their Thanksgiving turkey is to dry the skin. You can do this really simply with a paper towel, but it is best if it is left to air dry. I recommend uncovering the turkey a day or two before you are going to cook it. Put it on a rack set over a pan and put it back in the fridge. You can loosely cover the turkey with plastic wrap to prevent it from contaminating any other foods.

Why Dry The Skin

So, why do this? Why dry the turkey skin? Dry the turkey skin because it will get brown and crispy. That’s it. It just makes it more delicious and involves very little effort. So, why not do it? Right?

3. Grease it on or under the skin

Fat, on or under the turkey skin, be it butter, bacon fat, olive oil, lard, whatever. It will also help the skin get nice and crispy. There is the added benefit that fat pushed under the skin will make the breasts exceptionally moist and flavourful too. Now, pushing butter or bacon fat under the turkey skin will take practise. If you’re new to cooking a turkey, you might not want to go that far. So, just rub the turkey all over with melted butter or another fat of your choice.

Basting Tips

I’m going to talk about basting here really quickly too. If you don’t know, basting is when you take a liquid and pour it over the turkey (or another food item) during cooking. The old school way of thinking is that this will help the turkey stay moist and juicy and impart flavour. Basting will add some flavour, but we now know that it doesn’t really help with moisture or anything like that. The liquid isn’t going to penetrate the skin and get to the meat. What basting can do is help to develop an even brown colour and evenly crisp skin.

When basting, always use fat. It can be fat collected from the bottom of the roasting pan. It could be melted butter, olive oil, or whatever. What you don’t want is “juice” or anything watery. That will moisten the skin and prevent crisping and browning. Really all you want to do is every thirty to sixty minutes, take the turkey out of the oven and baste any light spots with fat. Put it back in the oven and keep doing that until the bird is fully cooked. This will give you that nice golden brown skin with a nice crisp texture.

4. Seasoning

Seasoning is what you put on the turkey to add flavour. For most people, this comes down to personal preference and family tradition. For my own turkey over the last year or so, I’ve been leaning into poultry seasoning, which you can make or buy. Here is a recipe from All Recipes that looks pretty good if you want to make it yourself. Our Thanksgiving turkey was always heavily flavoured with Summer Savoury, sage, and the like growing up. My mom would also put sausages or bacon around the turkey to add a little more flavour and fat. There is no right or wrong way to season a turkey. But, be generous with the seasoning and always use salt and pepper. For more unique seasoning options, check out last year’s Thanksgiving post.

5. Stuffing, yes or no

Stuffing. Of all my turkey cooking tips this one has gotten me in the most trouble. This has gotten me some angry emails in the past, but I have to stick to my guns. I don’t believe that you should stuff a turkey, and here’s why. When you stuff a turkey, you create a solid mass in the middle of an already dense bird. To make the stuffing safe to eat, it has to reach a temperature of 165°f. To get the stuffing to that temperature, the turkey has to be cooked to 180°f. Normally, you would only cook a turkey to 170°f. By the time the turkey rests and the residual heat dies down, 180°f is going to be closer to 200°f or, in other words, overcooked and dry.

I prefer to cook the stuffing outside of the bird (which makes it dressing). I pour some of the turkey juice over the stuffing as it cooks to add flavour. As for the turkey, I don’t leave it empty. I chop up an onion, throw it in there, and sometimes even a carrot and some celery. But, I keep it loosely packed. This adds loads of flavour to the turkey but makes it so I can cook it to 170°f and still get a nice juicy bird.

6. Cooking, temp and times/ get a thermometer

Turkey temperature

What temperature should you cook your Thanksgiving turkey on, for how long and to what temperature? Great questions. Let’s get the easy one out of the way first. Cook your unstuffed turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the breast’s thickest part reaches 165°f and inserted into the thigh reaches 170°f. For a stuffed turkey, you want to cook it until the stuffing reaches 165°f. The breast will be around 175°f, and the thigh will be around 180°f.

Oven Temperature

Your oven temperature will depend on the bird’s size but generally, for any turkey over 10 lbs ( 5.5 kg), cook it at 325°f. Any turkey under 10 lbs (5.5kg) can be cooked at 325°f or 350°f. Larger birds are cooked at lower temperatures so that the outside of the turkey doesn’t overcook before the inside is cooked. With smaller birds that isn’t so much of a concern.

Turkey Cooking Times

Thanksgiving turkey cooking time depends on the bird’s size, whether it is stuffed, and the oven’s temperature. But generally, for an unstuffed bird being cooked at a temperature of 325°f, it will take about seventeen minutes per pound. Meaning a fifteen-pound unstuffed turkey will take about four hours and fifteen minutes. A stuffed turkey will take about twenty minutes per pound at 325°f. So, a fifteen pound stuffed turkey will take about five hours to cook. Cooking a smaller turkey at 350°f will take about thirteen to fifteen minutes per pound.

  • Unstuffed over ten pounds = Turkey Weight x 17 = time to cook at 325°f
  • Stuffed over ten pounds = Turkey Weight x 20 = time to cook at 325°f
  • Unstuffed under ten pounds = Turkey Weight x 13 = time to cook at 350°f
  • Stuffed under ten pounds = Turkey Weight x 15 = time to cook at 350°f

Of course, these cooking times are estimates and should be confirmed with a meat thermometer.

7. Resting

The last turkey cooking tip that I have for you is to let your turkey rest. For a turkey over ten pounds, let it rest for at least an hour, under ten pounds at least thirty minutes. Resting will allow the turkey juices to redistribute throughout the bird, making it juicier and more flavourful. There is no point in having gone through all the trouble of buying the turkey, defrosting it, seasoning it, cooking it, and then ruining it by cutting into it right away. Plus, letting the turkey rest will give you time to get the rest of the dinner cooked.

To rest the turkey, take it out of the oven, loosly cover it with a lid or foil, and set it in a warm part of your kitchen. That’s it.


Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without turkey. Whether you are with your family this year or not, don’t let the spirit of the holiday go. Enjoy some turkey, skype in with your family, and share a meal even if it is from a distance. Even though this year has been crazy and doesn’t always feel like it, we all have a lot to be thankful for. I think a bite of flavourful, juicy, tender turkey will help remind us all of that.

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone. I’ll see you right back here next Wednesday. And if you are wondering what to do with all your leftover turkey check out They have lots of great recipes.

Thank you for reading the post. If you liked it, remember to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter by clicking the icon to the left of the right of the page. Did you know that has almost 400 posts just like this one? Don’t ever miss a post again. Become a Chef’s Notes member right here. You will be notified of every new post. And if you would like to know more about me, click the link below to read my story.

5 Tips For Perfect Fried Rice At Home

5 Tips For Perfect Fried Rice At Home

Fried Rice. It is one of my favourite things to cook and to eat. Not only is it delicious, but it is a great way to use up leftovers. It is cheap to make, and it is quick. I don’t know about you, but that ticks all of my boxes. Because I love fried rice so much, whether it’s chicken fried rice, pork fried rice, or any other type, I thought it was high time that I shared my secrets to making it with you. So, here we go.

1. The Rice

I’ve made fried rice out of almost any kind of rice you can imagine. That is unless you know a lot about rice, then maybe not. In that case, I would like to know why you know so much about rice? But I digress. My point here is that you, too, can make delicious fried rice out of any rice you have on hand. But, and that’s a big but, sticky rice (aka sushi rice) makes the best-fried rice by far.

Sticky rice is the rice that would traditionally be used to make fried rice (and sushi). If you use basmati or something like that to make fried rice, you will notice that it gets very soft. Sticky rice, on the other hand, when fried, will develop a little chew to it. It gets a little bite, which adds a nice texture to the fried rice. It also adds to the overall flavour of the dish in a way that basmati or another rice just doesn’t. On a side note, sticky rice is also much easier to eat with chopsticks.

Fresh versus Day Old Rice

There is some debate about whether it is best to use fresh rice or leftover, day-old rice to make fried rice. The argument from the leftover crowed is that the rice has time to dry out a bit in the fridge. In all honesty, I used to be of this mind. However, I’ve changed my view. I find that when using sticky rice, there is no need to use leftover rice. It will cook up perfectly well straight from the pot to the wok. The added bonus to this is that you don’t have to wait twenty-four hours for your rice when you get hit with a fried rice craving. Having said that, if you have leftover rice, of course, you can use that to make fried rice, it is the perfect application for it. But, if you want fried rice and don’t have any leftover rice, there is nothing to worry about.

2. Meat

I like meat in my fried rice, probably because I like meat in just about everything. If you don’t want meat, that’s fine, but I feel like I should talk about it. One thing that I really love about fried rice is that it is a great way to use up leftovers. So, if I have leftover pork chops, steak, chicken, turkey, duck, bison, scallops, salmon, whatever it is, you better believe that it is going in some fried rice. Of course, you don’t have to use leftovers to make fried rice, but it is a great way to stretch and use up last night’s dinner.

If I am using leftover meat to make my fried rice, I dice the meat into small cubes, reheat and brown it in a hot wok or frying pan, take it out, make the rest of my fried rice, then add the meat back in. If I am using fresh meat, I follow the same steps, except I leave the meat in the pan the whole time I’m cooking. For fish, I will usually cook it separately then mix it into the rice at the end.

3. Vegetables

When it comes to the vegetables I like to add to my fried rice I usually keep it pretty simple. I have three ingredients that I just about always add. They are onion, carrot, and celery. Along with those, I often add green onions (the whites at the beginning of cooking and the greens at the end of cooking), peas, and sometimes cabbage or bok choy or kimchi. Obviously, you can add whatever you’d like. It is best to cut all the vegetables about the same size, so they cook evenly. As fried rice is supposed to be a quick dish, I like to cut the vegetables small, about the size of a pea.

When cooking the vegetables for fried rice, I find that it is important to get a little colour on them. When you think about fried rice, there really isn’t a lot going on. There aren’t a lot of ingredients or flavourings being added. That means that the ingredients that are being used have to bring a lot to the party. Getting some colour on the vegetables will add a tonne of flavour to the dish with little to no extra effort. We will talk about this in a little more detail in a second.

4. Flavourings

There are a lot of things that you can add to fried rice to give it flavour. My go-to flavourings are garlic, ginger, chilli, salt, a pinch of sugar, and of course, soy sauce. However, I sometimes make kimchi fried rice, in which case the kimchi provides the bulk of the flavour. Sometimes I will add a few spoon fulls of sambal to add a bit of a kick to the rice.

The soy sauce in fried rice kind of does double duty. It adds flavour and saltiness of course, but it also adds colour, turning the white rice kind of brown. I’m sure you noticed that I said I like to add salt and sugar to the rice. Now, why add salt when I’m using soy sauce? I find that soy sauce and salt, though both are “salty”, they are salty in different ways. Of course, this depends on the soy sauce you are using. But, I do usually add a pinch of salt in along with my soy sauce. Of course, you should taste your rice after adding the soy sauce before you decide if you should add salt or not. As for the sugar, I find that a very small amount will go a long way. You probably won’t even know it’s there, but a side by side taste comparison of the same fired rice with and without sugar would make the reason for it obvious. It enhances all the other flavours.


All good fried rice has an egg stir-fried into it. The egg will help bind the rice but also adds a tonne of flavour. Once the rice is done, push it all to the side of the wok or pan, making a well in the center. Add a touch of oil, then break an egg into. Let the egg cook for a few seconds, then scramble it and mix it into the rice. This may sound crazy, but it isn’t a bad idea to overcook the egg here. You won’t notice it texturally, but it will add a lot of extra flavour to the rice.

5. Cooking

At this point, we’ve talked about all the things that you can and should add to your fried rice, but none of that matters if you don’t cook it properly. The key to great fried rice or any stir-fry for that matter, is heat. The wok or pan has to be hot, like hot. Heat it up over medium-high to high heat. Add in a touch of oil the start by cooking and browning your meat. Next, add in the vegetables, cook and brown those. Next, add in flavourings like ginger and garlic, those will only take a few seconds. In goes the rice, which you should also cook to brown a bit. A little crispy rice never hurt anyone and will add a nice textural change to the rice. Once the rice is hot and a little brown, add in the soy sauce, sugar, and salt. Cook for another minute or two, then add your egg. Once the egg is mixed in, add the greens from the green onions, taste the rice, and season as needed with a bit more salt and pepper.


Making fried rice is a great way to use up leftovers, stretch meat and vegetables, or throw together a quick meal. Hopefully, with the tips I’ve shared in this post, you can approach fried rice with more confidence and learn to love such a humble dish.

Thank you for reading the post. If you liked it, remember to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter by clicking the icon to the left of the right of the page. Did you know that has almost 400 posts just like this one? Don’t ever miss a post again. Become a Chef’s Notes member right here. You will be notified of every new post. And if you would like to know more about me, click the link below to read my story.

My Grocery Budgeting Successes and Failures of the Week

My Grocery Budgeting Successes and Failures of the Week

Today is supposed to be about cooking and eating on a budget, but things didn’t go so well this week. The week started pretty good but then went off the rails because we had guests this weekend, and once again, our snack cravings got the best of us. Let’s take a look at my grocery budgeting successes and failures of the week.

Grocery Budgeting Successes

To start things off, let’s take a look at what I did right with my budget this week. At the beginning of the week, my wife and I sat down and planned our meals for the coming days. We made a comprehensive shopping list, did an inventory of our kitchen, looked over the flyers, and did one main shopping trip, which fell well within our budget. Our weekly budget is $149, and that initial shopping trip cost $114. That left a little wiggle room in case we needed to get milk, eggs, or bananas later in the week. As I said, the week started off on the right track. That was Monday, by Wednesday, things started to go downhill.

To make the meal plan, do the inventory, and create the shopping list, I used the templates which you can download for free in the member’s section here. There are three levels of membership, all with different benefits such as weekly updates, behind the scenes stories, and a free monthly cooking class. To get access to the templates, you only need to sign up for a free membership. There are new downloadables every week, so be sure to become a member here.

What went wrong?

On Wednesday evening, my wife went out to get an ice cream cone (or so I thought), she came back with two tubs of ice cream (one Ben and Jerry’s Tonight Dough, her favourite. And one gluten-free chocolate ice cream for me.), along with a few odds and ends. In total, she probably spent $30 to $40, which put us either right at or just over our budget. Not great, but not terrible either.

Things went downhill when we found out we had some friends coming over for the weekend. We were super excited to see them and spend some time with them as COVID-19, and having moved out of the city has kept us apart for months. But, we did end up buying more groceries, which put us way over our budget. In total, we spent another $90. That wasn’t entierly because we had guests, and they paid for half of the food (the $90 includes our half of the groceries). But, we still went over our budget by about $100 in total.

Will this week be better?

This week should go much better than last week. I’m going to be out of town for work on the weekend, so I won’t be eating at home, and my meals will be a work expense so they won’t count towards our budget. We also have some leftovers to use up, and we have a bunch of dried beans that I am going to break into to spread our budget a little further. As long as we can keep our mid-week snack cravings to a minimum, we should stay within our budget for the week. Wish me luck.

Thank you for reading the post. If you liked it, remember to share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter by clicking the icon to the left of the right of the page. Did you know that has almost 400 posts just like this one? Don’t ever miss a post again. Subscribe to Chef’s Notes by putting your email address in the subscription box below or by becoming a Chef’s Notes member right here. You will be notified of every new post. And if you would like to know more about me, click the link below to read my story.

[jetpack_subscription_form show_subscribers_total=”false” button_on_newline=”false” custom_font_size=”16″ custom_border_radius=”0″ custom_border_weight=”1″ custom_padding=”15″ custom_spacing=”10″ submit_button_classes=”” email_field_classes=”” show_only_email_and_button=”true”]
5 Surprising Tricks to Transform Your Cooking

5 Surprising Tricks to Transform Your Cooking

Are you tired of producing mediocre meals? Are you ready to take your cooking to the next level? Look no further! These 5 surprising tricks will revolutionize the way you cook and impress your friends and family with delicious, restaurant-quality dishes. Best of all, they’re easy to implement and won’t require any fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients. So get ready to transform your cooking and become the master chef of your kitchen!

1. Learn to taste

The simple act of tasting your food as you cook is the most effective way to improve the quality of your dishes. Tasting isn’t just about determining if your food tastes good – it also helps you identify and correct any deficiencies in your recipes. For example, tasting can help you determine if a dish needs more salt, acid, or sweetness to bring out the flavours. It can also help you detect if a dish has too much of a particular ingredient, such as herbs or spices, which can overpower the other flavours.

When should you taste your food?

Make a habit of tasting everything you can, including vegetables, sauces, soups, and starches before serving. Don’t be afraid to taste and adjust the seasoning multiple times, especially with soups and sauces. The more you taste, the more you’ll learn about the flavours and how to balance them in your dishes.

When it comes to vegetables and starches, it’s best to taste them just before serving. Cook them, season them, taste them, adjust the seasoning as needed, taste them again, re-adjust if necessary, and taste one more time before serving. This will ensure that the flavours are well balanced and the seasoning is just right.

For soups and sauces, it’s a good idea to taste and adjust at least three times during the cooking process. Once in the middle of the cooking time (if it is safe to do so), once about a third of the way through the cooking time, and once at the end. Tasting soups and sauces that often will give you a much more accurate profile of the flavour and allow you to adjust as needed without extending the cooking time.

2. Temperature Control

One of the biggest mistakes home cooks make is not using high enough heat when cooking. This can result in food that is grey, sticks to the pan, and is overcooked or undercooked. For example, if you are cooking a steak, pork chop, or chicken breast in a pan and the heat isn’t high enough, three things are likely to happen. The meat will turn grey rather than getting that nice browning on the surface. The meat may (and likely will) stick to the pan because the heat wasn’t high enough to sear it on contact, allowing it to release from the surface of the pan. And, the liquid will probably come out of the meat, pooling in the pan, causing the meat to boil. This will lead to very grey, tough, chewy meat. All of these are undesirable outcomes. Similar issues can occur when cooking vegetables.

The way to resolve all of these issues is very simple – let your pots, pans, ovens, or other cooking equipment heat up properly before adding any food. This doesn’t have to be over high heat, though sometimes (when using a wok especially) that is what you want. Heating a pan over medium heat for a few minutes should be enough. Test the temperature of the pan by splashing a little water on its surface. If the water spits and forms droplets that roll around the surface of the pan before evaporation, the pan is hot enough. If the water just sits there, the pan isn’t ready. Make sure the pan is dry before adding oil to prevent splattering. Hot oil and water can burn you, so be careful when heating up your cooking equipment.

Proper heating is essential for great cooking. Don’t be afraid to turn up the heat and allow your cooking equipment to heat up properly before adding food. This will result in better browning, more tender and juicy meat, and perfectly cooked vegetables.

The 5 P’s of Cooking

When cooking, or getting ready to cook, keep in mind the 5 P’s of cooking: prioritize, plan, prepare, patience, and produce. Let’s look at each one in more detail:

Prioritize: Before you start cooking, take a few minutes to think about each task you need to achieve. Rank them in order of importance and in the order they need to be completed. This will help you execute the recipe more efficiently and prevent you from missing a step.

Plan: Once you have prioritized your tasks, take a few minutes to plan how you will execute them. Are there things you can do simultaneously without disrupting the rhythm of cooking? Should you chop extra garlic because you’ll need some for the sauce too? Even minor planning will help you stay organized and on task, making cooking more efficient and enjoyable.

Prepare: Before you start cooking, get everything ready that you can. Measure out spices, pick herbs, and do everything you need to do to your ingredients. There’s nothing worse than being at a crucial point in the cooking process and having to dig around for an ingredient or prepare an ingredient that should be ready to go. This can cause chaos, confusion, and stress.

Patience: Once all your ingredients are ready, turn on your cooking equipment and be patient. Give your equipment time to properly heat up and be patient throughout the cooking process. Wait until the meat is browned, the onions are soft, or whatever it is. It will be worth the wait.

Produce: The final P is produce – cook the food, serve it, and enjoy it. Employ all of the P’s and things should run smoothly.

Knife Skills

Knowing basic knife skills makes cooking faster, safer, and more efficient. Proper knife skills involve more than just being able to chop an onion – they include everything from selecting the right knife for the task to maintaining a sharp edge and using the correct cutting techniques. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Hold your knife properly: To cut quickly and safely, it’s important to hold your knife in the correct position. Hold the handle of the knife as close to the blade as is comfortable, wrapping your whole hand around the handle in a firm, relaxed grip. Avoid putting your index finger on the spine of the blade, as this decreases the stability of the knife.

Use the correct cutting technique: Your non-knife hand, also known as your guide hand, plays a crucial role in controlling the food you are cutting. The fingertips of your guide hand should be in contact with the food and hold it in place while you are cutting. Curl your fingertips in slightly to avoid getting caught under the knife. The flat part of your fingers, between your first and second knuckles, should be in almost constant contact with the flat side of the blade of your knife. This may seem scary at first, but it will give the knife maximum stability and give you the most control.

Practice proper knife safety: Always use a cutting board to protect your countertop and keep your knife sharp. A dull knife is more dangerous to use because it requires more force to cut, which increases the risk of slips and accidents. Keep your knives sharp and use the correct cutting technique to minimize the risk of accidents.

By practicing proper knife skills, you’ll be able to cook faster, safer, and more efficiently. For more details on knife skills, check out this post.



Seasoning is an essential part of cooking that can make or break a dish. When I say seasoning, I mostly mean salt and pepper, but other seasonings like herbs, spices, and even acid (such as lemon juice) can be used to enhance the flavour of a dish.

To use salt properly, add it in small quantities at different times throughout the cooking process. This gives the salt time to dissolve and disperse throughout the dish. Once the salt has been added, give it a few minutes and then taste the dish. Add more salt as needed and continue tasting until the dish is perfectly seasoned. A perfectly seasoned dish is one where all the flavours are at their peak, but nothing tastes salty. It takes practice to master the art of seasoning, but seasoning your food will have a major impact on its flavour.

Pepper provides a slightly warming sensation on the tongue, opening up your palate and allowing you to taste a little more clearly. It’s important to use the right amount of pepper – too little and the dish will be bland, too much and it will overpower the other flavours. Start with a small amount and add more to taste.

In addition to salt and pepper, there are countless other seasonings you can use to enhance the flavour of your dishes. Herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme can add depth and flavour to soups, stews, and roasted meats. Spices like cumin, coriander, and paprika can add warmth and depth to dishes like curries and chili. Acid like lemon juice or vinegar can add brightness and balance to a dish. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different seasonings and find what works best for you.

In summary, seasoning is an essential part of cooking that can take a dish from good to great. Use salt to enhance the flavour of your dish and pepper to open up your palate, and don’t be afraid to experiment with other seasonings to find what works best for you.


With a little practice and attention to detail, cooking can be an enjoyable and relaxing activity. By following the tips and tricks we’ve covered in this post, you’ll be able to improve your cooking skills and create delicious, satisfying meals with ease. From learning to taste your food and control the temperature of your cooking, to mastering basic knife skills and seasoning your dishes to perfection, these small changes can make a big impact on your cooking. So don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and have fun! With time and practice, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a confident and skilled home cook.


I like to have my sink full of hot soapy water as I’m cooking. That way I can wash any dish that I dirty as soon as I have a second to do so. This prevents clutter and having a big mess to clean up once the cooking is over.

From Kitchen Clueless to Food Independent: The Wrap Up

From Kitchen Clueless to Food Independent: The Wrap Up

From understanding cooking terms to basic things that everyone should know how to cook and everything in between. Over the last four months, we have covered a lot of ground in my basic cooking course “Kitchen Clueless”. Today marks the end of this particular part of our journey together. As is always good to do at the end of something, we are going to take a look back and review the incredible amount of information that we have covered.

With that, let’s get to it. This is…

From Kitchen Clueless to Food Independent: The Wrap Up

Section 1 – Understanding Cooking Terms

In the first part of this series, we took a look at some basic cooking terms. Cooking has its own language (Spoiler, it’s mostly French) and in order to fully comprehend recipes, you need to know the language. It’s my hope that this section of the course gave you a better understanding of the language of cooking. Here are the terms we covered.

  • Bake
  • Blanch
  • Braise
  • Brine
  • Boil
  • Broil
  • Brown
  • Caramelize
  • Clarify
  • Chop
  • Conventional Oven
  • Convection Oven
  • Cup
  • Deglaze
  • Demiglace
  • Dice
  • Dry Roast
  • Emulsify
  • Fillet
  • Garnish
  • Glaze
  • Gram
  • Grill
  • Gratin
  • Julienne
  • Kilogram
  • Low and Slow
  • Litre
  • Marinade/Marinate
  • Mother Sauces
  • Mince
  • Mirepoix
  • Pan-fry
  • Pinch
  • Poach
  • Reduce
  • Render/Rendering
  • Roast
  • Roux
  • Sauté
  • Score
  • Sear
  • Season
  • Shred
  • Simmer
  • Skim
  • Slice
  • Steam
  • Stew
  • Stock
  • Stir-Fry
  • tbsp/tsp
  • Temper/tempering
  • Toss
  • Truss

If you are unsure of what any of the words in this list mean, click the link below to read the full post.

Check out the full post here.

Section 2 – Kitchen Equipment

In order to become a good cook, you will need to have at least decent equipment at your disposal. In this part of the series that is exactly what we talk about. We take a look at what you need to know when buying knives, pots and pans, vegetable peelers, measuring cups, cutting boards and more. If you have any questions about kitchen equipment I suggest taking a look at this post at the link below.

Check out the full post here.

Section 3 – Knife Skills

For the third post in my basic cooking course series, we took a look at some basic knife skills and knife safety. We talked about how to sharpen your knife and why that is important, how to properly hold your knife, and different options for that, and of course how to actually cut things. Even if you think you are an expert knife-wielder I highly recommend taking another look at this post. There is a lot of very valuable information in there.

Check out the full post here.

Section 4 – Understanding Ingredients

Part four of the course was so chock full of information that I had to break it up into four parts. In the first part, we looked at all kinds of beans and rice. In part two we looked at potatoes and onions. Part three was all about garlic, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and chilli peppers. And, part four was all about beef, chicken, fish and pork.

Looking back on this now I can’t believe how much information is jammed into these four parts. If you’d like to take a look you can click the links below.

Check out the full three part post here, here, here, and here.

Sections 5 – Basic Cooking Techniques

In this the broke down and more clearly defined some basic cooking techniques including how to sauté, broil, roast, bake, pan-fry, sear, braise and more. If you want to be a better cook, nailing down every technique in this post will help to get you there.

Check out the full post here.

Sections 6 – Understanding Soups

From looking at basic cooking techniques we moved on to more concrete cooking concepts, like understanding soup. In this post, we looked at different kinds of soup, the basic principles behind the types, and of course how to make them. This post includes soup recipes for French Onion, White Bean and Chorizo, Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple and Parsnip, Bacon and Corn Chowder, and Scallop and Bacon Chowder.

Check out the full post here.

Section 7 – Understanding Salads

From understanding soups, we moved on to understanding salads. In this section, as with the previous one, we looked at the basic principles of salads. We also looked at common types of greens and what to pair with them. As part of this section, we also looked at salad dressings. This post has recipes for a Basic Vinaigrette which you can alter in countless ways to make any type of vinaigrette you’d like. It also has recipes for Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, Maple Balsamic, Lemon and Chive, Caesar Dressing and more.

Check out the full post here.

Sections 8 – Basic Things Everyone Should Be Able To Cook

In the final section of the series, which is broken up into three parts, we took everything from the previous lessons and applied it to the real world in Basic Things Everyone Should Know How To Cook. There is so much information and so many recipes in these three posts that I’m not even going to break it down. I suggest you go take a look for yourself. If you haven’t read them, you’re in for a treat. If you have, you will find something you missed.

Check out the full posts here, here, and here.


I’m not going to lie to you, putting all of this together has been a tremendous amount of work. Much more work than I had anticipated and I am very much looking forward to taking a break from it. However, I feel really good about the series as a whole and I hope that you have enjoyed it. More importantly, I hope learned a lot from it. Over the next few weeks, my Wednesday posts will be pretty standard posts as I get ready for my next series which will start in a month or so.

Thank you as always for reading and for your continued support. You can find the entire basic cooking course at the link in the menu at the top of the page. And if you have an idea for a series that you would like to see on the blog let me know, you may just get what you asked for.

Have a great day everyone!

How to Spatchcock (Flatten) a Chicken and why you should.

How to Spatchcock (Flatten) a Chicken and why you should.

Good morning everyone and happy Victoria Day. Today we are going to do something a little different on the blog. Generally, on Monday, we look at a recipe that can be made fairly quickly. However, today, in part because it is a long weekend and in part, because someone asked for this post, we are going to look at how to spatchcock a chicken, what that means, and why you should know how to do this.

What is Spatchcock?

Spatchcock is when you remove the backbone from a chicken and flatten it. This is done for a few different reasons, the main reason is that it helps to cook the chicken faster and more evenly. This is very helpful when barbecuing or even oven roasting the chicken. The other reason is when you marinate the chicken the marinade has more surface area to penetrate leading to more flavour in the finished product. One other reason for Spatchcocking the chicken is that once it is cooked it is much easier to cut into smaller pieces.

Okay, let’s take a look at how to Spatchcock a chicken.

How to Spatchcock (Flatten) a Chicken.

Step 1 – Hips and Legs

The first step is to take a whole chicken and put it breast side up on your cutting board with the back opening towards you. Looking into the back of the chicken you can see the backbone running straight down the middle with the legs on either side. The legs are connected to the backbone by a ball joint which is about two inches in as you can see circled in red in the fourth picture in the group below. What you can see in the third picture is that before the ball joint is the hips (for lack of a better term) which come up in kind of a wide “U” shape.

Take your knife and slide it down the outside of the hips guided by their shape until you reach the ball joint that connects the legs. In the second picture in the below group, you can see the angle that your knife should go into the chicken. You also want the knife to be tilted on a 45°f angle. The knife is going to need a little bit of force to go through the hips but once you get to the ball joint it should go through fairly easily. You may need to move the leg around a little to uncover the ballpoint. Use the tip of your knife to cut the leg free of the ball joint, then do the same on the other side.

Step 2 – Ribs

Once the legs are free you want to keep cutting down towards the front of the chicken on either side of the backbone. At this point, you will be directly cutting through the ribs which will take a little force but shouldn’t be too tough. Stay as close to the backbone as you can to avoid cutting into the breast.

Once the backbone has been loosened a little you may find it easier to flip the chicken over, lift up the backbone and cut down through the ribs. Either way will work.

Step 3 – Wings and Wish Bone

Once you get to the front of the chicken your knife is going to hit bone. This is the “V” shaped bone commonly referred to as the wishbone. Run your knife on the outside of this bone until you reach another ball joint, this one connects the wings to the breast bone. Just like with the leg ball joint use the tip of your knife to either cut through it or cut it out. Then pick the backbone up and cut away any skin or meat that is still holding on. At this point, you should have a fully intact chicken with the backbone removed.

Step 4 – Flatten the Chicken

The final step to Spatchcock a chicken is to flip it over so the breasts are facing up and push down. There should be a few crunches as the ribs expand. With that, you should now have a flattened chicken. (My chicken, unfortunately, had a broken leg as you can see. )

Step 5 – Optional

The fifth and final step is completely optional. In this step, you flip the chicken back over and run your knife between the rib bones and the breast meat. Once the ribs have been loosened you cut them free. I prefer not to do this unless I am deboning the whole chicken. This will compromise the structure of the chicken causing it to fall apart when flipped on the grill. Leaving the rib bones on the chicken will also help protect the breast meat from the direct heat of the flame.

I don’t have a picture of this because I didn’t do it. However, you can see the rib cage in the picture below. If you want to remove the ribs run your knife on the outside of the rib cage, then cut the bones away.


This is going to take some practice. It is going to take a few times for you to get a feel for where to place your knife for the first few cuts, and how to cut through the ball joints. Eventually though, after doing this five or six times, this should take you only a few minutes. It takes me longer to scrub my cutting board after doing this than it does to actually do it.

I really cannot stress how valuable a technique this is to master. This single technique will change how you grill and even roast chicken forever, I promise. Oh, and you can do the same thing to turkey, game hen, or any other poultry.

If you have any questions about this or if any part of this is unclear please don’t hesitate to ask me to clarify. Thank you, have a great Victoria Day and remember to follow the blog so you never miss a post. Of course, if you enjoyed this post, please share it on Facebook or Pinterest.

Pin It on Pinterest