The 29 Best Cooking Tricks We Learned From Chrissy Teigen

By now, if you know who Chrissy Teigen is, you know how much she loves cooking. She started with a food blog, which was followed by her first cookbook, Cravings. She even has another book on the way. And if you follow Teigen on Instagram (which we really hope you do), you've seen many of her favorite recipes at work.

If you haven't read her cookbook in full, you're missing out. Her recipe intros make us feel like we're right there in the kitchen with her and her squad of food-lovers (which of course includes her mom, husband John Legend, and now baby Luna, too). They range from notes about what comments she receives when posting Insta photos of the meals to anecdotes about the cooking tricks she learned from her mom. She also sprinkles in some of her most clever, lesser-known tips and hacks.

Even if you're an amateur chef, you will feel like you can execute these dishes, because of the way Teigen talks to her readers, like she's emailing a recipe to an old friend. Click through for 29 things we learned from reading Cravings and get ready for some major cooking inspo.

"Don't sleep in oven mitts you cooked in all day, because ants will make you their bitch."

Teigen starts the introduction to her book with a bit of practical advice. This line is part of an anecdote about how childhood Chrissy was so happy to help her mom in the kitchen that she would fall asleep in aprons or oven mitts.
"The kitchen is the heart of any home."

You don't have to have an elaborate kitchen. Even if you're living in a studio apartment with a tiny stove shoved into the corner, you can still make your "kitchen" work for you. (This gem also comes from the cookbook's introduction.)
Keep Sriracha in your kitchen at all times.

What makes Chrissy Teigen's cookbook so appealing — other than the fact that it's written by Chrissy Teigen — is that the recipes explain everything without speaking down to the reader. Many of the recipes feature notes with tips about, say, how to cut a pineapple, or other tricks we might not know.

This tip comes from a section at the beginning of the cookbook, titled "Before You Start Cooking." We're in total agreement here — hot sauce makes everything better.
If you're toasting nuts, they're done when they're "hot and shiny."

Teigen writes that she almost always toasts nuts before putting them into her recipes, because it brings out the flavor. It's super easy, too — all you have to do is pop them into a skillet (no oil or cooking spray necessary) and heat for a few minutes.
The smell of bacon will mask any unpleasant odors.

On the page featuring her bacon recipe, Teigen writes that she cooked bacon when her house had "sewage issues." Instead of smelling like the plumbing mishaps, the house smelled like bacon. Win!
Presentation can be just as important as the dish itself.

In her recipe for creamy Parmesan skillet eggs, Teigen suggests cooking the eggs in two small skillets. "You can also do this in one large skillet, but it's cuter in small ones," she writes.

Never underestimate the power of a mini Le Creuset.
There IS a difference between hash browns and home fries. Do not mix them up.

Teigen is a known patron of Waffle House, home of hash browns that are scattered, covered, smothered, and more. She loves IHOP's hash browns, too, according to the introduction to her hash brown recipe. But what she doesn't love is when menus list hash browns — and then you're given home fries.
Stirring is like meditation.

Whether or not you actually believe cooking has therapeutic qualities is up to you. But in her recipe for sausage gravy (made to top biscuits), Teigen attests to its meditative qualities for impatient people like herself.
Freezing your butter makes for fluffier biscuits.

You'd think that if butter is going to be cooked, it doesn't matter how it starts out, right? But Teigen explains that frozen butter creates holes in the biscuits as it melts. And those holes translate to a fluffier biscuit.
Use twine to hold herbs together while making soup.

This note comes from Teigen's recipe for roasted tomato soup. It will make taking the stems out when you're done cooking a lot easier.
Buttered Saltines are a perfectly acceptable complement to soups.

In the introduction to her recipe for chicken noodle soup, Teigen explains that her father often served buttered Saltine crackers alongside the dish. It might sound like a strange suggestion, but she swears by it.
Grocery-store rotisserie chickens are perfectly acceptable dinners.

Teigen's chicken noodle soup recipe features "rotochick" meat — a.k.a, shredded meat from the rotisserie chickens you see at the grocery store. You don't have to make everything from scratch to have a home-cooked meal!
If you love pot pie, make pie crust crackers to get the crust in every bite.

If you're like Teigen, you might think that the best part of pot pie is the crust. Instead of desperately scraping at the sides of the bowl, you can make crackers out of the crust — that way, you can get that flaky goodness in each bite. Teigen's recipe for pot pie soup with crust crackers is truly a game-changer.
Redefine drunk noodles.

Teigen doesn't believe that "drunk noodles" have to be the food you crave when you've had too many drinks. Instead, her "actual drunken noodles" recipe features whiskey in the dish itself. Don't judge it until you try it!
Preheat oil in a baking sheet when making roasted potatoes.

That way, the sides of the potatoes will get crispier, Teigen explains in the recipe for "John's crispy roasted potatoes."
"Beets are the devil's root."

Never trust someone who loves beets.
"Even the most cynical harbor the water necessary to produce tears."

Teigen shares this nugget in the introduction for her "Jok Moo (Thai pork and rice porridge)" recipe. She describes meeting chef Eric Ripert and watching this soup bring him to tears. The words of wisdom apply to more than just cooking, but it never hurts to offer someone homemade food.
Soup can cure everything.

Another gem from the Jok Moo introduction? Besides bringing Eric Ripert to tears, her mom's version of the soup was also Teigen's comfort food growing up. From hangovers to headaches, soup (maybe even this soup specifically), is always the answer.
Pork rinds can cut the heat of hot peppers.

Forget bread. Next time you're making a spicy dish, why not incorporate pork rinds? That's what Teigen does with her "pounded Thai papaya salad."
Use a dish towel to squeeze the extra water out of frozen spinach and artichokes.

This one may seem obvious, but the trick comes from Teigen's recipe for "stretchy artichoke, spinach, and buffalo chicken dip."
It's okay to break the rules.

Chrissy Teigen puts cheese in guacamole and ham in green bean casserole. That might sound odd, but it works. Don't be afraid to experiment with creating your own recipes, even if other people say they're weird.
Hands off!

Not overworking things is a common thread throughout Teigen's cookbook. Overworking dough will make it tough, and stirring roasted potatoes too much will prevent them from getting crispy. Sometimes, you just have to let the food chill.
Don't be afraid of messing things up.

Cravings has an entire chapter titled "Things That Intimidate People But Shouldn't." It includes things like cooking whole fish and making your own gnocchi. Don't be afraid to try an ambitious recipe — even if something goes wrong, you'll still learn from the process.
Baking fish in paper keeps it juicy.

Teigen calls this "cooks' origami" — wrapping the parchment paper will keep your fish nice and tender.
Lure Fishbar has the best burger in NYC.

Okay, this tip is pretty subjective — there are a lot of NYC restaurants vying for that title. But Teigen swears by Josh Capon's recipe — which is reprinted in Cravings, in case you can't make it to his Soho restaurant.
Don't be too set in your ways.

Maybe you're not afraid of cooking, per se, but you have certain methods you rely on pretty heavily. That's great — but keep an open mind to other possibilities, too. In the introduction to the recipe for "John's marinated steaks," Teigen says that she loves cooking steak with nothing more than salt and pepper — but she admits that her husband's steak marinade is also delicious.
Not everything has to be homemade.

Teigen's pork chop recipe features Stove Top stuffing. She also professes her love for canned corn and canned tuna in the book. It's okay to incorporate small "cheats" into your recipes — and yes, it still counts as cooking.
One-pot meals are good for more than just cleanup.

In her recipe for prosciutto-wrapped stuffed chicken breasts, Teigen explains that she loves how the chicken juices and cheese leak onto the vegetables in the pan. It's a flavor explosion, and the fact that there's only one pan to clean afterward is just an added bonus.
"Mercury poisoning is worth it."

Okay, this isn't a real tip, though it is a real quote. The introduction to Teigen's "super tuna melts" recipe does include a story about seeing a quack doctor who warned her she was full of mercury. Her belief? Seafood is too delicious to skip.