One thing about being a real adult is knowing the right ways to do things. A few years ago, this author got in the habit of asking professionals for one trick or hint about how they're able to get paid to do stuff I have to pay them to do for me. This helps in a lot of places, but nowhere does it make my life better than in the kitchen.
After surveying kitchen professionals from all walks of life -- from posh kitchens to desolate oil fields -- I discovered some astoundingly simple hints, tricks, and moves to go from screwup to real adult when cooking.
Splurge on a chef's knife...
... and treat that thing right. Every chef I talked to said variations on this. It’s the tool you’ll use every meal, so no spending $30 on a set of seven at Target. Go big and buy one chef's knife in the $80 to $200 range from a real knife or kitchen store. Try it out to make sure it feels good in your hand. A 10in knife works for most people, says Christa Collins, an industrial chef and lifelong cook, but you should get what works for you. Hone your knife every time you use it, and have it professionally sharpened once a year. And never, ever, ever run it through your dishwasher.