In the words of superstar chef Bobby Flay, "As a chef, I wake up thinking about food. How will I utilize it that day?" That’s called undeniable passion, folks, and Flay infuses it into every dish he’s ever created — all for the love of the game.
A guy like Flay who’s been working in top kitchens much of his life alongside other world-renowned chefs has picked up a trick or two (more like a thousand or two) along the way. And with his robust television and social media presence, it’s clear that he loves to share his knowledge to help other chefs and home cooks develop their own love of all things food. Below, we’ve compiled some of the most amazing tricks of the trade from the man himself. So, pop on that apron, turn up that stove, and grab your tongs because these are some of Bobby Flay’s greatest cooking tips.
Grate eggs for egg salad on avocado toast
Up until recently, avocado toast never really received too much attention. Sure, it wasn’t a mind-bending idea to mash up some of those soft green fruits, add some spices, and then smear it on a slice of toast. But now more than ever, people are incorporating avocado toast into their morning routines for a delicious way to start the day. Naturally, Bobby Flay has multiple versions of the dish in his repertoire and one in particular includes a welcome bonus: He tops a piece of already-delicious avocado toast with a zesty dollop of egg salad.
But Flay’s addition requires an additional special step. When making the salad, instead of giving the hard boiled eggs a chop with a knife, he recommends coarsely grating them using a box grater. The extra fine pile of yolk and whites is then mixed with crème fraiche, mustard, shallot, dill, salt, and pepper resulting in an extraordinarily silky egg salad that compliments the creamy avocado like no other. When you add this tip into your ever-growing arsenal of kitchen hacks, people pay all the right kind of attention.
Brush lobsters with canola oil before grilling them
It’s never a difficult feat to sell someone on the idea of lobster. And crustacean-obsessed foodies know all too well the celestial experience of dunking a hunk of lobster tail into a butter bath and letting it melt in their mouth afterward with an enormous smile plastered across their face. But if you want to make your lobsters the proper way and keep your guests salivating for more, then Bobby Flay has a nifty little trick that ensures your pricey catch cooks perfectly every time. And it’s so much simpler than you might think.
First thing’s first: Boil your lobsters. You gotta walk before you can sprint to that scrumptious finish line at the end. But the cooking doesn’t stop there. While many people might just serve the lobsters straight out of the pot to their eager guests, Flay recommends partially cooking your lobsters in water and then adding another step that makes them even better: Get those suckers on the grill for maximum effect. However, don’t simply cut the lobsters in half and toss them on to the flame. This method toughens up the meat, and any seafood lover knows that will ruin the lobster eating experience. Instead, brush the lobster with canola oil before placing it on the grill. This ensures that the meat will end up with a soft and silky texture that is pure perfection.
Tighten an omelet with a towel
The great thing about eggs is there are so many different ways to cook and serve them, and each method brings out a slightly different flavor and texture. Omelets are, of course, a perennial eggy favorite, but a bit tricky to master. Obviously, Bobby Flay has cooked eggs tens of thousands of times throughout his life, and he is well-versed in the art of folding an omelet. So its no surprise he has the perfect tip to get your omelets looking pristine every time.
The trick comes into play once you’ve completed your omelet and given it the every-so-delicate flip from the skillet to the plate. Sure, you can cook the eggs properly and add the other ingredients into the pan like a pro, but when it comes time to fold the egg pancake over onto itself and gently lay it onto the plate, things can go from amazing to horrific in the blink of an eye. But if you do happen to spill your finished product onto the plate like an amateur, Flay says to grab a kitchen towel, drape it over the omelet, and use your hands to tuck in the sides like you’re rolling sushi. The omelet looks killer, and no one’s the wiser to your previous blunder.
Give your pizza a dessert spin
There is nothing better than nestling into the couch after a long and stressful work week to savor a slice of pizza topped with melty cheese, zesty marinara sauce, and all the toppings your little heart desires. Even though Bobby Flay is a fan of a hot pie fresh outta the oven, he has a unique spin on ‘za that is sure to make your Friday evenings even better. And it all has to do with some sweet stuff.
Flay suggests that along with making (or ordering) a savory pie, why not go to the opposite end of the flavor spectrum and give your pizza a dessert makeover? Using a standard crust, Flay slathers Italian sour cream cheese over the bread instead of that zesty red topping we always associate with pizza. Then he meticulously places on grilled plums (though any kind of stone fruit does the trick), blackberries, raspberries, and a tiny drizzle of honey as an extra sweet finisher. Pizza for dessert starts now.
Flavor the water before boiling shrimp in a pot
If you’re cooking shrimp, you can always go the simple route and toss them raw into a pot of boiling water for a few minutes and voila! You have a plate of bite-sized bits of ocean love that taste even better when you give them a bath in the cocktail sauce jacuzzi. But Bobby Flay knows exactly how to raise your shrimp game.
To kick up the taste of those enjoyable little sea creatures you want to flavor the water they’re boiling in before you even add them to the pot. So simple, right? Yet most people neglect to do this because they figure they’ll just season them afterwards (which you should also do, as well). When the pot of water starts boiling, simply grab a half a lemon and drain out all of the juice into the pot. Then pour in a ramekin of black peppercorns, coriander, and kosher salt. Now put in the shrimp, which will soak up the flavors of the lemon and spices. Once they’re ready for eating, they already have spices coursing through their meat.
Add potato chips to burgers for a welcome crunch
Burgers and cookouts go together like Bonnie and Clyde, just thankfully with way less violence. A backyard gathering just isn’t complete without someone tending the grill and slinging juicy patties to all those who seek them. Usually if you attend a barbecue you’ll find a standard array of burger toppings. But there’s a whole world of wild fixings you can dress your patty with, and Bobby Flay has one particular idea that will change your whole burger game forever: potato chips.
Yep, those thin fried slices of spuds that are always present at a barbecue aren’t just for snacking. Most of the time that pile of chips sits nestled against the burger on your plate, but what about combining both of those delicious items into one rich, savory, and crunchy hand-held delight? Stacking a few chips on top of your burger lends a fantastic crunch to every bite, and it’s a one-two punch of opposite textures that leave you scratching your head as to why you haven’t always been eating burgers this way. Thanks to Flay, now you will.
When making German potato salad, dress the potatoes while they’re still hot
If you’ve ever worked in a kitchen, you know any seasoned chef has burned their fingers enough to create a Teflon-like surface on their fingertips that allows them to barehand piping hot food with ease. Most home cooks haven’t torched their tips enough to handle such heat, and their natural inclination is to allow food to cool off before they handle it. Well, when making German potato salad, Bobby Flay implores you to muster up the courage to handle those hot potatoes like a boss, and it all has to do with the importance of the vinaigrette you use to dress to your boiled potatoes.
Flay explains that the reason behind handling the spuds when they’re still hot out of the boiling water is because at high temperatures their pores are wide open, which allows whatever kind of sauce you add to soak deep into the core and leave them overflowing with flavor. Flay explains, "When the potatoes are too cold the potatoes actually repel the dressing. And we don’t want that. We don’t want all these separate flavors. We want it all to be one."
Make sure that skillet is hot
Cooking with a cool skillet is a recipe for disaster. That’s why Bobby Flay implores home cooks to always keep their skillets hot so the food not only cooks all the way through but also achieves a beautiful and flavorful crust on the outside so people get that great textural mouthfeel that keeps them coming back for seconds (and maybe even thirds).
Flay told Bon Appétit, "Home cooks never let their pans get hot enough. If you don’t see a wisp of smoke coming from the oil in your skillet, you’ll never get a proper sear on that steak or fish." But on the same token, Flay adds, "Don’t crowd the pan. You’ll end up steaming your meat instead of getting a great crust." Steaming meat and searing it are two very different methods, so when it’s that lovely crunchy char you’re shooting for, go the Flay way and get that skillet hotter than Hades before you start cooking with it.
Add cheese to your burger while its on the grill
So you reached out to all your friends and told them to kick their appetites into gear because you bought a bunch of burgers and dusted off the backyard grill. But before you slap on your apron and start tending to your patties, you better brush up on some burger rules so everyone thinks you’re … well, Bobby Flay on the grill. But what would Bobby do when it comes to the all-important draping of the cheese?
During an interview with the Food Network, Flay revealed his special process to get the cheese melted perfectly. It’s not a mind-blowing method by any stretch of the imagination, but it always works. Flay melts the cheese right onto the cooking burger itself, as opposed to adding it at the last second after its departure from the grill. "Melt the cheese completely," he suggests. "Use two slices of cheese — I like classic American — and close the lid to allow the cheese to get nice and melty." Obviously you can use whatever kind of cheese you want, but just make sure to toss a couple of slices directly onto the meat to achieve ultimate gooeyness.
Cook with two oils
Olive oil is a vital ingredient to have handy in the kitchen. When it’s time to fire up the range and get cooking, note that it has a higher smoke point than butter, so you don’t have to worry about a burnt flavor if you accidentally leave something in a skillet for longer than you intended to. It’s also great to drizzle on your end product for rich additional flavor.
Because olive oil is so thick, Bobby Flay recommends using a much lighter oil to actually cook with, and then finish off the dish with a drizzle of the heavier stuff (if it needs it). This tip prevents food from potentially coming across as too rich and oily, and unless you’re making something that is supposed to contain those flavor profiles, try to stick to the stuff that won’t sit heavy in your stomach.
Also, if you haven’t used any of your oils in quite some time, give them a smell to see if they’ve gone bad. Best to avoid having an overly oily and poorly flavored dish.
Cut diamond shapes into avocado flesh for easy scooping
Even though avocados don’t exactly have a punch of flavor to them, they work great in salads, sushi rolls, and of course, everyone’s favorite Mexican appetizer: guacamole! Even though the fruit has a soft interior, trying to scoop the avocado out of the rind once you cut them open and pull out that golf ball-sized pit in the middle can prove difficult. Most people use a spoon, as that seems like the easiest tool to efficiently get the job done, but oftentimes the flesh comes out in uneven chunks, and a lot of it can remain stuck to the interior of the rind. Bobby Flay, however, has a simple trick to avoid that headache so you can dive into perfectly cut avocados in no time at all.
When the avocado is cut neatly in half and awaiting its departure out of its rind, instead of going with that risky spoon-scoop tactic, use a sharp knife to cut little diamond shapes into the flesh. Once there are score marks throughout the whole half, then bring in the spoon for a super clean scoop that ensures the entirety of that creamy fruit ends up safely out of its vessel. Now you have a whole avocado to do with whatever you please while skipping over the whole this-avocado-is-driving-me-nuts phase.
Don’t take shortcuts
Regardless of how tasty everything that Bobby Flay produces is, there’s one major tip that doesn’t involve any of his actual dishes. He implores that once you step into the kitchen, don’t attempt to take shortcuts to get food prepared quicker. You have to put the time, energy, and love into a dish no matter how long it takes to ensure the most perfect outcome possible.
In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Flay expanded on this advice. "I have a cook now who has a lot of skill and enthusiasm in the kitchen, and he previously worked at a restaurant that’s very popular and busy," he said. "So I asked him how they would always keep up with the demand. And he said, ‘We just got it out.’ So the next couple of nights, I kept watching him and noticing that he was just trying to take so many shortcuts to get the food out. I’m a stickler for the fundamentals."
So if you want to impress Bobby Flay, take your time and prepare your dish the right way.