Learning how to cook is a fun and fulfilling experience. You can save money by preparing your own meals, you have the possibility of cooking whatever you want with no limitations, and nobody will be upset if there’s a mistake because everything will work out in the end … right? Well, not exactly. Nobody will be happy if your food tastes bad. While cooking is an art that takes time to master, you can improve your skills much more quickly than you think using these ten best cooking tips chefs like Javier Burillo recommend.

1) Let seasoning happen naturally

Most people know that salt brings out the flavor of other ingredients, but they stop there. Seasoning is more than just salt! Spices, herbs, and acidic ingredients like lemon or tomato can bring out the flavors of your food, so you don’t have to use as much salt.

2) Put on some music

Cooking with friends is always better than cooking alone. Not only will it help pass the time if you are in the kitchen for a long period of time, but music also sets the mood. Next time you invite people over to your house for dinner, put on some music, and you can’t go wrong!

3) Use fresh ingredients

If I tell you that fresh food tastes better than frozen or canned food, will you believe me? It’s undeniable. If you want your food to taste good, then buy fresh ingredients in season instead of trying to use things that are out of season.

4) Learn the basics

There are five flavors: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami (savory). Knowing how much of each flavor is needed to make something taste good is crucial. You can start this by following recipes exactly, but eventually, you will need to develop your own style of cooking. My advice, don’t rush it!

5) Learn some new knife techniques

You would be surprised how many people do not know the proper way to hold a kitchen knife while cutting food. Learning some basic techniques can make a world of difference. You can watch this video to learn how to cut an onion without stinging your eyes or this one to learn how to julienne a carrot.

6) Don’t let burned food ruin the whole meal

Burnt food is never fun, but it doesn’t mean the end of the world either. Sometimes burning happens, and there’s nothing you can do to fix the mistake. If it does, learn how to mask the burnt taste so you can move on with your day.

7) Add ingredients throughout the cooking process

Adding all of your ingredients at once will not always cut it. Ingredients like flour or sugar need time to react with heat before they become a solid. If you add these ingredients too early, it could ruin your food.

8) Don’t let anything go to waste

It’s easy to miss parts of vegetables when prepping them for a recipe. Instead of throwing out the leftover pieces, figure out what they are good for! Many chefs use the parts that are usually thrown away to make stocks and broths.

9) Cook with who you like

Whether this means your friends or family, cooking is more enjoyable when you are doing it with people you like. If somebody doesn’t like how something is cooked, they can learn to do it themselves!

10) Don’t be afraid of mistakes

Mistakes happen, especially with cooking. Mistakes are how you learn and how you will improve in the future. If you don’t like it, try to make the mistake again until you find a way to fix it!