Every good cook needs to master a few basic skills before getting started in the kitchen. You don't even have to be a great cook. Either way, these tips will give you the skills necessary to tackle any recipe.

How to turn on an oven

Turning on an oven is pretty self-explanatory. You turn the knob or push the button to the correct temperature and voila! You're done.

What most people don't know is that oven temperatures vary. Altitude, age and other factors can affect the temperature of your oven. The cheapest way to fix this problem is to buy an oven thermometer for about five bucks and test out the temperature of your oven. Mine runs 25 degrees cooler than what I set it to. Once you figure that out you can do the math and adjust accordingly. In my case, if a recipe calls for baking at 350 degrees, I set my oven to 375 to make up the difference.

Easy as pie.

Dicing an onion

How do you dice an onion without crying? Follow Chef Jean Pierre's easy tips and chop away. Make

sure to start off with a very sharp knife. The sharper the knife the less you'll tear up while dicing.

Whisking an egg

If you're new to baking this may not be something you're familiar with.

Wire whisks allow you to mix ingredients together quickly and also incorporate a lot of air into

them. This is sometimes necessary for certain recipes to form correctly, especially with baking.

How to boil pasta

I was pretty surprised that this wasn't a basic skill everyone already knew, but my roommate

this summer didn't know how to boil pasta. So I'll fill you in just in case.

First, fill a pot with water and set it to boil. You can add about a teaspoon of salt for flavor and olive oil

if you'd like to keep it from sticking. After the water starts to boil, add the pasta and cook according

to the package directions. This can be anywhere from 6 to 12 minutes so read up.

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