The One Ingredient Eddie Jackson Can't Live Without - Exclusive

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When Eddie Jackson left the NFL, he knew it was time for the next adventure. With a passion and background in cooking, Jackson set his sights on being a chef for the next phase of his career. In an exclusive interview with Mashed to discuss his partnership with Whirlpool, Jackson also revealed that both his grandmothers were chefs, which set Jackson up for a childhood of helping in the kitchen. 

"I was five years old, that's when I started cooking, making biscuits with my grandmother," he told us. Cooking with his family gave Jackson a passion for the craft from a young age. While he does not have a culinary degree, his years cooking with his family set him up for success as a graduate of the "School of Hard Knocks," as he says. 

And no one can deny his abilities and that success. Jackson has been working in the culinary field since he was 25, giving him a 16-year career — during which he came in seventh place on the fourth season of "Master Chef" and then winning first place on the eleventh season of "Food Network Star." His book "Game Day Eats" allows even those without a family full of chefs to score a touchdown with their home-cooked meals. We asked Jackson what ingredient he couldn't live without, and the answer will help take your cooking to the next level.

It's all about salt

Eddie Jackson wasted no time sharing his must-have ingredient. "You have to have salt!" he exclaimed definitively. He went on to clarify not only why you need salt, but also how to properly use it. It turns out that many of us have been salting incorrectly our entire lives.

"You got to season everything in levels," he explained. "That's what I tell people. People think that you just need to season with salt one time. Anytime you add something to a pan, you have to add a little pinch of salt and build those levels of flavor. That's the biggest difference. When you go into a restaurant, making restaurant-quality dishes, is that they're going to season at every level of the cooking process. And that's what a lot of home cooks don't realize." 

Jackson's tip on salt, along with the proper tools and appliances such as the Whirlpool Smart Appliances, can help anyone produce restaurant-quality food in the comfort of their own home.

Whirlpool's Smart Appliances, including oven ranges with Air Fry Mode and Yummly Smart Thermometers, are available in stores and online wherever you purchase your appliances.