The Production Trick TV Chefs Use For Perfect Grill Marks Every Time

They say personality is more important than looks, but good looks certainly help, especially if it's food we're talking about. You can spend all the time in the world making the best-tasting butter chicken recipe, but if it doesn't have turmeric and chili powder, it will look unappetizing. Basically, what we're trying to say is that when it looks good on the plate, good food tastes all the better.

TV chefs — with all the help from the production crew — do their best to make food visually appealing. Much like how food stylists use glue, toothpicks, tapes, and whatnot to make food in advertisements look much more appetizing than how it may look in real life, cooking shows have a few tricks up their sleeves to make everything look oh-so-delicious.

Take their grilled food, for instance. Notice how they end up with those perfectly caramelized parallel lines? Believe it or not, they might have little to do with how well-made the food is. The grill marks are often intentionally seared upon the meat, fish, vegetables, and even fruits to make our mouths water as we watch the culinary maestros at work.

Getting those grill marks is painfully easy

Chef Nikki Elkins, the former head chef of "The Martha Stewart Show," let the viewers in on the secret to getting the perfect grill marks a long time ago. In a YouTube video, she takes chicken breasts to demonstrate how grill marks are seared in before the chicken is actually cooked. Elkins simply oils the chicken and coats it with a little salt and pepper before diagonally placing them on a preheated grill. After letting it sit for a minute or two, she rotates the chicken to get cross marks.

Just like Elkins, other TV chefs will simply let the protein sit on a piping hot grill to get the coveted grill marks in a matter of seconds. The protein might not be fully cooked that way, but at least it looks good. The crew will often cook the same thing behind the scenes and swap it with the unfinished or raw dishes so the chefs may carry on with their "oohs" and "aahs."

Sometimes, the chefs don't even know what they're cooking. A Redditor who claimed to have worked on a daytime talk show with a cooking segment claimed that most of the time, it is the food stylist who puts in all the work to make sure that the food looks good on camera. "The chef arrives, does hair/makeup, and comes to [the] set where the stylist briefs them, 'Chef, today you're making such and such,'" they added.