Joe Bastianich Is Begging MasterChef Contestants To Stop With Pressure Cookers - Exclusive

If there's one thing that will get you through a cooking competition (other than out-of-this-world culinary skills), it's time management. Got 30 minutes to bang out a dish? Don't try to impress Gordon Ramsay with your beef Wellington, no matter how certain you are that your dough could rival French pastry legend Pierre Hermé's. Using kitchen appliances as shortcuts to perfectly cooked meats and perfectly frozen sweets is also risky business. You know this well if you've ever watched culinary contestants try to freeze dry ice cream in record time. 

Playing with liquid nitrogen isn't the only way to fly too close to the sun. "MasterChef" judge Joe Bastianich told us in an exclusive interview that he doesn't think that the "MasterChef" stage is an optimal time to hone your pressure cooking skills, either. "A lot of people think they can use the pressure cookers to do braises in one hour, in short times," Bastianich reflected. "That's always a very, very big risk. People like braised food. It's delicious, that extraction, but unless you are a real master of how to use and manipulate the pressure cooker, you can make a lot of mistakes there."

The meat cooking technique Joe Bastianich approves of on 'MasterChef'

For a shot at impressing Joe Bastianich with beef, stay away from a pressure-cooked braise and try grilling it instead. As Bastainch recently told Mashed, grilled meats are among the dishes that have most impressed him on Season 13 of "MasterChef."

Don't think you're taking the easy way out. Grilling a great steak is achievable in the limited times allotted during MasterChef challenges, which means that the perfection Bastianich's inner critic craves is also within reach. The "MasterChef" judge told us that there are five variables that he looks for when he cuts into a contestant's ribeye. "It has to have a caramelization, which is different than burning. It has to be tender on the inside. It has to be seasoned; it has to rest; the temperature of the meat has to be proper," Bastianich specified. "It's magic — a lot of variables. Seems easy, but it's not so easy."

Season 13 of "MasterChef: United Tastes of America" sees Gordon Ramsay, acclaimed chef Aarón Sánchez, and renowned restaurateur Joe Bastianich return for the ultimate cook-off, as the top home cooks from four parts of America (West, Northeast, Midwest, and South) battle it out for their region. Tune into the next episode tonight at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.