There Is An Actual Reason Chefs Season Food High Up

Seasoning is a critical part of cooking. If you're making pricey steaks, delicious pasta, crunchy vegetables, apple pie, or any of your favorite dishes, getting those flavor ratios just right is important to your tastebuds. You can be a fan of all things savory, sweet, or bitter, but the way a dish is seasoned is going to bring out the breadth of those flavors. Epicurious notes that while salt is a key factor when it comes to seasoning, all of the beautiful herbs and spices you use will also differentiate the dish. 

But if you've ever watched the likes of Anne Burrell make her pasta Bolognese, which incidentally calls for a ridiculous amount of wine, then you've seen her do a high season with her salt. From what seems like a yard away, she sprinkles that must-have savory ingredient into her sauce. Have you ever wondered why she or any chef dusts their food with salt, pepper, or other spice from so far above the plate or pan? Our friends at The Kitchn shared that there's actually a reason for what may seem like culinary fanfare, and it might just motivate you to try this technique the next time you cook. 

It gives an even distribution

The Kitchn reveals that chefs season their food high up to ensure an even distribution of the ingredients. It's just not the same to dump your spices into a big mound in the middle and hope that the ratios will be just right. The only thing worse than under-seasoning is over-seasoning, and dropping your ingredients from above helps eliminate both of these possibilities. The even distribution also means less stirring, which is ideal if you're working with foods that are fragile or bruise easily because it reduces the need to toss them around. 

So how high do you want your hands? The cooks at Cook Test Eat put the technique to the test by dropping their seasonings from 6, 12, 18, and 24 inches. By measuring the scatter of the seasoning from each distance, they concluded that 10-12 inches above the food resulted in the best distribution and was the optimal height. They also concluded that once you get over 12 inches, your seasoning might miss the food.