How to Flip Food Like a Pro

You've probably watched chefs on television effortlessly flipping vegetables in a pan with a flick of the wrist as they sauté. It's a cool-looking technique, but is it one you can master? Absolutely, say the Chowhounds who can perform this nifty kitchen trick. "Its an essential skill and is super easy to learn in a day," twyst says.

ttoommyy recently learned the technique and thinks it "makes a huge difference." He finds it especially useful for perfectly marrying pasta and sauce.

Not everyone believes it's superior to tossing food with utensils, though. "I mostly flip just to avoid having to clean a spatula - so I'm a lazy flipper," GutGrease says. Hank Hanover agrees: "I flip ... because it is fun and I wanted to be able to do it. The job can get done without it. Once you can do it, it is a convenience."

If you'd like to learn how, check out this demonstration and explanation from Ming Tsai. Make sure you've got the right kind of pan (a shallow, slope-sided skillet) and get practicing. "I learned by using uncooked rice," Hank Hanover says. "I practiced on the patio until I didn't have to sweep rice up anymore."

A few considerations will make your flipping more successful, hounds say. "Often times the trick is knowing what you can and can't flip and when - such as lots of grease, something that is ... too runny, etc.," GutGrease says. It’s also important to note that a too-full pan will make a mess when flipped, and an excess of hot fat can splash out and burn you.

Discuss: Do you do the pan flip?