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How to Toss Food in a Pan like a Chef

Now watch us flip
Tossing Pasta in a Skillet
Photo: Dave Katz/Tasting Table

Flipping food in a pan isn’t just for chefs. You can do it, too. Trust us, it’s easier than it looks, and it makes for much more efficient cooking. There’s no more searching for and dirtying a spoon or spatula, and tossing instead of stirring ensures more even cooking and coating.

All you have to do is tilt your pan downward and quickly pull it back towards you.

Here’s how, step by step:

① Mix the contents of a sloped pan to ensure nothing is stuck and everything is ready to dance.

② Tilt the pan downward and give it a thrust forward.

③ Then, continuing the motion, jerk the pan back toward you. That’s it!

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Think of this more as a lateral, back-and-forth movement, instead of going up and down. Don’t try to lead the food up in the air with the pan—it will shoot upward and come back down on its own if you follow these simple steps.

It might look difficult, but nothing worthwhile ever comes easy, right? Sure, there might be some casualties along the way, but with a little bit of practice, you’ll be tossing food—whether pasta, vegetables or a pancake—successfully in no time.

Now watch the video above to see what it’s really like to learn to flip.

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