Up your dinner game with just a flick of the wrist by scoring—making shallow cuts in a diamond pattern.

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Stout-Brined Rack of Pork
Photography by Marcus Nilsson
| Credit: Photography by Marcus Nilsson

Scoring meats that have a thick layer of fat (like pork or duck) helps release some of the fat as it cooks. If you're pan-frying a skin-on fish fillet, scoring prevents the skin from curling up when it hits the skillet. Slash tougher cuts of red meat, such as hanger or flank steak, before grilling to help tenderize them. (And while you're at it, stick some aromatics like garlic and herbs in the crevices.) It works on veggies, too: Score eggplant, zucchini and potatoes, and they'll act like a sponge for marinades and seasonings, creating a fab flavor bomb from the inside out.