Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and lower the heat on your stove once in a while, you might have burnt food. That's what Ferris Bueller said, right? If he was cooking an expensive steak, soft-scrambled eggs, or crispy-skinned chicken thighs, it's solid advice. The thing is, too often do we—home cooks in a hurry—rush to get dinner on the table. We crank up the heat on the stove because it just makes sense: faster, hotter pans make faster, hotter food. Right? Well...no. Here are 8 things you need to stop cooking too fast, and when you do, you'll see an immediate difference in texture, flavor, and maybe even a sense of calm in the world. Maybe.

Caramelized Onions

Cooking caramelized onions to golden brown perfection is a labor of love. Go low and slow, stir frequently, and reward yourself with onion dip, a killer patty melt, or cheeeesy French onion soup. It's not going to be ready in 15 minutes. It might even be closer to 40, 45, depending on what you're making. Take your time. Clean out the fridge in between stirs. You'll be greatly rewarded.

Grilled Cheese

Ideal cheese meltiness doesn't happen quickly. Even with American cheese, you won't get a perfect cheese pull after two minutes on high heat—you'll have a block of cheese and super burnt bread. Lower your heat and let the butter—or garlic butter!!!!—work its magic.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs always cook quickly, so there's a twofold approach to making sure they aren't rubbery: keep it over medium-low heat and pull them off the heat before they look completely done. You should think: "Nah, they're not done." That's the moment to take them off ASAP! Sounds crazy but we're serious. The result is custardy, soft, creamy eggs. You may not get it right the first time, but keep practicing and tasting and you'll be a scrambled-egg master soon enough.

Toasted Nuts

Whether you're making basil pesto or honeynut squash with radicchio and and miso, toasted pine nuts are the garnish and crunch that take it over the top. If you toast them in a hot skillet, they can burn quickly—you need to use a medium to medium-low heat and stir constantly so you don't get uneven browning. A more foolproof option is to toast in a 350° oven for 5 to 8 minutes. Larger pieces like pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews may take a little longer—about 10 minutes—and add time if you store your nuts in the freezer.

Steak and Pork Chops

When searing off a thicker steak (1 to 1 ½"-thick) or pork chop, you don't want to blast it with high heat, or it may blacken and burn before the inside warms through. Even in the case of medium-rare steak, cook it over a medium flame so it can render some fat, crisp on both sides, and cook through evenly. If you use a sweet marinade—like these Vietnamese pork chops or Hillstone's famous Hawaiian steak—it'll caramelize even faster, so be extra cautious. The same goes for grilling, but you'll likely see flare-ups and control your heat better than you would in a cast-iron skillet.

Crispy-Skinned Chicken or Duck

To achieve super-crispy chicken skin—especially pan-roasted thighs—or duck, you need to let the fat underneath render out slowly. If you try to crank the heat and crisp them faster, you'll get rubbery fat and burnt skin that seizes up. Tragic! It will take about 15 minutes to properly render the fat in chicken thighs or duck breasts, but they don't require too much additional cooking time after the skin is crispy.

Sausage

Fun fact: the more sausage links you cook at once, the less likely they are to burn. If they're closer together, they'll steam and brown at the same time, and therefore will cook all the way through instead of being caramelized on the outside and raw pork on the inside. Use a medium heat, turn often, and be patient. It's going to take close to 10 minutes. You can also cook sausage links in the oven if you want to go more hands-off.

Bacon

Our editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport describes the ideal bacon-cooking setup as a "bacon-fat hot tub." Like with chicken skin, you want to render it slooowly so it can get crispy without burning, and it also perfumes your entire house after Sunday pancake brunch. You won't need to buy a candle again. It's lit 🔥—just don't use too much fire.