Cooking is one of the essential skills to have, no matter if you’re a lady or a guy. Even if you don’t have a family to feed, with the right set of cooking skills you can have a delicious and nutritious meal whenever you want, without having to stuff your face with fast food and other harmful products. However, in the process of becoming a great cook you’re almost guaranteed to make some mistakes, and with our help and little practice those mistakes will be gone for good!
1. Not tasting your food
Obviously, we make food with the intention of eating eat later. But for the dish to turn out great, it’s essential to taste the food on every stage of the cooking. You see, most recipes are not a set of strict rules you must follow – they are more like guidelines, which is why the recipes often say to add some ingredients to your taste or cook the dish until it’s completely done, and there is no way to know it without tasting the food every time you add an ingredient or change something else, like cooking temperature.
2. Ignoring the recipe
Although you shouldn’t trust the recipe like the Bible, it’s still a good idea to consult the recipe from time to time, no matter how much of an experienced cook you are. Arrogance in the kitchen and failure to follow the recipe results in spoiled dishes, lost appetite, and wasted products. Recipes are written by professional chefs to help ordinary cooks, so when you decide to stay away from the recipe and add your own flavours and cooking methods, there is a tiny chance that the dish will turn out alright, but the opposite result, i.e. a failure, is more likely.
3. Putting too much food in the pan
Frying is one of the best ways to cook food, but whenever you’re trying to cook a big batch of food, better divide it in two halves and cook separately one after another. If you’ve ever cooked a large batch of meat or vegetables in a pan, you know that when there is too much food, the products start boiling instead of frying, which results in soggy foods with no crisp. If you want your fried foods to look and taste amazing, better use that pan twice or cook in two pans at the same time.
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4. Substituting ingredients
Again, we can’t stress enough – recipes are written for a reason and are essential when you want to advance your cooking. If a recipe calls for sugar powder in a cake recipe, putting caster sugar instead may change the texture and taste of the final dish. This kind of mistakes is easily avoidable: just make sure to use the ingredients specified in the recipe. If you can’ find the necessary ingredient, better give up on that recipe and find the one that uses ingredients you already have.
5. Constantly turning the food over
The secret of a good steak or any other fried food is to let the dish fry on each side without turning it too much. Ideally, when cooking a piece of meat or anything similar, you should only turn it over once, so that every side of the piece is fried equally. If you don’t have enough experience and are scared to leave the product on the heat for too long, you can turn it over once more, but anything more than that will result in wrong textures and worse flavours.
6. Not being familiar with your appliances
When kitchen appliances are new, they usually work the same way. However, after some time passes, each oven or grill starts behaving differently, and if you don’t know that your oven, for example, is always 20 degrees hotter than needed, then you risk burning/undercooking your dish and wasting a ton of good ingredients. This can be easily avoiding by studying the way your appliances work and adjusting the cooking time.
7. Not letting the meat rest
The secret to cooking great meat is to let the meat chill twice: once after you’ve taken it from the refrigerator to let it reach room temperature before cooking, and then after you remove the meat from the heat. After your meat is done, never cut it all at once: let it sit at room temperature for five minutes for the juices to distribute equally inside the piece. And never cook the meat right out of the refrigerator – cold meat behaves totally differently.