Everyone makes mistakes in the kitchen. Believe it or not, even experienced chefs experience cringe-worthy moments. You see, slipping up is normal because human as we are, we have our limits. Plus, it is through screwing up in the kitchen that we learn to become great cooks. However, there are some common cooking mistakes that we love to do over and over again because we have no idea that what we’re doing is actually wrong. So if you want to become a better cook or if you simply want to impress your foodie friends, steer clear of the following:
1. You cut meat immediately after cooking.
In the world of cooking, cutting meat right after cooking is a sin. After taking a piece of beautiful meat out of the grill, let it sit for 5 minutes. This allows the juices to distribute evenly.
2. You don’t taste food while you’re cooking.
It’s nice to have confidence in your ability to cook but not tasting your food can lead to culinary disasters. Carefully following a recipe doesn’t guarantee that your dish will turn out perfectly. To be safe, taste your food often.
3. You overcrowd your pan with food.
Putting too much food into your pan allows uneven heat distribution. This means your food may not be cooked thoroughly. Instead of stuffing everything into a single pan, cook two batches.
4. You flip the meat constantly.
Flipping your meat won’t make it cook faster. To get a nice sear, you only need to flip meat once. That’s all it takes.
5. You cook food right after you take them out of the fridge.
You don’t want to bite into raw food, right? To avoid that, let beef, chicken or fish sit for 30 minutes or more after removing from the fridge. Make sure it reaches room temperature to allow for even cooking.
6. You try to salvage a bad dish by adding more stuff into it.
Not all kitchen experiments lead to delicious discoveries. Sometimes, they go horribly wrong. So if you come up with a bad dish, don’t hesitate to scrap it.
7. You like to use ready-made food.
Ready-made food is synonymous to junk food. So steer clear away from them. They can never make up for the real thing. We recommend buying natural and real ingredients. Get them from local farmers, if possible.
8. You use way too much seasoning.
Don’t get too aggressive with seasoning. If ever you get carried away, use water to dilute it. You may also use lemon juice and vinegar.
9. You overcook your meat.
Overcooked meat is not only harsh on the taste buds, it is also extremely unhealthy. To prevent overcooking your meat again, the solution is actually very simple. Get a meat thermometer!
10. You are oblivious about your kitchen appliances’ cooking times.
Hey, don’t worry. We have all been there! We totally understand that it takes some time to get used to appliances in your most especially if you recently got them. Just continue using them and take note of their cooking times.
11. You overdo it with spices.
It is easy to overdo spices so when using them, be careful and taste your food often. If you have put in a little too much, just add a little water, lemon juice or salt to neutralize your dish.
12. You always have soggy salads.
Leafy greens are healthy food choices but they can be quite delicate to prepare. It isn’t a surprise why people often have soggy salads! To keep your greens fresh, rinse them in cold water and dry them out on a salad spinner before serving.
13. You are not using the right oil.
The kind of cooking oil you use varies according to the temperature you cook with. For instance, olive oil and butter are for low-heat cooking; olive oil and coconut oil are for medium-heat cooking; and peanut oil and avocado oil are for high-heat cooking.
14. You don’t follow recipes.
It feels good to be a little rebellious but you will definitely regret “making it out on your own” when your dish goes wrong. It pays to follow recipes to the letter most especially if you have to cook traditional and complicated dishes.
15. You overcook your vegetables making them taste mushy.
After cooking, “shock” your vegetables by tossing them into very cold water. This technique works great for green beans, broccoli, asparagus and corn.
16. Your eggs are dry.
Are you struggling with your eggs? To keep them moist, lower your cooking temperature. Cook them at low to medium temperature and remove them immediately.