Unless you are a trained chef or a graduate of culinary school, no one expects you to become an expert in the kitchen. That said, however, you need to learn certain cooking mistakes to avoid. Not to impress anyone or to try and score your own Food Network show – but because mistakes can negatively affect the taste of your food!
1. You keep opening the oven door
You should keep an eye on your food, but not if you keep the oven door open! Every time you turn on the hot oven, the temperature drops suddenly, which means your food will take longer to cook. That temperature fluctuation can also cause hot spots or cold spots, resulting in uneven cooking.
If you want to check your food, turn on the oven light and look through the door. If you want to open the oven door, do so infrequently and quickly to assist minimize heat loss.
2. Adding too much salt
Adding too much salt to your dishes not only makes you want to drink a full glass of water, but it’s also really unhealthy. Add a pinch of salt when cooking food and taste to see if you’ve added the right amount.
3. Cooking potatoes in water at a full boil
Many people cook potatoes until they are fully cooked, only to find that the outside is overcooked and the inside is still slightly raw. Boiling water will cook the potatoes faster, but not evenly. It’s best to simmer potatoes, whole or uncut, for about a quarter-hour (more or less, counting on their size). Potatoes are done when you can easily puncture them with a clean fork and tongs
4. You use a dull knife
As old-fashioned as it may sound, using a dull knife in the kitchen can be more dangerous than using a sharp one. A dull knife will make it harder to cut your food, you’ll need more force to cut through something, and that extra force can cause your knife, cutting board, or food to slip, leading to injury.
5. You store the ingredients incorrectly
Using fresh ingredients for cooking doesn’t necessarily guarantee a delicious dish, but it certainly helps! And storing ingredients properly will help keep them fresh for as long as possible. Get dozens of helpful tips to keep your food fresh at the link below!
6. No flour sieve
If you do not sift the flour during cooking, the dough may become lumpy. People often have this problem when making gravy and sauces. If your sauce has a lot of clumps, put it in a blender to blend until smooth.
7. Only flipping Steaks once
Turns out the whole “flip only once” theory is bogus. Why? Because flip the steak over and over to cook faster and more evenly. This is because flipping it more often prevents one side from heating up or cooling down too quickly. It may not have the same crust as the one-time steak, but it will be as juicy as ever.
8. Adding oil to pasta water
Your pasta may be softer and less sticky if cooked in the oily cooking water, but you’ll end up with pasta that’s also greasy and doesn’t retain the sauce. That just leaves you with dull, tasteless pasta that you can slide off your fork for every bite.
9. Your Appliances and Cooking Utensils are Dirty
Cooking with dirty utensils and equipment can affect the taste of food. Make sure you’re scrubbing any burnt food off pots and pans and keeping your cookware from burning and splattering grease. And don’t forget to descale your coffee machine regularly! Mineral buildup in the machine can quickly ruin the flavor of your morning cup of coffee.
10. You misread the recipe
Be sure to read your recipes carefully and pay special attention to the wording of each ingredient! For example, if a recipe involves “1 cup walnuts, chopped,” that indicates you ought to measure the walnuts before chopping. If it says “1 cup chopped walnuts”, that means you should chop the walnuts first, then measure them.
11. You use the same oil for everything
Some cooking oils are better suited to some recipes than others. For example, avocado oil has a high smoke point, so it’s a good choice for sautéing and other high heat methods. If you use an oil with a low smoke point (such as extra virgin olive oil) to cook something over high heat, the oil can easily burn the oil and cause your dish to scorch.
12. Adding too much water to the rice
Adding too much water to the rice during cooking can cause the rice to become mushy. But don’t worry; Your meal is not completely ruined. Add some cooked shrimp or meat, roll into small balls and then fry or pack wonton and steam it.
13. Forget stirring
If you forget to stir the stew – or whatever you’re cooking on the stovetop – the bottom of the pan can burn and turn completely black. You can save your stew by transferring the unburnt to a new pan. However, remember to do this as soon as you notice some burn as it can ruin the flavor of the whole dish.
14. Non-stick cake pan
Forgetting to lubricate the cake pan before pouring the batter can result in the cake falling apart when you take it out of the oven. It won’t be able to slide easily out of the pan and onto the drying rack. If you’re ingenious, you can try “gluing” the pieces together by blurring.
15. Do not use parchment
It’s a bit easier to place your cookies directly on the pan instead of using parchment, but if you want whole cookies, use parchment. Without the parchment, the cookies would stick to the pan and break. If this happens, try using them as cookie crumbs to top a cake or add to frosting.
A good meal starts with a good cooking habit! Make sure you don’t make these mistakes to ensure your dish is as close to perfection as possible.