5 Cooking Mistakes That Every Home Cook Makes
Here's how to avoid simple mistakes when cooking at home.
A simple misstep can easily change a delicious dish and recipe in an instant. Take these tips to heart and dodge common, but easily avoidable, cooking mistakes that every home cooks makes.
1 Improper meat prep.
Never cook meat straight from the freezer. The middle of your proteins may still be frozen and will not cook by the time the outer layers do. Yikes!
Avoid serving raw or undercooked meat by letting your refrigerated beef, pork, chicken, or fish rest on the countertop for at least 15 minutes prior to cooking. If your meats are coming from the freezer, here’s how to thaw them safely:
2 You didn’t read the recipe thoroughly.
Now that your meat is on the pan, you realize that you also forgot to dig for the soy sauce in your pantry and chop a few heads of garlic. Don’t get frazzled during the cooking process and stick to the first rule of home cooking: read the prep instructions and every cooking step thoroughly. Check if you have all the ingredients and equipment necessary to cook a delicious dish. Here are a few tips for reading cookbook recipes for easy cooking:
3 Adding cooking oil and ingredients to a cold pan.
If you add ingredients to a cold pan, your meat or other ingredients will soak up the oil and get soggy. Your food will also be more likely to stick to the pan. Remember to heat up your pan before adding anything—you’ll be able to get a good sear on your meats, and other ingredients will be able to render down and cook properly.
4 Not seasoning and tasting as you go.
Seasoning your food before or during the cooking process helps draw out the natural flavors of your meats and vegetables. Remember to season and taste as you go. If you taste your food by the time is it cooked, it’ll be too late to adjust the flavors.
5 Overcrowding the pan.
When you overcrowd your pan, your food is steamed instead of fried or sautéed. Steaming changes everything from taste and texture, so remember to cook in batches or use two cooking pans to save time if you’re rushing. This way, you will be able to lock in flavor and get good sears on your meats.
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