Learning how to cook requires dedication, patience, and a willingness to eat the batches that aren’t quite ready for prime time. Learning new techniques for cooking is a life-long learning experience and your education begins here. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you on your way to cooking success.
Understand that the smaller the item, the higher temperature that you are going to need to cook at. This will help to maximize the way that your food tastes during the meal. Cook your smaller foods at very high temperatures and larger foods at lower temperatures for the best results.
Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut properly and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!
If you are making pastries, you should try to maximize the accuracy of your measurements as it is a very exact science. By adding one gram too much or too less, you are going to put the taste of your pastry in jeopardy. Always try to be precise when baking.
Do a little research and find out if there is a farmers’ market within shopping distance. These markets – usually held on a weekly basis – are your ticket to purchasing the very freshest ingredients available. Treat food from a farmers’ market with respect; usually, the less cooking you do to such ingredients, the better-tasting the results will be.
Chicken broth should be used when you are sautéing your vegetables. Chicken broth can be purchased at any grocery store. It is important to choose a chicken broth that is low in sodium so that you do not eat too much sodium. Sodium can cause you to retain water which is not good.
Beans and tofu contain a lot of proteins. They can be bought at pretty much any grocery store. Frying the tofu in a low-sodium soy sauce is a tasty alternative to eating meat for dinner! Beans may be boiled with herbs for a delicious protein source.
When trying to cook healthy foods, it is important to cut back on the amount of oils and butters that you are using. A great alternative is using nonstick bakeware or a nonstick cooking spray. Many of the sprays have little to no calories and make foods healthy and cleanup a breeze.
You can save time and energy by cooking larger batches of a meal at one time, and then storing some of it in the freezer for later. Divide the meal into several serving-size containers and put them away. On a night when you don’t have time to cook from scratch, just pull a container out and defrost it.
Many strongly-scented vegetables and herbs will leave an odor on your cutting board, even if you clean it. Label the ending of your chopping board by marking it with ink. This will help you to identify the different sides of the board.
When cutting vegetables or meat it’s very important to have sharp, high quality knives. This will help you to get the look and evenly cooked meal that you desire. If you use dull, low quality knives, instead of cutting your food, they will rip it which can cause uneven cooking and a not so appetizing looking meal.
When cutting corn kernels on the cob, try this tip: Use the side of the knife that is not sharp to scrape the cob. This will extract the excess sweet juices from the cob, which can be applied to your corn dish and add a hidden burst of flavor to it, creating a new taste to the dish.
If you’re creating salsa you don’t plan on consuming in 20 minutes and it contains raw onions, ensure that cold water is used to rinse off these onions. Thoroughly blot them until they’re dry. Fresh onions contain sulfurous gas. Your salsa could be ruined because of this gas. When you rinse and dry the raw onions, it removes the gas.
After cooking, always let your meat rest before serving it. This is especially true when you pull meat from a hot grill. Moisture that keeps your meat tender is sealed within it. When you cut steaming hot meat, the steam that rises is actually the moisture leaving the meat. When you let meat “settle” for at least 15 minutes prior to serving, the moisture and tenderness is preserved.
Soak peeled raw potatoes in cold water before frying them. If soaked in cold water for at least an hour, the potatoes will be much crisper once done. If you don’t like soggy french fries, this is the perfect strategy for helping your french fries remain crisp and delectable after frying.
Campsite cooking can be a breeze if you take along the right tools. Keep your campsite cooking utensils all washed up and stored away ready to go anytime the urge hits you. You can cook anything on a campfire that you cook at home so just plan accordingly. Don’t forget a Dutch oven for the baking and the coffee pot for that morning cup of Joe!
When cooking, one of the things that you need to do is to read the recipe before starting. This will prepare you for all the necessary steps you will need to follow to make a successful dish. Once you read the recipe, gather all your ingredients so that you have them lined up and ready to go. Doing this makes the cooking experience go smoothly and it will be much more enjoyable.
The best part of cooking is that you can eat your mistakes. Don’t be scared about trying something new. Even Julia Childs and Wolfgang Puck have made complete failures of dishes at one point or another. Cooking is all about learning and experimentation until you learn what works for you, so give it a shot!