There is no single person that cannot be taught to cook something. Can you go to the store to shop for ingredients and learn how to read a recipe? Do you have a stove, a pan, and some utensils? If you said yes to the two previous questions, than you are well on your way to learning how to cook! If you want to bring your cooking skills to the next level, study the great tips and advice contained in this article.
Get your ingredients squared away ahead of time. It is important to have all the prep work done before you start cooking. When you have a limited amount of time, cooking can become stressful. Do the prep work as early as you can to avoid stress later.
Always have your spices stored in a dark and cool place. The shelf life of spices is greatly reduced if they are exposed to heat, humidity, or light. Keeping your spices in darkened, cool areas will lend extra longevity and flavor. Your culinary preparations will taste better if your spices are fresh.
Before eating there is cooking, and before cooking there is preparation. This is a vital step to master if you want to produce impressive meals. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready. Along with the ingredients, you need to make sure you have the correct utensils for cooking the next day. This will allay some of your fears and anxiety when it is time to cook the meal.
A great tip to follow if you use oil to cook is to put it on the sides of the pan while cooking, so it’s already heated by the time it reaches the food. This will help keep the foods flavor locked in and make for a tasty meal.
Slice meats into thin strips on the bias when prepping for stir-fry. Some people find it difficult to cut the meat thin, but it is very important. Remove the meat when it is firm (but not frozen) and slice at a 45 degree angle across the grain of the meat.
There is something you can do to rescue your sauce and use it as planned. In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons’ worth of water with 1 of corn starch. Stir the mixture into a warm thin sauce to thicken it. Avoid over-thickening by adding the starch mixture slowly and stirring the sauce often.
Sharp knives will make cooking so much more efficient. The duller the knife, the more difficult your kitchen task will be. You are also in danger of cutting yourself if you choose a dull knife. A cut is more likely when you push down hard on a dull knife that when you cut easily with a sharp one.
To make slicing thin strips easier, you need to freeze the meat slightly first. This is ideal for Asian meals like Chinese or Thai dishes. The tissues of partially-frozen meat do not tear and stretch as much; this makes cleaner slices possible. After slicing the meat, allow it to completely thaw to ensure that it cooks evenly.
Boiling your vegetables may cause you to miss out on many of the benefits and nutrients to be found in your meal. To preserve their healthy reputation, choose quick cooking methods such as sauteing or steaming – or better still, enjoy them in their natural, raw state.
Cooking processes that take quite a bit of time, like boiling, may allow nutrients to leach from the vegetables. To keep them loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to your body, chose faster cooking methods like steaming or sauteing, or enjoy them raw.
Did you ever feel badly for throwing moldy fruit in the garbage? Have you ever been tempted to cut the rotten bits out of a piece of fruit and eat the rest? Unfortunately, you cannot rescue a piece of fruit once it has started to grow moldy and decayed. Toss it in the trash; you may not be able to see all of the areas that are affected by the mold, and if you eat any of it, you can become very ill.
The smell of garlic can transfer to your hands easily. After cooking with garlic, rub your hands across a stainless steel table or sink to rid them of the smell. Doing this cleanses your hands and won’t allow the aroma to transfer to whatever you handle next.
The mushrooms will just absorb the water. Wipe off each mushroom with a clean wet cloth to prepare them for cooking.
Dry ingredients and mixes should be stored in airtight containers. Keeping your ingredients in airtight containers will stop them from spoiling or being infected with bugs. You buy them pretty much anywhere and they are a beneficial asset.
Wooden skewers should be soaked in plain water before each use for an absolute minimum of thirty minutes. This is going to help ensure that they do not burn during the cooking process. Double up on the skewers per kebab to ensure that nothing falls off of them.
Always use airtight containers to store sugar or flour. Airtight containers will keep your foods safe from bugs, and allow them to stay fresh longer because they are not exposed to air. These containers are affordable and are available at most grocery stores.
Keep your herbs and spices in a cool, dark place where they will stay fresh. If you store herbs and spices in places that have a lot of heat, they will lose their flavor. This can cost money.
Using smaller amounts of cooking oils will help you lose weight and make your diet healthier. Lots of unnecessary, and unhealthy, fats sneak into meals made with oils and butter. Use nonstick cooking spray instead to get the same results as you do with oil but with fewer unhealthy ingredients.
Place unripe fruits in a plastic bags you have poked small holes into. When fruits ripen, they produce ethylene gas. By placing them in a plastic bag with holes, air will circulate in the bag, making sure that ethylene gas is retained, and the fruit keeps its great taste.
Wooden skewers should be soaked in plain water before each use for an absolute minimum of thirty minutes. This way, they won’t burn while cooking. You can keep food on the skewer when you use two parallel skewers instead of one.
It is very important to make sure your cooking utensils are clean before you start cooking. If your utensils still have food in them, it can ruin what you are trying to cook. Failure to clean utensils properly could also spread food borne illness.
Any food that needs seasoning should have the seasoning added while the food is being cooked. As such, you are getting the best flavor, and not wasting any of the seasoning.
Stay organized when you are preparing a meal to avoid kitchen catastrophes. A well-organized cooking area is conducive to great results. A cluttered, unorganized cooking area will leave you scrambling to find things while your food gets more and more “well done”. You will end up burning things and throwing them away when simple organization would have allowed you to cook a wonderful dish!
Always measure the amount of cooking oil you use. To lower the amount of fat in your cooking, be sure to carefully measure the amount of oil that you use when you cook, instead of simply pouring from the bottle into a pan. You’ll be able to carefully account for all of the oil that you use.
When cooking, wash dishes and tools as soon as you’re done with them. Fill one side of your sink with hot soapy water and the other with clean rinse water. Mixing bowls and utensils wash up easily just after they have been used and they will be clean and ready for whipping up the next ingredient of your family meal.
To make an improvement to pasta sauce, save some of the pasta’s cooking water. Set aside approximately one-fourth cup. When you are going to mix your pasta and sauce together, add some of the saved water. Starch in pasta water has a thickening effect on your sauce, making it seem creamier.
Try making your own dried tomatoes. Try slicing a Roma in half lengthwise, or cut larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Using a cooling rack, lay the sliced tomatoes with the side that is cut facing upward, and then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Set the rack on a cookie sheet in an oven at 190 degrees for a 10 hours. Put the tomatoes in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Dried tomatoes may also be stored in a jar containing fresh herbs and olive oil. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
You should let your cooking wait until all the necessary preparations are complete. This allows you to economize on the amount of gas or electricity used when cooking, and keeps you from becoming distracted and accidentally getting injured by something like hot oil splashing out of a pan.
To keep your dried herbs and spices flavorful, keep your spice rack tucked away somewhere cool and dark. If spices are stored above a stove or other warm area there is a good chance that they will lose their flavor very quickly.
Different varieties of potatoes can have specific uses; you cannot always use one type in lieu of another. Waxy potatoes are good for potato salad or boiled potatoes but aren’t good for making french fries, baked potatoes or mashed potatoes. For something like that, you’re best off using a fluffy type of potato, like a Russet.
If you have turkey for a meal, whether it’s on a holiday or another occasion, make sure you keep the leftovers. Instead of tossing out the leftovers, store them in a container that is airtight and place in the freezer. The turkey can stay fresh for weeks this way.
When you are preparing potato skins or twice baked potatoes, consider using a baking potato. Red potatoes are not ideal for a dense filling.
Always make sure that the cooking utensils you are about to use are clean before starting any cooking. This is a basic but very important rule for any cook. Any leftover food residue can ruin the food you are preparing. This can be costly because it might allow for bacteria to spread.
If you’re cooking in a nonstick pan, use a spatula made from nylon, rubber, or silicone. Metal utensils, and even wooden spoons, can cause scratches in the surface. Over time, these small scratches will turn into large chips in your nonstick surface. These chips can make their way into your food as well. Not only will this ruin your meal, it could cost you your life!
First, gather all the ingredients for the dish you are planning, then begin cooking. This will cut down on stress and confusion. Then you won’t ever be midway through preparing a meal when you realize that you’re missing an essential ingredient. It takes the same amount of time to gather everything together beforehand as it does to pull out items as you need them, but the former method can potentially save you a great deal of time in the long run, not to mention stress and annoyance.
To improve the flavor of your dishes, mix your own broth and other stock. Extra stock can be stored in the freezer and used later. By doing this, you’ll always have great tasting homemade stock when you desire to create soups or other types of dishes. Making homemade stock ensures that you know what is in it and that it isn’t made with preservatives.
Use ketchup in batters for fried foods. Ketchup is a tasty condiment when used for dipping finished foods, but you can also dip chicken, veggies, or other breaded foods into it before rolling them in breadcrumbs. Ketchup will add a spice and dynamic to foods that you never thought about before.
Applying some salt on a cutting board when chopping fresh herbs is a good idea. This adds flavor to the herbs and helps to keep them from sliding off the cutting board. Do not add more salt as you are cutting the herbs. The salt that is used on this board gives your herbs some extra flavor because it sticks to them.
If your family is sick of the same frozen veggies, spice it up a little. You could mix coconut flakes in with the corn for an enjoyable flavor inspired by Thai cooking.
Cooking can be a hobby, a skill, and a profession. There are so many ways of preparing food, and you should learn all you can from the people that are best at it. Use these tips and see how successful you can be in the kitchen.
To make juicing citrus fruits more productive, look no further than your microwave oven. Put the fruit inside the microwave and heat it for about ten seconds, depending on size. Once the fruit has been heated, roll the fruit on a hard surface before you begin juicing.