No matter how skilled you may be in cooking, it is a skill where there is always room for improvement. Even the most experienced cook can better their abilities through learning new techniques. New cooks should know the little tricks that make cooking easy. For handy cooking advice that can apply to cooks of any skill level, read on.
It can be used on food other than meat. Try using the seasoning on pumpkin seeds, or get creative by adding it to your favorite egg dish. Everyone will be wondering what your secret ingredient is!
There are a few things you need to know if you are considering cooking with skewers. Try to buy twisted or other shaped skewers when they are metal, the food will stay on.
Garlic can add a tremendous amount of flavor to your food. However, when you are cutting and chopping fresh garlic, it can also leave its odor on your hands. Try rubbing your hands on stainless steel when they smell from an odoriferous cooking ingredient This cleanses you hands thoroughly to avoid transferring the flavor of garlic to other foods.
Burgers will often stick to a grill. Once they are stuck it can be very difficult to get them off of the grill and have them still maintain their shape. Brushing vegetable oil on the grill will help keep your food from sticking.
If you can, do all the preparing of the meal’s ingredients in advance. It is important to have all the prep work done before you start cooking. However, when you are ready to start cooking and have a deadline for when your meal needs to be finished, it can be a bit stressful. Preparing some of the ingredients ahead of time can reduce the amount of stress you feel when it is time to prepare the meal.
Always use airtight canisters or containers to store your dry goods, such as flour and sugar. Bugs can creep into your food, and most food items will become stale if exposed to the open air. These are just a couple of solid reasons that you need solid containment. Airtight containers are your best friends in the kitchen. You can get them at a number of places and are well worth the small amount of money.
If you would like to start cooking more food on your own, take a trip to a local library or bookstore where you can find many cookbooks with recipes you can enjoy making at home. Pick a few simple, interesting recipes and work up to more elaborate dishes as your skills increase.
Optimize your efforts when making your own chicken stock. If you cook a big pot of stock, you can freeze it for later. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. Make certain the stock is cooled, and then you can portion it into heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags and place in the freezer.
Give pie and tart crust a little longer baking time than you normally would for the best results. They need to be a golden caramel color rather than pale blonde. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.
Be sure to soak your wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using. That way, they will not burn during the cooking process. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.
Make sure that all of your spices are stored away from heat and light. When spices are exposed to light and heat, they lose their flavor and it reduces their storage life. Keeping your spices in a cooler space with little light will enhance their flavor and shelf life. Keeping your spices fresh can improve the taste of every recipe you prepare.
To saute vegetables, use chicken broth in place of oil or butter. The chicken broth will add a dimension of flavor, and let you cut down on how much oil you use. Try this next time you cook vegetables for a great meal.
They’ll just simply work as a sponge and soak up the majority of the water. Use a clean cloth to wipe them off.
When you are cooking pumpkins, first stand the pumpkin upright and then cut it in half directly down the middle. Place the two halves on baking sheets. Pour a little water on some baking sheets and bake the pumpkin for about 1 hour at 350 F.
Know how much cooking oil to use. When it is time to add oil to your cooking pan, measure it instead of pouring directly from the bottle. This can ensure you are aware of the amount of unhealthy fat going into your food. By doing this, you will be able to clearly see how much oil you are using.
When you need to store dry ingredients such as flour, or sugar in your kitchen, use airtight containers. By storing foods in airtight containers, you can ensure its freshness and prevent any contamination. Almost every store has some form of them, and they are usually inexpensive.
If you are having people over to your home to eat, and you are including a salad with the meal, allow your guests to put the dressing on themselves. Some people like to put more salad dressing on their salads than other people do; let your guests put their own salad dressing on. Offer several different types of dressing.
When you season food add a little at a time every few minutes rather than adding it all at one time. In this manner, you will be able to enhance the flavors of the final dish.
After you have eaten a turkey dinner, keep any leftovers of the meat. Instead, cut it into smaller pieces, and place in the freezer in airtight containers. This will keep the meat fresh for a couple of weeks. When you are ready to use it, you can make sandwiches or have it in a salad.
If it can be hectic getting dinner ready in time, try preparing ingredients the night before. Try cutting up onions and vegetables, making a sauce or marinating the meat before you go to sleep in the evening. You will more prepared to cook your meal the next day, and will experience less stress!
Head to the store and replace your unused spices every six months. Quite often, spices pass their sell-by-date before you use them up, losing their flavor. If you purchase spices that you know are not used often in your home, give some to a family member or friend.
Any time you are faced with a large amount of leftover turkey, don’t be tempted to throw it in the garbage. Instead, cut it into pieces, then freeze it in a Tupperware container. The turkey can stay fresh for weeks this way.
Sprinkle salt on your cutting board before cutting fresh herbs. Not only does this add a little extra flavor, it keeps the herbs you are chopping where you want them – on the board. Don’t put too much salt on the board, though. Don’t add salt later, either, as there should be enough absorbed when you are chopping. If you put salt on your cutting board it will give your herbs a little more flavor.
Proper preparation can save you a lot of time when you are cooking. Prepare ingredients for several days worth of meals ahead of time. Sometimes you will even discover that preparing ingredients over an extended period of time will enhance the flavor of the final product. Once you become accustomed to completing advanced prep work, you may never cook any other way.
Place any unripened fruit that you buy in a plastic bag that is perforated. When fruits ripen, they produce ethylene gas. In the perforated plastic bag, the ethylene gas will stay trapped, allowing the fruit to ripen deliciously.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that every potato is like the others. Waxy potatoes are best used for things like potato salad but would not work well if made into a French fry. If you plan on making these types of recipes, you should use Russets potatoes as they are made specifically for these.
If you are going to use fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley in your meal, put them together to form bunches and use scissors to cut them. This makes the herbs fluffier and lighter, and not wet like they would be if they were chopped.
If you’d like to inject a little more flavor into your food, prepare meals using beef, vegetable, or chicken stock in the place of water. Alternatively, you can still use water but add some bouillon cubes to it. The liquid amount stays the same, but the added flavor will give your recipe a bit more zing.
When you are planning to make quite a detailed meal, do some of the prep work the day before to reduce some of the stress involved. Make sure you have every ingredient you need, and measure out spices or herbs. Cut veggies as necessary. You can reduce a lot of recipes to a matter of mixing everything together and putting heat to it if you do good advance preparation.
If you plan to prepare potato skins or twice baked, loaded potatoes, use baking potatoes. This type of potato has a thicker skin, which stays crunchier during cooking. A red potato’s skin is too thin to hold together if you are using a dense filling.
When sauteing, don’t put too much into the pan. If there is too much, there will be extra moisture, and the foods will steam instead of sauteing. You will lose crispness. Always saute over a low flame or low setting on your stove-top.
If you are cooking a meal that is meant for a big family gathering, there is a good chance that you will be stressed by the idea. To relief the pressure and lessen the chances of extreme anxiety on cooking day, try preparing some ingredients of dishes on the day prior. For any dishes that can be made ahead, do so; for all others, prep the ingredients in advance.
See to it that your herbs are stored in a dry, cool and dark area. Spices will rapidly lose flavor if exposed to heat, light or humidity. Constant exposure to these elements will ruin herbs and spices.
You need to make sure you fix all ingredients before you start cooking. You’ll never find yourself in the midst of a recipe and have to stop to get something you don’t have. It can save you the headache from not being prepared and it really doesn’t take any more time to do this.
Use color with your cooking. Colorful foods are normally more healthy and they are also prettier. Pick nice looking garnishes as well; try tomatoes, cilantro, carrots, or parsley. Do a little experimentation with different foods and colors to produce dishes that are both awe inspiring and appetizing.
You can make a simple dish much better with seasonings and herbs. Dried herbs can be used for recipes that are complex and filled with lots of flavors. However, it is always better to use fresh herbs as their flavor is better. A good way to always have herbs on hand is to grow a little garden. Even a few pots in the window sill can give you a lot of fresh herbs on demand.
If you should decide to experiment with spices, include saffron in your investigation. Saffron delivers a sunny, bright flavor not available anywhere else. Saffron is a world renown herb. It is highly sought after, and therefore the most expensive spice in the world due to its uniquely wonderful flavor.
We all enjoy new ways to prepare oysters. While oysters are for the most part eaten raw with a bit of lemon lemon juice on top, there are many other ways for you to prepare them. Place opened oysters in shells on broiler pan, then cover with a small amount of cream. Try putting a little Parmesan cheese and pepper on them until they are bubbling. Oysters can also be sauteed. Cover them with seasoned flour and use hot butter to fry them for about two minutes or until golden. Bake the oysters in the shells. Put them in a baking dish, add fresh breadcrumbs and a small dab of butter on each oyster, then bake four or five minutes at 425 degrees. Whenever the juices and butter are bubbling hot, you can then serve it alongside a toasted baguette.
Make sure you use the correct potatoes in your recipes. There are three basic categories of cooking potatoes: all-purpose, mealy and waxy. Mealy potatoes tend to be dry and crumbly, which is ideal for mashing. Russet is the most popular mealy potato variety. Yukon-gold are all-purpose potatoes that can work with any dish. Since they do a good job of holding their shape, waxy potatoes are used in recipes that call for steaming or boiling. The most common types of waxy potatoes are red and white potatoes.
Even an experienced cook could stand to pick up a few handy culinary skills to improve upon their signature dishes. New cooks have a lot of learning to do, and can benefit from the many tips and pointers available. Cook a nice dish using the preceding tips and notice how your cooking experience has changed now that you have a little more knowledge.
Buy your fish or meat on the bone. Place raw or cooked bones in a strong Ziploc bag and freeze them for later use.