Cooking is a skill often borne either out of necessity or boredom. You may fall under one of these categories or none at all, but chances are that you’ve developed cooking skills from observation and experimentation. Use these Cooking tips from a trained chef to up your game.
Every home cook has experienced the anguish of starting a meal only to realize they’re missing a critical ingredient. Most have burnt at least once dish beyond recognition. No matter how many years of cooking you have under your belt, there are always more cooking tips and tricks that can upgrade the quality of the food you create and help you avoid these mistakes.
Luckily for you, our in-home cooking experts have prepared a list of essential cooking tips that every trained chef knows. No matter what’s on the menu, the following items will probably come in handy:
1. Go Through the Recipe Before Trying It Out
If you’re making something for the first time and following a recipe, it’s always a good idea to read it in detail before even grabbing any ingredients from the pantry. Many beginners make the mistake of creating a dish that needs to be ready in one hour only to discover that the meat has to be marinated for at least two hours! Reading the recipe beforehand will also allow you to do any additional research necessary on a cooking technique you may be unfamiliar with or an ingredient you’ve never used.
2. Never Cut With a Dull Knife
This tip may appear to be beginner’s cooking advice, but many home cooks fail to sharpen nearly as often as they should. Aside from making the task of chopping fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foods much easier, sharp knives aren’t as likely to slip. As a result, they are actually safer than they would be with a dull edge. Learning how to sharpen your knives is a cooking skill worth learning.
3. Fresh Foods Are Often Stored Differently
While the rush to stock up on anything and everything has subsided, knowing what freezes well and what doesn’t is still vital.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should be present in any fridge, essential for balanced meals in times when shopping is difficult. Some veggies freeze well, while others can be pickled and preserved. Why not try some new ways to store veggies and save some money at the same time?
When cooked, green beans, carrots, spinach, and root vegetables all freeze well. Both mashed banana and mashed avocado freeze well, but if exposed to air, they will oxidize.
Use airtight containers to make food last longer. Mix vegetables with a bit of olive oil or press them down with plastic wrap to avoid freezing.
4. Put Your Mise en Place Skills to the Test
The term “mise en place” refers to the process of preparing everything ahead of time. This culinary discipline can help you become a better and more efficient home chef.
Before you begin making a dish, gather all the ingredients. Make sure you have everything you need, then measure out and prepare the components as required. As such, you can ensure that the cooking process runs well and that you never get halfway through a recipe and find you’ve forgotten to prepare a key ingredient!
5. Clean as You Go
Embrace the clean-as-you-go strategy. Rather than leaving vegetable scraps and peels on the counter, combine them in one large rubbish basin that can be taken to the trash in one go. Instead of throwing every tool that you used to prepare a meal into the sink, clean them right away. This will help maintain the cleanliness of your kitchen and promote the health and safety of your family.
Many people have picked up a few new skills and thoroughly enjoy their time in the kitchen, with cooking frequently serving as a family activity. We hope that these fundamental cooking tips will be your stepping stone to becoming a better home cook.
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