One of the great things about cooking is that there is always a little room for improvement. Even if you cook like a gourmet chef, you can always learn new tricks to make cooking more enjoyable. There are some great tips that new cooks can learn to make cooking easier. This advice will help you learn more about cooking.
Learn to use your hands when cooking (after washing them thoroughly first of course!). Hands are the most sensitive yet versatile cooking utensil you will own. They can be used for mixing, measuring and testing whether a product is cooked enough. A cake, for example, will show that it is done by springing back when touched lightly with a finger on its top.
Preparation is a very important part of cooking. You want to make sure you have every item you might need. You also want to make sure you have all the supplies you might need. You don’t want to be in the middle of a dish and find out you are missing something important.
Remember, the smaller the item, the higher the baking temperature. Small cookies will bake on a higher temp than a full cake would. Make sure to double check your recipe to find out the exact temperature it needs to be. You don’t want to prepare a perfect item only to have it burn or be under cooked.
When cooking a big meal, try to do your prep work the night before. This saves you time when you’re getting things ready for your dinner the next day. Have everything washed, chopped, and ready to go. You’ll thank yourself because there is less stress the night of the big meal.
Cook your pasta one minute less than the package suggests, then finish cooking it in a pan with sauce. Your pasta will absorb more of the flavor of the sauce without having an over cooked texture. This can be a quick and effective way to prepare a pasta meal.
One of the best things that you can do for your cooking is to watch cooking shows during the course of the day. Pick up on what the professionals are doing and implement that into your routine if you want to achieve the best possible results for your dishes. Tips from other people can serve you well while cooking.
A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.
You should use your freezer bags more than one time. You need to store your meats or vegetables in regular storage bags and then place them into freezer bags so that you can use them repeatedly. Freezer bags are very expensive and this will cut back on your costs each month.
If you are stuck trying to figure out what to cook for dinner during the week, consider building your meals around themes. “Mexican Monday” could mean burritos or a nice taco salad. How about “Tuscan Tuesday” featuring spaghetti and meatballs or maybe meatball subs? And “Fish Friday” offers lots of options for shrimp, salmon or even tuna. Bring the whole family into the fun by letting the kids pick a theme and help plan the meal that day.
Keep dental floss handy in the kitchen to cut or slice soft foods or ingredients. Unflavored dental floss works better than a knife when it comes to cutting soft cheeses, cake, pie or other soft foods or ingredients. Just unwind a length long enough to allow you to stretch it across the item to be cut and apply even, downward pressure for clean, neat cuts.
Keep your supplies and utensils well organized. If your kitchen supplies are not organized, this can cause confusion in the kitchen because you will be running around looking for the items. Put like items with other like items. To be more specific, put peanut butter and jelly on the same shelf, since they both serve the same purpose.
When using a chopping board, make sure to always sanitize it before going on to a different ingredient. Making this a habit will prevent cross contamination of bacteria. It is also useful for keeping your flavors from being muddied by being chopped with other ingredients’ residue. A clean chopping board is a safe and useful chopping board.
Tenderize meat before cooking it. Especially tough portions of meat are best tenderized or braised, due to the stringy consistency of the meat. Identifying the correct cut of meat and matching it with the correct method of cooking can be very important, as you may end up with an extremely stringy “roast” steak.
Around the holidays it may be tempting to try many new and complicated recipes, but you will save time and energy if you stick with simpler ones. This is a big help if you are cooking with children, since they can become restless with things that are too complicated.
Use nonstick cookware when you want to cook healthier. Nonstick pans have a coating on them that makes food easily slide out, even with no oil. This is great for when you are trying to control the fat in your diet. If you do use oil, you will have to use far less. What’s more, nonstick pans are so easy to clean!
Even expert cooks can learn something new and interesting every once in a while. Newer cooks lacking experience should try to learn as much as they possibly can about cooking. Try these tips to see how much they help you with your cooking. You will enjoy being in the kitchen much more.