Cooking Do’s And Don’ts For The Average Person

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Cooking might be one of the oldest skills in the world. That does not mean that there are any limits to the knowledge available for the cook interested in increasing his or her skills. Even the finest cooks, even professionals, can always find new recipes, methods and techniques to improve their kitchen skills.

Instead of approaching cooking as an analytic process, you should try to maximize the amount of fun that you have in the kitchen. Put the music on loud and dance from time to time to enjoy what you are doing. Keeping something fun and casual will reduce errors from anxiety.

If you are looking to save time for cooking dinners because of your busy schedule, being prepared beforehand can make all the difference. Having ingredients already prepared and measured out to be cooked, as well as having the meat thawed out can save you valuable time when it comes to making dinner for the family.

Having trouble with your meats sticking to your pan or grill? This is an easy thing to fix. Just spray your pan or grill with a spray oil before you begin to cook. This will put a coating on the surface of the pan or grill, and will keep your meats from sticking to a dry surface.

Trying to cook with little children running around under your feet? Give them something to do. Any small and simple task will make them feel like they are helping with the meal, and it will keep them out of trouble for a little while as you try to finish up the dish that you are working so hard on.

When you are making chicken stock, think big. Make sure that you prepare a large amount of stock so that you will have more than enough to store and use for future kitchen adventures. Homemade chicken stock adds great flavor to everything from soups to casseroles. Make certain the stock is cooled, and then you can portion it into heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags and place in the freezer.

Keep vegetables fresh longer by covering them with a wet paper towel and then putting them in an airtight bag. They will stay fresh for several more days if they are kept slightly damp. Refrigeration and lack of air will also keep them fresh. It is important to get the most out of your vegetables by sealing them tightly and storing them away immediately if you do not plan to use them.

Use a generous amount of salt in your pasta water when making pasta. The salt will hold better while cooking because it is absorbed by the pasta along with the water. Salt and seasonings do not necessarily stick very well to cooked pasta, so seasoning it while it boils is your best bet to enhance the flavor.

Use your hands to cook the perfect steak. Pressing the fleshy pad at the base of the thumb, when your hand is making an OK sign, will give the same resistance as steak will during cooking. Start with the index finger OK sign and the thumb base will resist at “rare” temperature. Moving towards the pinky you will register medium-rare with middle, medium with the ring finger and well-done with the pinky. Look for the resistance in your steak to match the resistance when pressing your hand.

While it is very convenient to cook meats in a slow cooker, it is important that you are very careful or you can be at risk. Any meat that you plan on adding to a cooker needs to be browned first so that it reaches food-safety standards for temperature.

You can prepare minced garlic ahead of time to be ready to use. Simply mince the garlic as normal and spread in a small pan. Freeze this pan until the garlic begins to become solid, at which point you take it out, and slice it into cubes. Place these cubes in a plastic bag and store in the freezer. When you are sautéing vegetables or preparing food later, you can use a cube or two of this prepared minced garlic. The heat from the frying pan will melt the garlic, and the result is quick and easy garlic with a fresh flavor.

Make sure to take care of all of the preparation beforehand to maximize your cooking experience. You may even be able to prepare your ingredients a day or more in advance. With this added preparation, you may find that meals are less stressful, as well as more flavorful. Once you get used to prepping ahead of time, you will always do it.

When cutting up apples for a fruit tray or lunch box, place the slices in a bowl of lemon-lime soda, ginger ale or pineapple juice to soak for 5 minutes or so. Any of these drinks will prevent the apples from turning that unappealing brown shade, and they won’t drastically alter the flavor of your apple slices.

An efficient stackable cooling rack can be a real asset in the kitchen. This will save you space, especially if you are planning on baking a lot of cookies. Stacking racks make the most of kitchen real estate. A vertical cooling rack will cool cookies and give you more working space.

Soup is for all seasons! When we usually think of soup, we think of a hot bowl of chicken noodle when we are sick or a piping hot bowl of chili on a cold winter night. But don’t forget about soup in the summer, too. There are a lot of easy recipes for refreshing cold soups like gazpacho and fruit soups to enjoy during warm months.

There is always something new to learn when it comes to cooking and every cook’s skill-set is open to improvement. This article included just a few ideas to help improve a cook’s performance. There are many more good tips out there and good cooks keep looking for them throughout their lives. Constant learning is the key to ever-improving cooking skills.

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