Cooking is one of the finest skills to study on your own. Cooking well can improve your health, save you money and be fun. Better yet, cooking is a skill you can always improve. Even the greatest kitchen veterans can learn a little something new. Here are a few handy tips for getting better results out of your kitchen:
When seasoning your food, remember that it is much easier to add more seasoning if needed, but you cannot take it away if you add too much. That is why it’s important to go light when seasoning with herbs and spices. You want to compliment the flavors of the food and not overpower them.
Rub your hands against your sink after cooking with garlic. Garlic can be an undesirable smell to have cling to you. It might sound a bit odd, but next time you are cooking with it, rub your hands against your sink. If your sink is stainless steel, it should remove the smell.
If you are always in the kitchen cooking, invest in a knife sharpener. This will ensure that your utensils are sharp at all times, which will give you the ability to maximize the quality of your cuts. Keeping your utensils up to par is very important when cooking in the kitchen.
You want to cook healthier meals, and one place to consider with regard to changing your menus is in sauces and dressings. Rich, creamy dressings and sauces tend to be extremely unhealthy. You do not need to eliminate these meal-toppers entirely; simply learn how to make lighter, healthier alternatives. Healthier sauces and dressings can go a long way towards making your entire diet healthier.
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.
When freezing meat it is important to use freezer bags. Meat will get freezer burn if it is not properly stored. Meat that has freezer burn will not taste good when it is cooked, and it often has to be thrown away instead of being eaten. This can be very costly, but can also be easily avoided.
Beans and tofu are great sources of protein if you need to add some to your diet. You can buy both items at almost any grocery store, and they will fit into any budget. You can pan fry the tofu with a few seasonings to have a delicious meat alternative. Beans can always be cooked with some spices and herbs for a meal full of flavor and protein.
Do not use a random amount of cooking oil. It will be easier to control how much oil you consume by measuring instead of pouring “enough” oil into a pan. That way there are no surprises about exactly how much oil is going into your body.
Slice garlic when you sauté it. Many people mince garlic. If you plan to sauté it in a pan, this might not be the best idea. When you sauté minced garlic it is likely to burn. If you cut the garlic into slices it cooks more thoroughly and without burning.
You should take special care when you are preparing mushrooms to cook. Make sure you take the time to carefully clean each mushroom with a dry cloth or paper towel. You should not consider rinsing mushrooms in water as they will quickly become soaked and slimy. They will be easier to work with dry.
One useful tool to use when chopping herbs into smaller sizes is the cutting board. Often while cutting, herbs move around instead of staying in place. To stop this from happening, simply apply a little salt to the cutting board before you begin cutting your herbs. This will keep them in place and make your cooking much easier.
If you enjoy flavoring your food with spices and herbs, be sure to place them in a location that is void of light and remains cool; this will help them stay fresh. Storing spices and herbs in cabinets above the stove or in other warmer locations will result in a loss of flavor and a loss of money.
When baking, here is a tip for eggs and butter. Let your eggs and butter set out overnight at room temperature. Doing so will soften the butter which will make it easier to spread, melt, and mix with other ingredients. The eggs will be easier to beat, and foaming egg whites will be easier as well.
Use this tip when cooking chicken. Rather than using a roasting rack to cook the chicken, slice an onion and put the slices in an oiled pan. Then take the chicken and place it on top of the onions. While cooking, the the onions will absorb the juices of the chicken. This is useful for later when you make a sauce from the onions by pouring water or stock into the pan and cooking on high heat for three minutes.
When you cook a steak you should prevent yourself from moving it around on the pan. By not moving the steak you allow it to get a crusty, sear quality that gives the steak a level of toughness on the outside; most steak eaters generally prefer the seared quality when compared to a homogenous inside and outside.
When frying frozen foods it is sometimes best to let them defrost. When water combines with hot oil it has a tendency to spark up violently, and since frozen foods generally have frost, or frozen water on their outside the interaction of the two, ice and oil, can be extremely dangerous. Unless directions explicitly say otherwise always let things reach a medium temperature with one another.
Hopefully, some of these ideas will prove useful to you. Not only is cooking a field in which there is always something new to learn, it is a very personal skill set. You retain full control of what you learn and how you apply it. Keep your eyes peeled for more tips that you can use to cook the way you want to.