It is much easier to order take-out than it is to cook. After all, you get to sit and wait and there’s no clean-up afterwards. But when you do the cooking yourself you have more control over the ingredients and it tastes better because it comes from your heart. Here are a few cooking tips to make you put the phonebook down and take out the pots.
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.
To successfully cook a meal you should always follow the recipe. This will assure you use the correct amount of each ingredient. Cooking is a science and each ingredient has its job. Leaving out an ingredient, putting too much of something, or cooking for too long can turn your dish into a disaster.
It’s nice to have a pie quickly when unexpected guests arrive. When you don’t have time to create the crust from scratch, use a quality pre-made mix. Add a few tablespoons of sour cream to make the crust flaky so no one will notice that you didn’t create the pie from scratch.
Have you ever wondered how your neighbor’s pie crusts turn out to be golden brown and glossy while yours is always pale? There is a trick to learn which guarantees the desired result every time. Beat some egg whites and brush it over the pie. You will take out beautiful, glossy, golden brown pies from your oven.
Your cake can be ruined if the baking powder is too old. In most cases, you don’t remember when you bought the box you have just found in the cupboard. Don’t gamble with it, test it. Put one tablespoon of baking powder in one third cup of water. If it fizzes, it’s good to use. If not, throw it away and buy a new box because what you have is too old.
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.
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.
If you are making meatloaf or meatballs, it is important to taste the meat before you cook it. You want to make sure that it has the perfect amount of seasoning. You can taste it by making a small patty and frying it on a pan, almost like a hamburger.
You should separate your meat into usable portions before you freeze it. You can separate your meat and store the portions in sandwich bags. You can then place the sandwich bags inside of freezer bags. This will give you that ability to have your meats perfectly portioned and to be able to use the freezer bags over and over again.
Here is an important tip to use when sauteing foods in a pan with oil. If you need to add more oil to the pan in the middle of sauteing, simply pour the oil as stream along the edge of the pan. You should do this rather than pouring in the center of the pan so that the oil will heat up as it travels from the edge to the center.
When you are making casseroles, roasts, and other things that may stick to the bottom of a baking sheet, you should line the bottom of the pan with foil. This is a good idea because after you are done cooking you can throw the foil away and you will not have a lot of cleaning up to do.
Don’t store your spices above the stove. While many traditional kitchens place the spice rack above the stove for convenience, this practice can actually reduce the flavor and shelf life of your herbs. Humidity, heat, and light can all cause spices to lose their flavor, and above the stove ensures they are exposed to all three.
Use fresh products if available. Nothing packs the punch in cooking like the taste of fresh ingredients. Vegetables, meats and fruits all contain vibrant, savory and wholesome flavors that can be severely diminished by processing and canning or packaging. When cooked properly, fresh ingredients will make any dish more flavorful.
When you are making mashed potatoes, you need to be extra careful and make sure not to whip them for too long. While it might seem that mixing them for longer would make them smoother, it actually has an opposite effect. Doing so actually makes them come out gummy in texture.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “A cook who doesn’t taste his own food is no cook at all.” Well if you want to be a good cook, make sure you taste your own creations. The better the taste to you, the more likely it will taste good to the other people tasting it.
Keep some simple already prepared dishes frozen in the freezer. These dinners are very handy for either a quick dinner on those hectic days when you just don’t feel like cooking or on that Sunday morning when you have to get something together for the church social.
Cooking your own meals can be a great experience. Use these tips to get your kitchen buzzing and rediscover how gratifying it can be to eat a meal that you prepared with your own two hands in your kitchen. You know what? Your meal probably tastes better than any take-out you can get.