Learning to cook seems like an impossible task to some but with diligence and practice anyone can learn to cook! There are many recipes in books, magazines and even online for every type of person from a beginner to a professional. There are many classes you can take as well at culinary schools. Read the following tips to improve your experience in the kitchen.
If you are cooking a meal for someone you want to impress, stick with something you are already familiar with. Don’t attempt cooking experiments or recipes you’ve never tried before. Avert a stressful experience and enjoy the occasion.
Learn some proper knife-work techniques to make your time in the kitchen safer, more productive, and more enjoyable. Proper cutting techniques not only help to ensure safety in the kitchen, but food cut properly and uniformly looks better (which of course makes it tastes better!) and cooks more evenly. Stop cutting off your fingertips and burning half of the French fries with proper cutting skills!
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.
Even the humble sandwich can benefit from a little cooking expertise. Mayonnaise, mustard and other condiments should be spread evenly from edge to edge of sandwich bread. This improves consistency and ensures that every bite of the sandwich gets the benefit of the condiments. Even spreading produces superior sandwich results every time.
Use air tight containers to store baking mixes, flour and sugar. When you transfer these foods to airtight containers, you are not only protecting them from bugs and bacteria, you are also helping them remain fresh longer. A variety of plastic containers, bags and decorative canisters will protect your food.
Measure out your cooking oils carefully. To lower some fat content in foods, always measure your oil when you are cooking, do not pour it from the bottle right in the pan. This will enable you to keep track of the amount of oil you are using.
When you are going to purchase beef, make sure that the package does not have too much liquid in it. An excessive amount of liquid may indicate that the beef was not stored properly or that it is no longer good. Make sure you always check the expiration date as well.
If your family tends to eat a lot of chicken and often, remember to always brine the poultry as it will lock in flavor. Otherwise you are left with a dry piece of chicken that merely has whatever spices and herbs you chose coated on the outside rather than penetrating every bite.
Invest in high quality cooking pans and tools. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go for the most expensive, but quality does make a huge difference when it comes to what we use to cook with. A high quality pan will be able to handle higher heats without warping. Quality tools will be able to do their job longer and more effectively than cheap brands. Check reviews before purchasing new items for your kitchen.
Placing eggs in water can let you know if they are fresh. Eggs that lie on the bottom, on their side will be fresh. Eggs that stand upright in the bottom are losing freshness and should be used promptly within a day or two. Eggs that float on top of the water should be discarded immediately. Always check eggs for freshness before using.
When preparing food in the kitchen, always remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching food, or anytime you handle raw meat, fish or eggs. In addition, you never want to put cooked food on plates, counters or any other surface where these raw meats have been unless they have been washed with hot, soapy water.
If you are unsure of your boiling potatoes are done it would help if you stuck them with a knife. If the potato comes out of the water stuck on the knife then it means that they are not ready yet, but if they slide off easily then they are done.
When it comes to cooking, consider making a smoothie for your meal. When made properly, this may contain all of the nutrients that you need for a meal. This is a quick way to get everything that you need in a full meal. Be sure to stay away from ingredients high in sugar.
To remove a batch of fudge from the pan with ease, first line the pan with aluminum foil that you have generously greased using butter, margarine, or a butter-flavored cooking spray. When set, simply lift the block of fudge up and out of the pan using the aluminum foil and you will then be able to peel the foil away from the fudge for cutting without the sticky mess.
Store your cooking spices in a cool dry place. This will ensure the longevity and potency of the flavors in your herbs and spices. A dark cabinet away from the stove is the ideal storage place. Spices kept in bright, hot environments usually fail to maintain their flavor long before any expiration date comes.
Keep whole, rather than ground, spices on hand. Unground cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and peppercorns last much longer than their ground counterparts. Just use a fine grater or mortar and pestle to grate them into your dish when needed. Their flavors will stay fresh much longer and save you from the costs of replacing your spices.
Anyone can learn to cook. Starting from the ground and building up your skills using your researching skills is very beneficial. With a little patience and a flair for giving your loved ones and yourself a great meal, you can learn and become a pro at cooking at any age!