Whether you are a college student just beginning your own culinary experiments or a seasoned chef with many dinner parties under your belt, there is always something new to learn about cooking. Browse these tips for excellent advice that you can implement in your kitchen tonight, and get used to fabulous home-cooked meals.
Make sure you store all of your spices in cool and dark places. Make sure they are not over the stove. Humidity, light and heat, will cause them to lose their flavor. That will not make for a good tasting meal. Get a spice rack and store it in your pantry.
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.
To improve your level of convenience in the kitchen, one of the things that you can do is to freeze the excess sauces that you create, in ice cube trays. This will allow you to reheat them when you need sauce again and also to save money on the excess sauce that you kept.
Take the guesswork out of reducing liquids. When a recipe calls for you to cook until the liquid is reduced by a certain amount, dip the handle of a wooden spoon into the liquid to mark the depth. This will leave a line on the wooden spoon. Later, you can dip the spoon again to see how much the liquid has actually reduced.
If you invest in nothing else in the line of cookware, purchase a non-stick roasting pan with a removable non-stick roasting rack. Instead of wrestling with a disposable roasting pan this Thanksgiving, praying it doesn’t collapse, a decent quality roasting pan can save you time, money and heartache. Look for a deep pan with steel handles, able to hold the largest turkey or piece of meat that you would normally buy for your family, along with a roasting rack that enables you to lift the meat from the pan effortlessly. The non-stick coating will make clean-up a breeze and the pan can also be used for a large sheet cake, a pan of lasagne and so much more.
Do a little research and find out if there is a farmers’ market within shopping distance. These markets – usually held on a weekly basis – are your ticket to purchasing the very freshest ingredients available. Treat food from a farmers’ market with respect; usually, the less cooking you do to such ingredients, the better-tasting the results will be.
Before grilling any foods, make sure your grill is clean. A dirty grill surface can cause many problems. Excessive smoking, soiling of flavors, potential for bacterial illness, not to mention being a fire risk, are all side effects of a filthy surface. Clean your grill with a wire brush often for best results.
To maximize the shelf life of dried spices store them in a cool, dry place. This will preserve the flavor of the spices, resulting in more flavorful dishes. Do not store them in the cupboard directly above the stove, the heat makes the spices dry out and lose flavor.
For dishes that involve multiple steps, make it easy on yourself by doing portions of the work on the evening prior to cooking. There are a lot of things you can do ahead of time like chopping vegetables, measuring seasonings and gathering all the utensils you will need. Also verify that you aren’t missing any ingredients. When it comes time to cook, all you will have to worry about is assembly and cook time.
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.
Make perfect meat and fish by applying seasoning, evenly. Especially with salt and pepper, think of the seasonings as snow that is falling delicately onto the meat and fish. As a result, you won’t have too much seasoning on one section and not enough or none on other sections. It also prevents the seasonings from clumping.
When planning to barbecue, don’t forget the lead time necessary to get the grill hot when you are ready to use it. The grill should be prepared 30 minutes before it is used for cooking. Cover the coals with ashes, and allow them to reach a medium heat. This is the best temperature for grilling.
To make the very best bread stuffing, check out your grocer’s day-old bakery section. You should be able to find a wide variety of different types of bread there, from tasty Italian and French breads to scrumptious sourdoughs and hearty rye breads. The trick for great bread stuffing is not only the seasonings used, but also the type of bread used. Different breads provide for many different flavors as well as textures in your home-made stuffing.
“Trussing” is the term used to describe the process of using string to tie the turkey. This prevents the legs and wings from moving too far away from the main body, which can cause it to cook unevenly. If you do not do this, the wings or legs will burn easier.
Never wash chicken or other poultry. Washing it with water doesn’t eliminate the bacteria; washing merely spreads the bacteria around to your sink, utensils, and countertop. To kill any bacteria in the chicken and ensure that it is safe to eat, cook it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this article, you should find yourself a little bit wiser about what it takes to create extraordinary food at home. Start experimenting with recipes and implement the tips that you have learned here and enjoy. You never know – you just may have found a new vocation.