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Whether you’re a brand new cook or an experienced one, there are plenty of sources of frustration in the kitchen. No matter what your cooking skills are like, little annoyances can make preparing a meal much more stressful. Here are some cooking tips that will help preparing your meals go a little more smoothly.

Finish your prep work in advance. It is important to have all the prep work done before you start cooking. Having a deadline for an important meal or event can become quite stressful when you are starting from scratch. Having as much prep work done as possible will save you both time and frustration!

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.

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.

Leave the bone in a roast to speed up cooking. By leaving the bone in, heat moves to the inside of the meat faster, speeding up the cooking process. Because the bone transmits heat, the entire roast cooks more evenly throughout the cut of meat by leaving it in rather than removing it.

A coffee grinder isn’t just for coffee. A coffee grinder actually works just as well as a food processor for some jobs. This is especially true with small jobs when you don’t want the trouble of lugging out a huge processor and then having to wash all the parts. Nuts and peppercorns grind perfectly in a coffee grinder, even sugar if you need a quick substitute for powdered sugar in a recipe.

If you are having a lot of trouble with cooking, sign up for a cooking class with a friend. Here, you will not only learn the recipes that you desire to know but also the techniques to maximize your abilities as a cook. This will be an important skill to use for the rest of your life.

Know the gender of your eggplant! There are both male and female eggplants, and it pays to know the difference. The seeds of an eggplant can be very bitter. A female eggplant’s seeds have a tendency to be more bitter than those of a male eggplant. You can identify a male eggplant by its base – it will be smooth and round, whereas the female base is more oval in shape and deeply indented.

Planning out meals for the coming week can save you both time and money. You can buy all of the things you will need beforehand without having to make spontaneous trips to the store during the middle of a busy week. You can have a planned schedule and it will make it easy for you to prepare things before you actually cook.

Chicken broth should be used when you are sautéing your vegetables. Chicken broth can be purchased at any grocery store. It is important to choose a chicken broth that is low in sodium so that you do not eat too much sodium. Sodium can cause you to retain water which is not good.

Make sure that the oil is hot enough, before adding food to it. By using oil that is not hot enough, you may not be cooking the food properly. You can make sure it has the perfect temperature by sticking a wooden spoon in it. If you see bubbles around the spoon, it is okay to put the food in.

If you are making french fries, you want that crispy outside. A trick to getting this is to let your raw potatoes sit in cold water for at least thirty minutes before you put them in the fryer. That will give you that lovely golden crunchy outside, and the soft inside that is favored.

No matter what kind of cheese you may have in your refrigerator, be sure that air cannot enter it by wrapping it tightly. Air contributes to mold growth on cheese. If your cheese does happen to have a little bit of mold on it, you can still use it by just cutting off the part with mold.

Trying to deep fry at home? Whenever your food is ready for the fryer, use tongs to gently hold the item just below the surface of the oil so that it has a sealed exterior and then let it go. If you toss it in without holding it for a few seconds, you might see your food stick to each other or to the fryer itself.

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.

Make sure that you let cookies cool down completely – at least 15 minutes – before removing them from the cookie sheet. Otherwise, they are more likely to stick to the sheet and break apart. Also, by eating them while they are still hot, you could possibly burn your mouth.

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.

There are plenty of things you can do to take the stress out of cooking. Now that you’ve read this article, you have plenty of advice you can apply the next time you head to the kitchen. Now that you have these tips, you may find you’re willing to try cooking something a little more challenging.

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