The culinary arts use hundreds of techniques, recipes and ingredients to produce an infinite number of delicious meals and dishes. Some are complex and some are simple. Here you will find a variety of helpful cooking tips. They should improve your skills in the kitchen no matter your experience.
During cooking, it’s essential that you have sharp knives accessible. Dull knives make it harder to cut and are more dangerous to use. With a dull knife, you may have to struggle to cut a vegetable, making it more likely that you will get injured in the process. Using a sharp knife will make it easier to cut that vegetable, so you are less likely to get hurt.
Cut meat thinly across the grain when you are stir-frying. Some people find it difficult to cut the meat thin, but it is very important. When the meat is partially frozen, slice it diagonally across the grain at a 45 degree angle.
Certain methods of preparing vegetables, such as boiling, can reduce their nutrients, due to the length of cooking time. Rather than boiling, quickly steam or sautÃ© your vegetables to retain nutrients. Even better, eat them raw!
Try partially frozen meat to make thin meat slicing easier. If you are making Asian dishes, such as Thai or Chinese food, this is a great idea. When you freeze the meat, fibers stretch less making it cut easier. Though before cooking the meat strips, make sure you let them thaw completely. This allows for even cooking.
If you are cooking a meal for someone you want to impress, stick with something you are already familiar with. Never try to cook a new recipe or use a new ingredient that you have not tried before. When you remember to avoid these cooking situations, you are sure to experience less stress.
Test a small sample of your seasoned meats prior to cooking the full dish. Certain foods require limited seasonings. Ground beef dishes typically require less seasoning than other meats. Never prepare the full amount after its initial seasoning. Cut a little piece of meat into a patty before cooking it thoroughly. This is a good way to find out if you got the seasoning right.
When serving salads to guests, it is a good idea to leave the dressing on the side of the salad rather than on it. Let people put on their own dressing. Also, give a variety of different dressings.
Vegetables are just better all-around the faster they are cooked. Vegetables that are slowly and thoroughly cooked, are less tasty and nutritious than vegetables that are cooked briefly. These speed-cooking techniques usually produce vegetables that are more nutritious overall. Adapting the principle of faster cooking times is a crucial element in serving better quality vegetables to your family and friends.
If preparing dinner becomes overwhelming, try to get some of the prep work done the night before. Prepare some of the ingredients the night before, such as cutting onions or putting together a sauce. You will have fewer tasks to complete when it’s time to put the meal together, making it less stressful.
This seasoning can be used with various foods other than meat. Experiment with adding it to roasted seeds such as sunflower or pumpkin, or even sprinkle into salads and egg dishes. People will wonder on what the secret ingredient is!
After your Thanksgiving meal, don’t throw away turkey leftovers. Rather, cut the turkey into pieces, pile it into a sealed container and freeze it. Storing turkey in this method helps it stay fresh for weeks and allows you to use it again in the future for sandwiches or salads.
Do you want to take the guesswork out of deciding how long to leave your meat on the grill? A good meat thermometer can pinpoint the cooking status of meat, inside and out. Use a digital thermometer for the most precise results. For meat that is more than 1.5 inches thick, close the lid of the grill to decrease the amount of time that the meat takes to cook.
Put any of the unripened fruits you buy in a plastic bag with small holes on the bag. Fruits produce ethylene gas when they become riper. If you put them in a perforated plastic bag, the air can circulate and assure that the gas is retained, keeping the fruit fresh and tasty.
When you are grilling burgers, they sometimes lose their shape when they stick to your grill and become hard to remove. Try brushing a thin coating of vegetable oil on the grill or pan to keep food from sticking.
When you are cooking pasta, use a fair amount of salt in the water. This will help season the pasta as it cooks. Salting pasta after cooking is often unsuccessful because the pasta will not absorb the salt then, it will only sit on top of the noodles.
When cooking, it is always a good idea to get a little creative. It is not always about following a recipe letter for letter. By adjusting the amounts of various ingredients, you can change the taste slightly, and improve upon the original recipe. The ability to think creatively shows the heart of a real cook.
When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. When you prepare stock, make a large amount, so it can be frozen for later use. There’s nothing better than homemade chicken stock as a flavorful base for casseroles, stews and soups. Just cool your stock and freeze it in heavyweight Ziploc freezer bags.
When sauteing, don’t put too much into the pan. It will add too much moisture, which steams the food and doesn’t allow it to saute or get crispy. Saute at a lower temperature as well.
Always read the labels of what you buy. Most cooking supplies have hidden ingredients that could be unhealthy. Avoid ingredients that have high sugar and sodium content, because they can cause health problems.
Consider reheating any oily foods in the oven rather than the microwave so that you avoid any mess. By placing your food in a microwave you’ll find that the oil will separate from everything else, drying your food out. If you bake it and slowly heat it up it will keep the ingredients together.
When unpacking your groceries, place any unripened fruits in perforated bags. Ethylene gas is produced when fruits ripen. When air is allowed to reach the fruit, the gas will not escape, thereby maintaining its flavor and freshness for a longer period of time.
Use beef or chicken stock in place of water to give almost everything from soup to mashed potatoes some extra flavor. You can also dissolve cubes of bouillon into the required amounts of water. Each of these suggestions provides the proper amount of moisture for your food while still giving it a bit of extra flavor.
When you cook macaroni and cheese, make sure to follow the listed directions on your box exactly. This way, the macaroni ends up immaculate and the cheese is melted perfectly of the pasta. A solid, wooden spoon is the perfect serving utensil. If you want to add a little flavor to your macaroni and cheese, feel free to spice it up with some pepper.
If you know that you are going to be having a busy day, get some of the ingredients ready for dinner a head of time. Put together a lasagna that you can refrigerate or freeze, or chop some vegetables for stir frying, and you shave precious time off of a stressful day and still put a tasty warm meal on the table for your family.
Even if a meal looks irresistible, let it sit for a few minutes after it has finished cooking. This is a vital step in your cooking process, which can add a lot of flavor to your meal. It is highly tempting to serve the food as soon as you take it off the grill. Though if you do this, your food will not be as enjoyable. Let your food, particularly meat dishes, rest for a few minutes prior to serving.
Rub your hands on stainless steel prior to washing them to eliminate odors of onions, garlic, fish and other strong ingredients. Try using a spoon, the side of the sink, or a “soap bar,” this can cause your hands to again be fresh and odor-free.
Include some salt in the water when you make pasta. This process will allow the salt to season your pasta while it cooks. When you salt your pasta after cooking, the flavor is not as full.
To make your cooking less stressful, get all of your ingredients ready before you start. This will make sure that you do not end up halfway into a recipe, then find out you are missing something. It actually works faster to set your ingredients out beforehand rather than grabbing them while cooking, and it can also avoid headaches and hassles while cooking.
Explore creativity when you cook. You don’t always have to follow the recipe word for word. With a little resourcefulness in adding extra ingredients, reducing or altering the amount of spices, or substituting one type of meat or vegetable for another, you can often create a meal that tastes far superior to the original. That is the definition of a true cook!
Put your ketchup right in the batter for more flavorful fried foods. Not only is ketchup good for dipping food into after they’re cooked, it’s also good when you dip food into it before putting them in breadcrumbs. The ketchup makes your fried foods tangier, which will make your friends and family wonder how you achieved such a flavor infusion.
Here are two better ways to warm tortillas. One of the ways you can do this is placing the tortilla on the oven rack after preheating it to 350 degrees. An additional option is to place the tortilla on the grill directly, straight above the flame. Using these cooking techniques will make for fresher and much tastier tortillas.
Cooking oil is a wonderful help if you need to measure out a product that is sticky. Apply a light coating of canola or other oil with little flavor, to your measuring spoon or cup. The ingredient you are measuring will slide out easily, which will prevent messy clean-ups and waste. This works perfectly for measuring honey or peanut butter.
For people who love cooking fish, they should consider catching the fish themselves if they have time. Catching a fish, preparing it, and cooking it immediately is not just an exercise in self-reliance; it is also a delicious meal that can’t be beat for freshness.
Fresh herbs and different types of natural seasonings can add a kick to the traditional dish. Dried herbs, such as oregano and basil. are only good for dishes that are complex and have many different flavors going on. However, stronger, better overall taste is produced by using fresh herbs. An excellent method of ensuring you constantly have fresh herbs handy is to have your own herb garden.
Make your cooking shades of a rainbow. Eating meals that have some extra color is not only better for you, but they also attract your eyes. Work color into your garnishes by choosing parsley, carrot curls, cilantro, and raw cherry tomatoes. Put some creativity into your color combinations, and your dishes are sure to get eaten every time.
You can use leftover vegetables and meats to create a delicious fried rice mixture. Dryer rice that has been cooked previously is preferred, but freshly cooked rice can be used if you simply reduce the amount of water to make it a good consistency for frying. Fry your vegetables and chopped meat in vegetable oil, then throw in your rice an season with some soy sauce, ginger, garlic and other spices of your choice.
When you break out the spices, don’t forget the saffron. You can give your cooking a great flavor from the spice saffron. Saffron is a delightful ancient herb. Because people all over the world seek it, it has become the most costly spice you can buy.
A complex, poorly understood recipe is a great way to turn a potentially marvelous meal into a mess. When you keep your meals simple and tasty, they are often healthier as well, without any salty or fatty additions. Using the tips here, you can go forward with a better understanding of cooking and make every meal a little better.
Keeping waffles or pancakes warm after you have prepared them can be a challenge. Turn your oven on to 300 degrees. Place each smaller batch on a plate in the oven while you complete the next.