Whether you are a seasoned chef or someone who has never held a saucepan in their life, cooking a meal can presents unique challenges. Cooking is an art which gives room for creativity, but there are procedures which cannot be ignored. Sometime we may be careless, lazy or we lack the required knowledge. To help you get started in the right direction we have listed some of the more common mistakes made in the kitchen and how you can avoid them.
Look, at some point everyone has had a brain lapse and has forgotten that something was cooking on the stove. Too much cooking is known to destroy essential nutrients in foods such as vegetables and meat. Just because you need to soften meat does not mean you over-do it. Unfortunately, it is a common mistake in homes and restaurants and even after realizing it, very few people have the knowledge of making something like a sauce to mask the dryness of their meat. Here’s one obvious tip, if you smell smoke it is probably too late.
Failure to follow the recipe
A recipe should be read and mastered before preparing food but most people are not this patient. Sometimes you get halfway into the process, only to realize an important ingredient that is missing. Worse still, there are those who read through the recipe in the process of cooking and by the end of the last word, they only have boiling water, a running oven and nothing to be proud of. How about something that you were supposed to refrigerate overnight but you failed to go through your recipe in detail? These are all mistakes that befall individuals with regard to the use of recipes in cooking. It is often recommended that you go through the whole recipe and the list of ingredients to obtain a feel of what you will be doing and ascertain whether all the ingredients are at your disposal.
If you have a convection oven then things can really get interesting. Convection cooking can reduce the cooking times of recipes so this will take even further negotiating to get your times exactly right. We found an online cooking calculator that should help you with this. These types of ovens are growing in popularity as they can reduce the amount of time you need to make your favorite meals. Countertop convection ovens are something that you should look into if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen. These types of toaster ovens have some real advantages over conventional ovens when it comes to handling your favorite recipes. They can also take out a lot of the guess work and help you prevent overcooking your food.
Failure to watch over the pot
A number of people end up overcooking their meat or burning the onions because they are too busy to watch over the cooking pot. Cooking taxes one’s mental resources greatly, which makes it easy to be distracted if you are stressed, tired or coping with other expectations of the family. There should at all times be an ample cooking environment in order for you to remain focused. Rid the place of distracting children and pets and clean all the clutter before you start cooking.
Inability to taste food
There is no way you will grasp the knowledge of flavors and how they are combined unless you keep tasting the food as you cook but most people skip the step because they either forget or consider it inappropriate. Tasting your food along the way will let you know if it it needs something extra like salt or pepper or if the flavors are a little off.
Failure to understand your oven
It is very easy to develop a love-hate relationship with the oven, a grave mistake when you don’t take considerable time in studying the functionality of your oven. Never assume that the temperature gauge is working optimally. Instead, buy an oven thermometer and find which areas in your oven are hottest. People who do not understand their ovens well end up with unevenly or even poorly prepared foods.
Boiling instead of simmering
There is a very slight difference between these two concepts but it makes all the major differences in the taste of your meals. Boiling and simmering are often confused because people ignore the difference. Mostly, you ignore simmering and end up boiling because it seems an easier and rather everyday activity. Unfortunately, food that was supposed to be simmered may end up with a tough and dry feel if it is boiled, and this mostly happens when preparing meat.
The kitchen may seem like a daunting and scary place for those who have never cooked a lot before. With a little practice and attention to detail, you may just be surprised with some of the meals that you are able to create. Find some recipes that you are interested in and follow them to the letter. Most of all, stay patient and do not get frustrated. We all have to start somewhere and eventually you will get the hang of making some mouth watering dishes that you are proud to share with family and friends.