As with any kind of skill, cooking takes practice. All the same, even people who have been cooking for a while may make some mistakes they are unaware of. Because of this, we have gathered some useful tips and tricks for cooks on every level to learn and improve with.
When you’re making a recipe with beef, and don’t want to let it simmer for 2 hours like the recipe instructs, just follow the recipe as it instructs. Turning up the heat to try and cut down cooking time will cause the meat to become drier as well as reduce flavor in the gravy.
Not The Right Potatoes
When making mashed potatoes, opt for potatoes with higher starch content such as Russets and Yukon Gold. They will produce softer and smoother mashed potatoes. In addition, these potatoes absorb aromas better. Other kinds of potatoes tend to become less creamy, meaning they would need more pureeing which could lead to a not-so-good potato paste.
Don’t rinse your cooked pasta under cold water, it will reduce its flavor, especially if you added vegetable broth into the cooking water. If you go for this method and use vegetable broth, the pasta won’t get sticky, so you can just dispose of the cooking water without rinsing the pasta.
Salt On Potatoes
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to add salt to the water when boiling potatoes. The granulated starch from the potatoes swell up and absorb the water as well as the salt you’ve added. To season potatoes, you just need to season them at the end.
Cooking Veggies Too Much
Vegetables cook rather easily, which means they don’t need much time to be ready to eat. If you want to add veggies to your dishes, you can boil veggies like broccoli and green beans in hot water for about ten minutes.
If you’re making a dough for pie or something of the sort, be careful not to knead it too much as it can become difficult to spread. Gently knead it to prepare it for rolling. If you want a dough that is slightly easier to roll, you can use flour with a little gluten in it such as spelt flour.
After you boil potatoes, make sure to drain the water out so it doesn’t dilute their flavor. If you want to make sure the potatoes are really dry, you can heat them up gently in a pan to remove the excess water before mashing them.
Making sure a schnitzel is cooked evenly on both sides can be somewhat difficult, resulting in you flipping it too often to check. Just let each side cook for at least three minutes before checking it or flipping it over.
For more creamy mashed potatoes, make sure to use butter that isn’t cold – leave it out for a bit before to soften and warm up. Also, use slightly heated milk. This way your ingredients won’t cool the potatoes while mixing them in and they’ll be absorbed more easily.
Another surprising one, salt is better when added to food towards the end of the cooking process and not in the beginning. At the end of the cooking process is actually when the salt develops the best flavor.
Cooking In Advance
While making food in advance can be a serious time saver, there are occasions when it’s better off you cook things closer to the time they will be eaten. For instance, mashed potatoes tend to develop a not-so-good flavor when left in the fridge overnight. Instead what you can do is add cooked potatoes to a heat-resistant bowl and place it in a pot with simmering water and cover it with plastic wrap. A slow cooker can also come in useful in this case. Just make sure to mix the potatoes well before serving them.
Cutting up your salad in advance is a great time saver. The only thing is, don’t add your dressing to it until you are about to eat it. The dressing can cause the veggies to become soggy over time.
Before heating meat in a pan, put some oil in it and heat it up. Only then put in the meat. This will help the meat cook perfectly.
Frying onions can be a tricky thing, what with avoiding burning them. All you need to do is cook them on high or medium for less than a minute or two, stirring every now and again.
Cooling A Pie
While leaving a pie in the oven to cool may seem like a good idea, it can actually dry it out. Just cool the pie on the counter instead to prevent it from drying out.