With many different techniques, goofy gadgets and lengthy recipes, being in the kitchen can be complex and confusing. These 6 simple tips can help you avoid several common bad cooking habits that are not only unpleasant for your palate, but can be hazardous to your health.
1. Strike it Hot
An improperly heated cooking surface can mess up cooking times, cause foods to cook unevenly and be a pain to clean. Take the time to preheat your skillet, broiler, oven, grill, etc. before adding food. A skillet requires about 5 minutes over medium heat, the broiler takes 5 minutes and the grill takes 5-15 minutes. The oven will beep when it has reached proper temperature.
2. Heat Oil Briefly
Prevent overheating oils by choosing heat stable fats and avoid preheating your skillet with oil in it. Discard any oil that has smoked and thoroughly wipe out the skillet before using it again. Oil that has reached its smoking point becomes rancid and loses beneficial nutrients such as vitamin E.
3. Let Food Lie
Stirring food prevents flavorful browning, making your meal mushy and bland. Refrain from stirring unless instructed and your food will brown nicely.
4. Give Some Space
Give ingredients space to allow moisture, such as the water naturally occuring in foods, to evaporate. An overcrowded skillet slows down the cooking process by cooling the temperature of the skillet. If you run out of room, cook in batches and consider a different cooking method for next time.
5. Let Meat Rest
No matter how much you’re drooling, don’t cut into that mouth-watering meat until it’s had a chance to rest for at least 10 minutes. Slicing too soon results in a loss of juices and unevenly cooked pieces. Allow the meat to finish and the juices to redistribute before pulling out the knife.
6. Use Safe Utensils
Replace metal cooking utensils with wooden or silicone. Metal utensils scratch the cookware, which can flake off into your food.