WHEATHER you are just starting out at cooking or have been perfecting your kitchen skills for years, there are likely some mistakes you might be making.
Cooking is challenging and there are many things that you might do on a regular basis that you dont realise you shouldnt be doing.
So if you need a hand in the kitchen, or want to know the mistakes youve been making for years, then listen up.
Here are some common cooking mistakes that you are making that you will want to stop ASAP.
You don’t prep your ingredients ahead of time
When you set out to make a dish, its really important that you prep all of your ingredients ahead of time.
Sure, chopping isn’t the most exciting thing ever, but getting everything prepped and ready to go before you turn on the pan is a must.
This way, when you’re in the middle of making a dish, you won’t have to stop to measure out ingredients, meaning less stress and fewer mistakes.
You overcrowd the pan
A crowded pan is a recipe for disaster.
While it may be tempting to fit as many veggies as possible on one tray, to avoid lots of washing up, this isnt a great idea.
If you are roasting or pan-frying food, give your ingredients plenty of space.
That way, they can go perfectly golden brown, rather than steaming instead.
You undersalt the water
You might have heard of people salting their pasta water and wondering why they do this?
Well, when adding pasta to boiling water, the pasta will absorb part of the water as it cooks.
If you don’t salt the water, the food will remain bland, so its important that you do so it seasons from within.
And dont be shy with it – yes we know that too much salt isnt great for you, but most of the salt you add will get lost in the water, so you need to be generous.
You only season food at the end of cooking
Seasoning food is key.
And a common mistake that many make is not only under-seasoning, but seasoning at the end of cooking.
To ensure your food will taste great, add salt and pepper throughout the cooking process, and not just at the end.
This way, the food will absorb the seasoning and it will really enhance the taste.
You don’t preheat the pan
We should all be aware of giving our pan a few minutes to preheat, right?
But lets be real, many of us havent got the time or patience to wait for that.
However, this is a key cooking step and a common mistake.
A hot pan will help with forced evaporation and let you get the perfect fry to your food.
You move your food around too much as its cooking
Many of us will want to keep a constant eye on our food as its cooking and will find ourselves tempted to constantly stir it.
But have some patience.
Its important to let your food cook without constantly stiring the ingredients in the pan.
This will allow for a nice golden color to develop, which also adds to the texture and flavour.
You always use olive oil
Olive oil is a cupboard staple and one that many of us often default to when cooking.
But its worth noting that you shouldn’t use olive oil for everything.
If youre deep-frying or searing meat, its best to steer clear from olive oil.
Instead, make sure you mix up the oils you are using – vegetable oil is good for high-heat sauting and sunflower oil is good for cooking fish.
FABULOUS BINGO: GET A 5 FREE BONUS WITH NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED
When cooking pasta, you don’t keep any of the pasta water
If youve never heard of keeping some pasta water aside when cooking, then listen up.
Pasta cooking water is filled with starch that will help bind the pasta and sauce together and make the sauce silkier, so its key that you keep some aside.
It’s also already salted, making it more flavorful than basic water.
So remember not to throw it all away when you are draining your pasta as it makes all the difference.
You dont sharpen your knives
A sharp knife is both more efficient and safer to use than a blunt one.
You might be nervous by a sharp knife, but using a dull knife means you need to apply more strength whenever you use it which can lead to accidents.
Ideally, you should sharpen your knives every few months.
This will make it easier for you to cut things and cause less damage to yourself and the food.
You put hot food directly into the fridge
If you are a fan of leftovers and like to keep them stored in the fridge for the next day, its likely that youve been making a mistake.
There’s danger in placing hot food immediately in the fridge as this can bring the temperature of the fridge up and put other food at risk.
To avoid that, keep your food out of the fridge to cool and wait for a few hours before putting it in the fridge.
Alternatively, put your warm-but-not-hot food in air-tight containers and leave room next to them in the fridge, to cool down the food faster.
Meanwhile, Im a chef and youve been cooking your jacket potato all wrong the right way gets crispy skin with no effort.
Also, youve been poaching your eggs all wrong heres how to get the perfect runny egg in just 40 seconds.
As well as this, youve been cooking scrambled eggs all wrong these 5 hacks will give you the perfect fluffy finish.