Cooking should be fun and enjoyable. However, if you’re a beginner, it might be challenging. Discussed below are a few cooking tricks and tips that can make your boring meal more delicious. So, as a beginner, here are top 8 cooking tips you should add to your chef repertoire.
1. Read your Recipe Thoroughly ahead of time
Although it might sound like one of the dumbest cooking tips you have ever heard, it is always critical to understand your recipe before you start cooking. Often, most chefs skim through recipes, and the result is still an epic fail even if you’re a seasoned chef. It is not only important to read the recipe way ahead of time; it is essential to understand the recipe when you decide to make the dish. What is more, even recipes from known published cookbooks might leave out some critical information or ingredients in the list, but when you read further down the instructions, you will find them included. As a rule of thumb, be calm and read and reread before you cook.
2. Don’t Overcrowd your Cooking Pan
Food release moisture as it cooks. Therefore, when cooking pans get crowded, the food steams and does not brown and this will lead to a change in the texture of the food, even worst, it might cause a health risk. If you are preparing potatoes, they won’t be as crispy on the outside. Hence, it is critical to give your food enough space in the pan, more specifically when you’re baking or browning things that require to be crisp. If your pan cannot accommodate all the food, you should cook in batches.
3. Turn your Pan Handles to the Side
Take a keen look in the mirror, do you feel like you like your legs? Well, if you do, then you will not like a burn on them. While in the kitchen, always try to turn the panhandles to the side. When things get hectic, racing across the kitchen is often the norm, especially when you want to grab some ingredients, and you could end up running into the handles and knock everything down. To avoid such a mess, always practice the habit of turning the handles of the pan sideways and stay safe.
4. Buy a Good Chef’s Knife
If there’s one tool that you can never leave without in the kitchen; it’s a cooks’ knife. A good knife must be sharp enough and feel good on your hand. If you have smaller hands, you might probably consider smaller knife of 6’ while larger hands will fit on 9-10’ knives. Buying a good Chef’s knife will make your work a lot easier since you require a lot of cutting in the kitchen.
5. Buy Fresh. Quality Ingredients
As a chef, you know it, your food is a good as your ingredients. Farmers markets will always be the most important place to look for fresh vegetables and ingredients. We all know, if you have an ingredient that is past its prime time, the result will be a dish that is not flavorful. Therefore, it is essential to use fresh and organic ingredients while making meals. Besides, as a beginner, you should be aware of generic brands. Depending on the type of meal that you’re preparing, it is always recommended that you stick to one brand, this helps you understand your cooking style very well.
6. Do Not Leave the Kitchen to Carry Out Some Other Activities
This is a no brainer, or is it? But we all fall for it. Well, if you have got your meal simmering on the stove and you understand you have got some few minutes, therefore, you decide to put in a load of laundry. Although this is possible, it is one of the risky activities we make as chefs. At times, nothing is likely to happen, but you might come back to a burnt meal. The situation might be the same every time. However, if it is a new recipe you’re trying out, then you need to stay put.
7. Use Proper Measuring Tools
Often, beginner chefs are found of using regular tablespoon and teaspoon, and this is not ideal. You should strive at all times to use measuring spoons whenever possible. As a chef, it is worth it to invest in measuring materials in your kitchen; this will take away the guilt of asking yourself if the amount of salt or oil you have used is the right one. Besides, you should buy metal rather than plastic ones. If you are like baking, there is no exception. You have to get the measuring spoons.
8. Never Improvise too much
If you’re a beginner cook, stick to the recipe. For the first time, you can take notes and alter them probably when you are doing it for the second round. However, once you are familiar with your ways around the kitchen, you can always be as adventurous as possible.