Make cooking easier with these simple and effective cooking tips fit for both beginners and cooking enthusiasts alike.
Cooking tip 1: Learn from the French with “mise en place”
Literally, it means ‘put in place’. In professional kitchens, it is important to have everything you need in place and to set up your work stations before you begin cooking. Ingredients for the recipes are also already prepared, measured, chopped, grated, and so on. Mise en place will save you a lot of time and will make cooking more fun and almost effortless for you.
Cooking tip 2: Practice the clean-as-you-go method
We have been there before: cooking and ending up with too many dishes to wash at the end of the day. Instead of letting your dishes pile up, take time after every cooking session to wash them and to clean up after your mess. Collect scattered tools and garbage all over the countertops, disinfect kitchen appliances, put back into place the pots and pans. Cleaning up is part of the whole process.
Cooking tip 3: A good set of kitchen knives goes a long way
Investing in a good set of kitchen knives will make chopping more precise, faster, and safer (dull knives are more prone to slip which may result to cut injuries). Maintain your kitchen knives by regularly sharpening it or, if you want to go the extra mile, by having it sharpened by a professional.
Cooking tip 4: Read the whole recipe before cooking then re-read it again
There is no such thing as re-reading a recipe too much. Re-reading the recipes will guarantee that you will understand it better and that you will not miss anything crucial in the ingredients and the steps. Plus, you may even memorize it so by the time you start cooking, you do not have to keep glancing at the recipe and so you can truly enjoy and be present in the moment of cooking the dish.
Cooking tip 5: Annotate the recipe
There are times when the recipe needs a bit of adjusting according to your taste. After trying out a recipe, assess the final dish and take note of what else can be improved. Make sure to write these notes into the recipe so that the next time you cook it, you will know what needs to be done better.
Cooking tip 6: Trust your own senses
Sometimes, it is best to use your sense of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing when you are cooking than following the recipe to the letter. For example, your chicken is not yet fully baked but then the recipe only says fifteen minutes, what shall you do? Trust your instincts and follow what you think may be better for the dish.
Cooking tip 7: All about that seasoning
Make the most of your spices by toasting them before seasoning them into a dish; toasting will enhance the flavors and will make it stronger. Also, check on your spices regularly and make sure they are not yet expired. Smell them and taste them – if your spices are already scentless or flavorless, it is time to toss them out. Do not also be shy in seasoning your food. Season as much as you can. Make a habit of seasoning then tasting your food at every stage of cooking to make sure you are doing it well.
Cooking tip 8: Choose the right cooking oil
Selecting the right cooking oil can make or break a dish. Cooking oils have different smoke points, which is the temperature most suitable for the oil. Going beyond the oil’s smoke point means burning and smoking, which will cause an unpleasant burnt flavor to your food. Butter and nut oils are low-heat oils and will burn at medium or high temperature. Canola, grapeseed, or almond oils are high-heat oils so it is okay to use when cooking at low or high temperatures.