The Secrets That Are Behind Every Great Cook

Cooking is mandatory for many, but that does not mean it shouldn’t be fun. Anyone can become a good cook when they have the tools and knowledge to learn. Anyone who can follow instructions correctly can make a delicious meal from scratch.

Get your ingredients squared away ahead of time. It is essential to have all prep work finished before it’s time to begin cooking. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Do your prep work in advance, if you can.

Don’t add the dressing until right before serving. Be prepared in advance to make your cooking go smoothly. Trying to cook a meal that has to be on the table by a certain time can be stressful. Try and prepare your ingredients ahead of time to avoid unnecessary stress.

Cooking processes like boiling can remove most of the nutrients from food. Allow your vegetables to keep their nutritional benefits by cooking them quickly, or eating them raw!

Caramel Color

For crispier French fries, let raw potatoes stand for 30 minutes in a cold pot of water. Soaking potatoes accomplishes two important things for your French fries; it takes out sugar and starch during the soaking process.

Bake pie and tart crusts for a longer time than you think is really necessary. It will help if you achieve a darker, more delicious golden caramel color, rather than stopping when the crust is still pale. The crust changes to the caramel color only after the sugar has had time to caramelize. This will give the crust the sweet flavor you want.

Many times your burgers can stick to your grill and it could be nearly impossible to free them without destroying them. If, however, you brush the grill with oil, this will help prevent sticking.

Don’t throw away that runny sauce, as there is an easy fix available. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. Stir this solution into your simmering thin sauce until it thickens. Remember to stir your sauce constantly while adding the cornstarch mixture, to avoid it getting too thick.

If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. Make a giant pot and store what you don’t use in your freezer. You can use the stock as a base for all kinds of soups or even casseroles. Put the stock into freezer bags and put it in your freezer.

Garlic is just one of many tasty ingredients whose flavor has a downside; it transfers to your hands. After you work with garlic or any other type of ingredients that have a strong smell, rub your hands completely on stainless steel, like the inside of your sink. This handy trick cleanses your hands so the smell will not be transferred to what you are going to touch next.

If you are serious about losing weight and getting healthy, you need to cut back on cooking oils. These types of foods contain many unnecessary fats you can live without. Nonstick cooking spray is a great alternative that will give you the same end result as the oils with less unhealthy ingredients.

If burgers get stuck to the grill, it will be difficult to flip them without mangling them in the process. The way to prevent this is to coat the grill with some vegetable oil prior to putting any food on the grill.

When you are planning to use skewers for your cooking, always soak wooden skewers for at least thirty minutes in water prior to use. This way, you don’t burn them when you are cooking with them. Use two parallel skewers instead of one skewer to avoid food falling off.

Chicken Stock

Always make sure to read labels on any ingredients you are purchasing for a recipe. Potentially unhealthy ingredients lurk in typical cooking supplies. You want to ensure that anything you buy is not high in sugar or salt because both can cause major health problems if eaten too much.

Optimize your efforts when making your own chicken stock. Make enough stock so that you can freeze the excess and use it later. Many great recipes including soups, casseroles and stews call for a base of chicken stock. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.

Prepare things the day before if you cannot handle doing everything in one night. Try preparing any required sauces, prepping vegetables, or marinating meats the evening before the meal will be cooked. You will have fewer tasks to complete when it’s time to put the meal together, making it less stressful.

It is fairly easy to dry tomatoes yourself. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Using a cooling rack, lay the sliced tomatoes with the side that is cut facing upward, and then sprinkle them lightly with salt. Heat your oven to 190 degrees and put the cooling rack with the tomatoes directly onto a cookie sheet, baking for no more than ten hours. Store in plastic bags in the freezer. Also, you can put those dried tomatoes straight into a jar or can filled with fresh herbs and olive oil. Tomatoes stored in this fashion will last for two weeks in the refrigerator.

Make your own sun-dried tomatoes. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Put the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto a cooling rack and give them a light salting. Next, position a full rack on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 190 degrees. Dry for approximately 10 hours. They can then be stored in plastic freezer bags in your freezer. Dried tomatoes could also be put in a jar with fresh herbs and topped up with olive oil. Kept in the refrigerator, these tomatoes will keep for a couple of weeks.

Keep herbs and spices fresh and tasty by storing them in an area that is dark and cold. Keeping herbs and spices in cabinets above the stove or other warm locations will cause them to lose their flavor.

After eating turkey, whether for Thanksgiving or otherwise, do not throw away the leftovers. It is smarter to divide up the meat and seal it in airtight containers that you freeze. Cooked turkey that has been frozen can be enjoyed for weeks by defrosting and using for soups, salads and sandwiches.

Head to the store and replace your unused spices every six months. If spices are kept open for too long a time, they will eventually lose their flavor. If you don’t use a spice very often, and it will go bad before you have to replace it, give some to family and friends.

While you are cooking, it’s a great idea to clean the dishes as you go. Keep one section of your kitchen sink filled with hot, sudsy water and use the other side to rinse dishes with clear water. Utensils and mixing bowls can wash up quickly, and you will have them ready to use again as you prepare additional courses of the meal.

Include some salt in the water when you make pasta. This process will allow the salt to season your pasta while it cooks. This is much more effective than trying to add salt to pasta that you have already cooked.

Be creative with your approach to cooking. You do not have to follow a recipe to the “T”. Sometimes if you add a little extra, or refrain from using an ingredient you do not really enjoy, you can turn an ordinary dish into something extravagant. That’s how real cooks do it!

Prior to cooking, gather everything you need. Doing this will allow you to focus on putting the dish together. You won’t waste electricity by letting something cook just a little longer, so you can prep the ingredients for the next step, or be distracted when cooking with hot oil.

Whenever you make salsa that won’t immediately be eaten, you should use raw onions that have been run under cold water first. Sulfurous gas is a property of fresh onions. Your salsa will be ruined if you use raw onions. When the raw onions are rinsed and dried, the gas is removed.

If you are going to have a barbecue, then prepare your grill in advance so that you can start grilling right away. You should try to have everything ready 30 minutes prior to your cook time. You should keep the coals at a medium heat and covered with ashes. This is the perfect temperature to grill.

Get all your preparations done and ready before you begin cooking a meal. Doing this will allow you to focus on putting the dish together. You won’t waste electricity by letting something cook just a little longer, so you can prep the ingredients for the next step, or be distracted when cooking with hot oil.

Purchase quality utensils for your kitchen. It’s safer to cut with a sharp instrument than it is to with a dull one, and you will also save some time. Dull knives actually cause more cut fingers and accidents than sharper ones.

Stacking cooling racks are a baker’s best friend. If you are baking more than a few cookies, they can quickly take over your counter space when it comes time to cool from the oven. To get the most of your space, use some racks that stack. This means less space for cooling cookies and more space for you to continue working in.

There are a few methods you can use to heating up tortillas. One option is to turn the oven to 350, and place the tortilla right on the rack, allowing it to get crispy. Grill tortillas by putting them on the grill plates right above the flames. These ways of cooking tortillas make them taste fresher.

If you are cooking with nonstick cookware, you need to makes sure that your spatulas and spoons are made out of silicone, nylon or rubber. Wood and metal utensils can scratch the coating, which reduces the pan’s effectiveness and allowing bits of the coating, a known carcinogen, to enter your food. The damaged coating will allow cooking food to stick to the pan, and it will also leach toxins into your food.

A meat thermometer can let you know if your meat has been thoroughly cooked. Meats have a specific internal temperature schedule that determines they are cooked and safe for human consumption. If the meat is not properly cooked, bacteria that exists on meat will not be eliminated, and you can get very sick as a result.

Make sure you have all of your ingredients ready before you start cooking. You’ll never find yourself in the midst of a recipe and have to stop to get something you don’t have. Take a few minutes to set out your ingredients and make sure you have enough of everything.

Make sure that you take care with the cooking time for a perfectly baked cake. While the recommended baking times are good guidelines, they can be affected by factors like elevation. You need to push a toothpick into the center of the cake. If no undone cake batter remains on the toothpick, you can consider it ready.

When you need to measure foods that are sticky, use a bit of cooking oil. Give measuring spoons a light coat of an oil without much flavor (e.g. canola oil) before measuring. Sticky foods and ingredients will come off the spoon like a charm, making clean up easier and waste less likely. Keep this trick in mind for peanut butter and honey too.

Cooking a great meal consists of more than placing any dishes on a table. It can be very enjoyable to try. Just like everyone else, you will prepare a debacle of a meal from time to time, but the hints and tips that you were just given can help to ensure that these flubs are the rare exception rather than the rule. Follow our tips for easy kitchen work and praise when you serve your culinary creations.

Spice up frozen sweet corn with exotic flavors. Mix your corn with coconut flakes for Thai-inspired flavor that everyone will love.

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