Have you always been fascinated by cooking and love to play around in the kitchen but don't really know what you're doing? Or perhaps you know some basic techniques but would like to learn some more advanced cooking methods. Whatever your reasoning for wanting to learn more about cooking, this article contains some tips to guide you to becoming a better cook!
When cooking a big meal, try to do your prep work the night before. This saves you time when you're getting things ready for your dinner the next day. Have everything washed, chopped, and ready to go. You'll thank yourself because there is less stress the night of the big meal.
If you want to cook delicious steaks, use your oven broiler. When you properly heat your oven, the broiler will quickly sear the meat and keep it juicier. You should avoid using any utensil that will puncture the meat when you turn it. That will cause vital fluid loss. Use a spatula instead.
Take care when storing chocolate for use in cooking. As a rule, only buy as much chocolate as you can use within a few months. Chocolate contains fat, and under the wrong conditions it can turn rancid. Store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. A kitchen cupboard away from any heat sources is ideal. Keep the chocolate wrapped in foil or plastic and store it away from anything with a strong smell, as it absorbs odors easily.
Always cook what you know whenever you are cooking for someone special. It is great to experiment when cooking but you should not try to do this when you are trying to make a good impression. That way, cooking will cause a great deal less stress.
Kneading is a tiring task, but the constantly moving board makes it even more difficult. Have you tried a few unsuccessful tricks to secure the board? Try the simplest of all which always deliver the best results. Place a damp towel under the board you are using to knead the dough. It will keep the board in place.
You can save a lot of money by buying potatoes for your favorite dishes in larger quantities. Make sure you store them in a cool dark place (preferably in a root cellar). Place them in a crate loosely and keep the storage temperature between 45 and 50 degrees F. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator as they become sweet.
Leave the bone in a roast to speed up cooking. By leaving the bone in, heat moves to the inside of the meat faster, speeding up the cooking process. Because the bone transmits heat, the entire roast cooks more evenly throughout the cut of meat by leaving it in rather than removing it.
To maintain nutrients and color in your vegetables, quickly steam them until just crisp-tender. The longer you cook vegetables, the less flavor and nutrition they have. The quick cook methods generally make the vegetables tastier and more nutritional. It is worth it to take the time to use cooking methods that preserve the most nutrients.
Salt and pepper are two of the most important ingredients that you can add to your meal when you are cooking. If something does not taste salty enough, make sure to add extra salt in order to avoid a dull taste to your food. Sometimes, it is better to have too much salt than none at all.
When you feel like your dish is missing something but it isn't salt, consider something acidic. Lemon, wine, and vinegar can all be great ways to add acid to a recipe. Healthy acidic balances out the flavor of anything sweet. It can also be a wonderful way to add a "salty" flavor if you're on a low salt diet.
Do you know how long your meat should be grilled? The best way to cook meat consistently is to invest in a digital meat thermometer that gives accurate readings of the temperature inside the meat. For a steak, or any other meat, that is more than one and a half inches thick, you can speed up the cooking time by covering it with the grill lid.
Do not keep your spices above your stove. They need to be located in a cool, dark area; if they are exposed to either warm conditions or a light source, they will not taste as good and your cooking will suffer as a result. Think about using one of the cabinets near your refrigerator as a storage space.
Cutting onions does not have to be a crying matter. The keys to success with onions are easy to follow and minimize tears. Chill the onions first before cutting, use your sharpest knife for cutting and turn exposed cuts down on your board. As you cut, be efficient, quick and constantly turn the largest exposed cuts down against the board. Running your vent hood will help circulate air as you cut as well.
Cooking can be a joy if you invest in a good, sizable cutting board able to handle all of your cutting and chopping needs. If a butcher block table is out of the budget, look for a durable bamboo or sturdy maple for the job. A cutting board with a recessed groove surrounding the cutting surface is handy to catch juices from carving meats and makes clean up easy. If you will be using a cutting board on a smooth surface, look for one with rubber feet to avoid slipping. Maintain your cutting board with food-grade mineral oil (vegetable and olive oils can turn rancid) and make sure that you properly clean, and more importantly, dry your cutting board after each use to prevent warping.
Use the tips above to create delicious, quick and economical meals for you and your family or to create a brand new holiday dessert tradition! Start small and build your way up to creating entire feasts for your family and friends to share! Experience other cultures right in your own kitchen by cooking food from a variety of cultures!