Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash
Like many women, you probably fancy yourself a good cook. Thanks to your mother’s teachings and years of experience you know how to choose the freshest produce, boil the perfect egg, and cook the most delicious spaghetti dinner. Despite your skills, however, it’s probable that you’re still making plenty of mistakes in the kitchen that are preventing your attainment of great culinary heights.
Now, we’re not saying you’re a substandard cook. On the contrary – we’re sure you’re a dab hand! However, there’s always room for improvement. Below are several common mistakes people make in the kitchen, and what can be done to fix them:
1. Using the Wrong Cookware
One of the most common mistakes many people make in the kitchen is using the wrong cookware for the job. For every pot, there is a purpose, depending on the shape, material, depth, surface area and a host of other factors. It’s crucial you do your research and use them accordingly.
Another mistake where cookware is concerned is using poor quality or worn out pots and pans to prepare food. If food sticks or cooks unevenly in the cookware you have now, it may be time to invest in a new set. You may pay more for it, but it’s well worth it to get sensational results every time.
2. Adding Ingredients at the Wrong Time
Recipes have you follow steps for a reason: adding ingredients in a specific order allows the flavors to develop. When you throw them in out of order, you could ruin the dish or end up with something that doesn’t quite taste the way it shold. For instance, some herbs, such as chives and parsley, tend to lose flavor the longer they cook. As such, they are usually included near the end of the cooking phase in a recipe.
3. Storing Knives Uncovered
Knives are quite delicate, especially if you store them in a drawer with all your other utensils. They can chip or break easily, so it’s a good idea always to keep their blades covered. You can purchase blade covers at most grocery stores, or if you prefer storing them in a knife block, make sure you put them in the right slot for their size.
4. Preparing Ready-to-eat Foods and Raw Foods on the Same Cutting Board
Foods that need no further preparation to be safe to eat are considered ready-to-eat foods. Fruits, veggies, and other fresh produce fall into this category. Meats and other foods that require cooking to be safe to eat are called raw foods.
If you cut veggies for sautéing on a cutting board after cutting chicken, you could be setting yourself and your family up for serious health issues. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests keeping separate cutting boards – one for ready-to-eat foods and one for raw foods – to avoid cross-contamination and possible life-threatening illnesses.
5. Thawing Meat on the Counter
It’s a common practice you probably learned from your mom, but studies show that meat thawed at room temperature is laden with harmful bacteria. There are three better ways to thaw meat.
- In a low-heat microwave
- In the refrigerator
- In water
Whichever method you choose, be sure to place the meat on a plate and cover it to keep it from drying out.
As the head chef in your house, you’ve probably mastered a wealth of cooking skills. Even so, like many others, there’s room for improvement. Reading through the list above should help you avoid the common mistakes many people make in the kitchen.