General Cooking Tips and Tricks
- Always measure when baking. Baking is a science and any wrong measurements can be disastrous.
- Invest in a baking scale. Scales are not only an accurate way to measure your cooking ingredients, but they streamline the entire process.
- Always read and re-read your recipes before you start cooking.
- Anchor your cutting board to the counter with a damp paper towel to keep things steady and safe.
- Test oil in a pan before adding all of your ingredients. Throw a small piece in and make sure it sizzles before adding the rest.
- When sautéing, it is important to first heat the pan, then heat the oil, then add the ingredients.
- Never overcrowd your skillet with food. The heat will not distribute evenly.
- If you need to grate soft cheeses, freeze the cheese for 30 minutes for a cleaner slice
- Know your cooking methods.
- Keep your spices away from sources of heat like the stove or lights. Herbs and spices can lose their flavor when exposed to humidity and heat.
- To prevent sogginess, do not dress salads for large parties. Serve, then allow guests to add their own dressing.
- Homemade meals are good for the heart and soul. Cook often and cook with others.
- Remove seeds from chilies to help reduce heat.
- Always marinate foods in a glass or ceramic dish. Most marinades contain an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice, vinegar or wine that can react with metal and cause off-flavors in your food.
- Bring meats out of the fridge early. And don’t cook wet meat or fish. Try not to put meat on the grill or pan straight from the fridge. Try bringing it to room temperature first. This technique is based on the theory that the outside part will overcook by the time the internal temperature rises.
It’s good to remember to take the meat out early to give it some time to warm up a bit before cooking. Another useful tip is to blot it with a paper towel first. If the meat has moisture on the surface, it doesn’t brown as well, and might end up being boiled rather than beautifully seared
- Clean as you go!