There are many mistakes that are made by people cooking at home. The following are among the most common.
You’re not heating up your pan
When pan frying, a big mistake that is made is simply not allowing enough time for your pan to heat up. The effect is similar to not preheating an oven. Your pan will still be heating up as you attempt to cook. This will cause anything that needs to be fried quickly to lose its quality. You will see this with stir fried vegetables, but you will also experience this with meat as the juices will not be sealed inside the meat. Also, a hot pan with hot oil will prevent the pan from sticking to the food. One of the most fundamental parts of cooking with oil is to have a hot pan. After you finish frying your food and later wash the pan, you will notice that the pan is much easier to clean.
Using olive oil for everything you cook
Olive oil is a popular oil to use when cooking, but it is not suitable for every dish that you prepare. The fact is that olive oil has a taste to it, and even though you may not be sensitive to the taste, others may easily taste it in your dish. Some foods are best prepared with other types of oil. Another problem is that olive oil is thick and heats up slowly. For this reason it is a poor choice to use with dishes that are fried quickly. One example is stir fried vegetables. It is best to use an oil that is thinner and heats up quickly. Dishes prepared in a Chinese wok, for example, are often cooked with peanut oil.
You use your non-stick cookware all the time
Did you ever notice that famous chefs on television seldom use non-stick pans. There are many reasons for this. One of them is that they do not distribute heat to the food in the same way that a pan with hot oil does. The result is food that doesn’t have the same texture as food cooked in a traditional pan. This is especially true with foods that are enjoyed for their crispiness. Also, when you cook using a traditional frying pan using oil, the oil becomes a part of the flavor of the food. Of course, you can still use oil with a non-stick pan, but then you are defeating the purpose of using these types of non-stick surfaces.
You overcook your pasta
People have a tendency to cook their pasta for too long of a time. You always know when this has happened because the pasta will have a tendency to fall apart. Of course, how long you boil pasta is depends upon the size of the pasta shape and its thickness. However, if you notice that your pasta is falling apart as you stir in various ingredients, then you need to back off the amount of time you are cooking it.
Not paying attention to food temperatures
Specifically, not paying attention to the temperature of your food before you cook it. Although most home cooks know to defrost meat before they cook it, they usually make the mistake of taking it right out of the refrigerator and into the frying pan. It is much better to let your meat reach something close to room temperature. When you do this, the meat will cook through to the center in a more predictable way. Cold meat will prevent the heat from reaching the center, so when it is finally cooked the way you want it on the outside, the inside will not be cooked well enough. Mostly this is an issue with various meats, but cold eggs can also be a problem as well.
You boil your dish too much
Many recipes for stove top dishes that are prepared by bringing the food to a boil will specify that the food should be reduced to a simmer. It is common for people to make the mistake of not reducing the boil to a simmer. Technically speaking, when you reduce the heat of the stove to a simmer, your food will still be boiling, but you will barely notice the bubbles. The will be small and not a frequent as a hard boil. The purpose of simmering is often to reduce the liquid in the dish as it continues to cook. By boiling at a higher heat, the food is likely to overcook. Reduce your heat to the minimum when you are simmering the dish.
You didn’t understand the cooking technique
Most good cooks and chefs understand a variety of cooking techniques and which one to use for a particular type of dish or recipe. Even if you follow a recipe with the right ingredients and follow the directions for the preparation of the dish, it still may not turn out right. It is often a mistake in the cooking technique you were applying. Most cooking mistakes can be directly traced to a lack of understanding about one or more cooking techniques. Besides reading books and articles, one other way is to attend classes specifically oriented to improve your cooking techniques. Cozymeal, a cooking classes marketplace, has a handful of classes that promise to help you better your techniques.
If you want to improve your cooking skills, avoid the mistakes listed above and focus on improving your technique.