To become a good cook, you must learn several things. The following article presents some ideas to improve your cooking and make you handy in the kitchen. These tips can help you find out what steps you should take.
Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. The flavor of the spices and herbs will decrease if they are kept in areas with light, humidity, and heat. Generally, ground spices and herbs keep most of their flavor for a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can still be bursting with flavor five years down the line. If spices are stored properly there is a better chance that they will stay fresher for a longer period of time
Find a dark, cool area in which to store herbs and spices. Many factors can cause herbs and spices to lose their flavor, especially humidity and light. As a general rule, keep your ground spices no more than one year. Spices that have not been ground have the potential to last upwards of five years. If stored correctly, they will remain fresher longer.
When you are baking pastry crusts, try increasing the cooking time a bit. Your objective is to cook them past the point of being pale blonde, to the point where they become a golden caramel color. When you see the golden color it indicates carmelization, which lends a crisp, sweet flavor to the pie crust.
Meat should always be thinly sliced and cut on the bias if you are adding it to a stir-fry. Some people find it difficult to cut the meat thin, but it is very important. Take the cut of meat out when it is a bit firm but has not become frozen and begin to slice it across the grain diagonally.
Do you often feel a bit guilty throwing out fruit that is rotten? Do you wonder if it would be better to just cut off the moldy parts and save the rest? Never try to salvage fruit that is past its prime. The mold and spoilage that you can see is only part of the problem with marginal-looking fruit; even the parts that appear pristine can be unsafe to eat.
If you have made sauce, put the leftovers into an ice cube tray and freeze. Just melt the sauce cubes in a sauce pan when you are ready to prepare dinner. The sauce will be very edible after it comes out of the trays.
It is a good practice to place cut potatoes in a bath of cold water for about half and hour, before frying in order to get crispy fries. Letting sliced potatoes soak up additional cold fluids reinforces the fibers in the vegetable, so that when you deep fry them, they can better withstand the heat without breaking down completely.
If burgers get stuck to the grill, it will be difficult to flip them without mangling them in the process. Try brushing a thin coating of vegetable oil on the grill or pan to keep food from sticking.
Do you have a difficult time figuring out how long you should grill your meats? The best way to figure this out is by using a meat thermometer (a digital one will work best). This will ensure that the inside of your meat is cooked properly. If you are cooking meat thicker than 1.5 inches, close the lid of the grill to help it cook more quickly.
When purchasing your ingredients for preparing a recipe, you should read all of the labels. You will often find unhealthy ingredients in one of your cooking essentials. It is a good idea to verify that ingredients not contain high levels of sugar or sodium. Over-consumption of these can create health issues.
When you put flour or other baking needs away, put them in a vacuum seal holder. Containers that are airtight will help keep your foods fresh a lot longer because they aren’t exposed to air, while also keeping it safe from bugs. You can find them on sale often at discount stores and the investment is worth every penny.
When you are going to make a dish that requires garlic, be sure to buy the freshest garlic you can. Freshness heightens the possibility that the garlic will be sweeter tasting. If garlic isn’t fresh, it will be shriveled and soft.
Reduce the amount of cooking oil you use if you are looking to lose weight and make your diet healthier. You simply do not need the added fat in a healthy diet. Nonstick cooking sprays are a great substitute which ends up giving you the same result except in a healthy way, as opposed to the oil which is unhealthy.
Find a convenient cool dark place for storing herbs and spices. If you put them above the oven, or in another warm place, the spices and herbs will not retain their flavor.
This is a great way to increase the length of time the fruits stay fresh. You also have the benefit of enjoying fruits out of season.
Place unripened fruits in a plastic bag that is perforated right after you buy them. As the fruits get ripe, they’ll give off ethylene gas. If you put them in the bag with holds the air will go through the bag, and the gas will stay in, helping the fruits retain their wonderful taste.
Try to add some broths or other ingredients to recipes that call for liquid in place of what it asks for. In place of water, try adding beef or chicken broth, juice or even water used to cook vegetables. If your favorite recipes call for milk, try substituting with buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream. Adding different and interesting liquids to a recipe can help the dish become more interesting and nutritious.
Never cook with wine you haven’t tried. Using a type of wine you find unpalatable will negatively impact the flavor of your food. Try using wines that are sold specifically for cooking.
Homemade stock adds lots of flavor. Make a lot at once, so that you can divide it into batches and store it in the freezer. By freezing stock, you ensure that you have tasty homemade stock ready to add to any dish. When you create the stock that will be used in your food, you can ensure the quality and avoid unnecessary additives and preservatives.
Many veggies and herbs leave strong scents and plant oils on your cutting board that are very difficult to remove completely. This can save you from eating garlic strawberries.
Make all necessary preparations for whatever you are planning on cooking before you start cooking. This will keep you from being distracted while the food is cooking. It can be dangerous preparing ingredients while hot oil is cooking on the stove, for instance. Having everything ready beforehand is safer and less stressful.
It’s vital that you ensure that the utensils you cook with are clean prior to cooking. Any residual food matter missed during washing can spoil the dish you intend to cook. This can allow harmful bacteria to spread.
When it comes to sauteing food, do not put too much food in the pan at once. Too much liquid in the pan will result in steamed, soggy food and not the crispy texture you were trying to achieve by sauteing. Be sure that you do this when the temperature is low too.
When you are cooking, wash the dishes as you use them to reduce clean-up time later. Have a sink of hot, soapy water on one side and rinsing water on the other. Utensils and mixing bowls can easily be washed immediately after they are used. They will then be ready to use again immediately.
The safest way to make sure your meat is cooked is using a meat thermometer. All kinds of meat have a minimum internal temperature that is recommended for safe consumption. There is a lot of bacteria that lives on meat, so cooking it to a high enough temperature to kill it off is important to avoid food borne illnesses.
Always blot ground meat before cooking it. Blot away the excess moisture on all ground meat before cooking. Unless you remove the moisture, it may not be released until the meat is cooked. This creates a sizzle on the surface of the meat. This will cause the meat to steam, instead of sear like you want it to.
Find a spot that is dry, cool, and dim to store herbs and spices. Exposure to light, heat and humidity can cause them to lose a lot of their flavor very fast. This makes it more likely that your spices will not retain their distinct flavors and properties.
Allow the food to sit for a little while before serving. This is very important for the juices to be absorbed back into your meat. It is very tempting to serve the meal from grill to tabletop. Though if you do this, your food will not be as enjoyable. Always allow your meat sit for about 5 minutes before eating.
If you are trying a new fruit or vegetable that you are not accustomed to, take a little time to learn some things about it. You might be surprised how much you can do with that new food. If you take the time to learn about the item before heading into the kitchen, the experience will be that much more enjoyable.
Be creative in your cooking. Following a recipe word for word and teaspoon for teaspoon is not always what cooking is about. Change up the recipe until you perfect your own variation. The ability to think creatively shows the heart of a real cook.
Proper preparation can save you a lot of time when you are cooking. Often times, you can prepare food prior to cooking by at least a couple days in advance. Some ingredients even benefit from advance preparation, developing a better flavor that will enhance the quality of your meal when you cook it. You may never go back to cooking the old fashioned way once you see how much time advanced prep saves.
Save a little bit of your pasta water when making pasta sauce. Reserve a small quarter cup portion of the water you cook the pasta in after you cook it. The water should be added to the sauce and pasta mixture. The addition of the starchy water will bulk up your sauce and make it creamier.
When you are cooking for an occasion where you want to impress someone, it is best not to try out a new recipe. A fancy gourmet meal that you make yourself is one way to try and make a good impression on your boss, in-laws or a new love. Find out what kind of food they like and prepare something you are comfortable with.
Impress family and friends when you make a simple sandwich just by spreading the mayonnaise evenly on the entire slice of bread. You can’t be in a rush and just squirt it on the bread! If you spread it evenly, your sandwiches are complete with overall flavor.
As mentioned earlier, there are a couple secrets and tips that you should understand if you want to cook well. Some people are naturally good at cooking, while others need more advice. Think of this article as a starting point in your education.
When making salsa to be eaten later, rinse the onions after you dice them, and use a paper towel to blot them dry. Fresh onions emit a sulfurous gas. Your fresh salsa will be ruined by this gas. Rinsing the onions allows the gas to be removed.