Learning to master the basics of cooking can seem like a daunting task to someone who has never cooked before. If you do not know anything about cooking and are one of the people who burn water when trying to get it to boil, here are some tips to teach you the basics of cooking.
When you have a really important occasion where you are going to be cooking for someone that you love or your boss, try to stick to a food that you know will turn out good. This is not the time to be trying new things as you want to be certain it comes out right.
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.
A good thing to remember regarding cooking is to store your ingredients and spices in a cool dark place and not on top of your stove. This is because humidity and light tend to cause spices and herbs lose their flavor. This is one of the things new cooks tend to forget.
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.
Before you start cooking or baking make sure you have all the ingredients gathered together. This will save you time and prevent cooking mishaps. You’ll have a better product in the end.
Keep a few cut up, washed, and prepared vegetables in your freezer. This will reduce your prep time when you’re cooking a recipe. Onions and peppers are great to freeze. Just buy them fresh, wash and cut them when you have time, and store them in individual zip lock bags.
When shaving vegetables for dishes such as a vinaigrette or a salad, use a coarse microplane, also known as a grater or zester, to grate them into smaller pieces. The flavors of the vegetables are truly unlocked when grated with the microplane.
When cooking with herbs and spices, add them sparingly to your foods. The goal is to compliment the dish you are making, not to overpower its natural flavor. It is impossible to remove spices once you have added them, so start off with a small amount and then add more to taste.
Make sure eggs are still fresh before using them. Eggs that are no longer good can cause salmonella poisoning among other deadly diseases. You can test an egg’s freshness by lowering it into a bowl of water. If it settles horizontally, it is still good. If it rises to the top, it is bad.
Cook small quantities of food at higher temperatures for a lesser amount of time. Bite-size cookies only need a few minutes in the oven if you put it a higher temperature because there is only a small surface area to cover and it will not take long to cook. This way you will be able to enjoy your meal in minutes.
Using the tips stated above, you should have a firm grasp on the basics of cooking and be able to cook for yourself. You can even try cooking for your family and friends as a learning experience. The great thing about cooking is that if it does not work the first time, you can try again.