We’re always looking for ways to make our food more delicious, easier to make, or more interesting. There are thousands of cooking tips and tricks out there, but most of us don’t have the time to wade through the useful and not-so-useful advice. So, here are 10 cooking tips which are bound to help, enhance, and save you time.
Cook your pasta in salted water. This will improve not only the taste but also the texture. Don’t be shy when adding the salt either, the liquid should be as salty as a broth.
Turn up the Heat
Those new to cooking tend to be afraid to turn up the heat. Don’t be, this will make your food taste better and cook more consistently. Also don’t be afraid to add salt. Seasoning really is key to enhancing a dish’s flavor. Add some sriracha to chicken tenders or make take a beef pot roast to a new level of spicy with green chilies and chili powder.
Most of us throw away our vegetable and meat trimmings, but this is a huge waste. Instead, next time you trim vegetables or have meat bones, put the leftovers into a re-sealable freezer bag and pop it in the freezer. When both your bags are full you have the makings for a delicious homemade stock by boiling the contents and adding bit of seasonings.
Mix It Up
Add some sugar to savory elements and a touch of salt in your sweet baking. This will elevate a dish and make it taste far more complex. It’s also a good way of balancing out the flavors. Think about how well cranberry sauce works with meat and how well salt works with caramel.
Never underestimate the power of resting. Most home cooks worry about the meat going cold or don’t leave enough time for resting. This is a huge mistake. Not resting meat means that it can bleed over a plate, making it look unappetizing. It can also result in tough meat rather than tender, rested meat.
Make your own Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs can be expensive to buy and are easy to make at home. Start making your own. Chop up some bread and put it into a blender, blend until it resembles small, fine crumbs. Then bake the crumbs until crispy. You can season with herbs and salt for added flavor.
Fat Equals Flavor
Fat imparts so much flavor into the meat. Cooks who cut the fat off before cooking will end up with drier and blander tasting food. If you don’t want to eat fat, always remove it after cooking and not before.
Taste, Taste, Taste
We’ve all heard it recommended on cooking shows, but tasting as we cook really is the way forward. Flavors can change as a dish is cooked for longer periods of time. Constantly taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. There needs to be a harmony between sweet and spicy, tangy and bitter.
Invest in a good quality pair of oven gloves and tongs to protect your fingers. Burns are inevitable if you cook a lot, but can be avoided if you take time and use the correct utensils. Also, keep a first aid kit close to the kitchen for emergencies.
It’s important to store spices and herbs correctly. Keep them in a cool, dark place. Anywhere with humidity, light, or heat will cause the spices to lose their flavor.
There you have it, 10 cooking tips that will make cooking not only easier, but more enjoyable. I’m throwing in one more tip: Have fun in the kitchen! Don’t be afraid to be creative and enjoy the cooking experience. What are some of your best cooking tips? Share with us in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Lisa, that’s a great collection of tips. So many cooks, even some who’ve been at it quite a while, don’t know these things.
Thanks Jean! Sometimes, the most obvious tip is overlooked, at least some do with me!
Roseann Hampton says
These are really good tips. I love to “turn up the heat” on my food but my husband can’t handle much more than black pepper so I have to keep everything tame!
Roseann, my daughter could eat spicy food 24/7 and the spicier the better! Sometimes I make it as hot as my husband and I can handle it and she will add extra seasoning or hot sauce to her portion. Then it becomes a win-win for all!
Vim and Trim says
Great tips. The idea of “resting up” meat is something we frequently overlook. How long on average should you allow the meat to rest? I appreciate it will depend on the type of meat, but is there any average time?
I have always let the chicken, steak and pork chops rest about 5 or so minutes. Cuts of meat such as roasts, hams, whole turkey and chickens I let rest any where from 15 – 20 minutes before slicing. Hope this helps!
Vim and Trim says
Wow 15 to 20 minutes. Would not have thought to leave it that long…always too hungry I suppose!
I’ll definitely try resting the stake when I have my next BBQ!
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