Cooking errors are much more frequent than we might think. Surprisingly, even people who are great cooks make these mistakes. You could be making errors while cooking your favourite meal without even knowing it. Discover 15 cooking errors frequently made by people and easy tricks to rectify them. After all, it’s never too late to learn some basic cooking tricks!
15. Speeding up the cooking process
Are you making a recipe with beef, and it asks you to simmer the meat for 2 hours? If you increase the temperature in the hopes that your meat will cook faster, then you risk of sabotaging your recipe. It will make your meat dry and your sauce won’t be very savoury.
14. Cooking with the wrong kind of potatoes
Choose potatoes with high starch content (like Russets or Yukon Gold) to get smooth and soft mashed potatoes. These kinds of potatoes also absorb aromas more easily. Waxy potatoes (red and white kinds) need more puree to become creamy, which could conclude in having a mashed potato paste which doesn’t sound very good.
13. Cooked pasta under cold water
Never put your pasta under cold water, especially if you’ve added vegetable broth in the cooking water to make your pasta tastier. This cooking method doesn’t make the pasta sticky, so you can get rid of the cooking water.
12. Adding salt when you’re cooking potatoes
When potatoes are cooked, the granulated starch swells up and absorbs the water, and the salt (if you’ve added some to the water). You don’t need to add salt to the water, only at the end, to add a bit of seasoning to your potatoes.
11. Overcooking your vegetables
Do you feel like adding vegetables to your meat or fish dish? Green vegetables, like broccoli and green beans, cook very fast, in less than 10 minutes once the water is boiled. Don’t let them boil for too long.
10. Kneading your pie dough too much
Gently knead your pie dough because a dough that is kneaded too much becomes hard and then it is difficult to spread it with your rolling pin. You can use flour with a little gluten in it (for example spelt flour) to make your dough easier to roll.
9. Draining your boiled potatoes correctly
Make sure you properly drain your boiled potatoes before mashing them, so they taste like potatoes and not like water. You can always gently heat the drained potatoes in a pan to dry them before mashing them.
8. Constantly flipping breaded meat
It is normal to anxiously flip your breaded meat to see if it is well cooked, but try to avoid doing that. We suggest you let your meat cook on each side for at least 3 minutes.
7. Adding your cold mashed potato ingredients straight from the fridge
Make sure your butter is at room temperature before adding it to your hot potatoes and make sure your milk or cream is heated. The ingredients will be absorbed more easily and won’t cool down your potatoes.
6. Salting your food at the wrong time
Did you know that you should only salt your food once you have almost finished cooking it? The salt develops flavours at the end of the cooking process.
5. Cooking your food too much in advance
We are all fans of preparing our food in advance, especially if we have a lot of things to cook, but it is best not to make your mashed potatoes too much in advance. Leaving them in the fridge for the night sounds like a great idea in order to save time, but they will taste like cardboard if you do that. Do you absolutely want to prepare them in advance? You can add your cooked potatoes to a heat-resistant bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place it on top of a pot with simmering water for 2 hours. If you have a slow cooker, you can also use that. Make sure you mix them well before serving.
4. Seasoning a salad in advance
If you’ve prepared your salad in advance as well as your dressing, wait before you are just about to eat before adding the dressing so the lettuce does not get soggy.
3. Cooking meat in a cold pan
If you want juicy and perfectly cooked meat, heat your pan with some oil before placing the meat in the pan.
2. Burning your onions
There is nothing worse than eating burnt onions. To avoid this cooking disaster, cook them on high for less than 1 minute.
1. Leaving your pie in the oven to let it cool
Don’t leave your pie or cake in the oven to cool it down because you risk drying it out. You should let it cool down on your countertop.
- Good Housekeeping