Cooking Tips – Let’s face it! Many of us are very bad at cooking. However, to be healthier, we need to cook. Preparing healthy, home cooked meals for you and your family is an excellent way to bond, to eat well and to stay fitter.
Moreover, who says that these home-cooked meals have to suck? With a little preparation and simple cooking tips, you can be a better cook, creating wholesome dishes that are finger-licking good. Check out our best cooking tips of all time.
1. Prep a night before- Most people fail at cooking because they prepare with haste. Preparing for the meal, including cutting or slicing veggies, etc. can help take off the stress next day. So, prep a night before. Chefs suggested to Food Network that people should prep meals beforehand to make cooking easier.
2. Store spices efficiently- Spices add flavor to the food. However, they lose their taste if kept in heat or near the store. So, store them in cool, dark place (even your fridge)!
3. Stock Up- Started preparing something only to notice that a key ingredient was missing? Be a better cook by stocking up major items in the freezer. That way you will always have items to cook with.
4. Have a meat thermometer- Most home cooks fail when they don’t prepare meat properly. To ensure that your meat is cooked to perfection, you might want to invest in a digital meat thermometer. So they aren’t expensive. You can break even in just a few meat dishes!
5. Have your cookbook- You don’t have to be a genius chef to have a cookbook. Instead, you can keep a book to be a better cook. You can add pointers, the items you missed out on- like steak needed a minute more, fish can be prepared in 5 minutes, etc.
7. For Awesome Pasta– Cook pasta a minute or two less than what’s mentioned on the instructions’ package. Then toss it in the sauce and let it cook for a minute more. This way it would be tastier.
8. The Vinegar-Pickle- Have guests at home, but no salad or pickles to go along with the dishes? Then master this technique- simply whisk vinegar with sugar and salt, pour over veggies or fruits and leave on for twenty minutes. Serve it later!
9. Brine- Soaking or preserving meat in the salt water adds a better taste to the dishes. So, brine baby, brine!
10. Blotting meat- When browning meat, blot the upper surface with paper towel. This will help brown it better and reduce too much moisture on the skin, crisping it.
12. Enjoy your time- Cooking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. However, you can be a better cook if you enjoy it. So, throw off those shoes and have your favorite beverage in hand while preparing meals.
13. Professionally Sharpened Knives- Go to a pro to get your knives sharpened. This will polish your skills and ensure that you chop faster. Moreover, yes, it is safer!
14. Opt for Chicken Thighs- Yes, there’s mutual love for chicken breasts. However, they are expensive, and their flavor dulls after a few days in the freezer. So, get chicken thighs if you are on a budget and need more flavor.
15. Cool, the food- Before putting any prepared food in the refrigerator or freezer, make sure that you bring it to the room temperature. Alternatively, you risk development of molds.
16. Lemons in Fridge- Slightly heating a lemon will give better juices. However, you should keep it in the fridge to prevent it from getting ruined.
Also Read: Lemon, The Super Food Ever.
17. Add Lemons- And you do have lemons, use it for high purposes. Use it for food, sauces and cocktails or even for cleaning and deodorizing wooden cutting boards. For this, you need to use squeezed rinds and rub it on the board.
18. Extra caramelized onions- Caramelize some extra onions and save leftovers in the freezer. You can reheat and use them in sandwiches, other recipes or even for sauces.
19. Toss Spices- If those spices don’t have the scent or aroma, then they aren’t worth it. So, toss them or you will be cooking a flavorless meal!
20. Replace Non-Stick- Non-stick is great! However, sometimes, you need to use traditional methods. So, toss that skillet and use regular ones when making scrambled eggs or South Indian dishes.
21. Herbs are like flowers- Flowers have a unique scent to them, and so does herbs. So, to test the efficacy or likeness of herbs, test it like flowers, by smelling them. Use herb if its scent appeals you!
22. Chocolate Chip Alternative- Break a bar of chocolate instead of using chocolate chips. It is cheaper, it is tastier, and the bar adds unique texture, with some chips large or small.
23. Salt Salads- Salt makes dressing pop, and it adds a great texture to the food.
24. Use Avocados- This is an excellent cooking tip. For dips and sauces, use ripe avocados. It is delicious, creamy, has a great texture and is perfectly healthy.
Also Read: Find The Benefits of Avocados.
26. Stop the board from slipping- Cut and chop better by putting the damp paper towel under cutting board. Or else, buy a non-slip cutting board.
27. Double the stuff- Want to make cooking easier? Then cook grains like rice or even quinoa double! Double means that there’s always some leftover in the fridge to be used later!
28. A better light- Mood lighting works in rooms. So, why use a cheap random bulb in the kitchen? Opt for good lighting that brightens up the kitchen and you will love to work there!
29. Parchment Papers- Want to enjoy making roasted vegetables or baked fishes? Then get parchment paper and prepare everything with ease!
30. Sugar for veggies- This won’t work for all veggies, but some veggies like carrots, tomatoes and squash will taste great with just a dash of sugar.
31. Charring- If you can’t create the smoky flavor, then try charring it!
32. Practice Teamwork- You might not be able to take cooking classes, but you can do better if you cook with other people. That will help you learn from experience. In fact, you should cook with other people while like cooking!
33. Quick Sauce Tip- If you don’t have much time to prepare sauces on weekdays, then save some leftover sauces from previous meals and freeze it in ice-cube trays. Now, you can pop a cube every time you need to make the sauce.
34. Spice toast- Make spices stronger and meals tastier by toasting spices on medium heat. But watch that pan like a hawk or they will burn.
35. Use Nuts- Want to add crunchiness to the recipe? Then add more nuts. But be careful that you don’t use it for someone who has nut allergies.
36. Toast Grains- Toast grains, including quinoa for a warm, roasted flavor to your dishes.
37. The deep frying trick- When deep frying food, hold the piece with long tongs and let the end touch the oil for five seconds. After that, release it. This will seal the exterior of the food and prevent the mix from spilling in the oil.
38. Mayonnaise time- Spread mayonnaise or other dips from corner to corner on the bread for a tastier sandwich.
39. Oil around edges- If you need more oil during cooking, add it to the edges. So, it will stream along the edges, get heated by the time it reaches the ingredients.
40. Taste- Always taste the mixture for meatballs, meatloaf or similar stuff before actually using it.
41. A meal for the week- When you prepare food, you should also think about other things you can do with a simple dish. For instance, that slow roasted whole beef can be used as sandwiches or other dishes throughout the week.
42. Buy two loaves and freeze one- Bread goes well in the freezer. And you should store your favorite bread in the freezer to keep its freshness intact. Cover it with foil paper and store in the freezer section.
43. Don’t overcrowd- Seriously, putting too many veggies or stuff in the pan for sautéing won’t get you anywhere. Instead, it would lead to sogginess. So, avoid that.
44. A natural onion sauce- Instead of directly roasting chicken in a pan, place the chicken on thick slices of onion. The onion will absorb the flavor, and the same onions can then be made into a sauce.
45. Brightly colored veggies- Love those bright and fresh looking veggies they serve at restaurants? Well, you can have that as well. All you have to do, put greens in water immediately after boiling. This will retain their color.
46. An order- Oil, salt, and roast in that order, so the seasoning sticks to food.
47. Peel ginger- Peeling the ginger and keeping it in the freezer makes it easier to use.
48. Cheese marinate- You can marinate your cheese and add more flavor to it by simply marinating it in olive oil, fresh herbs, and flakes. Now that’s yum!
49. Use Paper Towel for Freshness- To keep those greens fresh, simply wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel. Then seal them in the plastic bag. It will help them last for another 4-5 days.
50. Better Mashed Potatoes- Mashed potatoes make for great sides. Moreover, you can make them even better with this trick. Once potatoes are boiled and the water is drained, let them stay in the pan, covered tightly in the steam for five minutes. This makes potatoes slightly dry, and they soak up butter or cream better.
51. New kitchen sponge- Get rid of that old, smelling sponge often. You want those dishes to be clean and not to smell funky!
52. Kitchen towel for salads- Want fresh salads but hate salad spinners? Then simply dry them on a clean dish towel and your salad will be drier, tastier.
53. Random Meat Cuts- You don’t have to buy most expensive meat cuts to make tastier food. By random meat cuts and keep them in a freezer. Use them in meals or use them for preparing soup broth and sauces.
54. Use chicken fat- Add more flavor to the dishes with chicken fat. It is great for sautéing, frying onions or even spreading on toast. You can do that for bacon fat as well. Store it in a freezer.
55. Have a garbage bowl- Hate excessive cooking times and cleaning up the surface? Then have a garbage bowl, where you can easily dump shells or peels and then throw it in the bin later.
56. Y-Peeler- Peeling gets way easy with Y-peeler. Moreover, you might want to change the peeler often as their sharpness is reduced over the years.
57. Don’t have glass cutting boards- Seriously, glass cutting boards are slippery. They are bad with knives. You shouldn’t have them!
58. Metal cups and spoon- Plastic warps over time and its reliability decreases. So, for baking, have a set of metal measuring cups and spoons.
59. Store Salad Greens- Just like regular greens, you can keep prepared salads in reusable plastic bags. However, make sure that you use them within a day or two.
60. Soften butter- Leave the butter in wrapper near the stove and it will soften. That way it will taste better and will be used lesser.
61. Make compound butter- Making flavored butter is way too easy. Just add shallots, garlic and chopped herbs or even lemon zest and you will have flavored butter!
62. Brown Sugar- Buy it in lesser quantity as its freshness doesn’t last long. If it seems rock hard, simply microwave in the oven for 30 seconds.
63. Glass Pie Pans- They work better than tins, and they offer perfectly golden brown pies, evenly crafted!
64. Check- Always check that the items you use for food preparation are healthy, do not have molds and fit for consumption.
Go ahead! Try these awesome tips and be a better cook.
Also Read: Eat Right For Your Blood Type.