Cooking is a wonderful art to learn. Whether it is purely for nutritional purposes or for the joy of creating a meal from scratch for your family and friends, the relaxation that can be associated with this skill is immense. But if you weren’t taught the basics of cooking, and finding your way around a kitchen is not your forte, here are a few handy hints you need to know.

When cooking any recipe, use the best ingredients that you can afford. Splurge a little on imported cheeses or better quality meats when you can, so that you can experience a restaurant, quality-tasting meal at home. To enhance the experience even further, try to creatively plate up the meal with a little thought, for something different.

Easy measuring cup clean up. Many baking recipes call for sticky ingredients such as butter, honey, syrup or peanut butter. Instead of washing out a gooey mess every time you need to reuse the measuring cup, spray the inside of the cup with nonstick cooking spray. The ingredients will slide right out, and you can reuse the measuring cup right away!

When cooking a big meal, try to do your prep work the night before as this saves you time when you’re getting things ready for your dinner the next day. Have everything washed, chopped, and ready to go. You’ll thank yourself because there is less stress on the night of the big meal.

It is incredibly embarrassing to have lumps in your gravy. It happens to everybody from the beginner cook to the master chef. There is a simple trick you can use to eliminate them. Drain the gravy through a fine strainer and discard the lumps. This technique can be used for other sauces or soups too.

One of the things that you will need to realize when you are making meats or fish is that you need to spread your seasoning evenly. Adding too much seasoning in one area of your food can reduce the flavor or lead to a tangy taste that will reduce your meal’s quality.

Substitute Greek yogurt for mayonnaise in creamy salad dressings. If you are on a diet or just trying to eat healthily, you can still make creamy salad dressings with healthy ingredients. Just substitute the mayonnaise in them with low-fat Greek-style yogurt. Doing this will make the dressing much more healthy.

Kneading is a tiring task, but the constantly moving board makes it even more difficult. Have you tried a few unsuccessful tricks to secure the board? Try the simplest of all, which always delivers the best results. Place a damp towel under the board you are using to knead the dough. It will keep the board in place.

A coffee grinder isn’t just for coffee. A coffee grinder works just as well as a food processor for some jobs – This is especially true with small jobs when you don’t want the trouble of lugging out a massive processor and then having to wash all the parts. Nuts and peppercorns grind perfectly in a coffee grinder, even if you need a quick substitute for powdered sugar in a recipe.

When you learn to cook for yourself, do not be afraid of cooking in large batches. The freezer becomes your friend once you are making your meals. Surplus food that you prepare, but will not use immediately, can be stored almost indefinitely in your freezer. Cooking in large batches is the best way to maximize the utility of your cooking time.

One of the greatest things that you can do is to cook with family members or friends. When you cook with someone else, you will be able to pick up on tricks that they implement and be able to better yourself. Talk to them to see how their thought process works to elevate your expertise.

Garlic is fantastic but comes at the cost of smelly hands. Rub your hands thoroughly on the interior of a stainless steel sink after working with garlic or other odoriferous cooking ingredients. This handy trick cleanses your hands so the smell will not transfer to what you are going to touch next.

If you want a healthier diet, use less oil when you cook. Oil and butter have lots of fat. Replace them with a nonstick cooking spray, and you won’t notice the difference.

Eggplants tend to turn black during cooking unless you treat them properly. Add a spoon of milk to the cold cooking water and add the plant to that milky water. The eggplant will not change its color during cooking and will make your dish more delicious when you serve it.

You may or may not have heard of schmaltz, but it is a useful component when cooking. Schmaltz, otherwise known as chicken fat, is very rich. The schmaltz’s flavor is more in-depth than duck fat and can be used for many things, such as cooking meats or poaching fish.

Before preparing any dish, you must ensure that your utensils are clean. Bits of food on your utensils could contaminate the dish you are cooking. The contamination can cost you a lot because it might cause bacteria to spread.

Read the recipe thoroughly before you begin any cooking endeavor! Just reading the list of ingredients does not ensure that you are fully prepared to complete the meal. Some different techniques and tools may be required, so do not be too ambitious when tackling a new recipe.

One of the best cooking tips for moist and flavorful meat is to take the time to marinate. The simple truth is that the longer you marinate your meat, the more intense and enjoyable the flavor will be. A good rule of thumb is to marinate overnight whenever possible ” longer is even better. For safety sake, be sure to keep food covered and chilled in the refrigerator as it marinates.

There is no longer a need to hold onto any fear of the kitchen. By following these ideas and learning the basics of cooking, you will be rewarded. With a little time and practice, you will be whipping up gourmet meals to impress your friends in no time.

 

Story credit to editorumt@gmail.com.

Photo credit to Ella Olsson/Unsplash.

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