Cooking Mistakes You May Be Making and How To Fix Them

Even professional chefs slip up every once in awhile – it’s part of the process of becoming successful in the kitchen! As you may learn from cooking school online, making mistakes helps you learn what does and doesn’t work. However, you don’t want to be making the same blunders over and over again. Improve every appetizer, meal and dessert by avoiding these common cooking mistakes:

Not tasting your food during the cooking process
If you ever tune into shows like the Food Network’s “Chopped” you consistently see the contestants tasting their food as they go. It helps them to determine whether or not a dish needs more or less of a certain ingredient so that they can perfect their final meal for the judges. You may not be competing on “Chopped,” but testing your food as you go is still something you should be doing in the kitchen. Even if you’re following a recipe step-for-step, it’s not a guarantee that the recipe gave you the right amount of a certain ingredient. Don’t be afraid to break away from what you see in the cookbook – if something could use more salt, then add it!

Using a small cutting board
You may want to think about trading in your small cutting board for a larger one. Even if you’re not slicing up something big, the extra space will help you maneuver the knife more successfully. More space decreases your chances of cutting yourself and prevents ingredients from falling off of the board.

Not knowing the difference between boiling and simmering
Many recipes call for you to simmer a sauce or ingredient rather than boil it. Knowing the difference between the two terms can make or break your dish. A simmer means that only one or two bubbles break the surface every few seconds. A rolling boil, on the other hand, means that there is vigorous bubbling. Boiling something that should be simmered can cause it to be tough or dry.

Putting too much in the pan
If your recipe calls for four or five chicken breasts to be seared on the stove, choose a pan that’s large enough to comfortably accommodate all of the chicken. Overcrowding a pan can have a negative effect on the way the chicken is cooked. Steam gets trapped beneath the meat, preventing the breasts from achieving that perfect brown coating. As a general rule, the items you’re cooking shouldn’t come into contact with one another during the process.

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