10 Simple Kitchen Tips
It’s ironic how people of this generation do not know how to cook anything beyond boiling water. This is especially the case because no one taught us how to cook even the most basic food. We instead opted to grab quick meals from restaurants, without knowing that some of these ready-to-eat meals are not healthy.
What can we do then?
Learning to cook can be frustrating and tedious for a new cook, but you can always improve your skills with time. It becomes much easier when you have a few tricks up your sleeve that even the most seasoned chefs tend to ignore.
10 Tips you wish someone told you earlier.
1. Always use tongs when cooking
When you need to avoid the contents of your pan from spilling all over, tongs are the way to go. Even though you might use spatulas for flipping and scrapping eggs or pancakes, tongs will be useful in everything else. They are easy to use and ensures that your food is not jumping from the pan onto the floor. Typically, it’s highly recommended to use tongs with nylon tips if you are using non-stick cookware.
2. Use Tupperware for storage
Keeping everything fresh especially herbs could be a bit challenging if they require you to trim them, keep them in a vase and wrap them in a damp towel so that they last a week. However, with Tupperware, you can manage to keep your berries, salad greens and everything else fresh for much longer. Besides, it is also reusable making it more eco-friendly.
3. Use a knife instead of a garlic press
You will spend less time when you use a knife to peel and mince garlic than when you use a knife. Simply place the clove of garlic on a chopping board and smash it with the flat side of the big knife. You can then mince it quickly and easily after the papery skin comes off.
4. Use separate chopping boards from those you used for garlic and onion
Garlic and onion have certain flavours that may not be suitable for things like fruit and cheeses that do not need to absorb odours of previous meals. Keeping a separate cutting board for these is a step closer to nailing your recipe!
5. Purchase herbs fresh, not dry
Herbs are always better fresh and not dry. In addition to being cheap, they are available almost everywhere. Always have fresh basil, cilantro, thyme, parsley or chives at all times. Dried versions are also okay if they aren’t that old, but may only be usable for a short time before they go bad.
6. Do away with pre filled spice racks
Food always tastes better when you use fresh spices other than those that have been stacked in your rack for so long that they lose their colour and flavour. Having fresh cinnamon, cloves, curry powder, cumin, coriander and chilli pepper is an excellent way of ensuring that your foods taste delicious. Therefore, you should consider buying them in small quantities as you need them.
7. The biggest mistake in the kitchen is overcooking
Most new cooks often make this mistake which sums up to one thing- bad food. Whether you are preparing meat, vegetables or grains, you will never go wrong when you take the food off the heat just before it is done and allow it to finish cooking with its internal temperature. After all, you can always cook more if uncooked, but there is no remedy for overcooked food.
8. Improve taste above the average
Food that tastes okay but not great could undoubtedly have something to do with some added flavours. While salt is a necessary spice in cooking, it might not always give the dashing taste we all crave for. Adding a little vinegar, olive oil, or lemon will give your food a great taste. They are used to make dry food sticky and ensure that your meal stands out from the rest.
9. Use shallots in place of regular onions
Regular big onions are essential when preparing soups and roasts, but they can always be substituted with shallots or leaks in everyday cooking. This ensures that your meals have more nuance and unique flavour. You can never know which kitchen experiment turns out to be your most significant success.
10. Avoid storing fruits in the fridge
Except for berries, fruits should not be stored in the fridge. Doing so dulls the taste of most produce. Fruits such as bananas, apples, oranges and pears can be put in a refrigerator for a little time to extend their lives in hot climates, but it is better to store them at room temperature.
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