Professional Chefs Share 20 Common Cooking Mistakes We Need To Avoid
The kitchen is where the magic happens. It’s relatively easy to mess something up with so many ingredients and recipes to play around with. They say you live, and you learn. Whether cooking for yourself or your family, it’s always good to know some cooking tips and tricks to make meal preparation a lot easier and more efficient.
Professional chefs on Reddit decided to help the public out and share “what’s something simple we’re probably all doing wrong in the kitchen” in this thread. Chefs shared some rookie cooking mistakes that could be easily avoided. There’s plenty to take from this, from the most obvious tips to simple tricks that will enhance your meal preparation skills and cheer up the taste buds.
More info: Reddit
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Way too many people over clutter their kitchen and think they need a gadget for everything. In reality, a well-crafted, sharpened French knife, a pairing knife and a peel can get you a long way.
MISE EN PLACE! Everything has a place and everything has a purpose.
Also, steak should never be cooked to more than medium.
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If you have to drain your rice after cooking it, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!
You should be measuring your rice:water as 1:2 ( 1 cup rice : 2 cup water. Get proper measuring cups, don’t use a coffee mug…) and you should no liquid left if cooked properly. Simmer on low after initial boil, lid closed, fluff with a fork about 3/4 of the way, that’s it.
And wash the rice until water runs clear. Othersie you’re eating dust and bug poop ( Basmati and Jasmine rice mainly…don’t wash arborio rice)
MY entire process is:
-Wash rice thoroughly under cold water
-Place washed/drained rice in clean pot and set on stove on low-med heat to slowly dry and toast the rice.
-Add 2bsp oil to the hot dry rice and make it sing, but should not get any color!
-Boil water in your kettle; add salt, pepper and other seasoning (Chicken stock powder is great for rice..or you know, MSG) to your measuring cup, dissolve with the water.
-Dump all the liquid in the pot; it will boil virgorously for like 5 seconds, don’t be scared.
-Lower heat to a simmer, cover with the lid ( Big plus if it has a small vent)
-Fluff with a fork at 10mins in, then about 5mins later it should be ready to serve.
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Since I didn’t see it in here: instead of adding more salt, try adding an acid. A splash of vinegar or lemon/lime juice can make flavors pop without over-salting.
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Putting oil in the pot when you’re boiling pasta. If you do that, the sauce will just slide right off your pasta. The starchier the water, the better the sauce will stick.
Leave your meat out to go to room temp before you cook it.
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Using tongs, you must clink them together at least five times to channel your inner crab.
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Clean as you go. Throw away trash, wipe up what you spill, get unnecessary utensils out of the way. If your kitchen looks like a tornado struck after you’re done cooking, you f*cked up.
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Not sanitizing your hands and work area after handling raw meat, especially chicken.
Can’t count the number of times I’ve been cooking with friends or family and have to stop them from chopping salad veggies on the same cutting board as raw meat or running their hands under cold water for a second to ‘clean them’ before going to grab stuff out of the fridge or drawer or even just going about their day.
Same goes for giving your slimy raw-chicken cutting board a quick scrub to wash it using the same sponge you use for everything else.
If it’s touched raw meat, it needs to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized with hot water and either soap (your hands) or bleach (everything else).
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Cooking too hot to speed things up. If the recipe calls for something to cook for one hour at 350 degress, cooking it at 425 degrees for 35 minutes is not a substitute. Some things just need to be cooked slowly and gently.
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It is the fat that carries the flavor. If your going to saute something, put the herb and spices with the butter or oil that is in the skillet. Don’t put them in the flour you’re using to bread the food.
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Practice your recipes. Don’t find one risotto you like and never make a different one. Cook 10 different risottos two or three times each over a long period of time. Doing this helps you understand the basics of how to make it and allows you to spot bad recipes, recognize good ones, and improvise without one.
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Not having things ready and in place.
Have you ever been halfway done with a dish and realize you didnt have the cheese grated? Now everything is on hold (and over cooking) while you grate cheese?
Having everything ready to go at the start lets you add the things when they need adding and helps put dishes out at the appropriate time.
Toss your hardboiled eggs in an icewater bath right when they’re done to make them peel easier.
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Most people suck at roasting vegetables. Brussel sprouts are the number one f*ck up and most people lose their sh*t when I serve them properly done brussels.
Toss with olive oil (more than you think), salt (more than you think), and any other herbs/spices (e.g. curry spices with cauliflower), lay cut side down on a baking sheet, and throw that sh*t into a 200C/400F oven until it’s visibly browned. Depending on the veggie (e..g carrots) you’ll probably want to turn over to the otherside and continue roasting for a bit. Once they’re done you can toss with pepper or fresh/delicate herbs before serving (e.g. mushrooms with tarragon or parsley).
Just because it’s fork tender and cooked through doesn’t mean it’s delicious. Yet.
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Never add garlic and onions at the same time.
Onions take about 8 minutes to saute and garlic takes about 30 seconds. If you add them together you’re gonna have burnt, bitter garlic.
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Crack your damn eggs on a FLAT surface, not the side of a bowl or pan. Cracking on a flat surface makes it easier to open as well as preserving your yolk. If you crack it on an edge it pushes shell inside the egg and is more likely to break the yolk (which sucks if you are making it sunny side up, poached or separating whites) Also, if by some chance there is bacteria or icky gross stuff on the shell it is more likely to contaminate the inside when shell gets pushed in.
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Sharp knives. Makes things a million times easier, and is actually sooo much safer in the end. Combined with the proper grip and a bit of practice, and suddenly cutting things for prep goes from the most hated step of everything to just another step, maybe even becomes fun for some people.
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If you want perfect roasted potatoes (oven roasted, chopped pieces) with crispy outside and fluffy insides then boil them for about 5-10 minutes in salt water first. Then roast them.
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There is a really simple rule when cooking a steak: Leave the steak alone. Stop f*cking with it. Stop poking and prodding and moving it and flipping it around. Let it cook. Let the heat do what it’s supposed to do. Get to know your heat source and learn to trust it. Almost everybody I know violates this rule.
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Pressing/squashing burger patties down as they cook on the BBQ (you’re just making them drier by squeezing out the juices IMHO)