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Ways to Improve Your Cooking

Ways to Improve Your Cooking

    1. Don't be afraid of salt

    Or any seasoning, but salt seems to get the bad rap. Salt can enhance the flavor of your dish if used properly.

    2. Use a cooking thermometer

    Learn what the acceptable ranges of doneness are for various meats and use a thermometer to check. You'll have more consistent results and less overcooked food...unless you like overcooked food. If that's your thing, you do you.

    3. Higher Temp does not equate to better cooking

    Some dishes are best cooked low and slow, others a hot sear, and many are somewhere in the middle Do a bit of research to see which is best for the dish you are preparing.

    4. Double-check your ingredients

    Bread? Check. Milk? Check. Eggs? Check. Oh wait the egg carton is empty...that sucks. Make sure you've got everything you need so you aren't stuck in the middle of making something scrambling for a substitution or thinking your dish is ruined.

    5. Mise en place

    While you're double-checking those ingredients, set them out - get them ready for the order you need in the quantities you need. While you can get away with not having to prep ahead of time, it'll make life quite a bit easier during the cooking process, and for your quick dishes that involve many ingredients it'll be a game-changer.

    6. Feel like something's missing from your dish? Probably acidity

    Add a touch of vinegar, lemon juice, something else acidic and taste. See how it goes.

    7. Don't be afraid of failure or trying new things

    You can discover some delicious dishes from failure. I know it can feel daunting trying a new dish if the recipe seems complicated, or you're spending money on ingredients - but you could also find you wildly succeed.

    8. Sourcing recipes

    A quick google search for one dish will result in thousands of recipes. How do you know which ones are legit? Well, you've got the classics like recipe books and then you have some great sites: Serious Eats, America's Test Kitchen (Paid), NY Times (Paid), King Arthur Baking (for baking), RecipeTinEats, etc.. and then there's the method of taking a look at a few different recipes from some sites, reading a few reviews (good and bad) and then either picking one or making a mash-up of my own from the recipes presented. Try something out, eat, assess, make adjustments. Also, Youtube is a great source to check out cooking methods - I use this often with complicated recipes or dishes where I want to make sure I fully understand the steps/techniques.

    9. Sharpen your knives

    Dull blades = injuries. Sharp knives save lives or something like that. Also, practice uniform cutting techniques.

    10. Taste taste taste

    The first time you try your food should not be when setting it down to eat your meal. Ideally, you're tasting sauces and other items along the way to confirm it has proper seasoning and taste. Developing you sense of taste - how spices interact, and such will help you immensely as well.

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