Top 10 cooking tips
Here are our top 10 cooking tips which we're sure you'll find helpful! Sometimes just changing a few habits can add up to one significant overall change which can really make a difference.
#1. Don't put oil in the pasta water!
This is a common mistake. No matter how much you boil the water or stir it, the oil will always rise to the top in the end and won’t coat the pasta to stop it from sticking together! If anything, add salt to the water instead as this is more likely to have some benefit plus it flavours it too!
#2. Don't use extra virgin olive oil for frying
Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point which means it burns at a lower temperature than say vegetable oil or coconut oil. So you should only really use it in dressings and sauces.
#3. Meat should be at room temperature before cooking
Meat will cook more evenly when at room temperature. Cooking meat straight from the fridge can lead to an overcooked outside and an underdone centre. So get those steaks out the fridge about half an hour before you cook them.
#4. Don't fry the garlic first
Garlic cooks very quickly, especially when fried in oil which can lead to it burning (it tastes awful!). If you’re frying onions/peppers/other veg then fry those first and add the garlic last. Fry for only a minute or so and then add the wet ingredients, e.g tomatoes, wine, stock etc.
#5. Taste as you cook
The simplest way to ensure a half decent plate of food is to taste it as you cook it! This will give you the chance to add more seasoning or spice or whatever you’re using during the cooking process. Serving food that you haven’t tasted is never a good idea!
#6. Only flip meat once when grilling or frying
You only need to flip meat once. It won’t brown nicely on the outside if you keep turning it over, especially a bit of steak on a griddle.
#7. Heat the pan first
Get the pan on the heat and nicely up to the required temperature before adding ingredients to it.
#8. Buy a meat thermometer
Do you get scared of under cooked meat? It’s easy to worry and therefore over do it so you’re always eating tough or dry meat. Purchase a meat thermometer and your troubles will be over!
#9. Don't overcrowd the pan
Let’s say you’re cooking chicken thighs in a frying pan and you have 8 of them. The best way to cook them is in batches. If the pan is overcrowded the heat doesn’t circulate properly and they’ll end up unevenly cooked and take longer than necessary.
#10. Get to know your oven
It’s safe to say that all ovens are different, especially older models. Do you find that your oven tends to cook things a lot quicker than the recipe states? It might be that your oven isn’t at the temperature that it says it is so for a small amount of money you can buy an oven thermometer. These are one of those kitchen essentials that we should all have.