Cooking at home can be extremely fun and rewarding! And, take it from us, with these nine tips, you will be cooking like a professional in no time.
Add your dried herbs to sauces early.
It takes a while for the complete taste of dried-out natural herbs to release and perfume a sauce, so it is essential to always add in your dried herbs earlier on in your cook.
But, adding in fresh herbs early in your cook can sometimes threaten the integrity of your sauce by adding a note of sour. So, in the beginning, focus on adding your dried herbs first.
Do not crowd the frying pan.
If you’re sautéing, pan-frying, or roasting, it’s crucial not to crowd the frying pan. Especially if you are going for an even sear or a nice crust on the outside, crowding the frying pan is your worst enemy.
When you add too many items into a pan at once, the food is more likely to steam than to sear. And there is nothing worse than soggy breading on chicken!
It is better to spend a little more time searing your food in batches or using multiple frying pans to get the proper cook on your meal than to crowd your frying pan.
Garlic is almost always best added at the end.
Adding garlic to a dish can elevate its flavor and complexity. But, cooking with garlic can be finicky if you do not know what you are doing.
If garlic burns, it can taste not very pleasant and will negatively impact your dish! Especially if you are using minced garlic, adding it into a meal at the last minute or two will guarantee that it melds into the dish without burning or cooking too much.
In your last few minutes of cooking (as long as you are not on very high heat), a good rule of thumb is to add in your fresh garlic and fresh herbs and stir to incorporate. The heat from the cooking food will encourage the oils from the garlic and herbs to perfume the dish without overcooking them!
Get a handful of sauces under your belt and modify them as you see fit with different meals!
You’ve most likely come across the five yummy sauces that you absolutely love, like a delicious tomato sauce or a meaty bolognese, Espagnole, a creamy bechamel, or perhaps you prefer the traditional hollandaise.
Understanding a few sauces very well will help you improvise more in the kitchen. For example, if you love pasta, spend time understanding the intricacies of a classic marinara, a vodka sauce, or maybe you prefer the different varieties of pesto. If you love creamy macaroni and cheese, master the art of bechamel.
Sauces take meals to the next level, pick one and learn how to make it well. It is an excellent starting off point for novice home chefs!
Do not be scared of salt. And, taste everything when you are cooking at home.
Cooking properly with salt will change how everything you make tastes.
Do not be scared of salt. As you are teaching yourself how to salt appropriately, it is okay if you make mistakes.
You might have to remake something, or you may even throw it out and pick up food from a restaurant, depending on how bad it was. But, all of this is necessary for learning how to cook. And, salting your food is one of the most basic elevators of flavor that you can do. So, make mistakes if you have to, but do not fear using salt when you cook!
A great way to test adding more salt without oversalting is to ensure that you are tasting your food the entire time you are cooking it!
Tasting throughout a cook will help you develop your palate. And, it guarantees that something tastes the way you imagined it before serving it to a room full of hungry guests.
Cooking at home Mise-En-Place: Everything in its place.
One of the greatest chef secrets that will elevate any home cook is mise-en-place. This is the practice of prepping as much as you can for a recipe before you begin cooking.
Chop all of your vegetables, put them in their containers, weigh all of your spices or dried ingredients, season all of your meats, and gather everything together in one organized space so once you begin cooking, you have all that you need to complete the dish. Keep yourself organized and calm so that you do not make silly mistakes!
Mise-en-place also creates the space for you to do your first cleaning round before you begin cooking at home. And, this helps to guarantee that you finish cleaning after the dish is complete because your sink is ready to take on these new dirty dishes.
Cooking at home: Keep a clean kitchen, especially counters and utensils.
A clean kitchen is essential when you are cooking at home. Unfortunately, one of the biggest deterrents in making dinner at home can be a dirty kitchen. No one wants to do dishes before they even begin prepping for the meal to create more dishes!
Cleaning while you do your meal prep and cooking will help make it easy to finish cleaning after dinner. And a clean kitchen helps to guarantee a sanitary environment for food creation.
Use sufficient fat while you cook.
Although the low-fat trend is formally over, many people are still worried about including sufficient fat in their meals.
The important thing is, fat offers several cooking objectives:
- Using the right amount of fat in a saute pan or frying pan will guarantee that nothing sticks to the bottom of your pan.
- Fat tastes good. And, it makes anything it coats taste good too!
- Fat can highlight flavor, especially when combined with high heat.
Cooking at home:A dull knife can be one of the most dangerous items in your kitchen. So make sure to keep your blades sharp!
Yes, you read that correctly. Unfortunately, a dull knife can be more dangerous than a sharp one, especially while cooking at home.
And, once you have sharpened your knives, it will be substantially easier to prep your meals. So, whether you purchase an at-home knife sharpener or take your blades to a professional to sharpen, it is worth the investment.