Food and Drink

4 ways to improve your cooking

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to make yourself better at cooking? If so, you’re in luck. Here are a few cooking tips that will make your resolution easy to keep.

Have the basic tools you need

Something as basic as a chopping board is essential in the kitchen. It will help you cut the carrots or green bell pepper better as opposed to doing these without. It may be worth investing in that expensive blender because it gives you the best tomato puree etc.

1. Don’t overcrowd your pan

Foods release moisture as they cook. When pans get crowded, your food will start to steam itself rather than brown and that will change the texture of the food. For example, potatoes in the oven won’t be as crisp on the outside, meat won’t brown as well. Give your food ample room in the pan, especially when browning things that need to be crisp (like French fries in the oven or breaded chicken). If your pan is too small, cook in batches.

2. Don’t forget the salt

Properly seasoning your food is one tip that chefs and culinary professionals bombard us with time and time again. The majority of home cooks either greatly under season their food or just dump in some salt at the very end of the cooking process.

3. Make notes while you cook

While you should try to stick to the recipe instructions – especially if you’re a beginner – you don’t always have to go by the book exactly when you’re cooking. Maybe you’d like to swap out a specific ingredient or add more or less of another ingredient. Playing around with portions and ingredients is part of the fun when cooking, so don’t hesitate to do so.

4. Don’t be afraid to improvise

If you don’t have all of the ingredients for a particular recipe, it is fine to alter it to the ingredients you do have. Cooking is creative – don’t be afraid to improvise. If the recipe calls for milk, in most cases you can use water instead (unless you’re baking). If the recipe calls for butter, you can almost always substitute it with oil.

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