More than 37% of Americans said they cooked between three and five times per week during 2019 since it’s a healthier and cheaper way of eating, compared to eating fast food every night. If you find yourself cooking your meals throughout the week, ask yourself this question. Are you making any huge blunders that you aren’t even aware of?
Not everyone is a professional chef. But everyone can learn and improve their cooking and cleaning skills in the kitchen. If you wish to elevate your knowledge of preparing food, continue reading. Here are 25 common cooking mistakes you may be making!
1. Neglecting to Taste the Food as You’re Cooking
Be your own personal taste tester. The secret to cooking an amazing meal is in the details. If you are continuously sampling the food throughout the cooking process, you can create a meal completely catered to your tastebuds. For example, if you love savory foods, use a sufficient amount of garlic salt. The same goes for pasta! If you’re not sampling the food, you won’t know when it’s reached the perfect level of al-dente. No one deserves to eat soggy noodles! Be vigilant!
2. Using Old Appliances
This is another mistake that you can easily fix. Older appliances may not be doing your food justice. For example, older ovens can take longer to heat up, thus affecting the outcome of your meal. If you wish to improve this, consider new appliance installation in your home.
3. Overcrowding the Pan
When you are cooking, it’s important that you don’t overcrowd the pan! The food will cook unevenly. If you’re cooking for one or more persons, place smaller portions of food on the pan at a time, stir it, serve, and repeat.
4. Trying to Save a Bad Dish by Adding More Ingredients
This happens to every wiz in the kitchen. They’ll be experimenting in the kitchen when something goes horribly wrong and the food becomes a total fail! It’s either too soggy, too salty, or just overall inedible! Many people believe they can save these dishes by adding in more flair — either a pinch of salt, sugar or more water. Don’t be afraid to scrap the dish and start over though. Sometimes you can’t save an experiment gone wrong!
5. Not Using a Water Softener
Water softeners can make cleaning up your kitchen a more pleasant process. Hard water, with a high Ph level can be tough on your dishes and hands. However, using a water softener improves the quality of your H2O!
6. Not Taking Advantage of Ice in the Kitchen
Ice block cooking can improve your cooking skills too! Ice does more than simply keeping your drinks ice cold. Throw your veggies in an ice bath. This can restore the crunchiness to vegetables like snow peas, broccoli, and cauliflower. This is just one of many common cooking mistakes you may be making.
7. Working with the Wrong Plumber
Not every plumber has your best interests in mind. If you find that your sink still clogs, even AFTER you have had your plumber over, it may be time to make the switch. This is another one of the most common cooking mistakes you can make. Cleaning up is just as important as the cooking process itself. Ensure you’re placing enough emphasis on it.
8. Combining Food Poorly
Seasoning your food heavily doesn’t automatically make you an excellent chef. After all, certain flavors clash. Orange and mint, for example, taste disgusting together! Have you ever taking a sip of orange juice after brushing your teeth? If you have, you know that this combination of flavors is disgusting!
There are other poorly paired combinations out there in the cooking world. You can only learn what pairs best with what, through time and experience. However, once you notice that certain foods taste awful together, avoid using that same combination down the line.
9. Overseasoning Your Food
Overseasoning your food is also one of the common cooking mistakes you can make while in the kitchen. For example, going overboard on the salt can kill your tastebuds and cause the food to become inedible!
10. Underseasoning Your Dish
Inversely, you don’t want to underseason your food either. Doing so can cause the food to have no taste whatsoever. Bland food will also make a terrible impression on guests, so if you’re hosting a dinner party, ensure you’re using a proper amount of the seasoning essentials — salt and pepper!
11. Not Oiling Your Pan
Unless you’re using a non-stick pan to cook your meals, use a dab of olive oil sparingly. This can help the food cook properly, as it won’t stick to the pan during the cooking process. Additionally, it can enhance and enrich the flavors of the food.
12. Adding too Much Heat
Adding too much heat on the stove or oven can burn your food. Allow it to cook gradually. Pick a heat setting and adjust it incrementally if you notice your food is not cooking.
Additionally, if you’re following a recipe, set your oven to exactly what the recipe calls for.
13. You Don’t Read the Recipe All the Way Through
Before attempting a new recipe from a cookbook or cooking blog, make sure to read the recipe all the way through first!
This is one of the many common cooking mistakes you can’t afford to make. The reason being is that if you’re reading the recipe as you cook, you can miss something major. For example, you might need to chill your dessert overnight before it’s ready. If you don’t have this prior knowledge, you may not be able to finish the dish in time for your meal. This is even riskier if you’re cooking for family and guests.
14. Not Having a Go-to Plumber
A certified plumbing company can help you out whenever the water pressure feels low. They can also help figure out what that horrible smell coming from your drain is, once and for all!
15. Waiting Too Late to Wash Your Dishes
Moving on from plumbing service, this is another one of the top common cooking mistakes you may be making. Try to clean as you’re also cooking. If you save it until the end of the process, you may be too exhausted to clean up the mess. Having a messy kitchen may also cause you to feel stressed while you’re eating. You’ll only be able to think of the huge mess that’s waiting for you.
16. Shoving Too Much Food Down the Disposal
If your meal goes absolutely wrong, wrap it up in a trash bag and dispose of it properly. Not everything belongs in the garbage disposal. You’ll need drain repair if you place the following foods into the garbage disposal.
- Stringy fruits and veggies
- Coffee grounds
17. Swapping Out Dried Herbs for Fresh Herbs
When following a recipe, this is one of the many common cooking mistakes a beginner can make. If the recipe calls for fresh herbs, don’t use the dried container version. This can alter the taste, believe it or not!
Therefore, always read the recipe beforehand and purchase the right fresh herbs from your grocery store or local farmer’s market.
18. Rushing the Cooking Process
Caramelizing onions and other related cooking tasks can take thirty minutes, or often even longer than this. If you truly want to stop making simple and common cooking mistakes, learn to be more patient! Great cooking truly takes time, and you can’t rush perfection.
19. Not Measuring Properly
Never underestimate the kitchen’s simplest tool — the measuring cup! The same goes for your measuring spoons. Don’t eyeball your measurements and assume they are right! This can lead to an altered taste in the food.
20. Not Cleaning the Garbage Disposal
If your garbage disposal is experiencing interruptions in flow, you’ll need to contact a plumber. However, if it’s something as simple as a slightly foul odor, try placing some orange peels down the drain to release a fresh scent. You can also use specialized garbage disposal beads to freshen things up.
21. Avoiding Online Cooking Classes
Cooking is such a great skill to have. There is always room for improvement. If you’re feeling uninspired, confused, or unmotivated take a few cooking classes online. These are bound to spark something within you. You can also read books, magazine articles, or watch your local cooking channel to learn more recipes and improve your cooking techniques.
22. Not Using the Right Tools
If your recipe calls for using a blender, don’t hand mix the ingredients and expect a fabulous result! This is another one of the biggest and most common cooking mistakes a beginner can make. If you really want to improve your skills, you’ll need to invest in your hobby.
Must have tools include:
- sharp cutting knives
- a solid cutting board for slicing and dicing veggies
- mixing bowls
- measuring cups
- a non-stick skillet
- a thermometer
- a veggie peeler
- a wooden spoon
- a rolling pin
- wire whisk
If any of these products happens to break or malfunction, call a defective product attorney to ensure you’re compensated.
23. Boiling When You Should Be Simmering
As stated previously, good cooking takes time. If the recipe calls for you to simmer a sauce or soup, do not boil it! There is a stark difference between the two and not following these directions can cause your recipe to fall apart.
24. Where You Buy Your Products Does Matter!
If you’re wondering why your food isn’t coming out fantastic, this can come down to the quality of the ingredients you’re using. Always try to opt for fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables. If you don’t have a farmer’s market near you, look for a grocery store that offers fresh and organic produce so you can create the tastiest meals possible.
25. Not Storing Leftovers Properly
If you have food left from your big cooking session, make sure to wrap it up properly. You don’t want to contribute to the world’s food waste problem. Also, if you loved what you made, now you have an easy to prep dinner for the next night. Use a leak-proof clear container. If you use anything with color, you may not see the food and forget about it, causing it to spoil. Not sealing your food in an air-tight container may also cause the food to spoil prematurely.
There are various and common cooking mistakes beginners and even more advanced cooks in the kitchen can make. Try not to develop bad habits, as these mistakes can also affect the taste of the food you’ve worked so hard to create! However, you’ll learn more about the trade as you go, which is both exciting and motivating. Allow yourself to learn from these common cooking mistakes so that you can become the ultimate chef in your kitchen!