6 Common Cooking Mistakes That You Must Avoid
By Humayun Nazir
Make an innocent error and your dish will turn into a huge disappointment. And you don’t want this to happen, especially if you are going to serve your friends or relatives. What you need are a few tips to prevent recipe missteps and overcrowded pans. Below are 6 common cooking mistakes that you must avoid.
Not Reading the Recipe
Going through a recipe is as important as reading a map prior to leaving for a trip. The majority of cooking mistakes happen when people overlook an important detail. Actually, they don’t read the recipe properly. For instance, adding cold butter into the batter may leave you with a lumpy and dry cake. In the same way, if you don’t wait for the onions to be fully cooked and add tomatoes into the sauce, you will a spaghetti topper that won’t be smooth or crunchy.
Overcrowding the Pan
If you cover the pan fully, it will trap the heat. As a result, there will be a lot of steam inside the pan. To prevent overcrowding, what you need to do is use a pair of pans instead of just one. Alternatively, you can cook in batches.
Not Preheating the Pan
The surface of the pan must be hot enough to brown the food and seal in the juices. Food will stick to the pan if it’s not hot enough. Therefore, it’s important that you preheat the pan for a few minutes prior to pouring the oil. To check if the pan is hot enough, you can throw a couple of drops of water on the pan. If the water evaporates quickly, you are good to go.
Using too little water
Food, when put in a boiling pot, lowers the water temperatures right away. If you put too much food, the water won’t boil. As a result, the spaghetti will taste starchy. So, what you need to do is use a good deal of water. In other words, the food should swim in the pan. As a general rule, you may want to use a minimum of 5-quart pot for just a pound of paste. Make sure that the water is boiling.
Using Dried Herbs in Place of Fresh Ones
It may be tempting to add some dried oregano instead of some fresh seems. However, the problem is that herbs, such as parsley and basil don’t taste the same once dried. On the other hand, tarragon and oregano become more powerful when dried. so, you should use them sparingly. As a matter of fact, the best way of judging the strength of a herb is by taste. If you have dried oregano and it tastes nothing, you may want to use a heavy hand.
Using oil that is not hot enough
Whether you are deep-frying or pan-frying, make sure that the temperature of the oil is 350 F or more. But if the temperature is lower than that, your food will become greasy and heavy.
So, what you need to do is go for oil that has a high smoking point. Make sure it is hot enough before you put food in it. Some good names are peanut, safflower and canola, just to name a few.
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