Starting to learn how to cook can be a little intimidating at first – especially when you get to cooking things that are a little more difficult than boiled eggs or French toast. Worry not, however – no one was born a pro and making mistakes is part of the learning process. And today we have a short list of common cooking mistakes that you shouldn’t repeat the next time you’re trying to surprise your significant other with a nice home-cooked meal.
A little while ago, Reddit user MomosOnSale
Medium rare chicken. Works for steaks, but not for hen.
Don’t pour oils down the drain!
If it has touched raw meat, it can’t go anywhere near cooked meat
Coming anywhere near my non-stick pan with metal. If you scratch my pan I will scratch your soul.
Don’t cut meat immediately after cooking it, more juices will flow out, the meat will become drier. Wait a few minutes
Never and I mean never panic if you start a fire on accident, you need to be calm enough to know if you have to smother it (oil or grease fires) or grab the extinguisher. Panicking can get your house burned down
Don’t try to catch a dropped knife. Back away and let it fall.
Cooking with unwashed hands
IN THE WATER
Glass cutting boards. Like seriously, just GTFO.
And in a similar vein, dangerously dull knives. I’ve seen some real bludgeons in other people’s kitchens; no wonder they hate prep work.
Never pour spices directly into a steaming pot on the stove. The spices will congeal in their containers from the moisture introduced. Instead put the spices in a separate side container then add to a steaming pot.
I’d like to add to this that you should read and understood the entire recipe before you start cooking. You don’t have time to boil water when you need to “add boiling water”. And it’s nice to have the rice ready when you arrive at “serve with rice”.
Skipping fresh ingredients.
Just peel & chop garlic! Squeeze a lemon! Skip the jar/ bottle
Adding salt as a matter of course, or just because the recipe says to. Taste first, and only add if needed. If you’ve used stock or a stock cube in your dish you might not even need salt, they already have it.
guessing at amounts when baking.
Don’t use a nice knife on anything other than food. (a common offense would be opening a food package with it)
Don’t send a nice knife through a dishwasher
Don’t leave a sharp knife in the sink
Don’t leave a knife wet, even ones claiming to be stainless will often rust if left wet.
For the love of god stop mucking about with whatever it is you’re cooking. Unless it’s something you specifically need to be mixing or stirring constantly, leave it alone! You’ll never get proper color on things if they make more contact with your spatula than your pan.
People coming into the kitchen to “help”.
Not using enough butter.
Cooking everything on “high” because you want it done faster.
Always wear pants while cooking bacon.
Don’t season a liquid before reducing it, it will become too salty after you reduce it.
Don’t use a cold pan to sear something; get the pan hot first, better sear.
Learned this the hard way: don’t throw fresh chili peppers into a hot pan unless you want to pepper spray the whole house!
Don’t press your burgers down as they’re cooking. You’re releasing all the juice. It’ll give you a dry ass burger.
There are such things as smash burgers, but I believe on those, you smash them at the beginning before the fat has a chance to melt so you’re not smashing the juice out.
never let water touch chocolate.
Cutting with a dull knife. Get yourself a sharpener, even if it’s a cheap one.
Never put oil in the pot when cooking pasta, as the sauce will just slip and slide away instead of sticking to the pasta.
Pasta should never, ever be rinsed for a warm dish. The starch in the water is what helps the sauce adhere to your pasta. The only time you should ever rinse your pasta is when you are going to use it in a cold dish like a pasta salad or when you are not going to use it immediately
Remember, you can’t get some stuff back after you add it. Go slow with seasonings, and lightly. You can always add more, but you can’t take it back. Don’t let your food taste like ocean water.
Resting is part of cooking. That bacon you cooked to perfection that’s still in the skillet? Yeah, that’s too late. You need to remove things from heat a little earlier than youd think so that the ambient heat continues to do its job. Otherwise you’re overcooking it.