Cooking is done by many people on many levels. Amateur cooks make dishes at home for friends and loved ones. Professional cooks make meals in restaurants for customers and high status people. No matter what level you cook at or for who, the tips in this article should help you.
1. When seasoning your food, remember that it is much easier to add more seasoning if needed, but you cannot take it away if you add too much. That is why it's important to go light when seasoning with herbs and spices. You want to compliment the flavors of the food and not overpower them.
2. Understand that the smaller the item, the higher temperature that you are going to need to cook at. This will help to maximize the way that your food tastes during the meal. Cook your smaller foods at very high temperatures and larger foods at lower temperatures for the best results.
3. Make sure that you defrost your vegetables before you put them in the microwave if you are planning to cook them this way. This will allow you to achieve the best texture, while not sacrificing the taste of your vegetables. After cooking, add your vegetables to a main plate as a side dish.
4. If you want to cook delicious steaks, use your oven broiler. When you properly heat your oven, the broiler will quickly sear the meat and keep it juicier. You should avoid using any utensil that will puncture the meat when you turn it. That will cause vital fluid loss. Use a spatula instead.
5. Your cake can be ruined if the baking powder is too old. In most cases, you don't remember when you bought the box you have just found in the cupboard. Don't gamble with it, test it. Put one tablespoon of baking powder in one third cup of water. If it fizzes, it's good to use. If not, throw it away and buy a new box because what you have is too old.
6. To cook healthier, try replacing highly refined goods with whole-grain alternatives when you bake. Enriched white flour and other such refined grain products are low in nutritional value. Even replacing a fraction of them with natural whole-grain products will improve the healthiness of the finished dish. Consult packaging directions for specific replacements; whole-grain products do not always replace refined ones at a 1:1 ratio.
7. Buying pasta sauce that already has vegetables, seasonings, meat, or cheese in it is a great way to save time and money when cooking. There's a great variety to choose from, and you won't have to chop up peppers and mushrooms or brown the beef. It's all in one jar--just heat it up, and serve over your favorite pasta!
8. When making baked goods, try to get parchment paper for lining pans. By using parchment paper, your baked goods will be easier to remove and it will help to keep your food in one piece. Also, using parchment paper makes less of a mess and is much easier to clean up afterward.
9. Marinate meat in a bag. A lot of recipes call for meat to be marinated in a dish for a few hours, turning occasionally. This can be frustrating, as the meat is never completely coated by the marinade. A better way is to throw the meat and marinade in a ziploc bag, remove as much air as possible, and shake well to coat the meat. Place it in the fridge and simply flip the bag occasionally.