Cooking can seem like something that only professionals can do. But if you have some good information and tips of the trade, then even those who burn toast can make a delicious meal. All it takes is the right techniques and a little bit of knowledge to turn you into a chef.
The smaller the item you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature should be. Baking something delicious does not have to involve leaving food in the oven for hours. If you are baking something small, set the oven temperature higher. Just make sure you leave it in the oven for less time.
One of the things that you will need to make sure of is that you do not store your spices above the stove, as this can reduce their quality upon use. Store all of your spices in a cool temperature to maximize the level of flavor that you taste upon consumption.
If you are baking, one thing that you can do is to leave your eggs and butter at room temperature overnight. This will prepare them to be used as ingredients when you bake the next day. Understanding the temperature to store certain ingredients will help to maximize the ease of creating your meal.
One of the best things that you can do to save money and improve the quality of your dressings is to make your own. Homemade dressings will save you a lot of money in the long run and will also taste great, as most of the ingredients are natural and healthier.
Season meats evenly. It is important to season all of the meats you are going to be cooking evenly. Sprinkle the seasoning lightly over the meat like it was snowing down. This will keep the seasoning even and prevent clumping. The taste will be more consistent all through it.
Ensure that your baked fish is moist and tender by cooking “en papillote”. This is a French technique that refers to fish baked in a parchment-paper packet. Place the fish and vegetables of your choice in the center of a large piece of parchment-paper. Bring the edges of the paper together, crease them tightly to form a seal, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 450 degrees. The fish and vegetables steam in the packet, keeping them moist and tender, and creating a tasty, healthy dish. (Clean-up is just as easy – simply throw away the paper after eating!)
If you’ve forgotten to soak your beans over night, quick soak them instead. Just put the beans in a very large pot and cover with water. Bring this to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about two hours. This method is just as effective as an over night soak and can save you time.
You can save a lot of money by buying potatoes for your favorite dishes in larger quantities. Make sure you store them in a cool dark place (preferably in a root cellar). Place them in a crate loosely and keep the storage temperature between 45 and 50 degrees F. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator as they become sweet.
One of the best things that you can do for your cooking is to watch cooking shows during the course of the day. Pick up on what the professionals are doing and implement that into your routine if you want to achieve the best possible results for your dishes. Tips from other people can serve you well while cooking.
If you want to spice up your meal, add peppers. Peppers will not only give the meal that you are making flavor, but will increase the spice intensity to appeal to your taste buds. Try different types and variations of peppers so that you can hone in on the peppers that you prefer.
When you are cooking with cheese, be sure to bring the cheese to room temperature before you melt it. Also, always melt cheese using a very low level of heat. This will prevent the cheese from getting tough or separating into oil and liquid. Overheating cheese will denature its proteins.
When you are cooking a hamburger patty, use a fork or other utensil to poke a hole in the middle of it. This way, the hamburgers will cook faster. Do not worry, once the hamburger is cooked, it will still have its great taste and the holes do eventually disappear.
Placing eggs in water can let you know if they are fresh. Eggs that lie on the bottom, on their side will be fresh. Eggs that stand upright in the bottom are losing freshness and should be used promptly within a day or two. Eggs that float on top of the water should be discarded immediately. Always check eggs for freshness before using.
To sear a rib-eye, T-bone, strip or other steak to perfection even when you can’t fire up the outdoor grill, flip a cast-iron skillet over and broil the steak in your oven. Heat the skillet in a hot oven prior to placing the steak on its surface, and cook to your preferred level of doneness.
Do not over-season foods before you cook them. Often seasonings intensify as a food item cooks. Adding too much seasoning early on, even if the blend seemed to be good at first, may cause the food to become overly salty or spicy. Instead, add just a little bit of seasoning and taste while cooking. You can always add more seasoning later if you feel the flavor is not strong enough, but you can’t take seasoning away if there is too much.
Campsite cooking can be a breeze if you take along the right tools. Keep your campsite cooking utensils all washed up and stored away ready to go anytime the urge hits you. You can cook anything on a campfire that you cook at home so just plan accordingly. Don’t forget a Dutch oven for the baking and the coffee pot for that morning cup of Joe!
Now that you have read some of these great tips, you should be ready to tackle making something delicious. Practice will make perfect though, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time around. Just like in anything else, let failure be your teacher.