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15 cooking mistakes that are ruining your meals

Do you like to cook and are you a perfectionist? This article is for you: discover the cooking mistakes you are making when preparing meals.

Nobody is perfect, but we all aspire to be, or at least to do certain things perfectly, and cooking is one of them. So you are probably making some cooking mistakes that prevent you from reaching your full potential.

15 cooking mistakes to avoid

There are so many good memories created around a table, proving that mealtime is undoubtedly one of the moments that most unites people. As such, we want everything to go as smoothly as possible. So, avoid these cooking mistakes that could be harming your performance in the kitchen.

cooking-vegetables-recipes

too much salt

Adding too much salt to a dish is not only bad for your health, it can ruin it completely. It is preferable to add a little salt and adjust it as you taste, to get the right amount.

In fact, the food should always be tasted, to ensure that everything is in order.

Adding more water to the rice

One measure of rice and two measures of water: this is the trick, no secrets, for a perfectly fluffed rice.

Do not sieve the flour

It is natural for the flour to create small lumps, which does not mean that it is spoiled. However, this can affect the quality of what you are preparing or even make the task difficult. Thus, the ideal is to always sift the flour, whether to make cakes, pies or sauces.

Don’t move the stew

Any stewed dish should be stirred frequently, otherwise the bottom of the pan could start to burn and ruin the entire dish.

soft spaghetti

Did you know that when you finish cooking spaghetti, or other types of pasta, you should immediately rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process? If you don’t, then it’s natural for the spaghetti to be mushy and past the “al dente” point.

not following recipes

If you are a true culinary chef, then you can pass this advice on. But if you are taking your first steps in this area, then follow the recipes to the letter and then try to give it a personal touch on a second try.

overcooked vegetables

If you accidentally overcooked your vegetables, you know how dry and flavorless it can be. There is a way to get around the problem: cool them down immediately and put them in a wok or frying pan to sauté a little with coconut oil or olive oil.

Put the spaghetti in boiling water

Yes, it may sound strange, but this is one of the most common cooking mistakes. The spaghetti or pasta must be placed in the pan before the water boils, otherwise, when you do, the temperature of the water will drastically drop, which makes it take longer.

too much sugar

Excess sugar is harmful to health and can make dessert too cloying. If you like things very sweet, remember that not everyone can share the same opinion and, therefore, it is preferable to use alternatives that are naturally sweet and that are not as harmful, such as honey and fruits.

Opening the oven door too many times

And this is not just for when you are making a cake, but also for roasts. Every time you open the oven door to examine the preparation, you are contributing to the release of enough heat to change the temperature. Avoid doing so.

Using the wrong oven temperature

If the oven temperature is too high, it can cause the outside of the meal to burn and the inside to be undercooked.

Problems can also happen with ovens with temperatures that are too low, and food may not cook as it should or need more time.

Cut the meat while cooking

It is a serious mistake that you are making to know if the meat is ready: you should never cut it, nor stick a fork, but use a kitchen thermometer to ensure that the meat is ready and safe to eat.

Not cleaning the grill properly

It’s boring, but it has to be done. In addition to the fact that there may be traces of food that affect the following preparations, if you do not clean the grill well before the next use, the food may stick together and break.

Using the wrong equipment

Blenders, mixers and food processors are different appliances and designed to do different things. Using the wrong machine can give your food the wrong consistency.

So pay attention:

  • a blender is used for grinding;
  • the mixer is used to mix or grind soft foods;
  • the food processor is a mixture of both of the above: it grinds while mixing.

Overfill the pan

Every piece of food you put in the pan needs to have enough space to cook evenly and thoroughly. So, at most, you should put food that covers the bottom of the pan, otherwise you will have to increase the cooking time and make the food soft. The exception to these rules is soups.

If you follow these rules, you will see how your cooking skills will increase substantially.

Article originally published January 2021. Updated September 2022.

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