Sometimes, cooking at home, we feel like we’re on the Food Network. But amidst all our passionate stirring and whipping, we’re missing some culinary essentials. Here are the most common kitchen mistakes you could be making.
1. Adding too much salt instead of spice, herbs and proper seasoning. Salt drown out the flavor and doesn’t let it shine. It can ruin ingredients, so be modest when salting instead of mimicking Salt Bae.
2. On the other end of the seasoning spectrum, you’re using enough herbs, they’re just dried instead of fresh. Dried are more potent and add more flavor, so you need to use 1/3 the normal amount for fragrant herbs.
3. You’re overcooking your veggies. This makes them taste bland and lowers nutrients levels. You don’t have to go raw, just cook them low and slow to keep it juicy instead of burning them at a high heat and voiding them of nutrients.
4. Using the wrong oil. Cooking with oils that have a low smoke point like coconut and olive oil. When cooking with olive oil, watch the temperature, or try avocado/grapeseed oil instead.
5. You always peel your vegetables and fruits. This voids nutrition and textures. Keep apple, potato and carrot skins on for added flavor and nutrition benefits, just make sure to wash them.
6. The type of salt you use could be having a huge effect on your meal. Different salts are used for different flavors. Using iodized salt can create a metallic flavor and infuse that flavor in the food.
7. Cooking vegetables or ingredients all in the same tray. Just because ingredients are similar, they have totally different flavor and texture profiles. Cooking them together muddies this and decreases flavor. Use as many trays as you have ingredients, the pros say!
8. Cooking too many things in one pan. When whole surface of pan is crowded, heat is trapped, which steam veggies instead of keeping them nice and brown, adding juiciness and flavor.
9. Seeing cooking dinner as a chore. This can be part of the unwinding process. Pour a glass of wine and try a new recipe every week or so.
10. Cooking meat that’s not at room temperature. Let meat sit out for a while, which will help it cook more evenly. At least 30 mins out of the fridge. Also, cook chicken with feet to the back to ensure even cooking.
11. Always taste food before you serve and before you decide on a final product.