Cooking is a science, and if you don't know how it's done, then you're going to end up with a meal that tastes worse than it could. Unfortunately, a lot of people are making these same mistakes when it comes to preparing common dishes.
It turns out there are a lot of common mistakes people make when cooking pancakes. Stirring out every lump in the batter often leads to over-mixing, which makes your pancakes turn out chewier instead of fluffy, so it's best to leave a few lumps in.
You’re Overcrowding The Pan
In order to cook a lot of meat quicker, most people will jam a large batch of beef or chicken chunks into their pan, thinking as long as it's all touching the pan, it'll cook. Sure, the food will cook, but it will turn out soggy and undercooked. Give the meat some room to release its moisture and it will cook more thoroughly.
You Shouldn’t Thaw Your Steaks
Before cooking a frozen steak, the common misconception is to let it thaw out. Cooking the steak still frozen will take a bit longer, but it actually tastes significantly better! The frozen steaks hold more moisture and include fewer overcooked bits than steaks that were cooked after thawing.
You Don’t Heat Your Pan Enough
Before adding food to it, you should make sure that your pan is already very hot. This is essential for sautéing vegetables, making a nice sear on meats, and preventing sticking. Once you've let your pan heat up, add oil and start cooking.
You Boil When You Should Simmer
One of the most common errors to happen in the kitchen comes from not knowing the difference between simmering and boiling water. If a recipe calls for simmering water, it should have a bubble break the surface every second or two. A more vigorous bubbling is a boil, and while that can get a dish ready faster, it could also overcook your meal real fast.
You Don’t Brown-Proof Your Guac
Everyone loves guacamole, but not when it turns brown after it's left out for a little while. Oxygen is guacamole's archenemy, but you can help fight against it with acidic juices like lime and lemon. Soak your avocado chunks in citrus juice before mashing them, and then add some more juice to the dip after it's been made.
You Don’t Dry Your Tofu
Tofu is packed in water, which helps keep it fresh but this can also make your meal soggy. Make sure to press it after draining the water to be sure it's as dry as possible. Put your tofu on a paper towel-lined plate and top with another paper towel and plate.
Add Baking Soda To Hard Boiled Eggs
Peeling hard boiled eggs can be a real chore, but adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the water before cooking the eggs makes it so much easier to remove the shell.
You Don’t Skim Your Soup Strategically
That greasy film that can cover the top of some soups is never good, but it can be avoided. The best way to ensure that your broth doesn't have this film is to move the soup halfway off the burner every 15 minutes and skim from the edge not on the heat, as that is where the fatty film will collect.
You Overcook The Noodles In Baked Pasta
Fully cooking your noodles for a baked pasta is actually not a good thing — it will leave you with a mushy, limp mess after it comes out of the oven. You should undercook your noodles in the boiling phase. The firm noodles will cook even more when mixed with the hot sauce and put in the oven, so they'll reach the perfect firmness.
You Overheat Chocolate
Melting chocolate is a much more delicate process than most people assume. If you don't melt it gently and slowly, your chocolate could be left scorched or grainy. If microwaving, take it out and stir every 20-30 seconds.
You Overdo The Milk In Scrambled Eggs
Making the best scrambled eggs all depends on how you cook them and on the quality of your eggs. If you have good eggs, you really don't need much else for them to make a good scramble. Try adding just a bit of milk or none at all next time you're scrambling eggs.
You Don’t Let Roasted Chicken Rest
After cooking a roasted chicken, you may want to dig in right away, but it's important to let it sit for a good 15 minutes before you carve it. The juices need time to redistribute through the chicken, and cutting into it before they've settled will leave them on the cutting board instead of in the meat.
You Use Fresh Tomatoes In Marinara Sauce
This may be surprising, but fresh tomatoes are actually not as good as canned ones when it comes to making marinara sauce. Save yourself the time and fuss by getting canned tomatoes for a tasty marinara.
You Roll Your Pizza Dough
The crust is the cornerstone of a good pizza, so you need to be sure that the dough you are using is prepared correctly. A lot of people use a rolling pin to flatten out their dough, but that actually makes the crust dense and tough. Pros get around this by tossing their dough, but you should just use your hands to gently stretch the dough.
You’re Too Strict With Your Pesto Ingredients
Most people make pesto with basil and pine nuts, but it will taste great with so many different combinations! Pine nuts are crazy expensive, try substituting them with pecans, almonds, or walnuts You can also swap basil with parsley, cilantro, kale, or arugula. Don't be afraid to try out different greens and nuts combos in your pesto — we promise that it'll taste good no matter what!
You Aren’t Beating Your Cookie Batter Enough
If you're beating your butter, sugar and eggs just until they're combined, it's not long enough. To make sure that your cookies will be light and fluffy, you need to cream your butter and sugar by beating them about three to five minutes.