Welcome back once more, Lauren from Hamilton Beach. Today she is sharing the 9 most common cooking mistakes. I have been guilty of some of these myself. I might even STILL make some of these mistakes, lol! What about YOU?
Lauren Hill is a contributing author for Hamilton Beach, a kitchen appliance company offering a large selection of slow cookers, blenders and toaster ovens as well as a full spectrum of recipes.
9 Most Common Cooking Mistakes
There are many common cooking errors that are easy to avoid. But if you don’t know about them, that can be a bit difficult! Hopefully, after reading this article, you will be a bit wiser in the kitchen.
Not tasting as you go. For many cooks, tasting as you cook is automatic. But if you don’t do this, you can end up with something that is not appetizing. Recipes frequently do not ask for the right amounts of herbs and seasoning, and sometimes the cooking time is just an estimate. This means that your dish can end up tasting quite different. Your personal palate helps to ensure that things are going well. So, make sure that you taste as you cook.
You don’t read the whole recipe. Even the best recipe may not have the key information at the top. A smart cook reads through the entire recipe before beginning the cooking process. Have all of the ingredients at hand and ready to go, before you turn up the heat.
You make bad substitutes in baking. Substitutes are tempting when you want to cook healthier. Putting in lower fat ingredients is often a good idea, but it can change up the chemistry of the dish. Generally, just follow the recipe. If you see a recipe with lower fat substitutions, that is fine, but do not deviate from that or trouble can result.
You boil, not simmer. Many people do not know the difference between boiling and simmering. Boiling is when bubbles are constantly breaking the water surface. Simmering is when a bubble pops every second or two. The difference can totally ruin a dish. If you are making a beef stew that calls for simmering the meat for two hours, there is a reason for that. The simmering will soften the meat and make it easy to chew. If you were to boil that meat for 45 minutes to ‘save time,’ you will end up with a dish that is very tough and inedible.
You heat chocolate too much. The way to heat chocolate is slow and sweet. Take it from the heat before it is totally melted and stir it until it is smooth. If you heat it too much, the chocolate will scorch and you have to start over.
You soften your butter too much. The best way to soften butter is to let it soften on the counter. If you melt it in the microwave, you can end up with cookie batter that is too runny.
You heat low fat milk too much. If you are new to lighter types of cooking, you may not be aware that you can boil cream, but not low fat milk, Boiling low fat milk causes it to curdle. You should only cook low fat milk products to 180 degrees.
You do not know your oven. Every oven is different. 350 degrees may not really be 350 degrees. Some ovens change as they age too. It is a good idea to have an oven thermometer so you know the exact temperature of your oven.
9. You measure ingredients casually. In lighter forms of baking, you are using less oil and butter, which is what can cover the sins of improper measuring. With less fat, there is less margin for error on the other ingredient ratios. For example, you should spoor flour into your measuring cup to give you the right amount of flour. Don’t scoop it straight from the container or it will be packed too tight and you will have too much flour.
For a super east dinner, try an Easy Beef Stew Recipe from Hamilton Beach in one of their many Slow Cookers!
Or one of the many Crock Pot Recipes here on Daily Dish Magazine
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