Avoiding Kitchen Blunders 101
They say the best way to learn is by doing. You could read all the recipe books ever published and still fall short in the kitchen if you never put anything into practice. The thing about doing, though, is that it also comes with its fair share of mistakes – many of which can be easily avoided with a little help.
We’ve put together a list of the most common kitchen blunders to help make your learning process that little bit smoother.
Blunder #1: Boiling when you should be simmering
When water is bubbling rapidly it is boiling, when there is a bubble every second or so, then it is simmering. If a recipe calls for you to simmer your meat and you boil it instead, the likely result will be tough overcooked meat lacking in flavour. Monitor the heat at all times to get the most flavour out of your ingredients.
Blunder #2 : Not letting your meat rest before serving
Once you’re finished cooking, let the pot sit off the heat for a further 10 minutes. This will ensure the juices get locked in and you don’t lose all the flavour to your plate when you slice into it.
Blunder #3: Cold pan and cold oil
The best way to ensure your ingredients (eggs, onions etc) don’t stick to the pan is to heat your pan and oil first. You’ll know the heat is just right when you get a good sizzle as your ingredients hit the pan.
Blunder #4: Cooking meat without defrosting it first
This often results in meat that is undercooked on the inside and overcooked on the outside. In order to strike the perfect balance, either take your meat out of the freezer several hours in advance (3-5 depending on meat type) or defrosting (with cold air) in a microwave for 5-10 minutes.
Blunder #5: Overwhelming your pan
Food needs room to cook evenly. When there’s too much on a pan all at once, it can result in the collection of too much moisture – preventing your food from searing correctly and leaving it soggy as a result.
While these are some of the most common kitchen blunders, there are plenty of others you are sure to encounter along your skill-sharpening journey. But that’s all part of the fun of cooking! Don’t take yoursef too seriously, ride the wave of your learning curves, and enjoy the fruits of your labour when you finally get it all right.