Cooking at home can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re a beginner. Also sometimes, eating out would be a better option rather than spending hours in the kitchen, for the food not to look like the recipe you’ve copied online. However, it doesn’t have to be that way if you’re aware of the best tips to make sure your dish is a success. Whether you’re a nervous novice or a seasoned pro, everyone who steps into the kitchen needs to occasionally brush up on the essentials. Here are the best home cooking tips and tricks that would surely change your lives.
Use Pasta Water to Make Silky Sauces
If you ever wonder, why your cooked pasta has never tasted authentic like the ones from your favourite Italian restaurant, then you should consider this trick. When you’re cooking pasta, some of the starch remains in the liquid after you drain it. So, instead of discarding all precious pasta water, save a cup and add the water along with the pasta when you cook it. The salty water will give your pasta a boost of flavour. The starch in the pasta water can also be used to modify the sauce’s texture.
Avoid Overfilling Your Baking Dish or Pan
You could assume there’s enough space in your pan to cook everything in a single batch, but if it’s in doubt, don’t take the chance. As food cooks, it releases moisture. When it becomes crowded, the heat may not be evenly distributed to the remainder of the food, compromising the flavour.
To ensure that each piece cooks thoroughly, leave a few inches between them and allow plenty of area in the pan as a precaution. The same goes for your baking dish, if you fit all the food in the same baking dish, they wouldn’t be cooked nicely. If your pan or baking dish is too small to fit everything, try cooking them in batches.
Keep Veggies Fresh by Using a Paper Towel
It never feels great whenever you’re clearing out your fridge and having to throw out unused ingredients that went bad especially veggies. To avoid this, wrap the veggies securely in a dry paper towel and store them in a Ziploc bag to extend their shelf life. As oxygen is not compatible with vegetables, try to get as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing them.
You should also avoid washing all your vegetables until you’re ready to cook them and ensure your fridge has enough space. Overstocking the refrigerator might result in less airflow, resulting in inconsistent temperatures and food expiring sooner.
Allow the Red Meat to Rest Before Slicing It
Well-done steaks are not supposed to have a dry flavour. So, after removing the steak from the stove or grill, lay it straight on the surface of the aluminium foil to keep the juice inside. Then wrap the steak in foil with care and set it aside for about five minutes. Doing this would enable the fluid to settle before cutting into the meat. If you prefer medium steak, take off the foil from the steak when it’s medium-rare as it will keep cooking while wrapped in the foil.
Oils Aren’t All Made Equal
Each frying oil has its own distinct taste profile and smoke point. Some oils, such as peanut oil or canola oil, are ideal for high-temperature frying. However, butter or lard is excellent for stir-frying and sautéing. Other oils, such as extra virgin olive oil and sesame oil, are best used uncooked as finishing oils or salad dressings. Find out and learn which oils are suitable for your dishes.
When the Eggs Are Almost Cooked, Turn Off the Heat
If you love eggs, you will want them to be perfect all the way and the key to the perfect eggs is to avoid overcooking them. Overcooked eggs tend to be difficult to cut, taste rubbery, and unpleasant to the taste buds. So, whether you’re scrambling, frying, or poaching eggs, keep in mind to always turn off the heat a few minutes before they appear done, even if they’re still a little runny. This is because the remaining heat on your pan will continue cooking them to tasty perfection.