5 Bad Cooking Habits You Need To Break
Admit it. You are probably guilty of one oreven a few of these bad cooking habits. From not waiting for the pan to heat up to still using a dullknife, bad cooking habits are not only going to make your cooking a problematic task but it can also be the cause of an accident, too.
Don't be a victim of these bad cooking habits andlisten to our adviceabout what we think should be thebetter way to be a good cook:
1 You don't allow your pan to heat up properly.
Being in a hurry can be the beginning of a cookingfailure. Many of us are guilty of this bad cooking habit. You were in a hurryto get the food on the table or just plain hungry, so instead of doing the right thing and waiting,you rushed on. You didn't let the pan get hot enough, and you ended up with several things that you could have avoided bybeing a little more patient:
- 1. Your food didn't sear or brown, its juicesseeped and started to sweat instead.
- 2. You ended upwaiting longer than you needed to for the pan to heat up.
- 3. Your food gotstuck to the pan.
What you should do instead: Wait those extratwoor three minutes for the pan to get properly hot. To easily test,a water droplet should dance on the surface of a hot pan.Doing thismeans thatyour pan is hot enough so that all three of the above situations will not happen. Instead, you'll have food that sears, turns a golden brown at the right time, and won't get stuck to the pan, even if it doesn't have a nonstick coating.
2 You overcrowd the pan.
Hurryingcan also lead to you adding more than you should into a hot pan. While you may have properly heated your pan to the right temperature, you totallynegatethe ability of the hot pan to do its job: sear your food. It's not bad but what happens is that you end up with soggy, unappetizing-looking food instead of beautifully browned and delicious dishes.As they say, all those browned bits on the bottom of your paniswhere the flavor is and without this, you have a less flavorful dish.
What you should do instead: Cook in batches. You may not cook in record time but you will have a more delicious dish to look forward to.
3 Youaddedfrozen foodto a hot pan.
Busy people are the worst offenders when it comes to bad cooking habits. Our patience are tried and tested, we know, but if you placefood that is still frozen into a hot pot, one or two things may happen:
- 1. You end up with food that's cooked on the outside but still cold and raw (possibly still half frozen) on the inside.
- 2. You dropthe temperature of your pan so you have to cook it for longer and run the risk of steaming it rather than searing it.
What you should do instead:Place it in the microwave if you have it and thaw it out properly. You can evenuse this handy tool. As a last resort, you can also place your food in a sealed container (a plastic bag works wonders for this tip) and place it in a container of water until it's thawed out. You may have to wait at least 20 minutes or sobut that's better than the alternative: half-cooked food.
4 You don't sharpen your knives.
Dull knives, we believe, are the cause ofmany kitchen injuries. Many home cooks neglect their knives, choosing to instead put with a dull knife.Since the knife's edge isn't as sharp anymore, you have to apply more pressure to slice or cut through the food you're preparing. This can lead to injury when something slips. A sharp knife will always be the tool that does the job for you and not the other way around.
What you should do instead:Learn to sharpen and hone your own kniveswith a whetstone and honing steel.You can alsotake your knives to be professionally sharpened atthe knife store where you bought your knives or to a specialty store like Hortaleza. VisitthisFacebook page postto find out where the branches of Hortaleza are located.
5 You don't clean as you go.
Cleanliness hasmany benefits and when you forego cleaning, you can end up with more than just a food-borne illness. There are few instances where many cooks forget to clean as they continue to work on their preparation:
- 1. You forget to wash your hands beforeyou start.
- 2. You don't wipe down the countertopbefore and after you use it.
- 3. Youwait until you are done cooking before wiping up the food that spilled from your pan and onto the stovetop.
Why are all three of these instances a bad cooking habit?Bad cooking habits can lead to cross-contamination when you don't wash up or wipe down your area. If you were careful when cutting up a chicken but didn't wipe down the areaas well as your cutting board, you can still be cross-contaminating your work area. As for washing your hands, this isthe best kitchen practice to learn no matter what. If you spilled even a little of that sauce onto the stovetop whilestirring, you'll have a harder time after cooking because that would havedried up already.
What you should do instead:Always wash your hands before starting a recipe. Grab akitchen towelor a sponge and start wiping. You should wipe down your area before prepping so your food doesn'tbecome contaminated andas soon as you're done prepping so you don't spread anything afterward. Finally, wipe up spills as soon as it happens so you don't have a harder time scrubbing it off later.
Are you guilty of any (or all!) of these bad cooking habits? If you are, make it your goal this year to break these habits anddevelop new ones. Better yet, develop the good cooking habits that will make cooking easier and better, too. After all, the best cooking habits are the ones thatmake your life easier in the kitchen as well as making food taste delicious.