People all over the world underestimate cooking. It is thought of as a simple process which requires no special skill or previous experience. This is where everyone gets it wrong: cooking is a science, a terribly hard process in which only individuals with high skills can rise to the challenge.
Yes, everyone can cook, but only a dedicated few can really, really cook. The rest of us are but a simple bunch of people living in a world of illusions, convincing ourselves that we are good cooks. And that is why we keep making these common mistakes, which occur every day, everywhere around the world. Read on to learn what you have been doing wrong for years.
Food Mistake 1: Let the meat sit after grilling it
Cooking mistakes occur without you even realizing it. For instance, if someone has taught you that you have to eat meat right off the grill, you will eat it. And this is where the problem occurs: you are taught to do the wrong thing. One of the 7 culinary sins is eating meat straight off the grill. The reasons this is a mistake is because meat should be left on the plate for a couple of minutes, in order for the juices to become equally distributed. Once you have done this, your perfect piece of meat will become richer in taste, and the juices won’t just stay in the middle of the meat. What is the point of eating meat if it tastes dry?
Also, when cooking the meat, keep in mind that there are some species which if eaten raw can cause severe problems. There is a known report that a man in Singapore lost his hands and feet after consuming a raw fish. Be super careful when cooking the meat, and know that it is always better to overcook the meat rather than not cooking it enough.
Different kinds of meat require different temperatures, and different kinds of bacteria die at different temperatures. The most common ones to lurk in your meat are salmonella and Escherichia coli, which can lead to serious complications. In order to be completely safe, always buy your meat from reputable butchers, and make sure you expose it to heat for the required period of time.
Food Mistake 2: When taking meat out of the fridge, let it sit before cooking
As well as letting the meat sit after grilling it, you should also let the meat sit inside the sink for about 30-40 minutes right after you’ve taken it out of the fridge. This is done so the meat can acquire room temperature, which will allow it to cook evenly in all parts. This works for beef, chicken and even fish. By doing this, your meat will not become medium-well when you are trying to make it medium-rare.
Food Mistake 3: Learn the difference between boiling and simmering
This is another crucial mistake many people make while following a certain recipe. If the recipe says to let the water simmer before putting in additional ingredients, you must not let the water boil. To know the difference between these two states, simply watch the water: if there are bubbles reaching the surface every two to three seconds, the water is simmering, and if there is a more vigorous bubbling involved then the water is boiling. Knowing this can be very helpful in future cooking, especially when making vegan recipes. Yes, boiling can cook the food faster, but it can also overcook certain ingredients, so make sure to read the recipes carefully.
Food Mistake 4: Always taste your food
Would you eat your food if you knew that the cook had tasted it while he was preparing it? This is a normal thing in the culinary world, and every professional cook tastes his food while cooking it. That way, the taste is steered in the right direction, by adding sugar or salt, or whatever the dish needs in order to be perfect. Always taste your food at home while preparing a meal. Even if you are following a recipe, make sure to taste it often to see where it is heading. This is especially true if the recipe requires spices you don’t use on a daily basis – most of us stick to pepper and salt, but adding just a bit of ginger, turmeric, red pepper, etc. to your dishes will take them to a whole new level! It is also more beneficial to your health than you could imagine.
Remember to use different utensils when tasting your food (never taste the food with the same spoon with which you are stirring it); this way you will prevent viral transmission and cross contamination (Hepatitis A and many other diseases can be spread from contact with an infected person through shared food).
Food Mistake 5: Don’t roll your pizza dough
Everyone loves pizza, and therefore everyone should know that when making home-made dough, never use a rolling pin to flatten it. If you do, the crust will become dense and tough, and a good pizza is a crusty pizza. Instead, use your bare hands to stretch the dough, or simply apply the technique used by pros – toss the dough several times on the table, and it will stretch itself and preserve the crust. Also, never roll the dough on the table previously used to prepare raw meat, for there might be some bacteria left on it, and there is a higher chance of contamination.
About Our Author
Mathews is passionate about many fields of athletics, spreading from strength training to yoga. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing wellness tips for better living. Among his friends, he is famous for never missing a day of jogging, no matter what the weather may have in store. You can find him on Twitter @Mathews_McGarry