Cooking isn’t only a skill, it’s also a way that you can carry on the traditions of your culture. Many food habits have been learned, taught, and passed down from countless generations of parents to their children. These habits have eventually become part of the culinary cultural norms everybody enjoys today.
Nevertheless, some may have acquired or developed cooking habits that produce undesired taste results and the like due to a multitude of factors. Fortunately, there is a remedy to this. By reimagining the way you cook, you can improve both your skills and the quality of your dishes. This can then inspire you to be more inventive and conjure up your meal ideas. All of this, however, begins with an awareness of the bad cooking habits you may be practicing currently.
This 2022 is the perfect time to start amping up your cooking skills. Here are 4 common cooking habits you need to change for better meal quality and the like:
- Not Following Recipes
Most food recipes have been tried and trusted by cooking experts or passed down in traditional food cultures. This includes the ingredients you’ll need and the measurement of each ingredient. Due to this can be unwise to skim through the recipe and ‘freestyle’ your way through cooking. While you’re encouraged to develop your cooking instincts, it’s important to follow a recipe accurately.
If a recipe looks too complex for you to follow, break it up into parts. You can start by gathering all the ingredients and measuring them first. Research any cooking terminology that you’re unsure of such as braising or basting, beforehand.
On days when you’re too busy to follow a recipe, you can opt for ordering food from a prepared meals service such as The Good Kitchen. In any case, familiarizing yourself with recipes can help you prevent cooking mistakes and eating food that isn’t to your liking.
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- Not Letting Meat Rest After Cooking
It’s a common indulgence to dig right into a meat-based dish the second it comes out of the oven or off the grill. Yet this habit could be doing you and your family a taste disservice.
Some of the best butchers and chefs recommend that you let your meat rest before you start eating it. This is so that the seasonings have time to properly absorb and settle into the meat. It’s especially useful after barbecuing meat.
You may have noticed that when cutting into a steak too soon, some of the juices run out onto your plate. This is supposed to hold all the flavor that you’re trying to maintain when you let the meat sit.
The general rule before meat consumption is to wait about 5 minutes for a steak and up to 10-20 minutes for a large roast such as a whole turkey. If you’re worried about keeping your meat hot, you can cover the meat with foil. This will trap the heat inside and stop it from cooling down.
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- Throwing Away Food Scraps
Every time you peel, cut, and grate food, you may not be aware of how much of it is considered as leftovers. Unless you’re throwing away spoilt parts, most of this food is still edible. Thus, instead of throwing bits and pieces away you can gather them up and store them in your refrigerator. Not only can this save you money on buying groceries, yet it can also become an important means of reducing food waste.
In relation to this, don’t keep your leftover scraps for too long either. At times when your vegetable stock is low, you can combine these scraps to make a soup dish from leftovers. A key tip to break this habit is to prepare food so that little to no waste is created when you cook. For instance, you can use a potato peeler and balance tomatoes so that you don’t cut too much off the skin.
- Stirring Too Much
Food needs adequate time to sit undisturbed in the pot or pan in order to cook thoroughly. This is especially true for foods such as rice and vegetables that can be made up of many small grains and individual pieces. As such, when you’re cooking these foods, you need to allow them to cook without moving them around. It’s best to best to leave food alone for some time before you start stirring. You should also try to limit the number of times you stir too.
Too much stirring can leave your food undercooked with raw interiors and an unwanted change in texture and color. Plus, it can prolong the time it takes you to cook food in the first place. This is because stirring removes food from its constant heat source. This in turn can lead to parts of it remaining unevenly cooked.
As a guide for you to use, you can place food in your pan and let it sit until it’s soft. From there, you can stir the food occasionally, making sure all sides get an equal distribution of heat.
Changing your food habits this year to more suitable methods is possible. You just need to be more aware of how you prepare your food and what impact it has on the quality.
Moreover, you can modernize and upgrade your cooking skills to your benefit while still staying connected to your cultural traditions. You can create the same delicious meals while making a few adjustments to your cooking techniques.