Ten Common Cooking Mistakes Cooks Make
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Ten Common Cooking Mistakes Cooks Make

A guide to prevent future cooking mistakes.

Ten Common Cooking Mistakes Cooks Make
Katie Smith, Unsplash

Cooking is one of the most unique experiences you can do and one of the most essential skills for survival. Unfortunately, people make mistakes when cooking, and that is fine because it is a learning experience. Whether you are new to cooking or know how to cook, but need to sharpen your skills, this is the guide for you to assist you on your journey to cooking.

Never Boiling Correctly

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The first common mistake people do is never properly boiling. For example, when people cook pasta, I noticed that some people dump it in the water right way. That results in improper timing when it comes to cooking the pasta. Additionally, people do not salt their water. By salting the water, it results in increasing the temperature so it will cook efficiently. Salt your water and let it boil. Do not rush anything.

Using Pre-Shredded Cheese to Cook

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Using pre-shredded cheese as a finisher is fine, in my opinion, but as a way to cook, it is not the most efficient way. There is a chemical called natamycin or sometimes potato starch and it preserves the cheese from sticking together. It also prevents the cheese from melting properly and makes whatever dish you are making extremely clunky. Best way to cook with cheese is to grate it. Takes time and energy, but it is well worth it.

Never Tasting While Cooking

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Is your entrée too salty? Too sweet? Too bland? What is it missing? These are the questions you should be asking while cooking. It is important to taste while you are cooking because you have to know if your dish is either lacking in something or has too much of something. Or, if you are making pasta, how is the texture? Is it rock solid? Soft? Too chewy? How do we solve any of this? Simply taste.

Never Searing Properly

Andrew "Donovan" Valdivia, Unsplash

I have seen people constantly flip their burgers, steaks, chicken breast, etc. and it comes out wrong. The crust will not be as beautiful as it would when you just leave it alone. To tell if it is ready to flip, it is when it is not super sticky. If it comes off the pan, grill, or whatever you are using easily, that is when it is ready to flip. If it is not the color you are expecting, then yes keep flipping.

Never Letting Meat Rest

Alexandru-Bogdan Ghita, Unsplash

This is a huge mistake people make. As soon as someone cooks a steak, they immediately want to cut it open and see what it looks like. NEVER DO THAT. Once you cut that steak, the whole process is completely destroyed. What goes on as soon as anybody rests their meat of choice is that it is still cooking at a slow pace with all the heat that is contained within the meat. Additionally, the juice will circulate around the meat. Cut any piece of meat when it is done cooking without resting all of that juice and goodness is going to come out. Especially with a steak, if you do not let it rest, there is this obvious gigantic circular shape pattern instead of a gradual "color change." Moral of the story, leave your meat alone for eight minutes. Do not cut it open right away, do not touch it, just leave it alone and let the meat do its thing.

Never Putting Food Out in Room Temperature

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This is an extremely subtle mistake people make all the time. The importance of putting your food out in room temperature can be crucial. By not doing so, it makes the food cook improperly. Think about it, if you go outside in extremely cold conditions and go back inside to a warm house, it is going to take a while to warm up. Same process with cooking. If you take a cold steak and put it in a piping hot pan, it is going to take longer for it to cook because it is trying to warm up. It makes a huge difference whether you are cooking eggs, pork, chicken, tofu, whatever it may be, allowing your food to be in room temperature will cook properly.

Never Preheating Properly

Toa Heftiba, Unsplash

This is not hard to do, but a lot of people do not do it. I have seen a lot of people never preheating their oven, never heating up their pan, or even heating up the grill. It is going to cook improperly and it is going to probably take longer, especially if it involves the oven. Same process with boiling stuff, you need to let it boil. Just like an oven, pan, or grill, you need to let it be hot. I literally do not understand why people disregard this. It is not hard, just let things warm up and be patient about it.

Too Much Seasoning

Sonja Punz, Unsplash

I get salt and pepper is a necessity for cooking, but you do not need a lot of it. Or, if you are making a dry rub for something, it is not always good to use a lot of seasoning. Especially if you are using a spicy mixture, it can accidentally come out inedible because it is too spicy. Or, if you are seasoning a meat and use too much salt, by default is going to be too salty. Start with a little and add more if need be.

Rushing to Finish

Joshua Kantarges, Unsplash

Cooking takes time. If you want to be fast, you might as well just buy microwavable food if you are looking for fast. There are some things you crank up the heat to high and there are some things you do not crank up the heat to high. Even preheating takes time, but it will cook properly and it will be worth the time. One of the most important things to know when cooking is patience. If you are not patient, it is going to be a troubling road ahead. I have heard the excuse of how restaurants cook fast, but that is because they have prepared ahead of time. They have already chopped their vegetables, they preheated stuff, they know exactly what to cook, etc. Like Marco Pierre White said, "Cooking should be a pleasure." Have fun and enjoy the process. Take your time because time is one of the most important steps for cooking.


Austin Ban, Unsplash

Look, if someone says your food is too salty, bland, or plain sucks, do not be a jerk about it. Understand what it is you need to work on and that is that. Everybody's palate is different. You might think your food is good, but to someone else it might be different. Sometimes you might not be all that and that is completely fine. That gives you the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and to become better. Cooking is a learning experience. Do not disregard people's comments and say, "Oh what do they know?" That can come off wrong. Do not be offended, just understand what it is you need to work on and learn from it.

If you like this article, let me know on social media. My Instagram is @petertruongfood. If you are interested, be sure to check out my website on https://www.petertruongfood.com/.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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