Great Cooking Tips That Everyone Should Know

By Wendy Miller

The smell of warm cookie dough, straight out of the oven, entices you to check it out and you wonder how someone could concoct such a wonderful thing. This article will teach you many great tips and tricks to help you be the admired chef in your family!

Protect your spice and herb collection by storing your jars at room temperature in a dark place. Their flavors are weakened significantly by things like heat, light and humidity. In general, herbs and spices that are ground will retain their flavor for up to one year. Whole spices can keep their flavor for up to five years. If they are stored properly, they will stay fresh longer.

The smaller the item you are cooking, the higher the baking temperature should be. Baking something delicious does not have to involve leaving food in the oven for hours. If you are baking something small, set the oven temperature higher. Just make sure you leave it in the oven for less time.

Add flavor to boring roast chicken. Rather than using a roasting rack, place thick slices of onion in the bottom of the pan, and place the chicken on top of them. The chicken juices will be absorbed by the onion, creating a caramelization on the bottom of the pan. After roasting, remove the chicken, add a little water to the pan and cook on high heat for a few minutes. This will create a tasty sauce for your chicken.

Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce.

One of the best things that you can do to save money and improve the quality of your dressings is to make your own. Homemade dressings will save you a lot of money in the long run and will also taste great, as most of the ingredients are natural and healthier.

If you feel that a piece of food you are about to cook does not look right or may be rotten, always error on the side of caution and throw it away. It is better to lose a few dollars than to cost yourself the next couple of weeks from food poisoning.

Always bring your steaks to room temperature before cooking them. A steak that is still cold in the center will not cook as evenly as one that is brought up to room temperature. Usually taking them out one hour in advance will get them to the proper temperature at cooking time.

Frozen vegetables should only be used as a last resort in home cooking. Though they are cheap and usually available year-round, they fall far short of fresh vegetables in several important areas. Frozen vegetables have lost some of their healthy vitamins and nutrients. They often have unhealthy food additives. They also tend to taste worse than their fresh counterparts.

A granite surface is great for thawing frozen foods, usually taking less than half of the time necessary for typical counter top thawing because granite absorbs the cold (and heat) of items placed on top of it so granite literally “sucks out” the cold from your frozen foods. Granite is also an amazing surface for pastry preparation when dusted with a little flour. If you can’t afford to redo your kitchen in granite, check out a granite dealer for scrap pieces or have a smaller piece cut and polished for a fraction of the cost of remodeling your kitchen.

If you are looking to save time for cooking dinners because of your busy schedule, being prepared beforehand can make all the difference. Having ingredients already prepared and measured out to be cooked, as well as having the meat thawed out can save you valuable time when it comes to making dinner for the family.

While everyone dreams of being a great chef and “wowing” everyone with amazing dishes of food, you need to have the skills first. After reading this article, you should have a good grasp on some different techniques to help your home made creations be a huge hit with family, friends and neighbors! Bon appetite!

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