Your One And Only Source For All Things Cooking

No matter whether you live alone or are surrounded by a large family, cooking is a skill that is essential to learn. Cooking provides financial, social and nutritional benefits. If you listen to this article, you’ll have no shortage of cooking tips.

Slice your meat very thinly for stir-fry dishes. This can require some time and some effort. Remove the meat before it is frozen, but still firm, and slice it at 45 degrees against the grain.

TIP! When stir-frying meat, it should be thinly sliced on the bias. This is rather difficult to do, and can take a lot of time.

Try going to a library or buying a cook book if you are wanting to cook different foods. Work your way through a few different recipes, but do not allow yourself to become discouraged during the learning process.

If you want your food to come out as good as it can when you are cooking with oil you should be sure to add the oil to the side of the pan so it is hot once it reaches the food. This will give your food maximum flavor when it is done cooking.

TIP! It is important to add oil to the side of the pan when you are cooking so that it is already warmed when it finally gets to the delicious food you are preparing. This will enhance the flavors of the food when you’re done cooking.

If making stir-fry, meat must be cut on the bias and sliced thinly. Slicing the meat can take a lot of time and be rather tricky. When you remove the meat from the freezer, it should be firm, not frozen. Slice across the meat’s grain while holding the knife at a 45-degree angle.

Leave raw potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes before frying them to make crispier French fries. A cold water soak helps the potatoes stand up to the rigors of deep fat frying.

TIP! Let raw potatoes soak in some cold water for a half hour prior to frying them to increase the crispiness of French fries. The potatoes need to soak because the fibers will be reinforced through the cold fluids which in turn makes them fry better.

Your spices should be stored in a place that is cool and dark. Shelf life can be significantly decreased for those spices which have been exposed to too much light, dampness and heat. Try to find a cool, dark cupboard if you want to increase the flavor and lifespan of your favorite spices. Using fresher spices can make tastier meals.

Are you planning to use freshly picked basil in a recipe? Try putting a bunch of basil that is fresh inside a glass. Fill the container with enough water to cover the stems. Put it on the counter of your kitchen in order to maintain its freshness for many weeks. Change the water from time to time so that the basil grows roots. If you keep the basil trimmed regularly, this will promote growth and allow a decent supply of basil on an ongoing basis.

TIP! Are you cooking using fresh basil? If you want to keep it fresh, first place it in a glass. Make sure the stems are saturated with water.

Every cook needs access to a set of sharp knives. Blunted knives do not cut things well, and they can also pose a safety hazard. You can cut yourself because you are forcing the knife through the food, use a sharp knife.

Mushrooms will absorb the water like a sponge. To avoid this problem, use a damp cloth to wipe the mushroom clean.

TIP! They will act like a sponge and just soak up a lot of that water. To avoid this problem, use a damp cloth to wipe the mushroom clean.

Make dishes you already feel confident cooking if you have invited a special guest to dinner. You should never attempt to cook some new dish or even a new ingredient you’ve never attempted. You will enjoy cooking more if you have greater peace of mind.

When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. Making more than you need in a large pot can allow you to have some left over to store in the freezer for later use. Stock is perfect for many dishes like stew, soup, and even casseroles. Let your stock come to room temperature before you freeze it.

TIP! When you are making chicken stock, think in terms of high volume. Fill a large pot of stock and freeze it for later.

When you are cooking, it is important to remember that a fresh ingredient is always better than a frozen or dried ingredient. You will save plenty of money by buying fresh vegetables and other ingredients, and your food will also taste more flavorful.

When you purchase garlic for cooking, find the freshest head possible. Fresh garlic has a sweeter taste. To choose the freshest garlic, keep away from any cloves that are bruised, soft or have skins that feel too firm.

TIP! When cooking a recipe calling for garlic, use the freshest garlic for the best results. As a rule of thumb, garlic will taste sweeter the fresher it is.

Do you know how long your meat should be grilled? A good meat thermometer can pinpoint the cooking status of meat, inside and out. Use a digital thermometer for the most precise results. If the meat is thicker than an inch and a half, it may be a good idea to close the lid of the grill to cut down on total grill time.

When you finish a turkey meal, always make sure you save what remains. Instead, get some airtight containers, cut up the leftovers and freeze them. This will keep the meat fresh for a couple of weeks. When you are ready to use it, you can make sandwiches or have it in a salad.

TIP! Make the most of your holiday feast by reusing the leftover turkey. Chop or slice the leftover meat, store it in a zippered bag or other airtight container, and stash it in your freezer.

Baking mixes, flour and sugar should all be stored in airtight packaging. Bugs can creep into your food, and most food items will become stale if exposed to the open air. These are just a couple of solid reasons that you need solid containment. Airtight containers are your best friends in the kitchen. They can be purchased just about anywhere and are a worthwhile investment.

You should always organize your cooking supplies. Poorly organized supplies cause confusion and mess. Keep things that are similar in the same place. Keep pots in the same cupboard, for instance, or all spatulas in the same drawer.

TIP! Keep your supplies and utensils well organized. Poorly organized supplies cause confusion and mess.

Try drying your own tomatoes. Slice tomatoes 1/2″ thick to dry. Romas should be cut in two lengthwise. Set them on a rack cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt. Put a cookie sheet under the rack and place in the oven for ten hours at 190 degrees. Put the tomatoes in plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. Another option is to store dried tomatoes in a jar that contains fresh, flavorful herbs and olive oil. The jar can be stored in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Make sure you thoroughly clean your utensils before starting to cook. If old, leftover food is stuck on your cooking utensils, it could ruin the meal you are making. This is especially bad when bacteria is remaining on the utensil.

TIP! Always begin your cooking with utensils that are spotlessly clean. You need to make sure there is no residue left on the utensils, it could ruin your food.

If you enjoy flavoring your food with spices and herbs, be sure to place them in a location that is void of light and remains cool; this will help them stay fresh. If you keep spices above the oven or in hot places, they will lose their flavor.

It is essential to remain organized when cooking, so that you do not burn food or make other blunders. Being organized with your cooking station can make it more productive. Being unorganized when you are cooking can lead to you wasting a lot of money and food.

TIP! Good organizational skills can help you avoid cooking mishaps. Keep your kitchen in order.

Perforated Plastic Bag

Dab your ground meat with a few paper towels before cooking it to rid of excess moisture. You should always blot up extra moisture before cooking ground meat. Moisture that is left on your meat will release as steam while you’re cooking. Basically it just burns away. When this happens, your ground meat may actually steam, instead of searing like you want it to.

TIP! Prior to cooking ground meat, you should take the time to blot it. It is a good idea to always blot away the moisture.

If you purchase unripened fruits, place them in a perforated plastic bag. Fruits produce ethylene gas when they become riper. In the perforated plastic bag, the ethylene gas will stay trapped, allowing the fruit to ripen deliciously.

When sauteing food, avoid over-filling the pan. This will create extra moisture that will act to steam the food rather than adding that crispness that comes from sauteing. Keep the pan set on a lower temperature.

TIP! When sauteing, don’t put too much into the pan. Too much food adds extra moisture and will lead to a steaming effect that will defeat the purpose of sauteing, which is to create a little crispness in the food.

Bundle your fresh herbs together and cut the appropriate amount off with scissors. This makes the herbs fluffier and lighter, and not wet like they would be if they were chopped.

If you are cooking with an unfamiliar item of produce, it is a good idea to take time to educate yourself about it first. Do some research, and you might be surprised at how versatile the new food is. If you take the time to learn about the item before heading into the kitchen, the experience will be that much more enjoyable.

TIP! If you want to cook with a vegetable or fruit that you haven’t used before, take time to learn more about it. You might be surprised to learn that with a little bit of information, you can see the different ways to incorporate it into your meals.

Always follow instructions to the letter whenever you cook macaroni and cheese. By doing so, your macaroni should come out perfect, and the way the cheese tastes like melted velvet spread on top of the noodles should prove an exquisite sensation. To serve the macaroni and cheese, a solid faced spoon works just fine. Pepper up your macaroni for some spice and extra taste sensation.

Oysters can be prepared in fresh and new ways. Oysters can be prepared in many ways, although the most common way is to be eaten raw with some lemon juice on top. You can crack open the oysters and put them in a broiler pan with their shells, then add a little bit of cream on top. Sprinkle with freshly grated pepper and Parmesan cheese, and broil until bubbling. Sauteing your oysters is another great idea. Cover them in some flour and fry them in very hot butter for about two minutes until they appear golden. You can also bake oysters while in their shells. Place the dish in the oven as 425 degrees. Before you do this, you can add a bit of butter and breadcrumbs on top of each oyster. Carefully watch oysters that you are baking because the butter will quickly begin bubbling. Once you remove the baked oysters you can serve them with bread or some other side dish that you desire.

TIP! Discover new ways to eat oysters. There are many ways to prepare oysters besides eating them raw.

Having the ability to cook great meals for your family or yourself is a wonderful skill. It doesn’t matter if you prefer avant-garde haute cuisine, regional favorites, or simple home cooking; you can improve your lifestyle by improving your cooking skills with the preceding tips. Though drive-thrus offer convenience and speed, the taste offered by a meal prepared at home triumphs over any drive-thru any day.

In addition to the oven timer, set the timer on your wristwatch or stopwatch. Using a timer on your watch or a stopwatch around your neck will guarantee you hear the beep no matter where you are.

TIP! Set 2 different timers, like the one on your oven and one on a watch or phone. Using the watch timer ensures that you will always be aware of when your food is ready to take out.