Recipes can be helpful when it comes to cooking times, ingredients, and seasoning quantities. But following one can—surprisingly—also lead to mistakes. Even when you follow the recipes, mistakes happen when we carelessly misunderstanding the steps. Some recipes may have clear explanations to follow, but having basic things when cooking anything based on recipes is also necessary. Here are the top issues you might encounter in the kitchen and how to avoid them.
Using a Recipe
Recipes are great for helping a cook replicate a dish. But unnecessary adherence to a recipe can turn cooking into a science experiment, rather than something we do daily to feed our families. But over-reliance on recipes will ensure you never learn how to cook. For certain dishes–especially desserts and baked items–you might need very specific measurements, but you really don’t need a recipe to make a casserole or pasta or stew.
Not Tasting as You Go
Recipes can have mistakes in them. If you’ve never used a given recipe before, you should make sure each ingredient, and quantity thereof, passes the common sense test before blindly dumping it in. Personal preferences can vary, especially when it comes to spiciness and seasoning. Tasting as you go is all about nipping problems in the bud, which is a useful habit for any cook to cultivate.
Taking on Too Much
If you’re trying to prepare three different recipes in your little home kitchen and they all need to be done at the same time, you’re going to find yourself at your wit’s end pretty quickly; imagine cooking with three separate cookbooks open or even worse, using just one cookbook that has all three recipes in it and you’re flipping madly through the pages. Don’t do this to yourself! That’s what potlucks are for.
Making Extra Work for Yourself
When you are cooking, you may can not standstill. This is mainly due to nervous energy, feeling like you need to be doing something. Stirring the soup can make it cloudy. Flipping the steaks can prevent them from obtaining a lovely brown sear. Opening the oven door lets out the heat, thus slowing down the cooking. And so on. If you’ve really got nothing to do, you’re probably doing something right. Instead of going around stirring, reward yourself with a drink.
Not Cleaning as You Go
Another way to occupy yourself while the roast is in the oven is to wash dirty dishes and utensils, wipe down the counters, and generally tidy up. So, you have a nice clear space to work with for the final plating, carving, or any other finishing touches. This is especially helpful if you’re serving multiple courses and you’re clearing away salad plates to make room for the main course.
With that said, if you’re going to use a recipe, follow it! Whether you got it from a friend or relative or you found it online or in a book, you owe it to that recipe to make it the way it’s written. Changing the recipe probably makes everything mess up and automatically destroy your dish.
For beginners, you may strictly follow the tips above to avoid your worst cooking experience in the kitchen. After you master some easy recipes, you can try to mix or making an experiment when you are cooking. Practice makes perfect!