Basic Cooking Tricks Everyone Should Know

Possessing the knowledge of a few simple cooking tricks can help elevate even the most mundane of dishes, as well as offering you a helping hand in the preparation and execution of the meal you want to cook. For many, the prospect of preparing and cooking a meal is a daunting one. But it need not be so. When armed with the following simple cooking tricks, those fears will disappear and you will wonder to yourself what all the fuss was about in the first place. Let’s begin.

  1. Don’t Overcrowd the Pan

As much as you may think that the more food in the pan, the better, you would be incorrect. The heat needs to be evenly distributed throughout the different ingredients, so you will benefit from the flavours each has to offer. Also, you don’t want to end up with a half-cooked piece of chicken and find yourself with food poisoning. Always make sure there is adequate space between each item to guarantee they cook thoroughly.

  1. Let Red Meat Sit Before Cutting in to it

A dry steak is not a steak that is worth eating. And that goes for the well-done variety as well. Once you take your steak off the pan or from the grill, place it on a sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around it and allow it sit for around 5 minutes. By doing this you’re not only preventing your steak from losing its juicy interior, but also allowing said juices to settle before cutting in to it.

  1. Turn the Cooker Off Before Eggs are Done

This an easy hack, but one that many people are unaware of. Whether frying, poaching or scrambling eggs, be sure to switch off the cooker a couple of minutes before they look done, even if they still have a runny consistency. The remaining heat will continue to cook your eggs until they are perfectly delicious.

  1. Add Salt to Boiling Pasta Water

For many, when they cook pasta, they find the pasta tasting rather bland. The trick is to add salt to the water, which will give it flavour. The general rule is 1-2 tablespoons for a large pan. Boil the water, stir in the salt until it dissolves and then add your pasta. Brilliantly simple.

  1. Use Pasta Water to Make Pasta Sauce

Now this trick is a proper doozie. Have you ever wondered how you could make your pasta tastier? Well, wonder no more, for this simple step will guarantee just that. Before discarding your used pasta water, add a cup of it to your saucepan and then add your cooked pasta. The salty water will gift your pasta a bit more flavour. Not only that, but the starch contained in the water will greatly enhance and benefit the texture of the pasta.

  1. Store Your Spices in the Proper Location

To ensure your spices have a longer shelf-life, keep them away from heat and humidity, as that can affect their flavours. A cool and dark place is their favoured place of repose.

  1. Use a Paper Towel to Preserve Vegetables

It’s a crying shame the amount of food waste recorded globally, year in and year out. This is especially true when it comes vegetables. In order to avoid throwing out your veggies, this simple trick will work wonders. Wrap them loosely in a paper towel and place them in a re-sealable plastic bag. Just be sure to get as much air as possible out of the bag before sealing, as oxygen and vegetables are not on friendly terms. Another simple trick to prolong their life is to not wash them until ready to use and eat.

  1. Always Keep a Few Essentials Close at Hand

There are many among us who have experienced that sinking feeling when you open the fridge and are met with cold, empty shelves staring back at you. The temptation is always to reach for the phone and order take-out. This is where always having essentials in your fridge and pantry steps in. Be sure to stock up on your next grocery shop trip. It is far easier to be creative with your dishes when you possess all the right ingredients. For last minute meals always try to have frozen meats, like chicken or beef, as well as frozen vegetables stocked in your freezer. You won’t be sorry and your general well-being will be thankful.

  1. Keep the Root of the Onion Intact When Chopping

To avoid making a mess the next time you’re chopping an onion, do not remove the root. Peel the onion and slice it in a horizontal direction. Then cut down vertically to create perfectly chopped pieces. Et voila! Simplicity in action.

And there you have it! Easy tricks to make your life that bit easier.