Cooking is a meditative process. Period. It helps you take your mind off of things, and you end up creating something delicious out of it. Thus, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that cooking is an enriching experience.
You should know that professional chefs are armed with years of training, experience, and hard-earned skills wrapped up under their hats.
But with the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, people were literally forced to stay indoors to keep the nasty virus from spreading. Amidst all the chaos, New Zealanders chose to explore their talents, one of which was cooking.
You’ll be surprised to know that there was a flood of Instagram reels and TikTok videos featuring home chefs.
But there are some common mistakes observed by professionals amongst home chefs. Don’t worry! These common mistakes that are mentioned below are pretty easy to make if you are a home chef. Still, you can always correct them if you want to keep making delicious recipes for your family and friends.
With that in mind, here are some of the mistakes amateur chefs often make and solutions to overcome them. Keep reading to find those mistakes and improve your cooking skills overnight.
- Not reading the entire recipe
Following the recipe is one of the best ways to kickstart your cooking talent. But many newbie home chefs do not pay attention while reading the recipes, and some don’t even read them all the way through.
That’s not the right approach, especially if you are a newbie home chef.
Reading the complete recipe helps you make sure that you have all the ingredients to need for your dish and directs you the right way. It also helps you prepare your dish without missing out on any steps.
So, before you even enter the kitchen and start cooking, you need to make sure that you are well-versed with the procedure and read the recipe all the way through. You can even try watching some youtube tutorials for a better understanding of whatever you are going to make.
- Using salt as seasoning
Salt is one of the magical ingredients that bring out the best in your dish. Unfortunately, many home and newbie cooks don’t realize the power of salt.
According to professionals, treating salt as just another common seasoning is a blunder mistake many home cooks often make.
You should know that salt is supposed to use a flavor enhancer. That’s the reason why chocolate ice cream sprinkled with a few grains of salt tastes the best.
Salt acts at its best when you want to draw or suppress flavors. Using salt the right way in your dishes will actually help you achieve ideal flavors and end up improving your cooking tenfold.
- Not using the right kind of knife
Other bizarre mistakes newbies and home chefs make is either using one knife for everything or using dull ones. If you are also doing the same, then stop doing it. It is not only risky, but you are unconsciously making things hard on yourself.
Plus, there’s a good chance that your knives would accidentally be harming your cutlery and scarring your cooking adventures down the road.
See, every knife has a purpose. And it is needless to say that it is one of the essential tools in every kitchen. So, it would be best for you to learn the purpose of each knife and stock up your kitchen accordingly. For this, all you need to do is Google terms like Knives NZ and find the knives you might need to meet your chopping and slicing needs.
For instance, you need a cleaver to chop and slice raw meat. The large and heavy design of the knife allows you to cut through the bone without using extra strength.
Apart from this, you would also need to make sure that you use sharp knives while cooking. They are much safer and allow you to chop and slice with ease.
- Not using the time to your advantage.
The key to better and perfect cooking is timing. Believe it or not, it is something that differentiates an okay meal from something really spectacular.
You need to allow your dishes to cook at their own time. Yes, it might be a bit tough, especially if you are preparing multi-course meals for Thanksgiving or Christmas. But you need to know how much time your dish takes to cook perfectly and plan accordingly.
For instance, if your dessert needs to sit in the fridge for at least 5 hours, then it would be best to prepare it a day before. This way, you can serve your guests the best.
This also includes not opening your oven again. Professionals have observed that when home chefs cook something in the oven, they feel tempted to check up on it by opening the oven again and again.
You should know that it’s one of the biggest mistakes you might be making. By doing this, you are actually allowing the heat to escape and forcing your dish to cook unevenly.
According to the general rule of thumb, you must open the oven door just once while baking. Ideally, you must keep the oven closed for at least 3/4th of the cooking time.
- Chopping veggies unevenly
Last but definitely not least, many home chefs tend to randomly slice and dice their veggies. But that’s no good.
For instance, suppose you are making french fries. Cutting a potato in equal sizes ensures that everything cooks at the same time. If done wrong, you might end up serving lumpy, undercooked, and starchy potato slices along with some crispy home fries.
So, make sure that everything is chopped, diced, and sliced evenly so that they cook properly whenever you are chopping or dicing something.
And it becomes even more crucial if you prioritize the presentation of your dish, especially if you are serving a salad.
Home and amateur chefs are bound to make some cooking mistakes down the line but not anymore. With the help of this article, you can ignore certain mistakes and kickstart your cooking skills.