We all like to think of ourselves as Master Chefs on par with Gordon Ramsey, but the truth is we're all human. Mistakes happen, and the mark of a truly great cook is to learn from them, and to avoid making the same mistake again. So consider yourself lucky, because we're about to point out 13 of the most common kitchen mistakes, which is the best learning opportunity you could hope for.
Try not to feel bad if you realize you've been cooking bacon the wrong way your whole life, or using the wrong measuring tools.
Just use these creative tips to take your cooking to the next level!
1. Never cook bacon in a frying pan
We all grew up watching our parents flip our morning bacon piece by piece while standing in front of the stove, with the hot oil popping onto their apron, and never imagined there was a better way. There are lots of cheap utensils to cook bacon in a microwave, but this can affect the taste.
Instead, simply cook all your bacon at once in the oven - it's much easier and there's no mess. There are a few methods, but they all make delicious, crispy bacon.
2. Buying organic food
We're all desperate to eat healthier, but there's no reason to believe that paying extra for "organic" bananas and tomatoes will do much good. Instead, focus on a few healthy foods your family is guaranteed to eat, and buy those every week.
3. Buying so-called "olive oil"
Olive oil is one of the most notorious fake foods, and odds are the oil sitting in your pantry right now isn't really made from olives. Companies use words like "pure" and "natural" on the labels to mislead you. Learn how to spot these fake brands so you don't waste your money.
4. Cooking rice and storing leftovers
Rice has a reputation for being one of the easiest dishes you can make, but that just means most people overlook the mistakes you can make while preparing it. First, you need to "flush" your rice, because otherwise you're letting nasty pesticides soak into your food.
Then, be very careful with leftover rice, because it's a breeding ground for bacteria.
5. Not following the recipe
Look up any recipe online and check the first comment. Odds are it's someone asking why their dish didn't turn out, and adding that they made "a few" substitutions. Cooking is science. If you expect your dish to be perfect, stick to the recipe like glue, especially if you're making it for the first time.
6. Not washing your fruit and veggies
People in my parent's generation were happy to just rub an apple on their shirt before biting into it, but we know better today. Everything from E. coli to the more common bugs that cause food poisoning are lurking on unwashed greens, so invest in a salad spinner and protect your family.
7. Tossing out your old pickle juice
Think of it this way: every jar of pickles comes with a free super-liquid that can be used for everything from marinating meat to cleaning copper pans and even recovering after a workout.
8. Holding your knife by the handle
Proper technique saves you time in the kitchen, but most people never learn how to hold a knife the right way. Take two minutes and you'll thank yourself the next time you need to chop up a plate of veggies.
9. Organizing your fridge the wrong way
Wondering why you wind up throwing spoiled food in the garbage bin every week? You probably need to re-organize your fridge, or start using your freezer properly. Also, learn what belongs in your fridge and what doesn't.
10. Barbecuing wrong from start to finish
Every man likes to think of himself as the king of the grill, but when it comes to technique they have everything backwards. To get serious about your meat, marinate it over night and follow the rest of our helpful tips.
11. Rethink your entire pasta program
There's a big difference between the way top chefs make pasta and how your parents taught you. To start, your water should taste like the sea, and you need to save a cup of it to add in with your sauce. You can read how Mario Batali makes all of his pasta, including why he cooks it shorter than most chefs.
12. Use the right measuring tools
Most people overlook this, but measuring cups and measuring spoons are not the same at all. The cups are only designed to measure liquid ingredients. You should always use the spoons for solid ingredients, or else your recipe will not turn out the way you hope.
13. Let your meat rest after cooking
If you take meat right off the heat and set it on your plate, you're losing some of the best flavor. Remove the meat and let it sit before slicing in, so the juices inside will soak into the meat and do the "last step" of cooking it.
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