Eat. Home. Live.

In depth ramblings about cooking, homekeeping, and whatever else I decide to write about.

10 Cooking Tips That Make All The Difference

I am a huge fan of the cooking message board Chowhound (I’m addicted.) I found a great thread over there with over 800 responses about cooking tips that made all of the difference in people’s cooking. I thought I would take some that I thought were particularly valuable , along with a few of my own and post them here (with some modifications.)

1. Keep a salt bowl with a small spoon in it (preferably with sea or kosher salt) next to the stove to season food with. Don’t use a shaker, there is no way you can get enough salt on your dish that way (I start with a 1/2 tsp. and taste from there with most dishes that serve four.) Don’t be afraid of salt!

2. Taste of your food as you go. Julia Child taught me this, but lots of people at CH feel it is important as well.  By the time you serve a dish, you should have tasted it several times.

3. Let your beef and chicken rest before cutting into it; steaks and chicken will be juicer if you let them rest. Around 7-10 minutes is optimal for single steak or chicken pieces. Larger pieces of meat are variable, but if you rest them to 120 degrees, that should do it.

4. Speaking of meat temperatures, use a thermometer when cooking meat or candy–especially large cuts of meat, and always with candy.

5. Have patience.

6. Keep a clean pair of sturdy kitchen shears. They are great for cutting bacon into small pieces, and for cutting various other food in the kitchen.

7. Always sweat (slowly cook over low hear in butter) your veggies and garlic before adding them to a soup or stew; it will bring the flavors out.

8. Salt your pasta water. Put more than a pinch, put  tbsp for a lb.of pasta.  Add it as the water comes to a boil, bring it back up, then add the pasta.

9. Bacon cooked in the oven tastes best. 

10. Make sure your meat is dry before cooking with it. Use paper towels to dry them if you feel even a hint of wetness.

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2012 by in Cooking 101, Eat.