13 Simple Rules to Make your Cooking Easy {Infographic}

13 Simple Rules to Make your Cooking Easy {Infographic}

What kind of cook are you? There are those of us who are absolute wizards in the kitchen: making something out of nothing, true scholars of texture and taste who happily rustle up daily meals and special recipes for all occasions.

Then there are the average Joes, who dine well at their own table, keep it healthy, and rarely manage to set off the fire alarm.

And then there are the strugglers. Those whose garbage bins are padded with burnt toast. The ones for whom pimped instant noodles are a relative triumph. Maybe they hate to cook, maybe they find it joyful but frustrating: either way, no-one is in a hurry to do the taste test.

But whether you write your own recipes or it’s all you can do not to burn boil-in-the-bag, there are a number of kitchen principles that apply to us all; a dozen or so timeless rules for avoiding disaster and courting a scrumptious success at dinner time. How many do you know?

The most fundamental principle is to taste your food as you’re cooking it. Even if you stick closely to a recipe, any number of things could be going wrong that you didn’t notice: your oven is cooler than that of the recipe writer, your ingredients have turned funky, or even just that the recipe isn’t to your personal taste. If you try it as you cook, you can make subtle adjustments to steer it in the right direction. Trust your taste buds!

That’s not to say you should be constantly tinkering with a meal while it’s cooking. Take steak, for example: one of the most common mistakes people make is to flip it too soon, or too often. A steak should be grilled on one side until it turns to deep sear. And don’t forget to cut it against the grain when it comes to serving time – otherwise it will likely be too chewy to be as enjoyable as it could be.

Herbs and spices are a universe of their own, and everyone has different preferences. One common piece of advice is to always double the amount of herbs suggested by a written recipe. That way, the flavour should be full, and nobody will complain of blandness! However, caution should be taken if you’re unfamiliar with the recipe you’re working with – perhaps the writer already accounted for the extra flavour that most recipes need. If you’re cooking for yourself or a familiar group, don’t forget to bear in mind everyone’s preferences.

A big warning flag needs to be hoisted with regard to dried herbs vs. fresh ones. An inexperienced cook who finds himself in the kitchen with a recipe that includes fresh herbs, and who finds himself with only dried ones, might make the mistake of believing that the two are of equivalent strength. They are not! Dried herbs are usually around three times as strong as the equivalent in fresh herbs so, if switching from dried to fresh, be sure to use only a third of the required volume.

From tasteless meat and overused herbs, to rubbery eggs and mushy broccoli, many of our most familiar ingredients need to come with their own ‘best code of practice’ – but unfortunately, they rarely do! Thankfully, the wise people over at Quid Corner have compiled a thorough new infographic guide to 13 of the most common kitchen errors, any of which might affect the chef-in-a-hurry as much as the rookie-without-a-clue.

Give it a read so you pick up the basics, and keep it handy for each time you take to the kitchen. Healthy, tasty food is doable for anyone if you just take your time and keep a handful of firm kitchen principles in mind.

Editorial Team
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