We all make mistakes in the kitchen - especially when we are just starting out. But great cooks learn to be great by learning from their mistakes.
Whether you are a seasoned professional chef or a 20-something try-hard, if you have picked up any of these bad habits in the kitchen, ditch them right now.
Your cooking is suffering and you might not even know it.
Not preparing the ingredients before cooking
Preparing your ingredients before cooking not only saves time but it also makes it easy to cook and add ingredients at the correct time.
Not reading the recipe properly
You have laid out the ingredients for a recipe you have been eager to try, you start reading through the steps and realise you have had to marinate the meat for at least two hours, or similar.
There is almost no chance you can improvise at this point, especially if you are expecting guests or are not willing to eat hours later than planned.
Before buying your ingredients, read the recipe steps, not just the ingredients list, and plan your time accordingly.
Not drying the proteins before cooking
This rule mainly applies to dishes related to chicken, steak or tofu. To save time and oil, make sure that you pat dry the protein pieces before placing them in the pan.
This helps attain perfect dark colour and flavours too.
Not using a proper cutting board
It can be easy to justify not using a cutting board when you are just grabbing a quick snack or whipping up a small meal. Unfortunately, even when it looks like you have not made a huge mess on the counter, traces of food can be left behind.
These food scraps act like magnets for bacterial growth and pests. While washing a cutting board might seem like more work upfront, take comfort in knowing that you are saving yourself time and energy by keeping your kitchen clean.
Guessing baking quantities
"A little bit of this and a little bit of that" can be a great approach to cooking savoury dishes.
But try this approach with baking by not measuring out ingredients and your dish is likely to completely fail.
There is a reason most recipes are triple-tested before they are published: they often do not work if you are loose with the quantities.
Baking is a very specific science, especially when it comes to ingredients reacting with each other.