4 Common Cooking Mistakes

lady cookingLearning to cook is often a “figure it out as you go” experience, but there are many common mistakes you can avoid before ruining a dish. Making a seemingly small error when preparing or executing a recipe can affect your entire meal, so it’s important to follow instructions and carry out the recipe as advised. Read below for four common cooking mistakes and learn how you can ensure that they don’t happen in your kitchen.

Mistake #1: you over-soften butter
When a recipe calls for softened butter, like in baking and pastry dishes, beware of over-softening the ingredient. If you overdo it, your baking dish will come out with a more battery consistency rather than a doughy consistency. To see if your butter is softened to the right consistency, press it gently – it should give a little.

Mistake #2: you don’t read the recipe
This offense happens quite often in the kitchen: You’re looking at the recipe and start to cook before you’ve read the directions all the way through. A mistake like this can really trip you up, causing you to miss details or important cooking instructions. A great tip for avoiding this problem is setting out all of the ingredients on the counter before you start cooking. This way, you won’t miss a step. As always, make sure to read over the recipe before you start cooking!

Mistake #3: you forgot to preheat the pan
Don’t add oil to your pans before heating them up. A pan without heat cannot soak up the juices of your dish, making it impossible to obtain a crispy and well-cooked meal. Cooking requires patience, and it’s important to let the pan heat up for two to three minutes before adding the oil. Check to see if it is ready by throwing a few splashes of water on the surface. The pan will sizzle and let you know it’s time to cook!

Mistake #4: your bread doesn’t bake through
You’re waiting for your bread or pastry dish to finish in the oven, and it ends up coming out undercooked in the center. What did you do wrong? According to Cooking Light magazine, if the cake is white it’s undercooked, and even if a toothpick comes out clean in the middle, your dish may not be completely done. Once you understand what you’re looking for, it will be easy to avoid this mistake in the future.

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