Pretty Dishes

Cooking Light’s Common Cooking Mistakes
March 8, 2010, 10:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As I read through my March issue of Cooking Light I came to the article titled “The 25 Most Common Cooking Mistakes” and dug right in to see how many I’ve made in the past (and hopefully learned from/don’t make anymore). The article serves as a good reminder for what not to do, and a lot of the mistakes come down to simple impatience.

The majority of my own errors have been a result of rushing or mistiming, though in general I try to relish the preparation/cooking process in a zen mental state and allow myself plenty of time (my tummy doesn’t always obey).

I have definitely been guilty of all but a few of these errors at some point, though most were years ago, before I really got a feel for cooking. Regardless, it never hurts to be more cognizant about avoiding the pitfalls that can mean the difference between a decent outcome and an amazing one.

I learned the hard way to be sure and read the entire recipe (especially watching for marinating/cooking times in the instructions) after misjudging the involvement of numerous dishes based on the first few sentences. I still regularly oversoften butter by heating it in the microwave for just a hair too long (I’m trying to plan ahead better). I have only in the last year picked up the art of “lightly spooning” flour to get a more accurate measure, and due to my baking failures I have gone to using weight almost exclusively when available. And I regularly underbake things because I like moist, just cooked centers, but this doesn’t always work out for me, and I have had to return the pan to the oven after it has cooled (and proved too undercooked) on several occasions.

My biggest error and improvement: I used to fuss with/interrupt cooking food frequently and wondered why nothing ever browned or caramelized like it should. It was a friend of mine who commented on this major rookie error, and since taking that to heart my meals have been exponentially more delicious. (I haven’t ever felt comfortable passing this tip along when I see other people fussing over a pan though . . . I’m not sure it would be received as anything but criticism.)

I hope the article proves useful!


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