Top 10 Cooking Techniques for Everyday Cooking
When it comes to making a delicious meal, having the right technique is key. In order to become a better cook, there are some everyday cooking skills that you will need to master. To help you get started, here are the top 10 techniques for everyday cooking.
1. Basic Knife Skills
All knives are not created equally. Learning the various types of knives and how to use them is a huge step towards becoming more proficient in the kitchen. Skills like shearing, scoring and fine slicing may take a while to learn, but they will have a big impact on your success in the kitchen. If you find it hard to learn knife skills by yourself, don’t worry! You are not alone and there are even classes for that. In many cities, you will find some knife skills classes on Cozymeal’s website, a national provider of cooking classes.
2. Chopping an Onion
Onions are a key ingredient in many dishes. Mastering the technique of chopping an onion can dramatically reduce your meal prep time.
3. How to Cook Pasta
Believe it or not, there is a right way to cook pasta. In Italy, pasta is served â€˜al denteâ€™. This means that it has been boiled until softened, but still retains its firmness. This style is considered the standard in kitchens around the world. While mastering this technique, keep in mind that different types of pasta will have different cooking times. For best results, be sure to read the instructions on the packaging label.
4. Boiling an Egg
Boiling an egg is one of those skills that seems simple in theory, but can prove difficult to execute. The difference between a messy runny yolk and a firm one can be a matter of minutes. Determining the right amount of time to boil an egg will depend on the starting temperature of the egg and the level of firmness you hope to achieve. For a soft-boiled egg, a room-temperature egg will need to cook approximately three to five minutes. On the other hand, a hard-boiled egg will need to cook for seven to 10 minutes. Remember that the longer the egg cooks, the firmer it will be.
5. Making an Omelette
An omelette is one of those versatile meals that is perfect for an early breakfast or a tasty lunch. Start by whisking the eggs in a small bowl until they are thoroughly blended. Then pour the eggs into a buttered frying pan and top it with your fillings. For a fluffier result, add a small amount of milk or sour cream to the egg batter before adding it to the pan.
6. Baking a Potato
A baked potato can quickly transform from an ordinary vegetable into a hearty meal. For best results, thoroughly clean the skin of your potato and sprinkle it with a little olive oil and salt before baking it. The result will be a potato that is crispy on the outside while soft and fluffy on the inside.
7. Making Gravy
The robust flavor of homemade gravy is so much better than any store-bought alternative. After roasting the meat that you intend to serve the gravy with, use some of the drippings from the roasting plan to create a rich, flavorful gravy.
8. The Art of Cooking Rice
For many new cooks, rice can be one of the most frustrating dishes to make. While using a rice cooker is a great way to get perfect rice every time, this dish can easily be prepared without one. All it takes is water, rice and a little bit of salt to make soft, fluffy rice each time.
9. Kneading Dough
Bread is a staple of most diets. While store-bought bread is convenient, it pales in comparison to fresh-baked, hot-out-the-oven bread that you can easily make yourself. In a large mixing bowl, start by gently mixing flour and water. The mixing motion activates the gluten which is what gives your dough its elasticity. Once the dough has risen, clear a flat, clean surface and dust it with powder. Use your fisted hands to mash the dough until it develops into a smaller ball. With the heel of your hand, stretch and squish the dough for three to five minutes. Fold the dough and repeat this kneading and turning motion as indicated in the recipe.
10. Browning Meat
The key to keeping slow-cooked meats tender and juicy once cooked, is learning how to properly seal them first. Browning meat is a simple technique that involves frying it in a pan until the outside becomes brown. Especially useful for pot-roasts or stews, this technique gives the meat a rich flavor while keeping it tender for additional cooking.
Learning how to become a better cook takes lots of practice and patience. Mastering each of these simple techniques will put you well on your way to becoming a more seasoned cook.