We’ve all made our fair share of mistakes in the kitchen. Here are the seven most common mistakes that people make and what to do about them.
Yup. You read right. Tomatoes should not be stored in the fridge because it is not the ideal setting for them. Tomatoes are grown out in warm weather and have a distaste for cold. Even after they are picked the distaste remains. To get all sciencey, when you put tomatoes in the fridge their cell walls get damaged. This is bad because it makes tomatoes soft and mushy and gives it a gritty texture. Yuck. Your best bet is to store them on the kitchen counter not near direct sunlight.
Have you ever cleaned a chicken breast by rinsing it under the tap in your sink, then threw dirty dishes in said sink. Well guess what, that’s contamination. It is a golden rule that one must wash and sanitize after touching raw meats. Raw chicken can carry bacteria such as salmonella which would be bad if it contaminated your cooking area. We’re talking diarrhea and other stomach issues. So as a general rule, after you have handled raw chicken you must wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap. Don’t just wash hands, but also up your elbows to ensure proper sanitization. As for your sink or cooking area, rinse with hot water and soap for at least 30 seconds. Same goes for your dishes. This will kill bacteria.
Ever put your nice avocado near a bunch of bananas to find it browning the next day? Bananas give off a lot of ethylene which is an agent that ripens fruits. This is why bananas usually brown faster in a bunch. Bananas should not be stored near sensitive already ripe produce such as avocados because it will accelerate their ripening. If you want to quickly ripen something, place it in a paper bag with a banana over night.
You’re cooking a meal tonight, so you cut your vegetables on the chopping board. Then you cut up your meat on the same board. Oh wait you forgot to chop your garlic so you wash off the same board and cut the garlic there. This is a no. Now you have salmonella. It is essential to have two cutting boards. One for vegetables and stuff that can be eaten raw and another for your meats. Now for the question, wood or plastic? Wood (specifically maple) is best for cutting your vegetables. It is not recommended to cut your meats on the wood board as the fibres can hold bacteria, therefore contaminating other foods. Plastic is best for your meats because it wears down less, is usually anti-slip, and is easily disinfected.
As soon as we eat something deep fried we know it’s already gonna be greasy. The thing is, sometimes the grease can be reduced it’s just the common mistake of impatience. When you are deep frying something, always ensure that the oil is hot enough. People are often impatient so they just throw the food in. This is a negative because the food will end up absorbing a lot of oil as the oil tries to heat up at a temperature to cook it. To test if the oil is ready, throw a small piece of bread in there. It should be crisp in about ten seconds. Also when frying ensure you are using the right type of oil. Olive oil has a smoke point of 400 degrees, so make sure you’re using it at a maximum temperature of 375. Coconut oil is 350. For high heat, try peanut, safflower, grape seed, or avocado oil.
A safety tip: In case a grease fire starts, NEVER use water to put it out. They do not mix well together and the fire will get bigger. Cover with metal lid to cease oxygen flow and throw a ton of baking soda on it.
You decide to make a stew so first you need to brown the beef. You’re over eager that you dump all the pieced in at once. Now your beef is soggy and lacklustre. Crowding the pan is a common mistake. People want to get things done quicker, but you end up losing out flavour. Always leave space for steam to escape. When there is not enough room for the food to allow the steam to escape, moisture gathers creating the opposite effect you want. This ensures that your meats will be properly seared.
Sometimes we’re just hungry so we throw raw stuff into the pan before it even heats up. This is wrong. A hot pan is essential for browning and sautéing you food. If you’re just heating up food then it’s fine. You will not get the caramelization or crust you want on your meats or vegetables by putting it into a lukewarm pan. Always ensure the pan is hot enough. It also helps to prevent foods from sticking especially on non-stick surfaces. If you find that your breading keeps coming off your food, it’s probably because you haven’t waited. Always wait the allotted time and ensure your pan is hot enough.
What is your kitchen sin?
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