Even top chefs once had to learn the basics of cookery. Good Food brings you the must-know skills that will take you from nervous novice to confident cook How to chop an onion. We've also been discussing ways to keep the tears at bay; apparently, sucking on a teaspoon while chopping will keep your eyes dry. Sounds simple but a perfect, runny yolk can be lost in a moment, so timing is key.
For hard-boiled eggs, start in a pan of cold water and bring up to the boil, then cook for seven minutes — the longer you cook, the firmer the egg will be. Plunge the egg into cold water as soon as it's done to stop it from overcooking. For more help perfecting your egg timing, read our guide on how to boil an egg.
To achieve this, fill a pan with double the water to cover the pasta, add salt to taste and bring it to the boil. Carefully drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook for minutes, making sure to stir within the first two minutes of cooking to prevent sticking.
Bear in mind that different pasta shapes will have different cooking times and fresh egg pasta will cook much quicker than dried. Our video walks you through how to melt chocolate properly. Beat your eggs until thoroughly combined, pour into a frying pan, and scatter over your fillings. To make it fluffy, drag the egg into the middle of the pan as it sets, as shown in our video on how to make the perfect omelette :.
The humble jacket potato needs very little to turn it into a substantial meal, but a few tweaks to your method can transform it from just average to outstanding. Try rubbing the outside with a little oil and salt for spuds that have crisp skin and fluffy white flesh.
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Roast chicken is a Sunday favourite, but you can add even more flavour by stuffing it. Real gravy made in the roasting pan tastes so much better than powdered gravy. A good stock can lift your soups, stews and risottos to the next level. Master this technique with our video on how to make stock — perfect for using up leftover bones after a roast. An everyday staple that deserves to be prepared properly.
Lots of recipes call for only egg whites or yolks, so how do you separate them out? One of the easiest methods is to crack the egg with the blunt side of a knife, open the shell into two halves, and pass the yolk several times between the halves, letting the white drop down into the bowl underneath before popping the yolk into a separate vessel. Watch our video on how to make meringues to see this technique in action. While butter smokes around degrees Fahrenheit, and olive oil can only hold stead to about , and avocado oil, ghee, and peanut oil can all be heated to over degrees before they start to smoke.
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- Madame Pourquoi (Collection Monsieur Madame) (French Edition).
Keeping this info handy can help you choose the right cooking oil and will buy you more time on the stove. Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to cooking. Taking your time to do things right, whether that means slowly adding ingredients to a recipe instead of dumping them all in at once or waiting patiently for dough to rise, will make all the difference in how your food turns out.
This means taking time to prep, too: allowing for meat to reach room temperature before it hits the pan can help its proteins soften slightly, making it more tender when it's done cooking. Fortunately, once you have ample practice, timing your dishes so that they're ready all at once will be a breeze, too. While it may seem counterintuitive, a sharp knife is the safest bet in the kitchen. However, keeping your knives properly-sharpened does more than just spare your fingers. Using sharp knives makes it easier to get precise cuts, as well, meaning more tender meat, thinner, more evenly-cooked vegetables in your stir-fry, and more precisely-sliced pie.
Before you slap a steak on the grill, make sure you've dried it off first. The moisture on the exterior of meat will create steam, making it harder to achieve the nicely-seared surface you want. Cooking is an art, but baking is a science, which is why it's so important that you don't overwork your dough. Overworking your dough when baking means that you're squeezing out the pockets of air that make foods light and fluffy.
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Instead, combine ingredients until adequately mixed, and then allow your dough to come to room temperature before putting it in the oven. Salt isn't an ingredient that can be added to recipes willy-nilly. Salting food before you cook it will allow it to properly absorb the sodium. When you salt at the end of cooking, you're basically giving your recipe a sodium crust, making it taste much saltier, even if you're not actually using more than the recommended amount.
Eyeballing your food just won't cut it if you're trying to make sure your recipes are properly cooked. To steer clear of food poisoning or steaks with a leather-like consistency, invest in a good meat thermometer and take the temperature of your food during the cooking process. The myofibrillar proteins in different cuts of meat break down at different temperatures, making them either tender or tough, so knowing how hot you want that steak or chicken breast to get is essential for keeping your food edible.
Luckily, even if you don't have a ton of time to cook, these 35 Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes will make it easy to make a home-run meal. If there's one thing good chefs never do, it's cook with a cold pan.
Heating your pan before you add any ingredients will cut down on cooking time, will cook your ingredients more evenly, and can even reduce your risk of burning your food. Try a little tenderness—when it comes to your meat, that is. Pounding your meat with a tenderizer can help break up the fibers that toughen during the cooking process, while enzymatic marinades can help make your food more tender before it ever touches a flame. Start with them. Are you working with ingredients at different temperature?
You want the ingredients to be at the right temperature when you need them. Also put them back where they belong as you go. There is no need to be running around your kitchen after every step because you forgot to prepare something. You also want to avoid working on a busy kitchen bench! This includes cleaning in the middle of a recipe.
That tip seems like an obvious one, but trust me, a chocolate cake that tastes like onion is not something you want to taste! One of the most important thing I have learned from Top Chef — and from attempting to bend this rule too many times — is to get a good time estimate. That is an estimate of both the time you have in front of you and how long the recipe will take you to make. Only have an hour in front of you? Take that into consideration when you start to make sure you have enough time before serving. Way too many…. When it comes to baking, resting can make or break a recipe for one simple reason: cold ingredients do not like warm ingredients… Putting cold frosting on a warm cake will always end up in a collapsing disaster.
But what about these two flavours you have been thinking about mixing but did not think would work together? The only way to know is to try… I am a big believer that cooking should be a fun experience first. It is also a great way to explore your own creativity!
10 Tips to Improve your Cooking Skills
Though I just discovered that this word could also be used in English! This word is used a lot way too much in French Top Chef as a way to encourage candidates to bring a lot of flavours and generosity to their dishes. You can cook healthy meals and still be generous and tasty. You can also use a lot, lot of butter, but that is up to you!
The point is, whatever you decide to make, using a lot of spices, fresh produces and quality ingredients will make any dish taste better. Any food, from a simple green salad to a complex cake should be both satisfying to look at and to eat. If you are a great cook but have very little experience in pastry, attempting to make Macarons for the first time the day of your dinner party may not be the best idea….
But why not take your time to experiment and learn about it when you have the whole day in front of you and no one hungry to feed? Reading Cook Books is also a great way to pick up tips and tricks that can help you improve your skills. Use that knife skill you learned from that cooking class. Show off the technique you picked up on TV last month.
25 skills every cook should know | BBC Good Food
I strongly believe that the more diverse and broad your knowledge is, the better you will become. But they also show you that anything is possible as long as you try it and are innovative. Because appart from the main obvious reason to cook not die of hunger , I believe that the most important reason to cook is because it is fun as hell and an amazing, limitless way to get creative.