Cooking is an art. Whether you are cooking for two or an entire banquet hall, there is a certain art to making sure that everything is edible and that you don’t have to order 25 pounds of pasta from the restaurant down the street. However, unlike other forms of art, cooking is something that can be taught and mastered if the following mistakes can be avoided.
- You don’t read the entire recipe before you start cooking – not all ingredients may be listed at the top of the recipe. Without reading the entire recipe before you start to cook you could be leaving out ingredients or missing steps.
- You’re too casual about measuring ingredients – not adding the precise measurement, especially when baking, results in many textural mishaps.
- You don’t get the pan hot enough before you add food – without heating the pan before adding oil will result in food that sticks, pale meat, and scallops with no sear.
- Your burger “meatballs” on the grill – making your patties a bit larger in circumference than the hamburger buns is the start to this problem. Avoid overworking the meat, and create an indentation with your thumb, a little more than ¼-inch deep in the center of the patty.
- You don’t know when to abandon ship – don’t feel bad if you have to toss away food and start over. Everyone makes mistakes. However, if you are past the point of no return, the only thing you may be able to do is acknowledge the problem, apologize, and move on.
Zachary Stephen Layton is a biomedical engineer who enjoys the art of cooking. He spends the evenings with his wife and two daughters experimenting with new recipes and teaching his girls how to cook properly.