10 Common Kitchen Mistakes We Know You’re Making

Overcrowding the Pan: Adding too many pieces of food to a skillet or baking sheet can cause food to steam instead of brown, leading to soggy, not crispy, outcomes. Giving food enough space ensures proper heat circulation and browning.

Not Preheating the Pan: Starting with a cold pan can result in uneven cooking and sticking. Preheating your pan ensures that food starts cooking immediately upon contact, sealing in juices and creating a nice sear.

Using Dull Knives: Not only do dull knives make prep work more difficult and time-consuming, but they're also more dangerous since they require more pressure to cut, increasing the risk of the knife slipping.

Not Reading Recipes Through Before Starting: Jumping into cooking without fully understanding the steps or ingredients needed can lead to mistakes or last-minute adjustments that affect the final dish.

Ignoring Mise en Place: This French term means "everything in its place." Not preparing and organizing your ingredients before cooking can lead to overcooking parts of your meal as you pause to chop or measure.

Using Nonstick Pans for Everything: While nonstick pans are great for eggs and pancakes, they don't achieve the same browning and caramelization as stainless steel or cast iron for meats and vegetables.

Storing Tomatoes in the Fridge: Cold temperatures can turn tomato flesh mealy and dull their flavor. Tomatoes are best stored at room temperature on a countertop.

Underseasoning: Seasoning food in layers (as you cook, not just at the end) enhances flavor. Many home cooks underseason food, either by not using enough salt or by not tasting dishes as they go.

Rinsing Pasta After Cooking: Rinsing cooked pasta can remove the starches that help sauces cling to it. Except when making cold pasta salads, it’s best to transfer pasta directly from pot to sauce.

Not Letting Meat Rest After Cooking: Cutting into meat right after cooking lets juices run out, resulting in a dryer dish. Resting meat allows juices to redistribute, ensuring a juicier bite.

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