Common Cooking Mistakes Made By Home Chefs

Whether you’re just starting out, a novice home chef or an experienced professional, we all have one thing in common. Cooking mistakes.

Even someone who was as accomplished as Julia Child said, “You’ll NEVER know everything about anything, especially something you love.” What the acclaimed cooking teacher and award-winning author means here is that it is okay to make mistakes. 

Would you believe that most of your favorite cooking recipes were, initially, cooking mistakes? This is why you shouldn’t let those cringe-worthy cookware mishaps or disastrous after tastes bring you down! 

Right now the only thing you need is a helping hand. That's why we're going to help you avoid the most common cooking errors created by home cooks, and all you need to do is keep scrolling through them. If cooking, after all, teaches us something it teaches us patience.

Common Mistakes to Avoid for Easy Cooking:

1. Recipe For Happiness

Even though you’d agree that cooking recipes are the Holy Grail of accomplished home chefs, there are times when you just decide to wing-it. Sure you may have a knack for experimental cooking but recipes are meant to help avoid cooking disasters.

Before you set your cookware on the stove, check if you have:

All the right ingredients
Enough time to carry out each step
Complete understanding of each detail provided in the recipe

By checking-off all 3 of these steps, you wouldn’t just stand blankly in front of your half-way cooked meal wondering how you missed ‘refrigerate for 4-hours’ or ‘marinate overnight’. Of course, if you have children or a loved one waiting, you would’ve dodged quite a panic attack.

2. Salt Ain’t Seasoning

Many millenial men who are inspired by Salt Bae are of the opinion that salt can be used as seasoning. In reality, overdoing your best Salt Bae impression will just make your meal taste salty.

What you need to realize is that salt only helps enhance flavors. Ever heard of salted caramel ice cream? Yes, it is moderately sprinkled with salt and this is done to bring out all the suppressed bitterness, umami, and of course, the sweet and sour.

When you have learned how to make good use of salt, you would have mastered the art of cooking the most delicious food.

3. Time Is of the Essence

There’s a reason why most (if not all) of the steps in cooking recipes are labelled with specific times. Sure, it may take some time to get a hang of it, but sooner or later you will learn how to multitask. Right now, however, you need to pace yourself and only pick those recipes that have minimal multi-tasking involved. 

Perhaps save the hors d’oeuvres and sides for later and try planning out your recipe. After doing so, you will soon realize how the difference between an ordinary meal and a picturesque feast is timing.

4. Stop and Smell the Garlic

Boy, do we love garlic. Some of us even go so far as to add some of it even if the recipe never called for it. However, merely overdoing it is not as big a mistake as burning the garlic without even realizing it. 

Say, for instance, your recipe instructs you to add onion and sauteed garlic in your cookware. Since onion is a moist and dense vegetable, it will take a little more time to saute as compared to garlic. The result: “Honey, is something burning?”

You see it takes about 30 seconds for garlic to cook and if you ever see your garlic browning, it's time to speed things up and turn the heat down to medium. For easy cooking with garlic, here's a pro tip: if you can smell it it's probably ready.

5. Don’t Work With a Dull Knife

In one sentence: sharp knives are a lot safer than dull ones. This is because of the fact that dull knives tend to slide and slip - even if you’re working with a cutting board. What’s more, if you’ve gone all American Psycho on your vegetables, they will take a lot more time to cook because they aren’t evenly distributed. 

Save yourself from a cooking disaster and just sharpen your knives. You can also have it done by visiting your local hardware store if you have no idea how it is done.

6. Don't Fiddle With Your Meat

Home chefs that inspire themselves by watching cooking shows or tutorials are of the opinion that they need to stir, poke or flip their meat. How do you think your meal will get an even char if you keep interfering with the heat distribution?

It’s quite simple; let the meat char and only interfere to check on its progress. Additionally, you can also try searing broccoli inside your cookware before finally tossing it over and staring at the caramelized and golden-brown finesse.

7. Cooking Doesn’t Stop When the Burner Does

It doesn’t matter which cookware you’re using to cook eggs or steak, once the burner goes off, your meal is still going to cook some more because of the ‘residual heat’. If you just leave your handiwork there, you’ve got some serious over-cooking. 

There’s a reason why people like Gordon Ramsay advise his followers to let their Christmas turkeys rest in the oven for 2.5 hours. What you need to do is learn how to counter residual heat and use it to your advantage. 

You can always turn off the heat before time by accounting for residual heat. If you’re cooking a steak on a grill, you should take into account about 10 minutes of residual cooking time. In contrast, if you're working on a roast, your chicken will continue to burn for as long as 30-minutes!

Bonus :The Future of Home-Cooked Meals

Chef Avenue, a fascinating cookware startup in California, has innovated a modern cookware solution called Omnipan to make home-cooked meals a lot easier and less time-consuming. Omnipan is designed as a high-performance cookware with FDA approved silicone material that can cook multiple meals or an entire meal in the oven.

With Omnipan, you can finally say goodbye to the common cooking mistakes. And what's more, your oven door will always reveal the most mouthwatering meals - exactly how you saw them in your recipe book or on an online cooking video.

Sounds good? Chef Avenue will be launching its Omnipan through Kickstarter crowdfunding shortly. Early backers will receive a special Omnipan set at an exclusive discount and a free access to Chef Avenue's app with delicious recipes for Omnipan. To get an alert when Chef Avenue’s Kickstarter campaign goes live, please sign up now.