This is it, friends! The last day of our How To Be A Master Chef In 10 Days series has arrived and today, we're going over tips from professional chefs that will make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable, fruitful and memorable. Day 10 is here, so let's get started!
Don't miss our guide on How To Make Hearty Single-Pot Meals!
Think Like A Chef: Ten Thoughts
Alright, so reading this course does not exactly make you a chef, but now you know how to cook a bunch of meals! Also, you have learned a ton of techniques that will facilitate your cooking life. Throughout this course, we have gone over numerous terms and techniques that should have you feeling very comfortable in the kitchen. This is the last section of the course and through this post, you will get some helpful tips that will give you the chance to think like a chef. Use this section for all of your endeavors in the kitchen and we are sure you will be thinking like a chef while cooking numerous meals with your newly acquired cooking skills!
Techniques That Contribute To Your Success
With these techniques, you will find success in cooking. Whether you are cooking for a huge party, your family or yourself, keep these techniques near and dear to your heart for success in the kitchen:
- Have everything in place when you start cooking. You want to make sure everything you are going to be cooking is ready to go. This means make sure that you have all of your ingredients measured, chopped, peeled, your pans greased, and anything else you need for the dish you are cooking. Also, make sure all of this is in reach! You don't want to be running around your kitchen like a chicken without a head!
- Be your own taste tester. While cooking, don't forget to taste what you are making! If you don't taste it, how will you know it is properly seasoned? Precisely!
- Don't fear the salt! Salt is your friend in the kitchen, but it can be dangerous. Make sure you are using the proper amount of sodium. Not too little and not too much.
- Keep your meals close, but a sharp knife closer! Make sure your knives are always sharp. A sharp knife contributes to a successful cooking experience.
- Having a wet paper towel under your cutting board is the key to keeping it from sliding. Use this tip in good health! Sliding cutting boards are dangerous, so make sure to keep it in place with a wet paper towel underneath it.
- Overcrowding your pan is a bad idea. Don't cram! This makes the food steam, and the temperature of the pan will drop significantly. You will not get the proper flavor for your meal this way!
- Cooking with half butter and half oil is always a good thing. The oil helps the butter avoid burning, and the butter adds some awesome flavor to your dishes!
- Don't mix your ingredients too much when you are baking. When you over-mix your ingredients, gluten is created in the flour and made tough, therefore, making your baked goods dense. You want your baked goods to be light and fluffy. Mix the ingredients thoroughly, but don't overdo it.
- Clean as you cook. Don't leave it for after! This is common cause for mistakes. If you do not clean as you cook, your work area becomes cluttered, and clutter can cause an accident.
- Don't be a slave to recipes. Experiment! Have fun! Deviate from the norm a bit. Who says you can't put bacon in chocolate chip cookies?
- Use your nose. If something smells like it is done, check it. Don't always trust your timer!
Pyramid-Style Dish Building (Bottom to Top)
When cooking, you want to cook pyramid-style. This means that the foods on the bottom of your meal should be cooked first. Also, the foods that take longer to cook should begin cooking first to allow everything to be done when the dish is done. Root vegetables take a longer time to cook, meaning you are going to want to cook them first. If you're making breakfast and want to make home fries and scrambled eggs, you're going to cook the home fries first because potatoes take longer to cook. Cooking the scrambled eggs first would result in having to sit the eggs to the side, meaning they would be ice cold by the time your home fries are done. Who wants cold eggs? We prefer them hot! Use your brain when cooking. If you want your food to be done at the same time, start cooking the stuff that takes longer first. You're building a pyramid here! Build your dishes from the bottom up and you will have a strong foundation from which to base your dish off of.
Some Helpful Tips To Conclude With
We can't just leave you guys without some more tips! While we know we can't cover everything in this course, we do know that we can give you a ton of great tips that will contribute to you being successful on your culinary adventure! Don't worry, you reading this is already enough of a thank you! Read these helpful tips and don't forget about us when your family and friends ask how you learned so much in so little time:
- Make sure to read the entire recipe before making an attempt at it. You want to have a battle plan before going to war in the kitchen. This will ensure your successful completion of the recipe and allow you to get everything you need on hand.
- Don't stress about cooking. Put on some 50s jams and have some fun with it. If you're stressing while cooking, you're not having a good time. We want this to be fun for you, so you are encouraged to cook more!
- Let your vegetables get to be room temperature before cooking them. This will allow them to cook faster and more evenly. You will also be able to blend them better this way.
- Don't randomly substitute ingredients unless you know what you're doing and can afford to make something that does not taste so great. While we do encourage experimenting, do it on your own time. If you are cooking for a holiday dinner, don't deviate from the recipe too much unless you have done it before.
- Make accurate measurements. Too much or too little of an ingredient can ruin a whole meal! The measure, measure, measure!
- Bigger bowls mean less mess. Don't make egg salad in a cereal bowl; it'll get everywhere! Use a bowl that is too big for the job you are doing to avoid making a mess of your counter tops.
- Mixing batters and other prepping situations that can end in a mess should be done in the sink (in a bowl or pot of course). This will make cleaning a breeze and keep brownie batter off of your cabinets!
- Oven mitts and towels will always be there for you… if you let them. Always have these on hand because you can't handle the heat! Make sure they are dry too! Wet mitts will let heat go through to your hands instantly!
To conclude, we would just like to thank everyone who has read this far. Now that you have gained the skills and knowledge you need to be a master in your kitchen, we have confidence that you will use your newly acquired cooking skills to make meals that will make people happy. As major supporters of the culinary lifestyle, we encourage people to cook because cooking spreads happiness. There is no way a person can be upset when eating a good meal so we hope that you will continue cooking for years to come and spread the happiness that is cooking. Being a home cook may not require the immense amount of training and knowledge of a professional chef, but the ending result is the same. Good food creates happiness and encourages social activity. Now that you have learned how to cook from home, it is our hope that you will invite your friends and family for a meal cooked by you. This will be the ultimate test of your cooking skills, and we know that the satisfaction you will feel after cooking a big meal will more than compensate you for the time that you have spent reading this book. We would like to conclude this book with one more lesson. Don't ever stop learning. Whether you are learning even more cooking techniques, how to tend to your home garden, how to fly a plane, or anything else for that matter… Continue learning and you will never stop growing as a chef and a person.
Did you miss our previous Master Chef posts? Catch them below in our Table of Contents:
We love hearing your feedback and comments, so let us know if you have any other tips for beginner cooks or your thoughts on this series. HomemadeRecipes.com was founded to create an online community where foodies, epicureans and chefs can share recipes and learn new ones! We need your help, however, in creating this community where you can come, share and learn. If you love to cook, love food or have some great recipes and ideas you’d like to share with us, shoot us an email and make sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! We’re always looking for contributors and want to hear from you.
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