The 10 common cooking mistakes you’re making that you need to stop ASAP & they could be why your food isn’t tasting good

WHEATHER you are just starting out at cooking or have been perfecting your kitchen skills for years, there are likely some mistakes you might be making.

Cooking is challenging and there are many things that you might do on a regular basis that you don’t realise you shouldn’t be doing.

So if you need a hand in the kitchen, or want to know the mistakes you’ve been making for years, then listen up.

Here are some common cooking mistakes that you are making that you will want to stop ASAP. 

You don't prep your ingredients ahead of time

When you set out to make a dish, it’s really important that you prep all of your ingredients ahead of time. 

Sure, chopping isn't the most exciting thing ever, but getting everything prepped and ready to go before you turn on the pan is a must. 

This way, when you're in the middle of making a dish, you won't have to stop to measure out ingredients, meaning less stress and fewer mistakes.

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You overcrowd the pan

A crowded pan is a recipe for disaster. 

While it may be tempting to fit as many veggies as possible on one tray, to avoid lots of washing up, this isn’t a great idea.

If you are roasting or pan-frying food, give your ingredients plenty of space. 

That way, they can go perfectly golden brown, rather than steaming instead. 

You undersalt the water

You might have heard of people salting their pasta water and wondering why they do this?

Well, when adding pasta to boiling water, the pasta will absorb part of the water as it cooks. 

If you don't salt the water, the food will remain bland, so it’s important that you do so it seasons from within.

And don’t be shy with it – yes we know that too much salt isn’t great for you, but most of the salt you add will get lost in the water, so you need to be generous.

You only season food at the end of cooking

Seasoning food is key.

And a common mistake that many make is not only under-seasoning, but seasoning at the end of cooking.

To ensure your food will taste great, add salt and pepper throughout the cooking process, and not just at the end.

This way, the food will absorb the seasoning and it will really enhance the taste. 

You don't preheat the pan 

We should all be aware of giving our pan a few minutes to preheat, right?

But let’s be real, many of us haven’t got the time or patience to wait for that.

However, this is a key cooking step and a common mistake. 

A hot pan will help with forced evaporation and let you get the perfect fry to your food. 

You move your food around too much as it’s cooking

Many of us will want to keep a constant eye on our food as it’s cooking and will find ourselves tempted to constantly stir it. 

But have some patience.

It’s important to let your food cook without constantly stiring the ingredients in the pan.

This will allow for a nice golden color to develop, which also adds to the texture and flavour.

You always use olive oil

Olive oil is a cupboard staple and one that many of us often default to when cooking.

But it’s worth noting that you shouldn't use olive oil for everything. 

If you’re deep-frying or searing meat, it’s best to steer clear from olive oil.

Instead, make sure you mix up the oils you are using – vegetable oil is good for high-heat sautéing and sunflower oil is good for cooking fish.


When cooking pasta, you don't keep any of the pasta water

If you’ve never heard of keeping some pasta water aside when cooking, then listen up.

Pasta cooking water is filled with starch — that will help bind the pasta and sauce together and make the sauce silkier, so it’s key that you keep some aside.

It's also already salted, making it more flavorful than basic water. 

So remember not to throw it all away when you are draining your pasta as it makes all the difference. 

You don’t sharpen your knives

A sharp knife is both more efficient and safer to use than a blunt one. 

You might be nervous by a sharp knife, but using a dull knife means you need to apply more strength whenever you use it — which can lead to accidents. 

Ideally, you should sharpen your knives every few months.

This will make it easier for you to cut things and cause less damage to yourself and the food. 

You put hot food directly into the fridge

If you are a fan of leftovers and like to keep them stored in the fridge for the next day, it’s likely that you’ve been making a mistake.

There's danger in placing hot food immediately in the fridge as this can bring the temperature of the fridge up and put other food at risk. 

To avoid that, keep your food out of the fridge to cool and wait for a few hours before putting it in the fridge. 

Alternatively, put your warm-but-not-hot food in air-tight containers and leave room next to them in the fridge, to cool down the food faster. 

Meanwhile, I’m a chef and you’ve been cooking your jacket potato all wrong… the right way gets crispy skin with no effort.

Also, you’ve been poaching your eggs all wrong… here’s how to get the perfect runny egg in just 40 seconds.

As well as this, you’ve been cooking scrambled eggs all wrong… these 5 hacks will give you the perfect fluffy finish.

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