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Monday, February 20, 2012

Confidence in the kitchen

Many of those who do not cook very often have to overcome the fear of cooking stovetop. Afraid to start a fire, under cook something and get sick, or even to getting burned.
Many of these fears came be overcome and prevented by understanding three key components of cooking; understanding what you are cooking and how to properly cook it, how to control fire or temperature, and finally understanding your equipment and having the proper items needed.
Lets start with knowing what and how to cook the food you are making. Many people watch a show on the food channel or look up a recipe and just dive in thinking they will just follow what they just skimmed over, just to realize they are missing an ingredient or a spice or forgot to chop or prep ahead an item needed. They find themselves trying to handle too many things and end up encountering their worst fears. Take time to read the recipes, make sure you have every ingredient you need and the proper equipment to prepare it. Prep your food by having everything chopped and in easy to access containers. Know what your food tastes like when its properly cooked. When it is time to cook you will be prepared with the knowledge and items needed to create a great meal.
The biggest mistake people make is they over or undercook food due to a lack of understanding heat. Most people turn the heat all the way up, put a cold pan on the burner and throw their oil and food right in the pan. The pan comes to a smoking hot mess and you frantically turn down the heat and burn the outside of food leaving the inside raw...sound familiar??? All could have been prevented by taking a little extra time and pre-heating the pan to the temp you want to cook at, so you can make small adjustments rather than frantic big ones.
Lastly understanding your equipment. Does your burner run a little hot on this a little cool in the back?, or do I need oil in this pan or use a non stick pan?Does my oven run accurate to the temp I set it to or should I get a thermometer to put in there? Is this pan big enough for everything I am gonna put in it? Should I use a chef knife on this bread or a serrated one? Having and using the right equipment and know how it works will open up new skills you thought you never had.
Following these simple guidelines with make tackling your next recipe or cooking adventure a little less fearful. It will make cooking a lot more easy and fun. Find your confidence and you will find a happy, no stress kitchen. NOW GET COOKIN'!!!

1 comment:

  1. I hate to say it, but I know I am the inspiration for this post, with my recent attempt to cook a couple chicken breasts stovetop. I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to cooking meat stovetop. Thank you, Dave, for letting me try, and then for coming to the rescue when I got too frazzled and needed to be bailed out. Love you!