If you get the hang of things, cooking can be a ton of fun. The advice in this article will teach you how to be an exceptional cook. The knowledge you gain will also make you a more confident cook. The fun will truly start once you have these items under your belt.

A good tip when using cooking oil is to put some on the sides of the pan while cooking. This way, it will already be hot when it gets near the food. Using this method can help you to boost the flavor of foods.

A cool area is the best place for you to keep your spices for maximum freshness and taste. Their flavors are weakened significantly by things like heat, light and humidity. Usually herbs and ground spices tend to stay fresh for about a year. Whole spices are hardier, and will retain their robust flavoring for several years. When stored properly, spice stay fresh for longer periods of time.

Is fresh basil something you cook with often? Place a fresh bunch of basil in a jar or glass. Add water to cover the stems. To keep the basil fresh for several weeks, set it down on the kitchen counter. Remember to refresh the water from time to time, and you will notice that the basil starts to grow roots. Periodically prune the fresh basil; this will stimulate the plant to continue growing for a week or so.

When preparing stir-fry meals, cut the meat on the bias and keep it thin. This can take a lot of time and be hard. Take the cut of meat out when it is a bit firm but has not become frozen and begin to slice it across the grain diagonally.

It is possible to do a lot of preparation beforehand in order to speed up the cooking process and make it easier. Look at your recipe and decide which steps you can do in advance without worry of food spoilage. You can make a lot of your preparations a day or more in advance. Prepping before you cook can make even advanced recipes fun and accessible.

Thin Strips

Much like a sponge, the mushrooms will absorb the water. So, in order to clean them, wipe off each mushroom with a clean, wet cloth.

Partially frozen meat is easier to cut into thin strips. Thin strips of meat are ideal for meals that are originally ethnically Asian. When you partially freeze meat, its fibers don’t tear as easily so slicing is cleaner. A word of caution, allow meat to completely thaw prior to cooking. This will ensure even cooking of your meat.

Though you may not realize it, garlic tends to seep into the pores of your skin during meal preparation. Try rubbing your hands against stainless steel to get the odor of garlic and other foods off your hands. This removes the scent from your hands; it also prevents the odor from being transferred to other foods.

If you are cooking a meal for someone you want to impress, stick with something you are already familiar with. You should never attempt to cook new or extravagant recipes you have not already tried when you are cooking for someone that you want to impress. Avert a stressful experience and enjoy the occasion.

If you are going to be making chicken stock, it is best to go big or not at all. Make enough stock so that you can freeze the excess and use it later. You can use the stock as a base for all kinds of soups or even casseroles. Put the stock into freezer bags and put it in your freezer.

Have you ever wanted to cook a meal using fresh basil? In a glass put a lot of fresh basil inside. Make sure the basil’s stems are covered in water. Keep on the kitchen counter so it’ll be fresh for weeks! The basil may even start growing roots if you change out the water regularly. Cut it on occasion and your plant will continue to provide you with fresh basil for a long time to come.

Saute vegetables with chicken broth to cook them in a healthy way. The vegetables will take on the broth flavor, and reduce the oil that is used when sauteing. Do this and you will find that your vegetables are delicious and easy to prepare.

Much like a sponge, the mushrooms will absorb the water. Wipe the mushrooms off by hand with a cloth that is damp.

This will ensure that the fruit stays fresh for an entire year. This process also gives you easy access to seasonal fruits at times when they would not normally be available.

Several times your burgers will stick to the grill, and it is hard or impossible to remove them without destroying their shape. To prevent this, brush the grill with a bit of vegetable oil to keep your foods from sticking.

Do not use wine for cooking that you have not tasted. Using a wine that you are not familiar with in your food can cause you not to like the flavor that’s produced. There are cooking wines available.

Always store baking supplies such as baking mixes, flour, and sugar in airtight containers. Storing food in containers that are impermeable to air helps the food last longer, and keeps insects out. These containers can be bought at almost any store and are totally worth it!

Many popular veggies and herbs have a strong residual odor that can remain on cutting boards well after use. This can save you from eating garlic strawberries.

If you want a healthier diet, use less oil when you cook. These oils are often loaded with unhealthy fats. A nonstick spray for cooking provides many of the same results as oil; however, it does not add extra calories.

If you have bought fruit that is not ripe, put it in a plastic bag with holes.
As some fruits become more ripe, they can produce ethylene gas. Putting them in a perforated bag will allow circulation of the air and keep the gas retained, thus allowing the fruit to keep it’s delicious taste.

Try to add some broths or other ingredients to recipes that call for liquid in place of what it asks for. If the recipe calls for water, switch it up by using a broth, juice, or cooking liquids. As an alternative to milk, try using thinned sour cream, yogurt, soy milk or buttermilk. Try making your recipes stand out and more nutritious by interchanging your liquids.

To avoid mistakes like burning your food while you are cooking, it is of the utmost importance to stay organized. When your station is organized, you will be more productive. When you are disorganized, misplacing items or making food inedible becomes much more likely.

After eating turkey, such as for Thanksgiving, never throw away leftovers. It is smarter to divide up the meat and seal it in airtight containers that you freeze. Freezing can add weeks to the life of your leftovers and turkey can be pulled out as desired, and thawed for sandwiches or shredded for salads.

Follow the instructions carefully whenever you cook macaroni and cheese. This way, your macaroni will turn out perfectly every time and will taste great with the cheese melted over the top. A solid spoon should be used when serving the macaroni masterpiece. Sprinkle some pepper on top for added spice, and enjoy!

Every cook knows how important it is to organize their cooking supplies. If your supplies aren’t organized, you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to remember where everything is. Save time searching by keeping similar items stored together. For instance, place parsley and basil in one cabinet, since both are spices.

To get some extra bang from your pasta sauce, reserve some of the water you cooked the pasta in. Save about one-fourth of a cup of water after draining the pasta. When you are ready to mix your sauce and pasta together, incorporate some of this water. The combination of water and the starch from the pasta will give your sauce body and creaminess.

Your cutting board retains the odors of certain herbs and vegetables despite repeated scrubbings. This can save you from eating garlic strawberries.

When making salsa to be eaten later, rinse the onions after you dice them, and use a paper towel to blot them dry. Fresh onions contain sulfurous gas. The gas can add a strange taste to your salsa. Thoroughly rinsing the onions after you cut them will get rid of the gas.

Ethylene Gas

If you plan on cooking food using the barbecue, the grill should be readied prior to the event so it is good to go when you are. Plan to start preparing the grilling surface about half an hour before you place food on it. Cover the coals with ashes, and allow them to reach a medium heat. This is the optimal temperature for grilling.

If you buy unripened fruits, keep them in a plastic bag fitted with holes. Ethylene gas is produced as a by-product of the ripening process. Placing fruit in a perforated bag allows air circulation in the bag, retaining ethylene gas and keeping the fruit tasting good.

A good cooking method to consider is brine. You can soak meat in a brine before cooking to get great flavors out of poultry.

As you’ve read here, cooking is an art that can be learned, or improved. You just need to take the time to learn about cooking. Using these tips can help you gain some real knowledge to get around the kitchen easily. When you go into with the right attitude, cooking can be quite fun.

If you have various leftovers in your fridge, make some fried rice and add small pieces of vegetables and meat to it. Cold rice that was prepared the day before works especially well, but if none is available, just prepare fresh rice with half the water you would normally use so that the final product is drier. Saute the vegetables and meats in some oil, then place the rice in the pan and add soy sauce and other spices to taste.

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