We have all made mistakes in the kitchen. It takes finesse to cook a delicious meal. For something that looks simple to do, it is really a complex process. No one is talking about five-star cuisine here, that is a confusing path for even the best of chefs.
The basics are what we are talking about. The basics of cooking can be difficult if you don’t know what you are doing. There are basic mistakes that we all make when trying to cook the perfect meal.
Meat is one of the most misunderstood food groups when it comes to cooking. More mistakes seem to be made of cooking meat than anything else.
We have come up with the top five most common mistakes cooks make while cooking meat. See if you have made any of these:
1. Cooking Cold Meat
Taking the meat from the refrigerator and putting it directly in the pan on the stove or oven is a mistake. This will cook the meat unevenly. Cooing cold meat can increase the cooking time by as much as 50%. This can create quite a problem if you are on a timetable to get the meal done in a certain length of time.
How to Avoid: Allow the meat to stand and get to room temperature before cooking. Allow the meat to sit on the counter for at least 15 minutes before cooking it. This will allow all parts of the meat to get to the same temperature and it will cook evenly and beautifully.
2. Using Cold Pans
A lot of mistakes are made when the meat is put in the pan too soon. Make sure that your pan is hot before you add the meat. When meat is added to a cold pan, it can stick to the pan’s surface as it cooks. By barely heating the pan before the meat is added, you ensure disaster.
How to Avoid: Heat the pan and add a small amount of oil to the pan as it is heating. When the oil gets hot add the meat. Make sure the oil does not get so hot that it is smoking. If you are cooking meat such as chicken, place the meat in the skillet with the skin side down on the pan.
3. Over-Turning the Meat
By turning the meat in the pan too soon, you run the risk of burning the meat and having it stick to the pan. Meat needs its time in the pan to cook properly and each type of meat is different. Let your meat form a delicious crust on it that everyone enjoys.
How to Avoid: Do not overturn your meats. Allow it to cook to reach a deep sear. If you are breading your meat allow it to get a golden-brown crust. To see if the meat is ready to turn, lift a corner of a piece. If it comes up easily then it is ready to turn. Meat will let off its stick and come up easily when it is ready to flip.
4. Turning Heat Too Low
It is easy to get intimidated when cooking meat especially if it is a type or cut that you have not cooked before. A common mistake is to set the heat on the stove too low. We do this because we are afraid of burning the meat or drying it out.
But don’t be intimidated. Be fearless in the kitchen! Turn that heat up to get a great sear on the meat. Don’t turn it up too much or you will burn it.
How to Avoid: A nice medium heat will be perfect for most cuts unless the recipe calls for a different temperature.
5. Over Sautéing
Many of us will worry the meat. We will move it around in the pan and agitate the cooking process. We do this on the assumption that it might burn so we need to keep it moving to get an evenly cooked meat.
How to Avoid: Leave the meat alone in the pan and allow it to cook without you moving it around to help. It should be flipped or turned but avoid continuous movement. Do not stir it.
Allow it to cook on its own only turning it or stirring the sauté a few times during the cooking process to flip it to the undercooked side.
Cooking meat can be tricky. Use these tips next time you are in the kitchen to prepare a tasty meal. These tips will help you deliver a meal to be proud of and perfectly cooked meat each and every time.