You need a few basic fundamentals to be a better cook. This article will help you find the fine points of cooking. Read them in their entirety to ensure you learn exactly what it takes to get cooking like a pro!

Use a tried and tested recipe when entertaining. When you have guests over for a meal, always prepare something tasty that you have made before. This is not the time to test a new recipe as it could turn out to be a disaster! Also, remember to find out if your guests have any dietary requirements or allergies, or if they simply don’t like a certain kind of food. This will ensure that your evening is a success.

When cooking a big meal, try to do your prep work the night before. This saves you time when you’re getting things ready for your dinner the next day. Have everything washed, chopped, and ready to go. You’ll thank yourself because there is less stress the night of the big meal.

If you are making a sandwich and adding mayonnaise, make sure that you spread the mayo from corner to corner to give you the ultimate coverage and a delicious taste in every bite. Each and every bite that you take should be outstanding, as spreading mayo will achieve this goal when you eat sandwiches.

When cooking your next large pot of spaghetti, add a drop of oil to the boiling water. This will keep the pasta from sticking together and improve the taste. Your boiling time will remain the same and there is no extra work added by using this method.

Basil is one of the best things that you can add to a dish and looks great as a decoration to any type of meal. Simply add a few pieces of basil to give your meal spice and improve the overall aesthetic beauty to the dish you put on the table.

If you are looking to reduce the sodium content of the meals you cook, take a careful look at your spice shelf. Many prepared spices are surprisingly high in sodium, whether or not they have a salty taste. And of course, avoid adding regular salt. Look to natural herbs and simpler spices to add flavor without sodium.

One fun part of learning to cook is showing off your new-found skills. If you are cooking for someone special, though, leave the experimentation for another day. Do not try new recipes or new ingredients (or, worse, both at the same time) when you are cooking a meal for someone you really want to impress.

When making a sandwich, spread the mayo from one corner of the bread to the other. People usually just quickly spread the mayo on so that one side of the bread has more than the other. By spreading it from one corner to the other, all parts of the bread will contain an equal amount of mayo.

Always have a lot of napkins handy when you are cooking in the kitchen. You never know when a spill will occur, so always prepare for the worst. Purchase thick napkins that can hold a lot of liquid if you want to get the most absorption when cleaning up a mess.

Tofu and beans are great sources of protein that can easily be added to your diet. Most grocery stores sell both items. Tofu is great meat alternative when baked, broiled, or pan-fried with seasonings. To add some tasty protein to your plate, boil some beans with a touch of herbs for seasoning.

When you are going to make vegetable soup, add your onions, tomatoes, carrots, peppers and other vegetables to oil or butter before you add them to water. By doing this, you will find that the soup has a richer taste to it and the sugars are more normalized this way.

To maximize the shelf life of dried spices store them in a cool, dry place. This will preserve the flavor of the spices, resulting in more flavorful dishes. Do not store them in the cupboard directly above the stove, the heat makes the spices dry out and lose flavor.

Use a few tablespoons of sugar in the boiling water when cooking orange and yellow vegetables. Foods like squash and corn have a natural sweetness to them that is brought out when cooked in sugared water. This is a great way to get some healthy veggies into a kids diet as well as yours.

A great cooking tip is to spray your pan with oil before you cook with it. Spraying the pan with oil will make it so that the food doesn’t stick to the pan. Trying to clean a pan with food stuck on it can be very frustrating and time consuming.

It is important to test the heat of oil before using it to pan fry your food. Pouring the oil into the pan and then sprinkling it with water should give you a series of cracks or sparkles. If it does not, then the pan isn’t currently up to frying or heating capacity and dumping the food in it will act closer to an oil sponge than a frying pan.

To minimize freezer burn when freezing foods, place them in a zip-top freezer bag and close it most of the way, and then insert a drinking straw through the small opening. Squeeze out as much air as possible, and suck the rest out through the straw, pinching the bag the rest of the way closed when the air is gone. Less air exposure in the bag means fresher, freezer-burn-free foods when you are ready to defrost them.

To reduce prep time as well as wear and tear on your blender, freeze your smoothie fruit instead of using ice. Not only does using ice water down the flavor of your smoothie, but if you freeze your fruit first the step is entirely unnecessary. As an added bonus, frozen fruit blends much easier than ice.

A lot of cooking skill comes down to practice, but tricks and secrets play their roles, too. As with any other skill, it will come naturally for some people, while others will need more practice and advice. By following the advice listed in this article, you will be on the right path to cooking success.

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