Almost everyone enjoys having meal time. It’s even better when there’s a skilled chef in the kitchen. You will find tips perfect for anyone from beginners to seasoned cooking veterans.

Your spices and herbs should always be stored in a cool and dark place. The flavor of the spices and herbs will decrease if they are kept in areas with light, humidity, and heat. Usually herbs and ground spices tend to stay fresh for about a year. Spices that are kept whole can keep their flavor for about three, four or five years. Keep spices fresh for the longest time possible by storing them correctly.

For optimal safety, use only sharp knives when preparing food. Dull knives not only make it difficult to cut foods with, but dull knives are considered dangerous to use also. The chance of accidentally cutting yourself while using a dull knife to cut steak is way higher than using a sharp knife to cut the same steak.

Apples are used a great deal to cook in the winter and fall months, however it is important to store them properly to prevent spoiling. Air that is dry and warm tends to make apples rot, and you can slow down this process by loosely placing them in plastic bags that are tied shut. Store them in a cool area, such as a refrigerator, garage or basement. Make sure to check on them regularly, as one rotten apple means the rest are soon to follow.

Before frying raw potatoes, allow them to soak for half an hour in a bowl of cold water; this will result in crispier fries. Doing this increases the strength of the fiber in the potatoes, which means that they don’t break down as quickly during the deep frying phase.

It is always better to choose fresh ingredients for your recipes instead of dried or frozen ones. Use fresh ingredients as much as you can, because they add better flavor to your dish and tend to be a lot cheaper.

If you want the cooking process to be both faster and easier, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Examine recipes and identify which preparations can take place well in advance without risking spoilage. There is a lot you can do the day before to prepare for the next day’s meal. This can turn even the most complex recipes into quick, fun and fast cooking jobs.

Garlic may be a tasty addition to your meals, but the smell that stays on your hands is a bit of a downside. However, rub your hands inside a stainless steel basin when you have finished working with any strong-odor ingredient. This process removes the odors from your hands and keeps you from transferring them to the next piece of food you work with.

Sometimes when someone’s grilling a hamburger, it will get stuck to the grill which makes it difficult to get off the grill. Consider brushing the grill with vegetable oil before cooking to prevent food from sticking to the grill.

Rather than using water or milk in a specific recipe, try a different liquid to add a new flavor. For example, you might try chicken broth or beef broth instead of water in a meat dish. You might even try fruit juice when cooking certain veggies. Substitute sour cream, buttermilk or even yogurt in place of regular milk. Substituting the liquid in a dish can add nutrient content, flavor or both.

Try to make dinner preparations the evening before. Easy ways to prep in advance include cutting up any ingredients that needs chopping, throwing together the ingredients for any sauces or marinades or assembling a casserole before you head to bed for the night. This creates less stress the next day when you are pressed for time; it also keeps your more prepared when you are ready to throw dinner together.

When you make a good meal, the enjoyment you feel when you take your first bite is amazing. While many people believe that years of experience are necessary to become a better cook, this generally is not true. Anyone can accomplish this. Now that you have read this article, you are all set for your first cooking adventure.

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