There is no end to the ways that cooking skills can be enhanced, developed and perfected. Even seasoned cooks can benefit from learning new tips that will make them enjoy cooking more. Those new to cooking can really benefit from learning the short cuts that simplify the process of cooking. You will make mistakes and that’s the best way to learn.

Find a dark, cool area in which to store herbs and spices. Humidity and heat, in addition to light, will cause spices and herbs to lose their flavor. Ground herbs and spices can retain full flavor for about a year. Whole spices, on the other hand, can retain their freshness for 36-60 months. If you store them the right way, they will be fresher.

You want to make certain you have the prep work done ahead of time. This is why it’s called prep work, because this is what you want to have done before you begin cooking. If you are cooking a complex dish, take some of the stress out of it by having your needed ingredients lined up and ready. You can help lessen the potential stress by getting all your prep work done early.

A good cooking tip when you use oil is to put it on the sides of the pan so it gets real hot by the time it hits the food. This will help to maximize the flavor of your food when you are done.

Try this quick trick to salvage your efforts. In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of water and 3 teaspoons of corn starch. Continually stir the sauce while adding corn starch slowly. Make sure you combine them gradually and consistently so as to prevent the sauce from thickening too much.

Try partially frozen meat to make thin meat slicing easier. This technique for thin cut meat is ideal for specific types of recipes, especially Asian cuisine. When meat is slightly frozen, it becomes simpler to slice because the fibers won’t stretch and tear that easy. However, always thaw your food before cooking it.

Cooking processes that take quite a bit of time, like boiling, may allow nutrients to leach from the vegetables. For the most nutritious veggies, cook them quickly by steaming or sauteing, or just eat them raw.

To reduce the calories and fat of mashed potatoes, and to avoid sacrificing taste or texture, replace some potatoes with the same amount of cauliflower. The taste of cauliflower will blend nicely with the potatoes. It also mimics the texture and color of the potatoes almost perfectly letting you up your vegetable intake, and drop the calories, all the while giving the same delicious potato experience we all know and love.

It is always better to choose fresh ingredients for your recipes instead of dried or frozen ones. Fresh ingredients will give your dish extra flavor, and can turn out to be less expensive over time.

Mushrooms absorb large amounts of water, and this excess water will go into whatever you are cooking with. A better option is to use a clean, damp cloth to hand-wipe each mushroom.

If you cooked with a sauce, save the leftover sauce in an ice cube tray that you can freeze. This way, when you want to make an easy meal another night, all you have to do is reheat it in a saute pan. Sauce cubes made this way are safe and will taste great!

If you want to eat healthier and lose weight, it’s really important to use fewer oils in your cooking. These products contain a lot of unnecessary fat. A nonstick spray for cooking provides many of the same results as oil; however, it does not add extra calories.

You can avoid some of the stress of being rushed while preparing dinner if you make some preparations the previous night. Try chopping all your onions and veggies, making up a sauce or putting the meat in a marinade before going to bed at night. This will make you much more prepared, less stressed out, and ready to begin cooking the following day.

Even cooks with years of experience continue to learn ways to improve their cooking and technique. New cooks should prepare for failure and be confident in their successes. Try applying the tips from this article and come up with your own tips and secrets as you experiment.

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