The desire to be a great chef is inherent in many of us, but the process you must go through to become a great chef can be entirely overwhelming. The great thing about cooking is that you can take it one step at a time, and by following the tips in this article, you will be cooking with the best of them in no time.

Spices should be stored in an area with little light and low temperatures, like a pantry. Storing them out exposes them to light, excessive heat and humidity, which can reduce their shelf life. Keeping your spices in darkened, cool areas will lend extra longevity and flavor. Meals prepared with fresher spices are simply more delicious.

Many people find slicing meat into thin strips very difficult; however, if you partially freeze the meat, the task is much simpler. This works well when cooking many oriental meals. With meat that is somewhat frozen, the fibers tend not to stretch or tear as much when they are sliced, making for much cleaner cuts. However, always thaw your food before cooking it.

Make sure you are using sharp knives to prepare your food. Dull knives can be dangerous and they also make cutting things hard. This is because if you are trying to cut using a dull knife you have to exert more force to make the same cut that you could easily make using a sharp knife.

Apples are a popular choice for eating in autumn or winter, but they will spoil if not properly stored. You can keep apples fresh by storing them in a cool basement or refrigerator as warm or dry air makes them rot. But remember that one bad apple really does spoil the bunch; check on them regularly.

Is fresh basil something you cook with often? Place fresh basil into a glass. Put enough water into the glass to cover the stems but not the leaves. Place it on your kitchen counter to keep it fresh for weeks! In fact, if you periodically freshen the water, the herb may even sprout roots. Encourage new growth by occasionally pinching back or trimming your basil.

You can use it on other foods besides meat. Try using it to season roasted potatoes or chickpeas. You can cultivate a reputation as a mysterious wizard of flavor just by using a judicious dash of such seasonings.

When making your own chicken stock, prepare more than you need up front. Make a giant pot and store what you don’t use in your freezer. Homemade chicken stock makes a great base for casseroles, soups, stews, and many other wonderful dishes. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags.

Soy products and beans are a wonderful place to get protein if you need to add some to your diet. It is possible to buy both at most supermarkets. Try frying tofu and adding seasoning to replace meat. Beans boiled with herbs is a flavorful source of protein.

Sauteing vegetables in a little chicken broth is a healthful way to cook them. The chicken broth will add a dimension of flavor, and let you cut down on how much oil you use. This makes for a delicious way to prepare veggies.

Try to read all the labels of the ingredients that you buy. This will help you avoid unhealthy ingredients. Look out for excessive levels of sodium or sugar, since over-consumption of either leads to health problems.

The ability to cook will always come in handy, whether you want to feed your family or romance a prospective beau. Sharing meals is a common tradition among cultures across the globe. Using what you’ve learned through this article will allow you to become a better cook!

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