Food time is a very popular time for just about everyone. It can be even more fun when the person making the food is good at cooking meals. Experts and amateurs alike can use the advice provided in this article.

When you shelve an herb or a spice, make sure it’s dark and cool. Light, heat, and humidity will cause their flavor to weaken. Herbs and ground spices usually retain their flavor up to a year. Spices that come in the whole form will keep their flavor for around 3-5 years. If stored the right way, they keep fresh for a lot longer.

Bake pie and tart crusts for a longer time than you think is really necessary. Your crust should be a deep caramel as opposed to a light goldenrod. The darker color results when the sugar from the crust has started to caramelize and will have a much sweeter and crisper flavor.

You must prep well if you want to cook a large, festive meal. Double-check to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients. Get all of the items you need prepared the day before so there will be no rushing. This will limit the amount of stress you experience when cooking the meal and help to ensure that you are able to cook the masterpiece you want.

Do not keep your herbs or spices in a place that is not cool and dark. Spices will last longer when they are not exposed to warm temperatures and moist air. Keep spices fresh by storing them away from light and humidity. Fresh spices can greatly enhance your meals, making this effort well worth your time.

Apples don’t have to be just for fall or winter cooking. With proper storage they can last for months. To properly store them, you should keep them in a plastic bag and in a cool temperature. But remember that one bad apple really does spoil the bunch; check on them regularly.

It is alright to use it on other foods besides meats. For example, sprinkle it over roasted nuts or seeds, or use a dash when cooking eggs for breakfast. Everyone will be wondering what your secret ingredient is!

Finding the correct amount of time to grill certain meats is a science that not many of us know how to do. Whenever you are grilling it is advisable to have a quality cooking thermometer handy to ensure thoroughly cooked meat. If possible use a digital meat thermometer to obtain a more accurate reading. A good rule of thumb to reduce the total cooking time is to always close the grill lid whenever the thickness of the meat exceeds 1.5 inches.

Always read the labels of the ingredients you buy. Many common ingredients contain items that are considered unhealthy. By reading the labels, you can check to see if the product contains sugars or sodium in high amounts. Sugars and sodium can be detrimental to your health if over consumed.

Always use fresh garlic to get the full flavor in your dish. The general rule is that the fresher garlic is, the sweeter it will taste. If your garlic is not shriveled up or soft and has a nice and firm skin, your garlic is fresh.

You should try and dry your tomatoes on your own. You can do this by cutting ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices, or by cutting Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Set them on a rack cut side up and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place the cooling rack on a cookie sheet and dry in a 190 degree oven for up to 10 hours. Finally, place your dried tomatoes in freezer safe bags and store in the freezer. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with fresh herbs and olive oil. Use them within two weeks of refrigerating.

The feeling of a the first bite of a self prepared meal, especially when it tastes amazing, is unmistakable. Perhaps you are under the impression that it takes a lot of training to be a skilled cook, but that is not the case. This is something just about anybody can do. This article should have given you the tools you need to start cooking.

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