Many people aspire to be culinary geniuses, but the thought of what that actually takes can be nothing less than daunting. If you are a beginner cook, you too can become a wonderful chef by following the techniques taught in this article.

Try to keep your spices and herbs in a dark, cool area of your kitchen. Humidity, light and heat can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. A lot of the time, you can expect an herb or a space to retain flavor for about a year. Whole spices have a longer shelf-life and can hold their flavor for about three years. As long as they are stored properly, they will hold onto their flavor for several years.

Prepare to cook before you actually start cooking. Having your preparation done ahead of time is very important. 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 spare yourself a great deal of hassle by doing prep work in advance.

It is possible to lower the fat and calorie content of mashed potatoes without impacting the taste or texture by replacing some of the potato content with cauliflower. Their bland flavor blends effortlessly with the potatoes while taking flavor from the other ingredients. Cauliflower has the same texture and color as mashed potatoes, so the dish will be transformed into one that has more vegetables and fewer calories.

Like many types of delicious ingredients, there’s a downside to using garlic: its scent can transfer to your hands. A trick for getting rid of the garlic odor on your hands is to rub them on a metal kitchen sink. This will clean your hands, while preventing any odors from being transferred to the next food item you touch.

Do you have trouble determining how long you should grill a piece of meat? Use a meat thermometer to tell when it is cooked properly. For extremely thick cuts of meat you should cook it with the lid closed to reduce the amount of time it needs to cook.

Lowering your oil amounts when cooking can help you have a healthier diet and lose weight. The majority of butters and oils have high levels of unneeded fat. If you want to prepare your food in essentially the same fashion, substitute a non-fat cooking spray for the oil. These sprays are non-stick, and many have the flavors of your favorite oils infused.

If you’re using wooden skewers to cook, try soaking them in water for half an hour first. This step will stop the skewer from burning while it is being used. Instead of cooking food on a single skewer, opt for two parallel skewers. This prevents the ingredients from sliding off into the fire.

Sauteing vegetables in chicken broth is very healthy. Broth will flavor the vegetables, and less oil will be needed to saute them. This method of cooking vegetables will be tasty and rich in nutrients.

If your recipe calls for a liquid, try using something other than water or milk. This will add a spark to that tired old dish. Broth is a great substitute for water, and milk adds delicious flavor and extra nutrition to soups and stews. Buttermilk, yogurt and sour cream can be great substitutes for milk. Mixing up the base of your sauces and soups is a great way to liven up old recipes.

Knowing how to cook will always come in handy when you want to prepare a meal that impresses. Sitting with family and friends to share good food is an activity that is enjoyed the world over. If you use the above tips, you will become an awesome cook and everyone will ask you to cook for the next big family event.

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