So you think you are a terrible cook or nothing you bake turns out quite right? More likely, you are making a common cooking mistake!
Most of us fall into this trap now and again. Here are some common cooking mistakes people make!
1. You Don’t Read the Recipe the Whole Way Through
You’ve read the ingredients list. You’ve got everything ready to go to make just in time for lunch, but you don’t realise that the fruit need soaking overnight! Not reading the recipe the entire way through is the number one top cooking mistake people make. Before you attempt any recipe, always read it through first — for the extra few minutes it can take, it will be worth it!
2. You Don’t Have the Right Tools
This is the biggest mistake I make — I never have the right tools. Why? Because my kids steal them and use them for their own devices. The sifter becomes the fish catcher for our pond; the measuring cup becomes the sand pail; and I don’t even want to know where the bloody rolling pin is but I am assuming it is caked with dried play dough underneath some piece of furniture.
However, these items are crucial to getting the recipe right, especially sifting the flour. Although some people have a knack at knowing how much water, flour, sugar and salt to add to the bowl, others do not, and if you fall into the latter category, then invest in some extra measuring cups, spoons, sifters and mixers to help.
3. You Don’t Have the Right Ingredients
There are some things you can leave out and others you really can’t. If you have forgotten a recipe or realise that you are almost out of the item you need in the pantry, then you check out our Ingredient Substitution post which can help when you are stuck. However, things like self-raising flour, baking soda and baking powder are pretty important to the recipe, and thus, if you have missed these ingredients, it can put the whole thing out of whack.
4. You Don’t Pre-Heat the Oven
When the recipes calls for 180 degrees, it means that the oven is at this temperature when you put the item in. Putting in a tray of biscuits for ten minutes when the oven is still cool means it is going to take a lot longer to bake and could result in undercooked and doughy snacks.
5. You Don’t Know the Lingo
Take some time to watch videos on the different ways to bake and cook. Check out our Definitions of Cooking Terms to get a better idea on the difference between kneading and folding, basting and sautéing and beating and binding. When the recipe tells you to ‘knead’ the dough, this is a lot different than simply smacking it on the chopping board (which is how I do it and why my scones never turn out right).
Common cooking mistakes are often the reason why your meals are not turning out quite right. And although we can’t all cook like the experts, avoiding these mistakes can certainly improve your chances! After all…
Jenna Gallina is SAHM’s advertising writer and most likely, the worst cook on the SAHM team. But she tries. And she certainly knows how to screw up a dish to perfection.