Whether you’re a world-famous chef or just a student looking to survive day-to-day life, there is always room for improvement when it comes to cooking.
And in this modern era, there is an obvious place to go to for advice on cooking, that won’t cost you a fortune – the internet.
Users of the Reddit website often give tips on how to spruce up even the simplest meals, here’s a look at ten of their best suggestions.
The majority of users felt very strongly about this, and understandably so. People often forget that it’s great fun to experiment with your food and the best way to do this is to experiment with your spices. One tip is to throw out table salt and use sea salt and to also try spices before you use them. Another tip is to never shake your spices directly into the dish, even with salt, but instead to tip some into your hand first and pinch or crumble into the dish. This allows for moderation and you can taste it in between pinches to get the right level.
Yoghurt in Mac 'n' Cheese
When making Mac ‘n’ Cheese, add in some yoghurt in to replace the milk. Not only will it add a creamier texture, but it will also mix up the flavour and give the sauce a bit more depth.
Use the right oil
When cooking, it is important to use the right oils but this is something people typically forget. If you’re cooking high-temperature food such as stir-fries, chefs suggest that ‘neutral’ oils, such as peanut oil, are better than olive oil as they will maintain a higher temperate so flavours won’t change too much.
Worcestershire sauce can be added to pretty much any sauce to improve flavour. The kick of the sauce enhances the other flavours and adds a little more ‘oomph’ to your sauce. This also works really well in baked beans to mix things up a little bit.
Cut vegetables evenly
By cutting your vegetables and other items into even pieces, there is more chance they will cook through at the same time. This means that everything will taste the same and cooking times will be quicker.
Let food rest
It’s advised to cook food as you normally would but then, you should turn the heat off before it is fully cooked, allowing the dying heat to cook the food through. This stops the food drying out.
Use stock instead of water
One chef claims that when cooking savoury dishes such as rice or beans, the taste is massively changed by using chicken stock instead of water. Of course, if you are vegetarian or vegan, veggie stock works just as well, but the basis is that this variation will add some great taste to your savoury dishes.
Add an egg to cake mixes
When using boxed cake mixes, adding an egg will help the final result. It will add to the texture, taste and make the cakes moist. Cake mixes are great if you’re cooking with children and getting them used to the basics before going on to all-out recipes.
This sounds simple but it is important through the entire process. Whether it is after cooking or before, know your flavours. Taste your ingredients and learn what works well, and what tastes like what. Then, when you’re cooking, you will start to notice how the flavours change and compliment each other, allowing you to improve your meals.
Recipes are not the be-all and end-all
If you are a big baker, it’s a little bit more important to stick to the recipes. In cakes, too much flour or too much milk can massively change the texture of the cake. However, when it comes to cooking, recipes are a suggestion, not an equation. To cook well, it’s important to learn what works for you; a recipe may suggest way more salt or chilli than you like, so tweak it to something more suited to your taste and remember that version. Recipes make a good base, but rules are there to be broken!