Have you ever tried making a new recipe, bought all of the ingredients, prepped everything, cooked everything, and in the end, it was bland and just not very good? Whether you’re a novice cook or a senior chef, we’ve all had that experience at one time or another. Apparently, even though seasonings are strong, they aren’t the factor that decides if your food is good. There are a lot of other things that come into play. These are our favorite tips that will help to make your family’s next meal much better.
Whether you cook inside or outside, you’re going to want to season up your cooking gear if it’s an option. Pans like cast iron, woks, even grill grates and some Dutch ovens, all need to be seasoned before use. This is because it activates integral aspects of the pans and it impacts your food to a huge extent. And if you do not have a pan that needs seasoning, ensure that you’re using the right methods to clean and use the pans.
For example, there are a lot of ‘as seen on TV’ pans which claim they are made from everything, diamonds, Teflon, copper—nearly all of them claim to be nonstick and show amazing feats of cooking during their infomercials. However, every single one of these pans has a max heat point, meaning that once you’ve surpassed that temperature, your eggs are suddenly sticking. Make sure that when you use these pans, you are cooking quickly with them and still using oil. And never use Teflon pans if you have a bird in the house, as the fumes can be poisonous.
Regardless of whatever pan you are cooking with you’ll need to know the correct way to clean it. This is important because cleaning the pan incorrectly will result in poor tasting food in the future. If you’re using a non-stick pan, don’t ever touch that pan with soap. The subs from soap pull up the particles which make it nonstick, and the result is a sticky pan which you could have bought for less money. Instead, wash them with warm water and a soft bristled brush once you are done cooking. And if you are using pans which were seasoned, you also don’t want those to be touched with soap as the soap pulls up the season which you want to stay inside of the metal. Most of the time, the best course of action is to use oil and salt to scrub away the left-over foods without cutting away those seasonings. Unless you are using a wok. In that case, use a soft scrub brush and boiling water to scour the inside (and outside!).
We all go to the grocery store and pick out what we think is the best produce. The produce which is less bruised or riper, or meat which is less bloody or better marbled. But none of that really matters if the product isn’t in season, or fresh. You can have avocados which aren’t bruised or ugly, but when you cut into them, they are brown because they’ve been refrigerated and kept ‘pretty’ while their inside rots. To help make your family meals taste better, use fresh ingredients. Meat from your local butcher, herbs from your garden, and fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season—are the best choices when it comes to choosing the best products for your recipe.
Have you ever noticed that a significant amount of cooking requires water? Either in the form of cleaning your gear or cleaning your vegetables and meat, even steaming your foods—water is an important staple in how you cook and how the cooking turns out. If you have the ability, install a water filtration system to significantly change how your food tastes. Ever wonder why packaged foods taste better than some home cooked meals? Most of the difference is in the filtration of the water they use to make the food. Your home water could be filled with minerals that sour your foods instead of cleaning them, but the only real way to tell and see the difference is by getting a filter. The Brita under sink water filter is the best option for this because of its advanced filtering aspects. After you’ve seen the difference in your cooking, you’ll be sure to notice the difference in your washing and cleaning on a day to day basis.