(BoredPanda) How much do you know about cooking? Can you poach the perfect egg? Could you craft a beautifully puffed soufflé? Or are you subsisting on more of a “cereal and frozen foods” diet?
Regardless of whether you came into this world holding a whisk or if you manage to burn your eggs every morning, unless you’re actually a professional, we could all stand to elevate our cooking skills. That’s why we’ve gone through some of the best tips chefs have shared on two Reddit threads of things amateurs keep doing wrong in the kitchen and the easiest ways to avoid common mistakes, so we can all impress our friends and family at our next dinner party.
So tie on your aprons, preheat your ovens and take a bite out of this list of recommendations from the experts. Be sure to upvote your favorite culinary pointers, and then if you’re inspired to learn even more about cooking, check out Bored Panda’s last publication on the same topic right here.
Everyone has a different relationship with cooking. Some view it as an artistic hobby or a way to connect with their heritage, while others see it as the bane of their existence. Learning how to cook can be a life-long journey for those who are passionate, but if you’re looking to just pick up the basics, you can start small and practice with the tips from this list. Even if being in the kitchen scares you and your fridge currently only holds takeout boxes, you have to admit that you enjoy eating delicious meals. So why not figure out how to make them yourself?
There are plenty of reasons to learn cooking basics, one of them being that safety is actually a concern in the kitchen. Boiling water, hot oil and sharp tools can lead to a host of injuries, so it’s important to understand exactly what you’re doing. It may seem like a no brainer, but learning how to properly use your knives (and knowing the purpose of each knife) can help you avoid turning a lovely dinner into a trip to the emergency room. It’s actually safer to have freshly sharpened knives too, as you’re more likely to cut yourself with a dull blade.
There are various tips on this list about how to safely slice and dice your foods without losing a finger, but certain foods pose more risks than others. You’re likely to be cautious when dicing an onion, but don’t throw caution to the wind when you’re making guacamole either. According to OSF HealthCare, avocado-related incidents send nearly 9,000 people to the hospital every year. This is because many of us hold the avocado in our palms when plunging the knife in to get the seed out.
I must admit, I’m guilty of this method of avocado cutting, and I did it almost every morning for years while in the throes of an avocado toast addiction… But Dr. Ramsey Ellis told OSF HealthCare that it’s much safer to set the avocado on a flat surface, like a cutting board, when going to remove the pit. She also notes that, “There are a variety of special tools on the market that are between three and five dollars that allow you to safely cut and then stab the pit of an avocado and remove it, and that can prevent a lot of injury.” Purchasing a specialty tool for this purpose may seem unnecessary, but it would definitely be less expensive (and traumatic) than a trip to the emergency room.