7 Cooking Problems and Solutions

Blossom Lady
Nov 26, 2022 02:17 PM
7 Cooking Problems and Solutions

We know that mistakes happen - especially when it comes to cooking. But learning from those mistakes is what counts. That's why we've compiled the 7 most common cooking mistakes and what you can do to either avoid or fix them.

1. PROBLEM: You put too much salt in your dish.

SOLUTION: Try diluting the dish with an unsalted liquid such as low-sodium broth or stock (or even water). You can also try adding an acid (such as lemon juice or vinegar) to mellow the flavor, but that will only mask the salt, not remove it. Contrary to what you've heard, adding potato chunks to "soak up the salt" isn't a real solution.

2. PROBLEM: You've cut your chicken open and it's still raw in the middle.

SOLUTION: Well, you need to keep cooking it! But how you cook it can make the difference between it getting dry or soggy. The sad news is that as soon as you cut into the chicken, a lot of the juices come out. So to avoid further moisture loss, place the chicken cut-side down back in the pan to sear the exposed interior, and continue cooking it until it's done. Next time, check the temperature with a thermometer for an instant reading. It should read 165°F at the thickest part.

3. PROBLEM: Your fresh greens are wilted and sad.

SOLUTION: Fill a large bowl with ice water and soak your wilted greens in it for about 30 minutes to an hour. Remove the leaves, dry them in a salad spinner (or with paper towels) and they should be nice and perky again. To prevent your greens from wilting in the future, store them with a paper towel to soak up some of the excess moisture.

4. PROBLEM: Your noodles are sticking together.

SOLUTION: Make sure your water is boiling hot. If it's not boiling, your noodles are more likely to stick together. (Also, in the first few minutes of cooking, your pasta is more likely to stick together, so stir it well as you add it) If your pasta sticks together after cooking (in a colander, for example), gently break it up and toss it in a thin layer of olive oil.

5. PROBLEM: Your ground meat won't brown.

SOLUTION: Dry the ground beef with a paper towel before placing it in a hot, lightly oiled pan - and don't touch it afterward! The most important thing is to give the ground beef time to brown before you chop it, so be patient and leave it alone! Once you see the edges start to brown and get a little crispier, you can break up the meat.

6. PROBLEM: The meat juices will run all over your cutting board.

SOLUTION: After cooking, let your proteins rest for five to seven minutes before slicing. (This is especially true for steaks, chicken breasts, and pork.) If you slice it right away, it'll lose a lot of moisture and dry out a bit. (This is the pool of juice you sometimes see on cutting boards after you cut them) Be patient, give them time to rest, and your steak should turn out nice and juicy.

7. PROBLEM: Your hard-boiled eggs have a strange gray-green ring around the yolk.

SOLUTION: Just cook them for a shorter time. The greenish ring may be unsightly, but the eggs are still perfectly fine and edible. To avoid this in the future, cook your eggs in a single layer in a pot (don't stack them), then cover them with cold water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and let the eggs sit in the water for 15 minutes. Drain them immediately and put them in ice water to stop the cooking process.

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