Category Archives: Cooking Mistakes

8 Mistakes you should avoid making when cooking chicken

Chicken meat is a cheap source of protein to our bodies. It is also easily available especially when you are keeping poultry in your homestead. Their meat is tender and boneless which explains the need to be carefully observant during its preparation. Chicken meat can be prepared by roasting, frying or grilling. While cooking the meat using any of the methods, you should ensure that you avoid the mistakes like the ones below as to ensure that you have the best quality meat and help maintain your health.

1. Thawing the meat on the counter

You should always abstain from leaving the chicken meat in the counter for too long. Apart from bacteria infecting the meat, there is also a high chance of toxins infections to the meat. Bacteria thrive well in conditions of moisture and food and meat provides the perfect environment for them. The bacteria, therefore, multiply faster in the meat making it unsafe for use.

2. Washing the chicken meat before cooking

Washing the chicken meat before cooking can cause serious health problems. This is because it increases the chances of poisoning from the campylobacter bacteria. Also, splashing water from the tap to the meat spreads the bacteria to the ground surface. When the chicken meat is cleaned with water from the tap, the Campylobacter cells are carried by water to other areas which can lead to massive food poisoning in that area. Campylobacter poisoning symptoms include severe diarrhea, tummy pain, and vomiting. You should also avoid slaughtering the chicken in places with food substances as it will infect the food with the bacteria.

3. Poor hygiene

Poor hygiene when cooking chicken meat can cause various health problems. You should always ensure that you wash your hands before and after cooking chicken meat. This is because the meat contains some bacteria which if it comes in contact with your body causes serious health problems. Also when dividing the meat into slices ensure that they do not come in contact with your body or mouth. Wash your hands thoroughly with a soap after cooking the meat. Also, ensure that you clean and disinfect the surfaces that came into contact with the chicken meat.

4. Ignoring food safety practices

You should always ensure that you follow safety practices while handling chicken meat at home. For example, you must always ensure that you do not put the cooked meat in the plate that was used to hold the raw meat. Doing so means that bacteria present in the raw meat will get transferred to the cooked meat in the plate. Ensure that all the utensils used for handling the raw meat are not used again in handling the cooked meat.

5. Forgetting to tenderize chicken breasts before cooking

Fewer people realize that it’s important to make the chicken meat breasts tender before cooking them in the pan. Pounding the chicken meat is significant for many reasons. This includes reducing the time for cooking the meat and making it easier to cook the meat better. You should also ensure that the breasts are of the same thickness approximately half inches each.

6. Forgetting to dry the meat

Since washing of the chicken meat is not recommended you should try drying the food. Besides drying the meat gives it a lovely brown color. For the best results you should allow the meat to dry outside of any packaging. While drying the meat ensure that you put it in the fridge. After drying remove it from the fridge and dry it using paper towels then proceed to cook the meat.

7. Overcooking or undercooking

You should always ensure that the chicken meat is properly cooked before serving. Also when roasting the meat ensure that heat reaches the inner tissues of the meat. Undercooked meat contains bacteria and other harmful micro-organisms that can cause serious damage to your health. Overcooked meat is also not preferable since overcooking the meat kills the vital nutrients found in the food. Therefore, when cooking you should always ensure that you cook the meat using the right temperature and serve only when it is well-cooked.

8. Impatience
When cooking chicken meat you should be patient in the whole process of cooking. This involves ensuring that the meat is properly cooked. When roasting the meat for example, before turning the meat always ensure that the sides are properly roasted before turning them.

6 Most Common Coffee Brewing Mistakes

For most of us, the thought of a good cup of coffee is what gets us out of bed every morning. After all, who doesn’t love some great coffee? It is such a great way to kick-start your day, and drinking some freshly brewed coffee gives us the much-needed kick of energy. It also enables us to function properly throughout the day, making it a success. But what if it doesn’t taste right? Well, even if you use an automatic coffee maker, a French press or just a single-cup brewer, there are chances that, your coffee won’t taste as good as that form your local coffee shop. But not to worry, for here are the reasons your coffee isn’t tasting as good as it should.

1. You’re Not Using Fresh Beans
Usually, roasted coffee beans are filled with flavor compounds that deteriorate with prolonged exposure to oxygen. It is therefore wise to keep your fresh coffee beans in an airtight, opaque container, away from the sun. Otherwise, it will be oxidized and lose its flavor. Also, if you can’t remember when you bought the beans, it’s high time you bought fresh ones. This is because oxidation is inevitable after some time, and the only way to you get a tasty coffee is if you bought new ones. Precisely, only buy as much as you can consume in about two weeks.

2. You’re Storing Coffee Beans in A Fridge
Most people think that storing coffee beans in a freezer or fridge keeps them fresh, not to mention increasing their shelf life. But on the contrary, this is false, as roasted beans do absorb smells from other foods present and moisture from the fridge. You can, however, store them in an opaque, airtight container at room temperature and still retain their taste. Alternatively, you can consider purchasing ninja coffee bars as they keep them fresh longer.

3. Using Improper Water Temperature
The use of the wrong water temperature is another vital, yet often overlooked, factor when brewing at home. In fact, even the most enthusiastic of the coffee lovers often make this mistake. If your brew with too hot water, therefore, chances are, you will get bitter tasting coffee. Too cold water, on the other hand, will make a weak-tasting cup of coffee. To achieve the optimal extraction, therefore, use water at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. And even though the coffee might not be as tasty as that from your favorite coffee shop, it will be relatively tasty.

4. Using the Wrong Coffee to Water Ratio
More often than not, we end up using the incorrect coffee to water ratio, and this results in less than an ideal drink. It is however recommended that you use two tablespoons of coffee grounds for every six to eight ounces of water. Otherwise, the wrong ratio will result in either a bitter or less tasty drink. You can, however, increase the amount to 3 tablespoons if you prefer a strong brew.

5. The Use of Wrong-sized or Pre-Ground Beans
Pre-ground beans are convenient and easy, but they are also more susceptible to oxidation than freshly ground ones. Again, while grinding them before is a great idea, you should know that every brewing style requires a particular grind. You should, therefore, grind as much as you can consume in 1 to 2 weeks to preserve freshness. Also, make sure to grind your beans according to your brewing technique.

6. Using Dirty Brewing Equipment
For most coffee brewing machines, their hoses and water receptacles can’t be detached, which means you can’t clean them properly. As such, these parts collect mold and bacteria for all the time you use it. Eventually, they accumulate too much-unwanted residue and undesirable tastes to your coffee. Similarly, coffee leaves behind oils in your brewing equipment. It is therefore recommended that you make a habit of thoroughly washing and rinsing your equipment. This way, you will have significantly reduced the chances of the unpleasant smells and taste.

Brewing and enjoying this perfect cup is an indulgence and a source of pride. But just because you lack the fancy equipment and machinery, doesn’t mean you can’t make a great tasting cup. It only means you need to know what not to do, and what to do, then do it right. With these guidelines, however, you should be able to make your coffee to taste. Order your most preferred blend today, and enjoy every sip of your perfect drink.

10 mistakes you may be making while baking

Baking and cooking are two entirely different activities. Cooking is much more laid back while baking requires science. The right measurements have to be made using the correct measuring equipment when baking. The following article will discuss some of the mistakes commonly made while baking.

1. Skipping a Step in the Recipe

Once your pastry has baked, you will be wondering why it was not a success. The simple reason is that you missed or skipped a step in the recipe. This is a common mistake made when people ignore the instructions on the recipe. While reading the recipe, you need to pay attention to the placement of the commas. Those commas are written down for a reason. They can make or break your process of baking.

2. Baking in an Oven That is Not Preheated

Most people tend to realize that they have not preheated the oven once they are done filling their cupcake tins. Instead of preheating the oven, you might be tempted to place your tins in the oven and preheat when they are inside. This will result in a disaster as it will mess up the baking process. Before baking, preheat the oven.

3. Opening the Oven Too Often

Opening the oven regularly will cause your cookies or cakes to get ready slowly. Opening the oven causes cold air to flow into the oven resulting in a decrease of temperature in the oven. This could cause the cake to collapse, under-cook or overcook. Use the light feature on the oven to avoid opening it.

4. Your Oven Could Be Too Hot

The top of your cupcakes should be flat. If they turn out to be dome-shaped, it is an indication that your oven is too hot. You could have followed the recipe right and set your oven to the required temperature. However, sometimes the figures displayed on the oven are not always accurate especially if you have an old oven. Different ovens set at similar temperatures can experience a variation of up to ninety degrees.

5. Not Measuring the Ingredients

You probably are trying to juggle several activities at a time while your cake is congealing in the mixture. Perhaps trying to reach out for eggs, heating up milk and looking through your pantry for baking powder. This is a stressful situation and could lead to numerous mistakes. You could even forget to add sugar in your cake.
Before turning on your mixer, you need to organize yourself. Measure out all ingredients in advance. Crack the eggs, separate the yolk from the egg whites and put them in different containers. This will eliminate the risk of having any shells into your mix. Mix the cake up once you have everything ready.

6. Placing The Cake On the Wrong Rack

Every experienced baker knows that the racks in the oven are not equal. You cannot simply set your cake on any rack and attain successful results. Baking on the wrong rack results in an unevenly cooked and browned cake.
Therefore, you should always place your cake tin in the center of the oven. You can also use two racks that will rotate the cake while it is still baking. This will ensure that all sides brown evenly.

7. Failing to Sift the Flour as Written in the Recipe

If you want your dough to rise correctly, you have to sift the flour. Many people skip this step as they regard It as time-consuming. However, you need to understand that flour can be lumpy at times. Sifting causes it to be airier, fine and mix more easily with other ingredients. Additionally, ingredients such as sugar and cocoa need to be sifted too.

8. Not Resting Your Dough in the Fridge.

Once you have kneaded your dough, you should place it in the fridge for thirty minutes. It allows the dough to solidify which makes it much easier to work with. Working with dough that is at room temperature will prove hard to flatten especially when you are making cookies. Before placing your cookies in the oven, let them rest in the fridge for a few minutes.

9. Leaving Your Pastry in The Oven for Too Long

Your pastries will harden, turn brown or even burn. When baking, clear your schedule to focus on the task at hand fully. Chances are you think that you should remove the pastries once they turn golden brown. Cookies need a few extra minutes in the oven as they will harden when removed. Depending on your recipe, you should know when to take them out. However, if you burn your pastries often, remove them when they turn golden.

10. Cutting in the Cake While It Is Still Hot

By the time your cake is ready, your house smells good. You can barely resist from eating it. However, if you are looking forward to eating a cake that has great texture, let it cool. The cake continues to bake even when it is out of the oven until its completely cool. Cool your cake in an airy place to prevent it from accumulating any moisture.

10 Most Common mistakes people make when cooking pasta

There is nothing more quite satisfying like a delicious plate of fresh pasta. Pasta is one of our favorite dishes whether covered with thick tomato sauce or creamy alfredo. It is easy to prepare pasta, but sometimes you may end up making a mess while cooking your pasta. Below are top 10 mistakes experienced when making pasta.

1. Using a Small Pot
This is the most common mistake done when cooking pasta. When preparing pasta, always go for the larges pot and fill it with 4 to 5 quarts of water. Using a large bowl will ensure you don’t break up the pasta to fit and also your pasta won’t come out sticky. When you use a small pot, the pasta will have less water resulting in a higher amount of starch in the pot. To be safe, always go for larger pots.

2. Blindly Following Directions
At the back of any box of pasta you purchase have directions. While these instructions seem simple, most people neglect to read them and end up cooking pasta the wrong way. However, these directions are not very accurate. Do not cook your pasta for 10 minutes just because the box has indicated so, think of the listed directions as suggestions. Before draining the pot, always taste a noddle or two confirm whether it is ready.

3. Leaving Out The Salt
At the back of your pasta box, it is indicated that you should boil the pasta in salty water. Maybe because of laziness or just because we are trying to eat healthier, but the majority of people tend to skip this step. By omitting the salt, you will be opting for slimy pasta.

4. Adding Too Much Fat
Some fresh pasta with brilliantly shaded vegetables is a healthier dish any person would be pleased to serve. Unfortunately, we regularly soak our pasta with imitation cheese or creamy Alfredo sauce. That fat we add to our pasta won’t just build our waistlines, either. It takes away a portion of your pasta’s normally tasty starchy flavor. Ensure you don’t add any oil to your pot of cooking pasta. The oil will make the noodles become slippery, which implies any sauce you add will not stick to them, bringing about plain, tasteless noodles

5. Forgetting to Stir
Once your water is boiling, start stirring your pasta instead of living it and waiting until its cooked. It is important to mix your pasta, so it does not all sink to the base of the pot. At the point when your noodles are altogether resting at the bottom of the bowl, they can begin sticking together, resulting to sticky pasta. Mixing the pasta regularly will help stop it from holding together

6. Throwing Your Pasta Against The Wall

If you’ve at any point experienced difficulty telling if your pasta was ready, possibly you may have felt enticed to attempt the old trick of throwing it against the wall. As far as anyone knows, whether the pasta sticks to the wall once it’s thrown, it is ready. Well not to be a downer, but rather that is a big cooking mistake. Not only that you are dirtying your walls and wasting your delicious pasta but also teaching your children but cooking habits. The only way to determine if your pasta is ready is by tasting.

7. Tossing The Cooking Water
Once your is ready, drain the cooking water. This water is now full of pasta flavor, and it is starchy, and it might come out in handy. It is always a good idea to keep some of these magical water on hand. This will eliminate the need for super saucy preparations.

8. Rinsing the pasta
Do not make the process of pasta preparation harder. Cooking pasta is one of the simplest ways to prepare a home-cooked, delicious meal, thus never add extra steps. Rinsing your pasta with water after cooking is not necessary. Simple drain it and add the sauce.

9. Making Way Too Much
Deciding on how much pasta to put in your pot can be challenging especially when you are cooking a large amount for example for a crowd. You may be worried of running out thus ending up cooking the entire box. Always prepare the right amount of pasta to avoid throwing it away when it is in excess.

10. leaving Your Pasta Waiting
Your pasta needs to be served as soon as it is cooked. Place your pasta in a warmed bowl once it is drained and toss it with warm sauce.

7 Most Common Mistakes People Make While Making Steak

Indeed, we all love a juicy, and well-cooked steak. Though it’s a common staple in most households, this sumptuous, hearty meal can sometimes fall short. From the fridge to plate, there are a few tricks steak chefs employ. When you have a quality piece of meat, therefore, you would want to make it as delicious as possible. You definitely do not want to screw it up with complex cooking procedures and extravagant spices. However, it’s challenging to make it perfect, but you can try to prepare this excellent cold-weather dish like a pro. Well, not to fear, for here are the common mistakes that prevent your home-made steaks from reaching their full flavor potential.

1. Cooking Your Steak Direct From the Fridge

One common mistake most people do is cooking the steak fresh from the fridge. This often makes its surface char, while the inside becomes a little bit thinner than it should be. It’s therefore advisable that you plan ahead. Take it out of the fridge in advance, and allow it some time to reach the room temperature. Otherwise, you’re risking an undercooked steak, unappealing, with a gray exterior and certainly not delicious.

2. Overcooking it

Unless you’re a pro, it is usually tough to tell whether or not your steak is ready just by looking at it. However, experts recommend that a medium-sized steak be cooked for five to seven minutes. But if you want some more appealing results, you can use a simple meat thermometer. Besides, it’s quick, easy, and always accurate. Cooking your steak to about 165°F will give you some incredible results.

3. Failing to Season Your Steak In Advance

According to experts, most people either do not season their steak enough, or they only season one side. It is, however, recommended that steak be seasoned on both sides, and for about 40 minutes before cooking. Adding a combination of kosher and sea salt with a fresh, ground pepper mix, therefore, can be ideal. If you like, you can even add some extra spices.

4. Using the Wrong Pan

Never cook your steak in a non-stick frying pan. It requires a heavy-duty pan to form a delicious outer crust. Griddle pans, for example, are ideal for the job. This is because they retain plenty of the heat helping your steak form a delicious outer crust as well as preventing the juice and blood from escaping. Nonetheless, be sure to preheat the pan before you begin preparing your meal.

5. Salting Your Steak Before Cooking

Before you begin preparing your steak, you might need to boil it first. On the process, however, some people end up adding salt instead of seasoning it, and which draws out the flavorsome juices. You can, therefore, rub it with some chopped garlic, thyme or even freshly ground black pepper to add flavor.

6. Not Blotting the Raw Steak
You might not know it already, but the wetter the surface of the steak, the more likely it is to steam when placed on the hot pan. As such, you will need a paper towel to blot it before cooking. This also helps get rid of any surplus moisture ensuring that the outside gets crunchy and caramelized.

7. You Didn’t Let the Pan Get Hot Enough
As mentioned earlier, the pan needs to retain plenty of heat besides getting hot. This is because it helps in the formation of the crisp, caramelized crust. Otherwise, it will steam instead of searing. Ensure to therefore cook it until the pan starts to smoke. This way, your steak will be moist, flavorful and not too tough or dry.
Finally, as you may have heard before, you should never serve your steak right away. It absolutely needs some time to rest, and let the juices redistribute. Obviously, you are anxious to enjoy your meal, but allowing it some time to cool can do it so much good. Besides, what’s better than making it the sweetest it can be? Take a break, therefore, and give it some time to sweeten.
Above all, never use a fork to turn your steak as piercing the meat might result in the loss of all those flavorsome juices. Instead, use tongs, but do not leave it on the open flame for long as it will overcook.