10 cooking tips everyone should know

Watching an experienced home cook prepare a meal can seem like an artful and well-executed performance: Stirring at just the right moment, removing roasting foods from the oven, and searing hot steaks to perfection without any stress, screams, or mishaps. (Though, mistakes will inevitably happen to even the best.) For those who are inexperienced in the kitchen, cooking can seem a little intimidating because it might feel clumsy or awkward doing new things. But as any cook can tell you, mastering the kitchen just takes practice and being OK with making mistakes – what’s the worst that can happen?
While we can’t provide you with practice or help you avoid all mistakes, we can offer some tips that might make it easier for you. Like never refrigerate your tomatoes. Ever. (Makes them mealy and flavorless.)
For both advanced and novice home cooks alike, these are tricks that can make a big difference in the kitchen.
Juicing Citrus
For vinaigrettes, cocktails, juices, or seasoning foods, don’t juice cold citrus (you won’t get nearly as much juice). Also, try squeezing the juice through your hands to catch the seeds.
Stop Avocados From Browning
Use citrus juice or acid to stop avocados from browning – don’t believe the old avocado pit in the guacamole tale, it doesn’t work.
Finish It in the Oven
If something is burning on the stove or meat is browning too much on the outside, then finish it in the oven for more evenly distributed heat.
Oversalting Food
If you accidentally oversalt the food, add some type of citrus or acid to balance it out.
Storing Herbs
The best way to store herbs is wrapped in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag.
Cracking Eggs
Crack eggs on a flat surface instead of on the rim of a bowl – the bowl actually causes more of the shell to shatter, leaving you with more shards in your food.
When Dealing with Dough
Do not ever overmix your dough. In every how-to baking story we’ve written (from how to make the perfect cookie to making better pancakes), overmixing dough is always high on the “don’t” list. Make sure you stop when the ingredients are just combined – any more and the final product will be ruined.