15 Common Food Mistakes You Can Easily AVOID Making

Breaking long-standing habits can be challenging, particularly when it pertains to preparing, cooking, and enjoying food. However, certain practices warrant the extra effort to ensure correctness. Whether it’s crafting creamy mashed potatoes or properly holding a slice of pizza, these are the cooking errors that many of us commit daily, along with recommendations on how to rectify them.

15 Common Food Mistakes
15 Common Food Mistakes / © Shutterstock

Ginger Peeling Technique

Using a knife to peel ginger results in substantial wastage due to the uneven surface of the root.

A more effective method is to scrape off the skin using a teaspoon – a surprisingly simple approach that minimizes waste.

The Right Way to Hold Italian Pizza

Italian pizza aficionados emphasize that the proper approach to consuming Neapolitan-style pizza involves folding it into a wallet-like shape (as shown).

Holding it by the crust results in the cheese and tomato sliding off.

Correct Pronunciation of Espresso

Feeling perplexed when ordering your morning espresso fix? Sometimes, the trickiest part is articulating your request.

The key is pronouncing “espresso” as ess-press-oh, not ex-press-oh – an important reminder from any Italian.

Problems with Long-Stored Canned Soup

Numerous individuals stockpile canned soup in their pantries for cold nights and times of illness. Nevertheless, those containers of tomato, mushroom, or chicken soup don’t remain fresh indefinitely.

While they can last up to five years, their quality begins to decline after two.

Appropriate Cheese Wrapping

Most types of cheese, especially high-quality ones, require breathing space, making plastic wrap unsuitable.

Instead, opt for cheese paper, wax paper, or parchment paper for wrapping. Store it in the lower fridge compartment and away from pungent foods, as cheese can absorb odors.

Cooking Chilled Steak

A commonly made error is cooking steak directly from the refrigerator, which raises the risk of undercooked meat with a gray exterior.

To avoid this, take the steak out of the fridge roughly an hour before cooking to allow it to reach room temperature.

Incorrect Peanut Butter Storage

Do you often find yourself needing to mix peanut oil into the peanuts each time you open a jar?

A solution is to store the jar upside-down, which leads to even oil distribution.

Knife Selection Matters

One of the major mistakes made by home cooks is using the wrong knife for the task. For instance, a serrated knife is suitable for slicing bread, as well as delicate produce like tomatoes and strawberries, and for tackling larger, tougher items such as celeriac.

Paring knives are ideal for intricate tasks like peeling, seed removal, and deveining shrimp.

Mayonnaise Shelf Life

Mayonnaise has a shorter shelf life compared to condiments like ketchup or barbecue sauce. It’s not suitable for long-term storage like non-dairy products.

Following USDA recommendations, it’s best to dispose of it after two months, and homemade mayo has an even shorter shelf life – around one week.

Repurposing Leftover Dips

Don’t discard leftover guacamole or hummus from last night’s meal.

Freeze these dips in ice cube trays or sealed bags for future use, ensuring you defrost them an hour before needing them.

Smart Refrigerator Storage

While many people store milk and wine on the refrigerator door shelves, this area experiences the most temperature fluctuations and spoilage occurs quickest there.

Reserve this space for condiments, pasteurized juices, and water, and dedicate the main fridge compartment to items that require consistent cooling.

Efficient Kiwi Peeling

Removing the fuzzy skin from a kiwi often leads to significant flesh wastage. A more efficient method involves slicing the fruit into rounds and then removing the skin, which easily comes off.

Preventing Syrupy Spoon Mess

When adding honey or syrup to a dish, a significant portion tends to remain stuck on the spoon.

To counter this, dip the spoon in hot water before scooping out the syrup – it will slide off more effortlessly.

Appropriate Tomato Storage

Storing tomatoes in the refrigerator can compromise their texture and flavor due to cold temperatures.

Opt for countertop storage to maintain their taste and quality.

Wooden Chopping Board Care

Regardless of how soiled or stained a wooden chopping board is, avoid submerging it in water or placing it in the dishwasher – a common cleaning blunder.

As wood is porous, it absorbs liquids, potentially causing warping, cracking, or even rotting. Opt for a sponge wash and ensure thorough drying before storage.

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