Cooking is not made easy when youíre still guessing. In fact, guessing at cooking increases the stress because guessing makes you unsure of the results to come. Iím going to give you a little cooking help by offering some tips on how to end your guessing.
One of the reasons that you guess is because itís hard to believe something until you can actually see it. But I want to help you to wrap your head around the idea that you have to believe it first and then youíll see it.
Quantifying your portion sizes, temperature and testing are great ways to allow you to stop guessing. Letís go ahead and look at how that might work.
4 Ways to quantify your cooking and eliminate guessing:
Cooking Tip #1: Temperature
Temperature is important in cooking. Some foods will make you sick if you donít cook them at the right temperature. Other foods will be utterly destroyed if you cook them much above "medium heat".
Use water as an indicator of temperature. Water evaporates at 212 degrees F, so if you are using a saute pan, if you sprinkle a little water in the pan and it evaporates, you know that the pan is at least at the boiling point of water. The quicker the water evaporates, the hotter your pan is. This works on the grill as well.
You can also test a small piece of your food to test for temperature. For example, maybe youíre going to fry some chicken in oil on the stove, but you canít tell if the oil is hot enough or not. Donít ruin a whole breast by putting it into oil thatís not hot enough. Instead, take a small piece of the chicken and drop it in the pan. Youíll know right away whether the oil is hot enough or not to cook your food.
Cooking Tip #2: Test a Small Quantity
Sometimes, you just need to test a small quantity of something before cooking the whole thing. This is especially helpful in roasting. I can tell you that when I had my catering business, sometimes we would have to make hundreds or thousands of crab cakes in one big batch. Well, we would take one crab cake, cook it and test it. This would allow us to make adjustments on the rest of the batch and make a superior product! Cooking or roasting a small piece of something is a great way to see if your plan is going to work without sacrificing all of your ingredients during one of your guessing adventures.
Cooking Tip #3: Portion Size
Get a digital scale and begin to understand your raw portions sizes. Let me tell you a story about how I discovered the importance of this tip.
ē When I used to make spaghetti for myself and my wife, I would cook a whole pound of spaghetti, basically one whole box for the two of us. When we sat down to eat, because so much spaghetti was available, we ate more than we should. After finishing our meal, there was always spaghetti left over, we would put the leftover spaghetti in the refrigerator and a few days later throw it out because we wouldnít eat it.
ē With my digital scale, I started by weighing 8 ounces of dry pasta for the two of us. I cooked the 8 ounces and still had some leftover, so I adjusted it down until I knew EXACTLY how much dry pasta to cook for the two of usÖ5.3 ounces is our perfect amount. Knowing this finally made cooking pasta easy, we donít overeat and we donít have leftovers.
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