woman cutting vegetables

19 Mistakes You Absolutely Have to Avoid While Cooking

For some, cooking is a way to escape, to relax. For others, it's a way to show their skills and get themselves or others a good meal. In both cases, you might just do some mistakes which could ruin the experience. Here they are, accompanied by some ways to fix these mistakes.

1. Salting after cooking

Do you think salting before cooking would drag the juices out of the meat and make it lose its tenderness? Think again ! Science has shown that salt does not enter more than three millimeters into the meat, which is not enough to make it disgorge. While salting before cooking, it certainly brings a small amount of juice to its surface, but this liquid, which has become salty, is then reabsorbed by the meat and allows it to better retain juices during cooking. As a result, you get a tasty meat, but also juicier! The best is to salt when you take out the meat to temper it, about 30 minutes before cooking.

2. Turning meat only once

It is customary for meat to be turned only once to be cooked properly on a grill. And yet, it’s better to turn it several times for the cooking to be uniform! To get a nice grill pattern, we recommend you to turn your meat three times:

how to turn meat on grill

At each step, the meat should grill the same number of minutes. Your piece will be cooked evenly, accompanied by a mark worthy of the best steakhouses! Be careful to use a pliers or spatula to handle your meat rather than a fork, so as not to let out the juice and reduce its tenderness.

3. Cooking mixed skewers

It’s tempting to become creative and cook some colourful skewers, skewers including meat, but also vegetables or fruits. However, this mix is harmful to cooking and therefore to your meat’s taste, because each ingredient requires a different cooking time, especially if you dare to put different meats on the same stick.

4. Pricking sausages

Do not prick your sausages! By doing so, you allow the juice release and you lose flavours. To prevent your sausages from cracking, just cook them over indirect heat, slowly (between 12 and 20 minutes depending on size).





5. Oiling your meat before grilling

No need to oil your meat before cooking it on the barbecue grill. A quality meat naturally contains fat that melts during cooking and offers tenderness and flavour. To prevent your meat from sticking to the grill, bet on a good cleaning! If you have a stainless-steel grill, preheat it before cooking and clean the grill when it’s hot by rubbing it with a metal brush. You will remove all the remains of carbonized foods that would harm the good taste and make your meat adhere.

For cast iron grates or enamelled steel grates, scour them cold. After this cleaning, you can coat your grill with a little oil with a brush or a paper towel.

seasoned raw chicken breast

6. Using only one cutting board

It would be a mistake to use only one cutting board. You should own a minimum of two boards. One for meat, which contains bacteria when raw, and another for vegetables and other ingredients. This way, you avoid cross-contamination.

7. Cutting meat before vegetables

Speaking of cross-contamination, it’s also a mistake to cut your meat before doing the same with your vegetables, especially if you use the same knife for both tasks. You should use two different knives or cut the meat after the vegetables.

8. Not reading the recipe first

This is very important to read the recipe before you prepare it, ideally a few days before, otherwise you may be caught off guard when you learn that you need to reserve a recipe’s portion for 24 hours. Similarly, you may lack ingredients or even culinary tools in order to achieve the recipe.

9. Not protecting knives’ blades

To make sure your knives last for a long time, be sure to protect them and protect the blade. At a low price, get some blade cases or use these famous wooden blocks for knives.

different spices in spoons

10. Not preparing your quantities

In order to save some time and unpleasant surprises, prepare your quantities before starting the recipe. Get, at your fingertips, the right amount for each vegetable, for each spice and condiment, etc.

11. Cooking at high

Do you think that cooking your recipe at high will go faster? Wrong! It's just going to burn it. Work your patience and cook at medium intensity. You can however preheat your pan by turning it to 10, without anything inside.

12. Cooking your meat cold

On the opposite, you shouldn’t also cook a meat when it’s cold. It should ideally be at room temperature. This way, you get more uniform cooking. Take out your cold meat (already thawed) from the fridge on the counter at least 15-20 minutes before cooking.

13. Forgetting to thaw your meat

As a follow-up to the previous point, some people even forget to defrost their meat and think that cooking it frozen will not change anything. Actually, when you cook a frozen meat, the outside will cook and grasp quickly, but the interior will remain completely cold. Then, the time that the internal meat is cooked, the outside is completely burnt. And you will not like it! 

Don’t forget to thaw your meat and follow our tips.

Blog post: How to thaw a meat

stainless steel oven

14. Not preheating oven, barbecue or pan

Your food will probably not have the same (desired) texture if you start cooking it at the wrong temperature. So, you must preheat your oven before putting your dish or plate, as well as for a pan. Tip: if you put your steak in your pan and it doesn’t sizzle, it means your stove wasn’t ready.




15. Always putting a lid over the pot

Some recipes require we put a lid over the pot, or saucepan, but not all of them! Sometimes you have to let the water evaporate to avoid the unnecessary steam that could harm the recipe’s result.

16. Not tasting while cooking

It’s important to taste your recipe while you’re doing it. This way, you avoid unpleasant surprises at mealtime.

17. Not using a meat thermometer

Sometimes, the meat you cook looks beautiful and good for the eye, but it can be a lot different when you taste it. Using a meat thermometer allows you to be more precise and get perfect cooking.

medium rare steak

18. Cutting meat immediately after cooking

It would be wrong to believe that meat should be cut immediately after cooking. Give it some time in order to standardize the heat and gain some more tenderness as well. Coat with aluminum foil to keep warm.

19. Cutting meat in any way

Now that you can cut the meat, don’t do it the wrong way. There is indeed a sense to cut the meat. You must cut it perpendicular to the fibers. Thus, you tear away the remaining fibers and muscle tissue and give it extra tenderness.

Maillard, online butcher shop

You shouldn’t have any problem with your recipes now. So, don’t wait and start cooking as you should.

And order your meat here: en.maillard.co

Maillard is an online butcher shop offering high quality meats, delivered right to your doorstep.




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