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The art of cooking is a very handy skill to have. If there’s one thing everyone likes to do, it’s eat. That goes double when the dish is home-cooked. Unfortunately, not everyone is born with the inherent ability to create elaborate meals. This article is packed with tips and tricks to make you a better cook.

TIP! Keep all dried spices in a dark space that stays room temperature. Their flavors are weakened by heat, light and humidity.

When cooking with skewers, be aware of some important facts. Not all metal skewers are created equal; traditional round metal skewers are not the best option to keep food in place when grilling. Choosing skewers with a different shape can be the secret to keeping your food from the bottom of your grill.

You can salvage the work you’ve done and quickly rectify the situation with this little trick. Combine 1 tablespoon corn starch with 2 tablespoons water, and stir together in a separate bowl. Slowly add this mixture to your simmering sauce to thicken it up. The mixture needs to be added slowly so that it does not make the sauce too thick.

TIP! You want to make certain you have the prep work done ahead of time. Be prepared in advance to make your cooking go smoothly.

If you are cooking for someone you want to impress, cook something you already know how to make. Don’t experiment with recipes or ingredients that you’ve never used before. Preparing a meal that you are comfortable with can really help to reduce your stress level.

Crispier fries come from potatoes that have been left to soak in ice cold water for about 30 minutes. Letting sliced potatoes soak up additional cold fluids reinforces the fibers in the vegetable, so that when you deep fry them, they can better withstand the heat without breaking down completely.

TIP! A great starting point when looking to expand your cooking repertoire is your local library or bookstore. Look for cookbooks which contain basic and simple recipes for you to practice and have fun preparing.

The overall quality of vegetables is affected by the length of cooking time. Vegetables which are cooked slowly can lose their taste and valuable nutrients. You have an added bonus, because these certain techniques make vegetables healthier in general. If you learn to cook vegetables for the right amount of time, it will help to keep them tasty and preserve nutrients.

It is always better to choose fresh ingredients for your recipes instead of dried or frozen ones. Use fresh foods any time you can, as they bring out the best flavor of the dish, and can be real money-savers too.

TIP! You need to prepare to cook a meal before you can actually cook it. Take an inventory to be sure that everything that you will need is available.

Garlic is among the multitude of tasty ingredients that offers flavor with a drawback: garlic can transfer to your hands and fingers. Rub your hands thoroughly on the interior of a stainless steel sink after working with garlic or other odoriferous cooking ingredients. Not only does this clean your hands, but it also stops the unwanted smells from getting into other foods you are about to handle.

It is sometimes difficult to determine when your foods are thoroughly cooked on a grill. It is recommended that you use a reliable meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking inside the meat; a digital thermometer would give you very accurate readings. Try grilling with the lid on if your pieces of meat are particularly thick to lower the cooking time.

TIP! When adding oil to a pan or skillet that already contains food, drizzle the oil down the side of the pan. The oil will heat as it flows toward the center.

Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. Try brushing the grill using vegetable oil prior to cooking so you can avoid sticking.

Airtight Containers

TIP! Eat a piece of meat when experimenting with seasoning before cooking all of it. Certain foods require very careful seasonings, especially dishes like meatballs, meatloaf and burgers.

Always select airtight containers for sugar, flour and other baking mixes. Using airtight containers helps food stay fresh for longer periods of time because it keeps them from air and other contaminants. You can find decorative airtight canisters for staples, like flour and sugar.

As you can see, cooking can be easy. With the right techniques, creating delicious dishes for family and friends can suddenly become a breeze! Now that you have been introduced to these great tips and tricks, you just need to make the time to go and give them a try!

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