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Things You've Been Doing Wrong In The Kitchen Your Entire Life: Common Cooking Mistakes

Updated February 25, 2019 3.7k votes 851 voters 62.2k views22 items

List RulesVote up the cooking mistakes you aren't going to make anymore.

Cooking involves a lot of trial and error, and one of the means many people use to learn is through watching others cook. But because of this, it's easy to see how to prepare foods in the wrong manner. Similar to how many of us eat food the wrong way, common cooking mistakes happen because everyone else uses, and endorses, the same problematic methods.

To avoid wasting your food and to maximize your ingredients' potential, check out many of these helpful kitchen hacks you likely never knew. You may be surprised to learn how to make mashed potatoes properly, or that your pasta water could help you create a delicious sauce to go along with your linguine. For those concerned with wasting food, this list also delves into the incorrect ways some foods are stored.

Once you realize all the things you've been cooking wrong, your culinary experience might improve for the better. 

  • Roasting Potatoes Just Once In The Oven
    Photo: Marian Weyo /

    Making oven-roasted potatoes, a staple in the world of cooking, typically only involves dicing the potatoes, covering them in oil, and roasting them in one sitting. Yet this technique often fails to achieve the perfect consistency of fluffy inside and crispy outside.

    To rectify this, boil the potatoes first in salt water for about five minutes, then add them to the oven to roast. The boiling makes their insides a little looser, allowing heat from the oven to more easily penetrate them. The result: perfect potatoes with a crunchy exterior and smooth interior.

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    • Scrambling Eggs At Too High Of A Heat
      Photo: Stepanek Photography /

      A mainstay of the morning, scrambled eggs present a quick and easy breakfast option. Many folks rush to start their day or alleviate their hunger, though, which motivates them to scramble their eggs on high heat. But according to chefs, the best egg scramble happens when you cook them at a low heat. Before they even finish cooking, you want to take them off the stove top and keep scrambling them - they will continue to cook in the heated pan long after they're removed from the burner.

      For someone looking to eat extra fluffy eggs, Gordon Ramsay's recipe calls for the eggs to be cracked directly into a cooking pot, where you mix them over low heat with a spatula. Alternate between cooking them on and off the stovetop until properly fluffed. 

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      • Cooking Bacon On The Stove
        Photo: circlePS /

        Bacon sizzling on a frying pan is a timeless breakfast image, but it's also not the most efficient method. By placing bacon in the oven, you see way more positives than you would from frying. For one thing, the oven allows you to make much more at once. Furthermore, it lessens the need to flip the bacon and reduces the chance of grease stains or messes from oil.

        To cook the bacon this way, preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you place the bacon in a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cooking time takes between 10 and 20 minutes.

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          Refrigerating Foods That Don't Like Cold

          Refrigerating Foods That Don't Like Cold
          Photo: AlenKadr /

          The convenience of the refrigerator ensures that one can keep a plethora of groceries at home without the need to go through them immediately. Plenty of foods that you typically keep in your refrigerator, however, are fine to leave outside of it. In fact, many will taste better when left out of the fridge.

          Tomatoes, hot sauces, garlic, and even butter thrive outside of a refrigerator, so long as you preserve them properly (away from excessive heat or moisture). 

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