All of us have unique histories and experiences learning how to cook. Environmental nurturing and our individual natural makeup guide our preferences about cooking tips.
This “commonality” is one of the only factors we share on a global level. The rest of the cooking characteristics you think are normal might not be what someone else does.
So, when it comes to giving out meal planning advice, it’s important to be thorough. Check out these five common-sense cooking tips. You could learn something new!
1. Store Your Produce Strategically
The fridge has a produce drawer, but that’s not where all your fruits and veggies should go.
Most of us end up tossing our good intentions (aka nutritious foods) down the garbage disposal when it rots too soon. These tips will help your produce stay fresh.
Pat Dry and Store Sealed
Dry your veggies and herbs with a paper towel when you get home. Supermarkets keep their perishable veggies fresh by using a mister system.
Take each bunch out and separate it, then trim off any roots and tops. Carefully dab them until they’re dry. Then, store them on a liner of paper towels in a sealed plastic bag or container.
Separate the Ripe Items
Fruits and veggies that are ripe are going to become rotten faster. By separating them, you know to use that specific section faster.
If they’re left to sit with the other unripe items, and they rot, they usually mold. This spreads to otherwise perfectly usable foods and turns them into the garbage.
Use this helpful list to decide which veggies and fruits should be stored at room temperature, in the fridge, or both.
3. Store Butter at Room Temperature
Have you ever noticed that most recipes call for “softened” butter? If you didn’t think about setting it out hours in advance, you end up microwaving it to get it soft enough.
The problem with this is that if you’re trying to make something that needs to be creamy, like potatoes, cake, or cookies, the butter can get too soft.
The USDA says butter can be stored at room temperature safely for up to two days, although salted butter lasts longer than unsalted. Leaving it out for longer isn’t dangerous, but it can make the flavor rancid.
If you’re planning on cooking something that calls for soft butter within the next 48 hours, go ahead and take it out now.
4. Keep Honey in the Cupboards
A quick glance in the majority of fridges will find honey hiding out in there. While it’s technically “okay” to keep your sweet bee treat cold, this makes it go bad faster.
Culinary experts suggest storing honey in your pantry or somewhere cool and out of the direct rays of the sun. It must be kept in a tightly sealed container. You may notice that it crystallizes, but that’s normal.
A word of caution: Never store honey in metal containers. Since it’s acidic, it will cause the container or lid to rust. In general, rust isn’t dangerous, but it can produce toxins, which are.
This rule also applies to cannabis-infused honey, although if you plan to use it within a few days, you can store it in the fridge.
5. Use the Right Measuring Cup
Did you know that one liquid cup is not the same as a cup of powdered ingredients?
Yes, there are different measuring cups you’re supposed to use for liquids versus dry ingredients. Both measure similar volumes, so you’re not going to notice a huge discrepancy.
However, a dry measuring cup has a flat rim to help you measure things like flour and sugar. Because it’s flat, to get an accurate amount, you can use a knife to scrape off the excess.
Liquid measuring cups have curved edges to prevent spillage and give you precise measurements.
When you’re trying to create the perfect concoction or replicate a recipe, the measuring cup you’re using can impact the results.
Between our childhoods and our individual tastebuds, the way we cook is going to be a unique experience.
No matter what flavors you prefer on your plate, these common-sense cooking tips will make sure the ingredients stay fresh and you use the right amounts in your recipe.