Common cooking mistakes you need to stop making

You've laid out the ingredients for a recipe you've been eager to try, you start reading through the steps and realise you've had to marinate the meat for at least two hours, or similar.

Not reading the recipe properly

A hot pan sears meat properly, caramelising and browning it, which improves both the appearance and enhances the flavour complexity.

Not getting the pan hot enough before cooking steak

This is equally true of wok-cooking too, but much of the point of frying is to add colour and cook food evenly and thoroughly.

Overfilling a frying pan

There’s a reason most recipes are triple-tested before they’re published: they often don’t work if you're loose with the quantities.

Guessing baking quantities

A standard slow cooker instruction manual will divide recipes into high and low, but even the fastest of recipes on high will still take at least two hours and if the dish includes meat, you're looking at four hours or so.

Underestimating how slow a slow cooker cooks

It’s a little-known rule that boiling water isn’t great for tea or coffee. It burns the grounds or leaves and increases bitterness in the cup.

Using boiling water for coffee and tea

Whether it’s adding salt to boiling water for pasta or pepper to a rich stove-top stew, sometimes we forget the importance of seasoning.

Under-seasoning during cooking

When we finally bust out the barbecue as the sun comes out, we often get a little over-excited and throw the meat on the grill while the coals are still kicking up massive flames.

Barbecuing when the flames are still kicking up

It also makes it much less likely that caterpillars and any other insects will accidentally end up in your salad.

Forgetting to wash vegetables and salads