No one is perfect. Regardless of how talented you are in the kitchen, kitchen mishaps do happen when you least expect it. However, you don’t necessarily have to waste what you’re making because you can often salvage what you’re cooking or baking with a little know-how. Here are 10 solutions for cooking mistakes that you’ll want to know to avoid waste and time starting that recipe again.
Over salting a recipe is a common mistake that I have made on more than one occasion, especially when putting on a pot of homemade soup. What I usually do is peel another potato or two to slice into cubes and add to the soup since it acts like a food sponge to absorb the excess salt. You can thicken it up while curbing too much salt by grating raw potato and stirring it into your soup. Of course, you can always add some extra water. For too salty cream soups, you can pour in some extra milk or some sour cream can help neutralize it. These are just a few of the 10 solutions for cooking mistakes when overdoing the salt for soups.
For other overly salty recipes, equal portions of wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar and sugar can do the trick. Start gradually with just a teaspoon each. Taste and adjust as needed.
Have you ever put on a pot of water to boil pasta only to find it boiling over the next time you looked? If so, here is another of the 10 solutions for cooking mistakes that can save you from this mess happening again. What I do is add about a teaspoon of cooking oil or the same amount of butter into the water before taking it to your stove and heating it. This is a simple save that will prevent it from boiling over.
Scalding milk can be tricky with how easily it tends to scorch. Before I do anything, I always rinse the pan first with cold water before pouring in the milk. This is not what helps the scorching problem, but it makes it easier to clean later. What helps is adding about a teaspoon of sugar or slightly less depending on the amount of milk that you’re using before scalding it.
If you ever made whipped cream or even freezing evaporated milk to beat up for any molded gelatin-cream cheese salads and am wondering why the cream doesn’t beat into a fluffy consistency, then you’ll want to know this useful tip. Chill not only the cream or evaporated milk, but do the same for your electric beaters and bowl that you plan to whip it in. This helps solving that problem as well as throwing in a pinch of salt (about 1/4 of a teaspoon). Furthermore, you can get more height if you also immerse the chilled bowl in a larger bowl with ice water for a few minutes before removing and then beating with your electric mixer.
Another one of my 10 solutions for cooking mistakes revolves around baking. Sometimes, you can bake a layer cake and it may not appear even. This can often make it harder to frost and ruin the appearance, especially when trying to make a beautiful layer cake. What I do to correct such a cake baking mistake is to take a length of waxed unflavored dental floss and slide it through the length of the top while holding it taunt. This easily adjusts the crooked top and straightens the surface like magic.
Have you ever shaped hamburgers that turned out more round than flat? If so, here is yet another of these 10 solutions for cooking mistakes that definitely is worthy of your attention. After you shape your hamburger patties, get your finger and poke a hole in the center of each one. Believe it or not, your hamburger won’t change shape on you and cook more evenly.
Those that shy away from buying fresh corn on the cob because of the hassle peeling that silk off that can often result in some strays still attaching. Here is yet another of my 10 solutions for cooking mistakes that can end this problem. What I do is dampen a paper towel or even a dish towel and brush downward on the cob, which does the trick to grab any lingering strands of that silk still clinging to the cob of corn.
I use a lot of dry beans in my cooking. However, beans in dry form can take forever to soften. What I learned is never to add any salt to the water that you plan to cook your freshly rinsed dry beans in because it slows down cooking them and keeps the beans hard. Only add the salt after the beans have cooked shortens their cooking time.
Pasta that isn’t served immediately can have a sauce that is dries once combined with the cooked pasta. Save about a half a cup or a whole cup of the starchy water that you boiled that pasta in to later moisten your dish is still another of these 10 solutions for cooking mistakes that I use all the time.
Sometimes, you need to brown butter. Yet, it can be difficult if you turn away from the stove for just a few seconds and burn. Preheat your pot or pan first and then add a little oil before incorporating the butter can help prevent this particular cooking mistake. This works every time to stop that ruining of a recipe due to burned butter.
These tips and 10 solutions for cooking mistakes that I shared with you hardly cover all cooking and baking related mishaps, but these 10 are the ones that I rely on all the time. Hopefully, they will help simplify your life as well for a smoother time in the kitchen.
For additional cooking help, you also might want to read my post on some of my favorite kitchen shortcuts.