Preparation and Safety are important. Have you ever started a recipe and realized that you are out of an ingredient at the last minute? How about getting halfway through something you are preparing for tonight’s meal only to find it has to chill overnight?
To avoid such problems, follow these steps whenever you cook.
- Please read the entire recipe and make sure you understand it. If any terms in the directions are unfamiliar, look them up. If it’s your first time making the dish, allow plenty of extra time; you may run into steps that take longer than you might think.
- Start by gathering everything needed for that particular recipe. Keeping it all in or close to the same place to find what you need isn’t too tricky. Set out all of your equipment before starting to cook; this will help cut down on last-minute scrambling around looking for things like measuring cups and spoons. Make sure that whatever tools are needed are within easy reach as well.
- Check to see that you have enough of each ingredient before you begin. If something should be chilled, make sure it’s in the refrigerator. Now is the time to do it if a component should be cut up, chopped, drained, toasted, peeled, minced, or sliced.
- Assemble all the equipment you’re going to need. Get out the mixing bowls, spoons, spatulas, baking pans, and measuring utensils. For instance, make sure that your only pie pan is not dirty in the dishwasher full of dishes to wash. This step also saves floury handprints on the cabinet doors.
“If you’re preparing a large meal, keep the shopping list on the refrigerator door.”
Once you’ve collected your ingredients, take them to the kitchen and start. (Have everything prepared and ready to go before you start cooking).
Most recipes are written with measurements for ingredients, although many are also written with amounts of the finished product. When these directions are given, it is often helpful to make a list before starting the recipe; this will help you avoid errors in measuring or omitting items needed for the recipe. Check to make sure you have all of the ingredients listed first before moving on to any other steps.
Always read over the instructions first before making any changes to the original recipe or mixing your versions of them. You should know how long to cook certain items and if you should do anything at particular stages that should be omitted due to allergies or preferences. You will be happy that you didn’t change anything without thinking it through beforehand.
Always remember to be organized and practice safety in the kitchen. * Never operate any kitchen utensils when wet or even a little damp”; always make sure they are clean and dry before use. Always set up your kitchen with safety in mind; avoid using instruments with loose handles or sharp edges on counters where children can reach them.
“The little things mean a lot in cooking!”
Keep in mind that there will be times when you have to walk away from your food while it is still cooking. Don’t let yourself get distracted by anything else while it’s on the stove or in the oven. This is especially true if you deal with anything that could burn or otherwise ruin the dish. Cooking should be done with your full attention, so try to clean up or take care of that problem that came up first before returning to the kitchen.
Once you have cooked something, other vital steps are left to remember. * Never leave any food on the stove or in the oven when off. It’s so easy to forget an oven full of food, and it will spoil quickly. Always leave baking dishes and pans set far back from the edge so that they cannot be reached by a child or counter-surfing dog.
Keep all food away from your face until you are sure that it is completely cool. That is not only for hygiene but to avoid a steam burn. Please keep your hands clean at all times; that will be best for eating and touching utensils.
“If you mess up…move on!”
Safety first, then pleasure. Never leave the kitchen before you are sure that everything is safe.
Exercise your common sense, but have fun in the process!
“It’s…ok… to have some fun when cooking.”
If there is a dish you will be serving to the public, or you need to get ready the night before that has many steps, make sure that you can prepare all of the components and that each one is completed before the next step. This action will save you a lot of stress and time when it is time to put together your masterpiece.
Always keep your kitchen clean and always try to keep the areas where you will be cooking spotless, which will make it easier to do your job and prepare food without getting distracted by a dirty kitchen.
Keep a supply of paper towels to dry your hands when necessary or wipe down pans when cleaning up is finished.
Escape and Regroup
There will be times when it will be impossible or unsafe for someone else to help with food preparation. When this happens, make sure that you can take care of anything without putting yourself in danger. Always have an escape plan for cooking, even if you are alone in the kitchen. This means being prepared with any necessary equipment needed. This also includes having a good idea of what could go wrong so that if something does happen, it can be dealt with quickly and easily.
There are many great places online to get assistance with your cooking quest. There are sites full of original content to learn specific foods and expand your cooking repertoire. Also, some websites have many different recipes from which you can choose.
Just get in there and give it a try! Cooking is a fun and valuable skill.