Methods By Sarah Hanson Cooking is a hobby for few while for others it is just a daily task they have to complete. However, both the class of people needs to know the basics of cooking. There are various kinds of chefs around the world who have devised few tips which every cook must know about cooking. Most of us have dreamt of being like a professional cook. The reason behind that is the way they handle everything in their kitchen smoothly.Cooking is an art and the cook must know how to perfectly mix the food and the spices to cook delicious recipes. They must learn the basic ingredients which could be added to make the food taste good. Cooks must also have an oil guide for healthy cooking since healthy food is the need of today’s generation.Photo Credit: http://theculinarycook.com/cooking-basics-aspiring-chef/There are various cooking styles and tips which allows the cooks to cook any kind of food they want. These basic steps must be known to every cook since they are helpful in most of the phases of cooking.Given below are some basics of cooking which makes you work easier and better:Basic cooking stylesTo start with, a cook must know the basic cooking techniques since these techniques are required in most of the dishes being cooked. These are popular techniques which are practiced by cooks all over the world.Few basic cooking techniques are as follows:BakingBaking is mostly used to make the bakery products which include cakes, pastries, biscuits and many more. An oven or a kiln is the basic requirement of baking since in this technique the foods are exposed to dry and high heat. The mixture which is prepared for baking or the solid foods which include fruits and vegetable are kept inside the oven for a given time at a high temperature. This releases lots of carbon dioxide from the food which bakes the food.This technique originated form countries like Greece and Egypt, earlier in these countries baking was done in brick kilns.BoilingFoods which are cooked and still have their natural flavors are the ones which are boiled. A liquid which can be water or anything else is used to boil these foods, at times pressure cooking the foods also retain their original taste. Steam is used to cook these foods. Rice, vegetable or chicken are cooked with this method easily.RoastingRoasting is also dry heating the food substance. The only difference between roasting and baking is that in roasting the food is kept on a pan and is directly subjected to heat. A popular method of roasting is spit roasting. In this the food is attached in sticks and then those sticks are kept at a distance from the fire. Since the fire directly comes in contact with the food, it gets cooked in high temperature. Barbecue is also a popular method which is based on roasting only.FryingIn frying the foods are completely immersed into a container full of hot oil. There are various types of frying which include deep frying, stir frying and shallow frying. All these techniques have their own importance in cooking various recipes. For example, Chinese food can be prepared using stir – frying technique.Photo Credit: https://kitchenonfire.com/classes-2-2/12-weeks-basic-cooking-series/BraisingBraising cooks the food gently at low temperatures by keeping them in a covered pot. First of all, spices, herbs and sauces are added to the food which has to be cooked. Then the food goes through simmering. Later while the food is on the pot more spices and sauces can be added for getting it cooked easily. The taste of the food so prepared is delicious. Indian curries are made by this method.GrillingVarious types of grills are used to grill the food. The foods to be grilled are kept over the grills and are provided heat. When the food gets cooked, the oils of the food trickle into the fire. Before grilling the food add spices and salt to the food.Popular Food Chopping StylesChopping food is also an important part of cooking. There are various styles of food chopping which can be adopted in order to make the cooking process easier.Julienne MethodIn this method, the vegetable are chopped into thin, fine slices. The slices are long and look like match sticks. Hard vegetable like beet root and carrots can be chopped by this method.DicingCutting vegetable in the shape of small square cubes is known as dicing. Cheese cubes can be chopped by this method.Roll CuttingFor straight and slanted vegetable chops this process can be adopted. In this the knife is held in a diagonal fashion or straight for chopping the vegetable. French beans and cucumber can easily be cut through this method.Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aFoL2elvK8CrushingVegetables like ginger and spices can be cleaned by crushing them. The tip of knife or the surface of the knife presses the spices so that a smooth paste is obtained.Fine MincingFor fine mincing a two-handled knife is used. Pressure must be applied on the surface of the vegetable by keeping it between the two handles so that they get cut easily. Vegetable like spinach and onion can easily be cut with the help of this knife.Essential kitchen tipsHandling a kitchen is not so easy. There are few tips which if followed can make your kitchen work easy and quick.The tips include:Ginger can be peeled by a teaspoonThe skin of fresh ginger can easily be peeled off easily with the help of a teaspoon. If the skin of the ginger wrinkles it cannot be easily peeled off.How to extract more juice from a lemon?For more juice from your lemon, cut them into two halves. After cutting the lemon, stick it to the oven for around 30 seconds. You can bring out maximum juice from your lemons through this process.Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj1fhYZJjekImmersion blender has lots of benefitsImmersion blender has lots of benefits in comparison to any other tool. It can puree soups when it is inside the pot, make hollandaise and mayonnaise, or also keeps off the ugly lumps in your cheese sauce. It is also easy to clean an immersion blender. It can also work with small amount of ingredients.Strainers are helpful for citrus foodEvery kitchen must have a strainer so that the juice of the lemon can directly be squeezed after cutting it into two halves. The seeds of the lemon can be picked out afterwards.Strainers can also be used for eggsThe strainer can also make perfect poach eggs. First of all crack the eggs inside the strainer. Then swirl the egg to remove the white fluid. You’ll be left with an egg-shaped egg which is a perfect poach. The same procedure can be used to make fried eggs.Plan everything properly and work cleanIn the beginning, most of the cooks are inefficient to manage everything properly. For example, if you have to peel off an onion and after dicing them you need to collect them into a large bowl, this also requires planning. Doing these steps for each onion separately is definitely going to take more time. Therefore, first of all peel all the onions, then cut them and then transfer them to a bowl. If you can apply this procedure to all your kitchen work, you can work efficiently in your kitchen. Even the work you do is neat, clean and organized.Always keep a garbage bowl in your kitchenEvery cook must have a garbage bowl near their work station. Even bench scraper is an essential tool required in kitchen. You need not walk here and there to throw your waste. Bench scraper can also move large quantities of complex ingredients from one place to another.Free liquids in specific portionsIce cube trays can be pulled every time whenever you want to add ice cubes to sauces and stews. In case you want to freeze large volumes of liquid you must choose ice cube trays. After freezing the liquid you can easily transfer them to a freezer bag. Required ice cubes can be taken out whenever you need.Freeze the ingredients flatYou must freeze every ingredient flat. The meats, stews and soups if made flatter they become wide. Due to the large surface area they can freeze and defrost easily. The quality of the food is also improved by spreading them flat and stacking them. As we all know, the longer a food item takes to freeze, more will be the chances of formation of bacteria and harmful germs. So flatten the ingredients with your hands in any shape and then freeze them. For freezing green vegetable, first of all cut all of them into pieces. After that place all the pieces on a large tray and then transfer these pieces to a plastic freezer. Store them flat so that they freeze easily.Defrost meat on aluminum trays for optimum resultsKeeping a meat under a running tap defrosts it but there are other methods also to do this job. Place your meat on an aluminum tray and since aluminum conducts heat very easily, it draws the heat from the environments and defrosts the frozen meat. It is much faster than defrosting it under a tap. Soups, stews or anything else can also be defrosted this way.Photo Credit: http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/01/food-lab-follow-the-rules-for-the-best-all-american-beef-stew.htmlSlice avocados in their skinAvocadoes are a popular fruit which has healthy fats. For slicing avocadoes in their skin, first of all split them into two halves. Remove the pit with the tip of the knife and then start slicing it directly in the skin. After slicing them, scoop it out with the help of a spoon. The slices are beautifully cut in this way without any mess.Prefer buying pre-peeled garlicPeeling each piece of garlic is a tiresome task. Hence go for pre-peeled garlic. You need not worry about the freshness of the garlic since it can last for weeks if kept in a refrigerator. The taste of the garlic is also perfectly fine. There is no difference between the tastes of food prepared with pre-peeled garlic and the normal ones.Read the recipe properlyThe starters in cooking must first of all read the recipe properly and follow all the steps sincerely. After reading the recipe bring all the tools and ingredients required to cook the food at one place. There are many people who instead of collecting everything started cooking the recipe and could not find a tool which was required at a specific time only. Even of the ingredients are not properly divided they might be a problem. Arrange the things in proper order while cooking them. Since there are processes which can be carried out parallel and save your time. So, read the recipe properly in details.Use a scale to bakeA precise scale measures the accuracy and efficiency of the food when being baked. Measuring cups can perfectly measure the amount of flour you need to bake any food. Never rely on volumetric cups since they make a huge difference, a proper measure scale measures all the ingredients to be added properly. The scale gives you more consistent and better results. Using one particular scale also reduces the time you need to clean everything. Instead of using different cups for measuring different ingredients you can have one bowl in your measuring scale to measure all the ingredients.The Microplane has lots of benefitsFor taking the zest off any citrus food, prefer using microplane graters since they are great tools to do this. Ginger and garlic can easily be grated with them. These can be used to grate cheese for your pizza and pasta. Grating becomes easier with the help of a microplane.Photo Credit: http://www.johnlewis.com/microplane-fine-grater/p2107295Buy deli containers with matching lidsMost of us face problems to find matching lids for the containers of different sizes. The problem seems to be solved with the invention of plastic-deli-style containers. They come in three standard sizes which can store 90 percent ingredients in your kitchen. These containers are flexible and are also reusable. All the containers of one size have one common sized lid also. Now no more struggle regarding the lids of the containers.Before shaping the meatloaf, sausage mixtures and meatball taste themIt is really disheartening that you prepare the whole meat and sausage mixtures and forgot to add salt to it. Therefore, before you start cooking the whole meal, take small amount of meatloaf, fry it and taste it. Now you can easily adjust everything instead of panicking at the end.Freeze meat partially before cutting itSlicing the meat into pieces to stir-fry them would be a bit tricky. Using a sharp knife to do so may involve few risks. Therefore, place the meat in the freezer for 15 minutes. After the meat gets stiff it can be cut easily.Keep your knives sharpSharp knives are not only safe but it makes chopping, dicing and slicing much easy. Sharpen your kitchen knives at least twice in a year. You can also sharpen them with the help of stones. However, make sure that you do not take your knife to a grinding machine which trips off more than required metal from your knife.Green herbs can be stored with the help of a paper towelWe actually hate seeing our green herbs turn into fossils within very few days only. However, now you can extend the lifetime of your herbs. Roll the herbs inside a damp paper towel. Place them inside a zipper lock. Make sure that the lock is slightly opened for the air to pass through. The damp paper towel will also act as a freshness indicator. If you see dark spots of liquid on the paper towels, you must recognize that the herbs are going to decay. Therefore, if you see these spots you must use the herbs within two days. The herbs which are small in size or are chopped can be preserved inside a container. They must be folded with a damp paper towel.Photo Credit: http://www.healthylittlecooks.com/Never forget the acid and you need not be afraid of salt alsoThe food served at restaurants taste great because the chefs blend those food with salts at every stage. However, every cook must also know that balancing acid in a food is as important as balancing the content of salt in them. A squeeze of lemon or a dash of vinegar is capable of brightening your food and making them flavored and tasteful. Every cook must use the acids judiciously so that they can maintain a balance of acids in the food they cook. Balancing acids is as important as balancing salt in any food.Egg shells can remove egg shellsThe egg shells are the best tool to extract the stubborn cracked shells from a bowl. The egg shells are like magnets which attract the shells which cling to your bowl. Your kitchen will be easier to handle if you know these basic of cooking. These tricks can make your work faster and better. You need not struggle with things once you are inside the kitchen. Keep practicing them since these tips will make you an expert in cooking.Basic cooking ingredientsIt is not possible to make a list of all the cooking ingredients but few important ones have been mentioned here. These basic ingredients are required to cook any dish you want to. Sugar Salt Cheese Butter Wheat Flour Italian herbs Baking Powder Dry Fruits Cooking oils which include mustard oil, olive oil and many more Sauces like tomato sauce, soya sauce and mustard sauce Vinegar Garlic and vinegar paste Pasta and noodlesThese are general cooking ingredients which are required in most of the recipes you cook. So, have them for a hassle free cooking experience.Photo Credit: http://sana.ae/events/whats-cooking-at-the-beach-jbr/Basic cooking appliancesOne must have at least these appliances in their kitchen. These appliances make cooking an easy and interesting process.The list includes: Microwave oven Refrigerator Mixer Food Processor Dishwasher Pressure Cooker Knives Chopping board Rolling pin Cutlery and crockery sets Spoons Utensils Frying pans Cups to weigh foodThese ingredients and appliances are the basic necessities of every cook. Therefore, before you cook make sure that you have all the appliances and ingredients ready.Photo Credit: http://thesouthern.com/lifestyles/magazine/highlights/equipping-your-kitchen-start-with-the-basic-equipment/article_4ca7534b-990e-5593-a5de-00e4ed632ce7.htmlConclusionEvery cook must know about the basic techniques of cooking, the tips to cook well and the ingredients and appliances required for cooking. Once they master all the above points they will undoubtedly become the best cook. Cooking becomes simpler to everyone after knowing these techniques. Even the ones who hate cooking will surely fall in love with it. In today’s world, with the development in the field of technology, appliances like microwave rice cooker are of great help to the cooks. They not only cook rice properly but also consume very less electricity. So prefer using these appliances to make your work easier and convenient.Photo Credit: http://www.lg.com/us/kitchen-appliancesIf you know the cooking techniques you will also have a clear idea about removing onion smell from hands. Not only cutting onions is a troublesome task, but it also becomes difficult to remove the strong smell of onions from your hands. In that case, go through the tips and techniques to remove the smell. For cooking any mouth-watering dish you need to have proper ingredients with you. It is really difficult navigating a farmer’s market to buy all the ingredients required. However, in this market you find all green and healthy things.So prefer going through this market for good quality ingredients. The appliances and the tips have been so developed that they can solve any problem related with cooking. The appliances have made the work easy and fast and the tips can allow the cooks to work efficiently. With these appliances cooking has become the favorite hobby of almost all people around the world. So, go through these tips and learn the basics of cooking to become an experienced cook.