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15 Mistakes Most Beginner Cooks Make

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[UltraVid id=116 ]the other day I was teaching one of my friends how to cook for the first time we were talking ground level stuff this person did not have many skills in the kitchen so we started off with a very basic dish and I just took them along for that journey and taught them things along the way but what I was realizing was how many tips and tricks and skills you can learn from one dish I started pointing out all these things things that I take for granted that can actually make you a much better cook so that’s what this series is going to be about it’s going to be breaking down one dish extremely in-depth going through all of the tips all of the skills that you might not be thinking about maybe you don’t know about that can make that dish incredible but also can just enhance your cooking skills in general so if you guys have been a subscriber for years a lot of these things might be a little too basic for you and that is alright that means you’re already a great cook but I know there are ton of beginners out there and this series is going to be perfection it is really going to take your cooking skills from that base level to the top to the top notch you’ll be cooking better than the brothers green in no time so the first dish we are going to start out with is one of my favorites something I’ve been cooking for years it’s a stir fry and if you can master just a stir fry with some meat or some fish you can cook that dish for the rest of your life and probably be satisfied at least some type of variation of it so let’s get after it we’re going to do a chicken and vegetable stir-fry because that’s what I have in the fridge but feel free to sub out the chicken for any type of meat or any type of fish and that goes for the vegetables as well you can sub those out for whatever you have these tips are still going to work great for whatever you guys have in your fridge tip number one make sure the meat is extremely dry you want to Pat it dry with a paper towel a lot of times when the chicken is like sitting in a bag or whatever it comes in it’s going to have a lot of extra liquid and what’s going to happen is if you try to cook that chicken just like that you’re going to boil the chicken and that is not what you want because well it’s what you want if you’re boiling chicken but if you’re actually trying to fry chicken and caramelize the skin that’s where the flavor is going to come from and if it’s wet you’re not going to get that stuff tip number two is evening out your meat and as you can see this chicken breast is uneven we’ve got a fixed side and a thin side and chicken is already extremely difficult to cook because it dries out so easily so evening out the meat is going to help you so much in the long run we’re going to put it in a bag something that protects it from the cutting board and pound it out until it is nice and even so that six side you can just kind of work on that until it mimics the thin side tip number three is a two parter and it deals with the seasoning of the actual meat so we are going to hit it with salt and pepper and you want to make sure you have enough seasoning because remember you are seasoning just the outside of the meat and that has to carry through the entire piece so just think about it like when you’re biting into a piece of meat the only seasoning you’re going to taste is that outer layer if you tend to follow recipes a lot of times they skimp on the salt and your stuff turns out under seasoned and that is probably the easiest way to screw up a dish so make sure you’ve got enough seasoning on there to really bring out the flavors and then the next part is just let that sit for a little bit if you’re not going to cook your meat for a little bit just put it in the fridge let it dry out so the salt is actually going to pull a lot of moisture out of the chip which is going to help with that caramelizing so if you just let that sit for at least 15 minutes before it goes into the pan you’ll see it’s going to start pulling out that liquid and then again just give that another pat dry and you are well on your way to crispy skin [Music] tip number four is controlling the heat of your pan which seems so obvious but I see this all the time whether using gas or electric there isn’t just one setting I swear there’s a ton of control when it comes to the actual heat you’ve got a very low simmer you’ve got a medium-low you’ve got a medium you’ve got a medium-high and then you’ve got a high heat so there’s a whole range of heat settings and it’s just something you’ve got to get used to but remember throughout your cooking process you have the ability to control that thing so if things get too crazy and too hot just turn it down and if you’re not getting the action you want just turn it up so you are the master of your heat settings that brings us to tip number five which is making sure you’ve got enough lubrication in that pan so things cook properly and don’t burn another one I see all the time people are skimping out on the oil or fat maybe it’s health reasons they’re little scared of it I would say if you’re scared of using too much oil just try to get a healthy oil which isn’t going to be bad for you and make sure you put enough in the pan so you can cook your stuff properly so tip number six is make sure you heat up that pan first before you add the oil so once it’s lightly smoking then add your oil because if you add it earlier it’s going to start to degrade as it heats up so you want the least amount of time with that oil in the pan now we are going to slide in that chicken and get that crisp enos and we’re not trying to blast this chicken away we’re trying to slowly develop the crust over time that’s why we’ve got that medium-low heat going so I’m cooking it for about four minutes on one side and you’ll see that little white ring starting to develop and that is cooked chicken right there and we’re just going to check the crust every now and then and right there the crust is not good enough for my liking so we put it back for another minute and then we hit our perfect caramelized point right there lift that chicken over and then it’s always going to be a little less time on the other side so cook that side for about two to three minutes tip number seven when you’re feeling that chicken and it’s nice and firm but it still has a little bit of give you can pull it and you don’t have to cook it completely through especially with chicken breasts because it dries out so early so I would recommend pulling it just a little bit early and then wrapping it in tinfoil because it’s still going to cook a few degrees that’s like a MasterChef tip right there pulling that meat early so it just comes up to that perfect cook point tip number eight is a two parter one make sure you let the meat sit for at least ten minutes it’s going to reabsorb those juices and stay nice and juicy and the other one is if you get any juice that separates from the meat just like this and that’s normally going to happen with me after a few minutes some of it will seep out make sure you do not get rid of that juice that is extra flavor you do not want to leave any meat juice behind so save that and you can use that in your dish later which you will see coming up soon moving on to the veggies and tip number nine is prepping everything before you actually cook which is so important especially when you’re dealing with high heat cooking because you don’t want to be cooking and cutting all the time I used to do that when I was younger and things got a little out of control and I still do that from time to time when I’m lazy it’s not the end of the world but if you want perfection with your food it’s much easier everything is prepped out so here are the veggies we were using with our stir-fry and we are to prep all of this stuff which means just washing everything and chopping it up how you like it we’ve got the mushrooms we’re going to give those a chop I’ve got this little piece of onion I’m going to chop that up as well here’s a quick little bonus tip when you were cutting zucchini if you’re having trouble getting even pieces because it’s uneven like that just cut it where it’s uneven now you have two pieces that are a little more straight and that will help with your actual cutting another little cutting technique is if you’ve got this spinach right here it’s got this stem and it’s got the leaf sometimes in the stem isn’t going to come with it it’s going to be already pre chopped but if it comes like this you can just chop that off because we’ve got the delicate leaf which is going to cook differently than the stem and I’m actually going to put the stem with the aromatics so we’re going to wash that spinach we’re going to get all those veggies prep then I’m going to move on to cutting the aromatics for this dish we’ve got a little bit of chili we’ve got a little bit of garlic that I’m going to slice up and then some ginger that I’m going to chop up and just keep those all together [Music] [Music] oK we’ve got everything prepped out we’ve got everything in place but we need a plan that is the next tip creating a plan to execute this stuff because if you don’t have a plan things are going to go to in the kitchen so really there’s no perfect way to cook anything but there are some good techniques that will help you execute really good tasting food and that is going to happen over time with a lot of practice but what we’re going to do is we’re just going to look at all of our prep food and we’re just going to start pondering we’re just going to start thinking about when these things should be cooked so if you got something like zucchini maybe that will go a little later of course the spinach is delicate so the first thing we are going to start out with is cooking the onions and the mushrooms I thought they would cook well together because they’re very similar in size so we are going to use that chicken fat all of that flavor in there that oil do not throw that out throw the mushrooms and the onions right in there cook them for a few minutes just to get those started then I’m going to dump in my aromatics so I usually wait a little bit because aromatics will burn on a high temperature those are little skills you learn over time so the aromatics are going in a few minutes later let those cook down and that brings me to my next tip which is not overcooking your vegetables so we’ve got this zucchini right here and we’re going to throw that in much later in the process maybe five minutes after the onions and everything else start cooking because ooh Keeney will overcook and turn mushy and maybe you like that I used to overcook zucchini all the time but the truth is vegetables are delicious raw and you don’t need to cook them all the way through they are good with a little bit of that snap a little bit of that crunch so you don’t want to just destroy them in the and you want to retain some of that texture the next step is just letting things chill I see this all the time people are going crazy they’re stirring if they get that a TV in the kitchen and they’re scared to just let things sit maybe they’re a little nervous that things are going to burn but if you don’t let things relax in that pan they’re not going to get that nice crust so sometimes just let your food relax there let it build up that delicious flavor on the bottom as you can see I left a zucchini sit for about a minute without stirring it and then look at that beautiful color that is flavor right there then you can stir it around let it sit again let the flavors develop after that cooks for about two or three minutes we’re going to add in that spinach and that’s just going to wilt down very quickly so after that spinach is nicely wilted I am going to slice up that chicken and look how beautiful that is because we took the time to flatten it out and salt it it’s cooked perfectly and it’s juicy I’m going to throw that into the stir fry along with the juice you cannot forget that neat juice now we are moving on to the next tip which is properly seasoning your food we have some very basic seasonings right here and I can get into a whole video about this so we’re just going to keep it really simple we’ve got soy sauce we’ve got a little bit of sesame oil and we’ve got some rice vinegar so if you think about seasoning we’ve got salt already in the dish just plain salt we’re going to add a little bit of soy which is another salty product and that is just bringing out the flavors and also adding a little bit of that extra fermented funk of the soy sauce we’re going to go in with just a little bit of sesame oil and remember be careful to sesame oil it is a very strong seasoning and you can’t take away so just start off slow and work your way up and then the last seasoning which is so important you hear chef talking about it all the time is acidity so this means lemons limes and vinegar anything with acidity which is really going to make your food pop so if the salt is bringing out and enhancing the flavor of the food the acidity is just going to make it brighter and sing to the heaven just give that a few stars around make sure you get those seasonings nice and incorporate it into that dish that looks beautiful and ready to go which brings us to our last tip which is presentation which is an important one for me not everyone really cares which is alright but I think it is – it looks better it’s going to be more enjoyable it’s going to complete that circle so just get something nice to present it in and then of course you can garnish it and you guys already know what I’m going to garnish this with which it’s a scallywag and the sesame seeds the Mike’s special finish that baby off and enjoy look at that thing I’ve been cooking stir fries for years it was one of the first things I learned how to cook and I’m still learning and I’m still getting better most of cooking is just paying attention honing in on your skills and improving which brings me to my last point which is you gotta practice guys you’ve got to get in the kitchen and you’ve got to just continue to develop your skills really cooking is just about concentrating on what you’re doing and you will pick up on things intuitively on your own and you will get better so just get over those fears just keep doing it and you will be an awesome cook in those you [Music]

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