Food & Cooking

Simple fixes for common cooking mistakes

When a new year begins, many people resolve to make changes. From healthy eating to less takeout, the change in food choices is plentiful. For the new cook heading into the kitchen, the learning curve might be daunting. But, these simple fixes for common cooking mistakes might be the secret to keeping those goals moving forward.

After stocking the kitchen with the best food ingredients and the latest kitchen essentials, it can seem that the most delicious meal should be a given. Even for people who meticulously follow a recipe, the reality is that a few mis-steps can happen behind the stove.

Anyone who watches food television has learned the cooking lesson that tasting food throughout the cooking process is key to the final product being delicious. Once the food hits the plate, there is not a way to fix the flavor.

Common cooking mistakes and how to fix them.

A great dish is a blend of flavors and textures. While creating that perfect umami is the goal, it is comprised of other flavors, salty, sweet, spicy, sour, etc. When those flavors are off balance, the dish is not one to remember.

While sweetness is great in a dessert, no one wants the main meal to taste like it has come from Willy Wonka’s kitchen. A little spice can help bring that sweetness back in balance.

But, don’t be tempted to add salt. Adding more salt will only enhance the sweetness in the dish.

When a flavor is too salty, the key is to dilute the flavor. Like a sauce that has become too reduced, add a little stock or water. If adding extra liquid is not an option, a squeeze of lemon or other citrus can help take the saltiness away.

If there was too much acid in a dish, the fix is a touch of sugar. The same can be said if a dish has too many bitter notes. That spoonful of sugar does more than help the medicine go down.

Although some people love a spicy dish, others might want to tame the flame. Just like a glass of milk can help, a little dairy in a recipe can help bring the balance. While dairy is the easy fix, other additions of nut butter, sugar or even acid can help, too.

Lastly, there is no reason to serve a bland dish. Salt is a cook’s best friend. From seasoning during the cooking process to a little finishing salt, it can save many home cooks.


What is your best cooking tip? How have you prevented some common cooking mistakes?