Cooking is a very pleasurable experience once you know how it’s done. In order to help you understand more, here are some basic things you need to know before learning to cook.
The most important factor in cooking is heat. Heat directly affects the food you cook. Understanding the role that heat plays in certain food is the key to success in cooking. The wrong application of heat can ruin an otherwise great meal.
Take creamy scrambled eggs, for instance. You cannot make a perfect plate of Gordon Ramsay scrambled eggs on high heat. Heat plays a crucial role in this. High heat in this case will dry the batter quickly and unevenly where it touches the pan. On the other hand, you cannot cook a perfect steak unless you apply high heat. You need high heat to create a good outside crust (Maillard Reaction) on your steak. Whether you cook the steak on a grill or stove-top in a cast iron pan, high heat is crucial.
Salt plays another crucial role in cooking. Salt we know give taste to food. Without salt, all the food you eat would feel bland and tasteless. Salt also preserves food, especially meats. You use it in curing meats, like hams and sausages. It is also a main ingredient in pickling solution. Salt and its substitutes are an essential ingredient in cooking which you must have in your kitchen rack.
The role of fats or oil in cooking is very important. Fats give food its rich flavor. Fats convey to the palate what is delicious in the food we eat. It is the carrier of flavor. This is the reason why fried food is very appealing to the mouth. It’s because of all the fats. Fats is the reason why bacon tastes so good. Fats is the reason why french fries became so popular. Even your salad is enhanced by a tablespoon or two of olive oil or sesame seed oil. You need oil to fry food and oil to toss salads.
Different kinds of ingredients react differently to heat and cooking. Leafy vegetables cook the quickest. Pithy and starchy vegetables need a little more time to soften. Most fishes don’t require as much time to cook as meats like chicken or pork. Chicken cook for a longer time than fish, but for a shorter time than pork. Cooking pork or beef in soups and stews take much longer time because their meat is made of tougher flesh. However, they are tastier.
These are some basic things to understand before learning to cook.