We all have our kitchen strengths, but let’s face it—there are a few foods we might be getting wrong without even realizing it. From the simple steaming of rice to searing the perfect steak, cooking is full of little techniques that can make or break a dish. This article is your chance to stop those cooking faux pas in their tracks. Take a closer look at these common foods that often fall victim to missteps in the kitchen and learn how to do them justice.

A person holds a frying pan with steak, taking it out of an oven.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.
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Pasta

A bowl of pasta with sauce, garnished with fresh herbs, on a table with a pepper grinder and a cloth napkin alongside.
Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Mistake: Overcooking pasta until it’s mushy.

Proper Method: Aim for ‘al dente’—which means ‘to the tooth’ in Italian. Boil just until it’s still firm when bitten, usually a minute less than the package instructions. It’ll continue cooking when added to sauces.

Rice

White rice in a wooden spoon.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Mistake: Stirring rice too much or using incorrect water ratios, resulting in sticky or undercooked grains.

Proper Method: Use a 2:1 water-to-rice ratio, bring to a boil, then simmer covered on low heat until water is absorbed. Let it sit covered off the heat for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Vegetables

A variety of vegetables are displayed in crates at a market.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Mistake: Overcooking vegetables, which depletes nutrients and flavor, resulting in a mushy texture.

Proper Method: Steam or blanch instead of boiling, just until tender. Plunge into ice water after boiling to stop the cooking process and preserve color and crunch.

Chicken Breast

Customer selecting packaged chicken breast at a grocery store.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Mistake: Overcooking, leading to dry and tough meat.

Proper Method: Cook on medium heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Let it rest for a few minutes after cooking to redistribute the juices. Brining beforehand can also ensure moistness.

Eggs

A variety of eggs in different colors arranged in a cardboard egg carton.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Mistake: Cooking eggs too quickly on high heat, resulting in a rubbery texture.

Proper Method: For creamy scrambled eggs or omelets, cook slowly over low heat and remove from heat when they’re slightly runny; they’ll continue to cook from residual heat.

Steak

A succulent steak frying in a pan with garlic cloves and fresh herbs, with butter foam around it.
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

Mistake: Under-seasoning and overcooking, which prevent developing a flavorful crust and juicy interior.

Proper Method: Season generously and let it reach room temperature before cooking. Sear over high heat, then finish at a lower temperature to your desired doneness. Rest before slicing.

Fish

A white bowl with a piece of sablefish and corn.
Honey Lime Sablefish. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

Mistake: Overcooking until dry and flaky.

Proper Method: Cook on medium heat until just opaque and moist inside, typically when it flakes easily with a fork but is not dry.

Pancakes

A stack of pancakes topped with strawberries and syrup.
Photo credit: Liz Douglas.

Mistake: Flipping too early or too often, leading to undercooked or tough pancakes.

Proper Method: Wait until bubbles form and the edges start to set before flipping. Cook on a medium-hot griddle and flip only once to maintain fluffiness.

Bacon

Crispy bacon.
Photo credit: Pear Tree Kitchen.

Mistake: Cooking on too high heat, causing it to burn.

Proper Method: Start in a cold pan and cook slowly, gradually increasing the heat. This allows the fat to render slowly, achieving evenly cooked, crispy bacon.

Garlic

Garlic in a wooden bowl on a wooden table.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Mistake: Adding garlic too early in the cooking process, causing it to burn and turn bitter.

Proper Method: Add garlic at the last moment and sauté until just golden to avoid bitterness and enhance flavor.

Beans

Soy beans in a glass bowl on a wooden table.
Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Mistake: Under-seasoning or not soaking, resulting in hard, undercooked beans.

Proper Method: Soak overnight to reduce cooking time, then cook slowly on low heat and season towards the end to maintain texture and flavor.

9 Ways American Fast Food Culture Is Ruining The World

Young guy eating fast food
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

America’s fast food culture has not only reshaped the culinary landscape at home but has rippled across the globe with substantial effects. As burgers and fries become commonplace from Tokyo to Istanbul, they bring with them not just a taste of American life, but a host of changes to diet, health, and local economies. This article examines the wide-reaching impact of these fast food chains, exploring how they influence everything from our eating habits to our planet.

Read it Here: 9 Ways American Fast Food Culture Is Ruining The World

13 Foods You’re Probably Eating Wrong

A woman holds halved grapefruits over her eyes against a yellow background, mouth open in a playful expression.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.

You might be surprised to learn you’re not getting the best out of your food. A few simple tweaks can take your meals from good to great. Most people typically eat these common foods the wrong way and usually have no clue. Here’s what they are and how to change your eating habit to make the most of them.

Read it Here: 13 Foods You’re Probably Eating Wrong

*Select images provided by Depositphotos.

Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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