DamnGoodRecipes Logo
Sign In Join Submit Recipe Submit Article

10 Biggest Cooking Mistakes

Leave a Comment

When cooking, there are several common mistakes that can lead to less-than-desirable results. Here are ten of the biggest mistakes to avoid in the kitchen:

1. Not reading the recipe thoroughly

Failing to read the recipe completely before starting can result in missed ingredients or important steps.  Read a new recipe all the way through at least once before starting to cook.

2. Incorrect measuring

Accurate measurements are crucial in cooking. Using incorrect measurements can throw off the balance of flavors or affect the texture of the dish.

3. Inadequate seasoning

Seasoning plays a vital role in bringing out the flavors of your dish. Failing to season appropriately can result in a bland or unbalanced taste.

4. Overcrowding the pan

Overcrowding the pan when sautéing or stir-frying can prevent proper browning and lead to steaming or uneven cooking of ingredients.

5. Not preheating the oven, pan or grill

Preheating is crucial for achieving the desired results, whether it's a golden-brown sear on meat or properly baked goods. Skipping this step can lead to uneven cooking.  The baking time specified in recipes typically assume the oven was preheated beforehand.

Failure to preheat a grill before cooking meats can even be dangerous.  A properly preheated grill to 500 degrees F will have burned off dangerous germs and whatever else was left from the previous meal that can contaminate raw food and lead to food poisining.  

6. Opening the oven frequently

Continuously opening the oven door can cause temperature fluctuations, resulting in inconsistent baking and potentially affecting the rise of delicate dishes like soufflés or cakes.

Continually opening an oven when roasting a turkey will dry it out and require longer cooking.

7. Neglecting to taste as you go

Tasting your dish as you cook allows you to adjust seasoning, flavors, or cooking times if needed. Failing to taste can lead to surprises when the dish is served.

8. Ignoring mise en place

Mise en place, or preparing and organizing ingredients before cooking, helps ensure a smooth cooking process. Neglecting this step can lead to rushed and stressful cooking experiences.

9. Overcooking proteins
Overcooked steak

Overcooking proteins like meat, poultry, or fish can result in tough, dry, or rubbery textures. It's important to monitor cooking times and use a meat thermometer if necessary.

Check out our safe cooking temperatures chart to take out the guesswork.

10. Neglecting to rest meat before slicing

Allowing cooked meat to rest before slicing helps retain its juices and ensures a more tender and flavorful result. Cutting into meat too soon can cause the juices to escape, resulting in a drier dish.  Let meat rest after cooking for 10-15 minutes before slicing.


Leave a comment

You are submitting anonymously. To submit under your username, please Sign in or join.

We won't share or display your email address.
There are no comments yet.