Just like any other discipline, there are fundamentals to what you need to know before you get in the kitchen. The following are essential things you must keep in mind before you start baking or cooking.
Conversions For Temps, Weights & Volumes (Dry & Wet)
While trying to get things in the kitchen, you are going to come across many recipes. The problem is, these recipes do not have the same conversions because not everyone uses the same denominations. Here is a conversion chart that will go a long way in the kitchen.
Cooking Times &Styles For Meat Cuts, Veggies, Grains & Legumes
Cooking can be a mystery to many people especially those new to cooking. It can be especially hard to know how to cook the different types of meat. Here is a guide to help you understand how to cook different meat and the time it will take for you to do so.
When roasting chicken, the standard rule is to make sure that you pre-eat the oven to 350°F and let the chicken sit in the oven for 30 minutes per pound. If your chicken is stuffed, you will need to add an average of thirty minutes to the total cooking time.
If you are new to cooking, you might think that cooking chicken and turkey fall on the same line. This is far from the truth. To make the perfect roast chicken you will need to preheat the oven to 325°F rather than the 350°F for the chicken. A turkey will in most cases weigh somewhere between four to eight pounds, and you will need to keep it in the oven for an average of four hours.
The large the turkey, the more time it is going to spend in the oven.
Beef cuts except for tenderloins should be cooked at 350°F. If you are roasting tenderloin, you will need to heat your oven to 400°F. The length of the cooking time for the beef rib-eye will be determined by how you enjoy your meat with some blood or whether you like your meat cooked all the way. Rare beef-rib should be cooked for 20 minutes per pound and making sure that the internal temperature of the meat gets to 140°F. Medium rib eye should be in the oven for 22 minutes per pound, and the internal temperature of the meat should go until 160°F. If you want your rib-eye cooked all the way you will need to cook it for 24 minutes per pound and the internal temperature to be at 170°F.
For roasted pork, you have to make sure that the internal temperature of the pork is 180°F. For you to achieve this, you will need to preheat the oven to 350° for 40 minutes per pound.
A whole ham will weigh anywhere between 10 to 14 pounds when uncooked and will need to cook to an internal temperature of 160°F. This means that you will have to cook the ham for 20 minutes per pound.
Roasted Duck and Goose
You will need to preheat the oven at 350°F and then cooking the meat for 30 minutes per pound. You need to practice more often to get it right with this one.
Use the chart above to determine the cooking time for your veggies. Vegetables will roast at 425 degrees.
Cooking Grains and Legumes
There is a chart as well on the time it should take you to cook legumes
What You Need To Know About Knife Styles And Uses
In most cases choosing the right knives for your kitchen might be a hard task. We are here to help you though. Here are is an overview of the knife types in the kitchen with the jobs meant for each of them.
For your kitchen, you will need an all-purpose knife. A traditional knife with a curved blade is excellent in chopping and dicing your ingredients. A conventional cook knife as it is commonly referred to is great for a basic home cook or a professional chef.
When you are slicing, dicing or chopping fine food and in search of a professional finish, you need to try a Santoku knife. This is an Asian knife that has a wide blade.
For this, you will need a knife that will be great for all purposes. It is great in cutting tomatoes, sausages and citrus fruits. A cutting knife is serrated and is a very useful tool in the kitchen.
Peeling And Slicing
A paring knife is great in getting little preparatory skills in the kitchen done. Some of these tasks include peeling and trimming ingredients.
A bread knife of a slicing knife will go a long way ii accurately slicing bread and French sticks, meat, and cakes. This knife is a staple in every kitchen.
If you are the type of person who loves to prepare their meat and fish, this knife is a staple for you. Utility and boning knives increase the flexibility and precision of the knives.
If you want to carve your meat, fish, and poultry, a long curved knife will go a long way. The knife will ensure that your meat is in long delicate slices.
There are times you tend to keep food in the fridge for too long, but it is safe to eat it? Here is a chart that will guide you in knowing how long certain food should be kept in your fridge.
Tips for Food Storage
In the fridge
Meat And Poultry
Make sure that the poultry and meat remain in the same package in the fridge and if freezing put the package in a resealable bag.
Leave the seafood in its original package and if freezing also put the package in a resealable bag.
All dairy products should be kept in an airtight container once they have been opened.
These should be stored at room temperature but to extend their shelf life the need to be stored in the fridge and they will be good for several months
With fresh pasta you need to buy only what you will use in a few days because once its stays for a long time it will be hard.
Vacuum-sealed deli meat/smoked fish
This can be stored in the fridge for a long time if unopened but has a life of five days once it is opened.
Refrigerated fruits and vegetables
You will need to store like food with like food. For example store apples together in a plastic bag.
In the freezer
Its best to keep a large amount of ground coffee in the freezers; it will be good for months and still maintain its flavor.
When nuts are kept at room temperature they can easily go rancid. This is why they should be kept in airtight containers before putting them in the freezer.
Once a package of bacon is opened, it should be consumed in the next seven days for safety. When storing, you should divide the bacon into sizeable amounts and keep the rest frozen and microwave the bacon before cooking.
Baked food should be stored in airtight bags or containers and stored in the pantry
Many people store tomatoes in the fridge, but this should not be the case. Tomatoes will lose their flavor, therefore, should be kept at room temperature to ripen.
Oils and vinegar
They are stored in the pantry
Should be kept in the pantry in a resalable container
Fruits will continue to ripen a room temperature but should not be left out for more than five days.
Appliances Every Kitchen Should Have
There are 5 appliances every kitchen should have regardless of the size or even budget.
A Food Processor
This appliance can do so many things for you in the kitchen. It is quite essential to many recipes you might have in your kitchen
A blender is quite useful in the kitchen. It comes in quite handy while making smoothies, juices, and purees.
There is the stand mixer and the hand mixer. This is an appliance you cannot live without if you like baking a lot.
This one is great if you have a small kitchen. It takes down the cooking time of some recipes by more than half.
This is an appliance you can overlook its use until you have it. You will use it to boil water, and it is important to note that it is faster than using a stove. If you are a tea or coffee drinker, it shortens the time you use to prepare your drinks by far.
In the kitchen, you will learn what you need as you continue to practice cooking or baking. The more you do it, the better you will be at it.