kitchen reference guide

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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.

Roast Chicken

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.

Roasted Turkey

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 Rib-Eye

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.

Roasted Pork

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 pounds.

Whole Ham

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.

Cooking Veggies

Use the chart above to determine the cook 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.

Chopping

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.

Dicing

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.

Cutting

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.

Slicing

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.

Filleting

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.

Carving

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.

Storage Tips

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 resalable bag.

Seafood

Leave the seafood in its original package and if freezing also put the package in a resealable bag.

Dairy

All dairy products should be kept in an airtight container once they have been opened.

Mustard/Ketchup/Condiments

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

Pasta

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 one 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

Coffee

Its best to keep a large amount of ground coffee in the freezers; it will be good for months and still maintain its flavor.

Nuts

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.

Bacon

Once a package of bacon is opened, it should be consumed in the next seven day for safety. When storing, you should divide the bacon into sizeable amounts and keep the rest frozen and microwave the bacon before cooking.

Room temperature

Baked food

Baked food should be stored in airtight bags or containers and stored in the pantry

Tomatoes

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

Flour

Should be kept in the pantry in a resalable container

Whole fruit

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

A blender is quite useful in the kitchen. It comes in quite handy while making smoothies, juices, and purees.

Electric Mixer

There is the stand mixer and the hand mixer. This is an appliance you cannot live without if you like baking a lot.

Pressure Cooker

This one is great if you have a small kitchen.  It takes down the cooking time of some recipes by more than half.

Electric Kettle

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.

Conclusion

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.

Sources:

https://addapinch.com/cooking-conversion-charts/  

https://www.inspiredtaste.net/23326/oven-temperature-conversion/

https://foodal.com/knowledge/how-to/guide-roasting-times-various-types-meat/

https://www.myfrugalhome.com/vegetable-roasting-times-chart/

http://www.veganbaking.net/articles/tools/grain-and-legume-cooking-chart

https://www.robertwelch.com/articles/kitchen_knife_guide.htm

https://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/food-storage-chart

https://www.allthingsmamma.com/20-food-storage-tips-for-your-groceries-and-leftovers/

https://www.thekitchn.com/5-small-appliances-every-kitchen-should-have-228961