Plan your meals so that meat you roast, grill, sear, or sauté has time to rest at room temperature after it’s pulled from the heat. That cooling-off time helps the juices, which migrate to the center of the meat, to be distributed more evenly throughout.
Use a meat thermometer. This eliminates the frequent opening and closing of the oven door to check the temp―during which you lose valuable heat―and that speeds the cooking.
Don’t under bake cakes and breads. They will come out gummy. If the cake is pale, it’s not finished.
Slice meat with―instead of against―the grain. It will turn out more tender.
Make sure your pan is hot enough before adding food. A hot pan is essential for sautéing veggies or creating a great crust on meat, fish, and poultry. It also helps prevent food from sticking.
Don’t turn your food too often. Your food won’t develop a nice crust unless you allow it to cook, undisturbed, for the specified time. You should be able to slide a spatula cleanly under the crust.
Let egg whites stand for a few minutes at room temperature and they whip up better than when cold.
Don’t over crowd a pan. Food releases moisture as it’s cooked, so leave room for the steam to escape.
Measure your food correctly. Tip: Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, then level with a knife,”
Don’t overheat low-fat milk products. The milk curdles or “breaks,” yielding grainy mac and cheese, ice cream, or pudding.
Don’t over soften butter. Properly softened butter should yield slightly to gentle pressure. Too-soft butter means your cookie dough will be more like batter, and it will spread too much as it bakes and lose shape.