Knowing what to do in the kitchen doesn’t come easily. If you’re just starting out and experimenting with cooking, it can be daunting, and it takes a lot of practice to get things right. One of the most difficult things I’ve found as a beginner cook is knowing when I’ve cooked something just the right amount, not too much, and not too little. Here is a helpful guide to follow that you can use for all different kinds of dishes.
Cooking chicken can be a little bit tricky, especially if you’ve never done it before. You don’t want to take a bite into what looks like cooked chicken only to find that it’s practically raw inside (making you want to turn into a vegetarian). No matter what way you are cooking the chicken, you can see whether or not it is cooked by using a meat thermometer. Place the thermometer into the fatty part of the chicken – it’s safe to eat once it reaches at least 165°F.
Steaks & Roasts
I don’t know about you guys, but I practically dream about perfectly cooked steaks with a side of mashed potatoes in my sleep. Therefore, it’s very important to me that when I’m cooking a steak, I know how to get it right.
Just like with chicken, it is recommended that you use a meat thermometer in order to ensure your steak is cooked. Steak should be at a minimum of 145°F on the meat thermometer before being consumed. Obviously, leave it in longer depending on how you like it.
You can also use the highly scientific “face test.” If a steak is rare, it will feel like the soft part of your chin. If it’s medium, it will feel like the center of your cheek. If it’s well-done, it will feel like the tip of your nose. Basically just poke the steak and then your face.
Overcooked and dry cakes make me sad and are practically sinful. So the next time you’re making a cake, or even cupcakes, there are a few different ways you can make sure that you don’t upset anyone with a lame, overcooked cake.
The first foolproof method is testing the cake with a cake tester (this can range from a toothpick or even a fork). All you have to do is stick the end of the fork/ toothpick in the center of the cake or cupcake, and if it comes out clean, your cake is ready to go.
Second, you can use an instant-read thermometer. You treat this method just as you would with a cake tester, sticking it in the middle of the cake. The cake is done when the center reaches about 210°F.
The first way to tell when bread is done in the oven is pretty simple. The crust and outer edges should be a golden brown color; if it is pale, let that guy hang in there for a little longer (a few more minutes).
The next way you probably haven’t heard or nor would think to try. Take the loaf of bread out of the oven and flip it upside down. Give the bottom a firm tap, and if the bread sounds hollow, it’s all set.