We get it. Everyone makes mistakes, especially in the kitchen. Here are a few mistakes that are all too easy to make — but also simple to fix.

1. Using the sharp side of a knife to scrape ingredients off a cutting board

apple, whole apple, knife, cutting board, Fruit
Jocelyn Hsu

This is the one of the biggest mistakes for both cooking newbies and pros. After evenly dicing your vegetables, the last thing you want to do is dull your knife, or even ruin it, by scraping the sharp side along the cutting board to move ingredients. Always turn the knife upside down and scrape with the smooth side.

2. Dicing an onion directly after cutting it in half

onion, garlic, vegetable, shallot, condiment
Jocelyn Hsu

Let's face it, who doesn't hate cutting onions? No one wants to ugly cry like they're watching the final scene of Titanic while prepping dinner. Rose may have said goodbye to Jack, but you shouldn't have to say goodbye to your carefully applied mascara.

The proper way to cut an onion (and avoid that stinging sensation) is to start by cutting the onion in half. Then, slice vertically in, but leave about half an inch uncut from the root. Slice the onion multiple times horizontally, leaving about 1/4 inch in between each cut. Again, leave about half an inch uncut from the root. Once those two steps are done, you can start directly cutting from the top of the onion to the bottom, and it will be perfectly diced, tear-free.

3. Putting the wrong material in the microwave

Ellie Yamanaka

Everyone, at least once, has put a dish in the microwave, and was left with burnt hands and cold food upon retrieval. What gives?

If this has happened to you, you're probably using dishes with a certain material or coating that isn't microwave safe.Some things you should never microwave include aluminum foil, plastic containers, plastic bags, travel mugs, styrofoam or metal of any kind. All glass-ceramic and heatproof glass are safe to use in your microwave.

4. Not using a thermometer to check internal temperatures of meat

sushi, salmon, seafood, fish, sashimi, rice, tuna, wasabi, shrimp, meat, goody
Jocelyn Hsu

Meat and heat. Meat is great, but only if it’s cooked to perfection. Too much heat for too long, and you’re chewing leather. Too little heat, and you’re gambling with foodborne illness.

This is why investing in a food thermometer is so necessary! Checking the internal temperature of meat will help you cook it to perfection — every time. Here are the internal temperatures of chicken, beef, pork and fish, according to the USDA:

Chicken/poultry: 165 degrees F.

Steaks: 145 degrees F.

Ground beef: 160 degrees F.

Pork: 145 degrees F.

Fish and shellfish: 145 degrees F.

In order to make sure you’re getting an accurate measurement, stick the thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and aim for the very middle. This, in itself, is an art. Stick the thermometer too far in and you’ll get the temperature of the pan or skillet. Not sticking in the thermometer far enough will result in getting a partial reading of the air around the kitchen.

You can stick the thermometer in multiple areas of the meat if necessary. As long as the meat reaches the temperature for a minimum of 15 seconds, you’re good to go.

5. Not seasoning enough

shrimp, prawn, shellfish, seafood, scallop
Bernard Wen

Yes, seasonings are confusing. Who needs anything more than salt and pepper, right? Wrong. There are so many spices that can  transform any ordinary dish into something unique and tasty. Some staple spices used in my kitchen include turmeric, chili powder, garlic salt and oregano. You can do so much with these four simple spices, and they're so easy to add. 

I love using oregano for chicken, garlic salt on avocado toast and combining turmeric and chili powder to infuse into quinoa. Variety is the spice of life, so go ahead and experiment with whatever you can find.