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Are you guilty of one of these 4 bad cooking habits?

Bad habit #1: You dip and sweep the flour


When measuring flour, plenty of people fill their measuring cup by dipping it into the bag, leveling it off and dumping it into the bowl. This is a common mistake. Here’s why it doesn’t work: The dipping motion packs the flour into the cup, giving you more than you really need. The result? Dense baked goods.

How to do it right: The correct way to measure flour is scooping it lightly into the measuring cup with a spoon and leveling it off at the top.

(I didn't know about that one, I will change my ways!)

Bad habit #2: You cook or store acidic food in reactive pans

Aluminum is often used in cookware because it’s a great conductor of heat, but isn’t so good in your food. How would it get there? Cooking or storing something acidic in reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can eat away at the metal and impart an off color and/or off flavor in your food. Use a nonreactive pan (stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass) when cooking with acidic foods like lemon juice or tomatoes to prevent the food from reacting with the pan.

Bad habit #3: You crowd the pan


If you’re looking for a nice, brown crispiness to the outside of your food, don’t put too much in your pan at once. When cooking meat or tofu, adding too much to the pan at once causes the temperature of the pan to drop quickly, resulting in the food sticking to the pan. In the case of vegetables, if you add a pile of them to a hot pan, they are more likely to steam and become soggy as opposed to browned.  So consider cooking in batches to avoid sticking and steaming.

Bad habit #4: You don’t properly preheat your cooking surface


When you’re hungry, “Preheat the oven or grill” may seem like a step someone added just to torture you. But it’s necessary.  Baking or roasting in an oven that hasn’t been properly preheated will throw off the cooking time or may cause your food to cook unevenly or even burn.  Ditto with the grill. Adding food to an improperly heated grill grate causes sticking and eventually burning.


Asked by tasches at 7:09 PM on May. 16, 2011 in Food & Drink

Level 48 (298,202 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • no, none of these

    Answer by shay1130 at 7:11 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • only the first one... I never considered that... hmmm.... this may explain some things. lol

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:12 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • I have done the overcrowding! Especially when trying to make fried potatoes! I don't understand it because when I make my Italian baby reds, I don't put that many in the pan and they fry up perfectly but for some reason, when I am doing regular potatoes, my brain says MORE!

    Been guilty of the scooping and scraping too. That explains my heavy cookies!!

    I definitely preheat! This is very important when doing stir fry veggies! The oil should be slightly smoking, which can be difficult when using olive oil. It's hard to see the smoke on olive oil.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 7:15 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • Thanks for the tips!

    Answer by RedDahlia82 at 7:13 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • embarrassed*guilty*


    Answer by Soniam301 at 7:13 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • only the first one

    Answer by smurfyangel at 7:16 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • I watched too much food network when I was a kid to not know this stuff. lol. But I DIDN'T know that humidity had an effect on your flour measurements. And even what they tell you to do is wrong. That will still give you cakes or cookies that taste like flour. You scoop out the measurement, sift, measure with their method, then sift it directly into your batter. This gives you a lighter, fluffier cake and the flour distributes more evenly. I even sift boxed cake mix before mixing to prevent clumps of powdered mix in your cake/cupcakes.

    Answer by MamaStuart at 7:18 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • Not guilty!

    Answer by older at 7:21 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • I always do the first one. Dang, my MIL does something right after all ;)

    Answer by bootsky at 7:24 PM on May. 16, 2011

  • I'm a terrible cook, so I've done them all.

    Answer by meooma at 7:27 PM on May. 16, 2011