Cooking is an art. Cooking is also a passion and a discipline respected the world over. And soooo many of us are doing so much of it wrong. We all don't have to be a famous celebrity chef to master the art, heck we don't even have to master the art, but we could take a few pointers here and there. Small pointers can often turn into scrumptious dinners and literal life savers.

Redditor u/MomosOnSale wanted chefs to help us out with a few things when cooking by asking.... Redditors who cook, whats the biggest 'no no' thing in cooking?


Shake 'N Bake...

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Not seasoning your chicken. Prazzic

Overcooking chicken too. ThePugmanJJ

Do not mix.....

Do not mix hot cooking oil and cool sink water! I saw a girl burn the hell out of herself because she didn't listen to the Home Ec. teacher. She threw her hot oil in a sink with some cool water running. Boom! Sprayed hot oil all over her arm and neck. Let your oil cool folks. XxVerdantFlamesxX

Sam the Cooking Guy.... 

Cooking with extra virgin olive oil over high heat. PM_GUITAR_PICKS

There is a YouTube channel called Sam the Cooking Guy and he taught me about using avocado oil rather than olive oil. Olive oil (and vegetable oil and others) have a lower smoke point and can impart flavor into the food, when you may not want it. Avocado oil is "neutral" (adds no flavor) and has a higher smoke point allowing you to (for example) sear meat more easily. UniqueConstraint

No Panic. 

Never and I mean never panic if you start a fire on accident, you need to be calm enough to know if you have to smother it (oil or grease fires) or grab the extinguisher. Panicking can get your house burned down. nippynip345

My mom fell asleep while making fries and woke up to a house full of smoke. She then threw a polyester blanket over the pot full of burning oil which burned the whole kitchen down. Should've just put a lid on the pot... but now she got a brand new kitchen covered by insurance lol. lanolena

Peppers....

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Learned this the hard way: don't throw fresh chili peppers into a hot pan unless you want to pepper spray the whole house! sriracha_everything

Non-Stick....

Coming anywhere near my non-stick pan with metal. If you scratch my pan I will scratch your soul. o0oO0o0Oo00oOoo00i

My brother is really good about this. And then when he washes a nonstick pan you can hear the scratching from the brush against the pan two rooms away. And then he wonders why his nonstick pans only last ~6 months or so. jhnna

tasty....

TASTE. AS. YOU. GO. KE5TR4L

My raw chicken never tastes very good but I'm sure lll find a good bird one day. Banshu

Be kind to Pasta....

Don't rinse your pasta. neverpeedinthepool

Pasta should never, ever be rinsed for a warm dish. The starch in the water is what helps the sauce adhere to your pasta. The only time you should ever rinse your pasta is when you are going to use it in a cold dish like a pasta salad or when you are not going to use it immediately

Everything else I read here seemed like common sense... But I guess I've been doing pasta wrong my whole life! HoboBeered

HIGH AF!!!

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Cooking everything on "high" because you want it done faster. SheriffComey

Try Anything. 

Feeling like its to hard or being afraid to experiment with stuff. Obviously don't try something totally new when your cooking for guests but don't feel like failing means you suck. If you mess up learn from it and move on, its not the end of the world. DingleMyBarry

Never Directly.

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Never pour spices directly into a steaming pot on the stove. The spices will congeal in their containers from the moisture introduced. Instead put the spices in a separate side container then add to a steaming pot. Reddit

Glass cutting boards.

Glass cutting boards. Like seriously, just GTFO.

And in a similar vein, dangerously dull knives. I've seen some real bludgeons in other people's kitchens; no wonder they hate prep work. BattleHall

I once watched the owner of a restaurant I worked, pick up my personal high dollar chef knife and start chopping things straight on top of the stainless prep table with no cutting board at all. Needless to say, I lost my mind. poo_finger

Cooking Ted Talk. 

Chef for 10 years, here's some good things to keep in mind when cooking at home.

  1. Clean as you go. It minimizes clutter and mess and makes everything easier.
  2. Sharpen your damn knives, seriously, dull knives are dangerous.
  3. Blenders are not just for smoothies, use them for sauces and your life will be changed.
  4. Please stack your fridge appropriately so cross contamination doesn't happen. Veggies and fruit on top, also eggs is fine, beef, fish, poultry. Chicken juice will contaminate raw veggies so quick.
  5. You don't need a knife block. I'm a chef for a living, I butcher 10-20 ducks a week and I have 6 knives? Even that is just cause I'm very particular. Your average home chef needs 3 at most. A standard lengths chef knife, a paring knife, which most home chefs never use from what I've seen, and I medium size blade for veggies can be nice.
  6. Label and date when you open stuff and keep it near the front. Keeping it near the front is most important as it helps encourage you to remember, "Ah yes, I have this kale that I should use" before you open something else.
  7. Olive Oil can go bad, lots of people think it can't, but it can.
  8. Canned stuff isn't the worst, just mix it with fresh stuff
  9. Diversify what ingredients you're using. Most Americans and Europeans cook with the same 20 things? Every time you go to the grocery store pick up a new ingredient and try it out! Beets? Amazing. Like mushrooms? Try oyster mushrooms instead of generic shiitakes. Like onions? Grab a leek. Seriously, CHANGE IT UP.
  10. wading in to more professional territory but try some Fermentation. Lots of great stuff out there but I'd recommend kimchi. If you wanna get serious buy the Noma Guide to Fermentation and actually read it. Best $30 you'll ever spend.

Thanks for coming to my Ted talk. bendingriver

Sparks Should Fly. 

Cutting with a dull knife. Get yourself a sharpener, even if it's a cheap one. NerbleBurfs

I used to suck at sharpening knives and this is exactly what I would do every fishing season. The local bait shop would have cheap fillet knives on sale every year. And every year I'd buy a new one because it's sharp until next year.

Just a year or so ago, I got some good stones and learned via youtube how to properly sharpen a knife. What a game changer, and it saves me $4.99 a year. PM_meyourGradyWhite

The Klumped.

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Don't let your baking powder get clumpy. Tiny rocks of baking powder ruin anything you bake. dzastrus

Don't Muck. 

For the love of God stop mucking about with whatever it is you're cooking. Unless it's something you specifically need to be mixing or stirring constantly, leave it alone! You'll never get proper color on things if they make more contact with your spatula than your pan. SorrySeptember

Not the hen. 

Medium rare chicken. Works for steaks, but not for hen. thermonuclearmuskrat

Buffalo Wild Wings seems to think it's ok. EZKTurbo

Don't Crank. 

Cranking the heat to reduce the cooking time will leave you with a burnt outside and an under-done inside. mkicon

Can I give you my mother-in-law's number? You don't have to be polite. She is ALWAYS on the run and never has enough time to cook, yet ALWAYS insists on cooking meals that take 3x more time than she has available, so she shortcuts the hell out of every meal and they always turn out horribly.

Just this weekend the family went to an apple orchard for most of the day and we were going to eat dinner at a nearby friend's house. Instead of doing the logical thing, like planning a dinner that doesn't need to cook all day or hell, something CRAZY like just ordering pizza, she decides she wants pulled pork. So she throws the pork in the slow cooker and plugs it into a power inverter in their car and then leaves it in there for 5 hours, 1 of which was driving and and 4 of which were with it parked in the parking lot, with the ignition turned off and therefore no power to the inverter.

Of course when we got to the friend's house this was all revealed to me - she was saying how the pork didn't cook and trying to figure out how we could quickly cook it. She said she thought it would just run off the battery in the car.

Infuriating. Left4DayZ1

Storage. 

Incorrectly storing ingredients - seriously, you can get ill if you let raw chicken juice drip on your salad in the fridge. Then, cut meat and veg on separate boards. symes

Cross-contamination is such a huge deal in cooking. Like no, you can't cut veg on the same board you just cut a raw steak on, you trying to make everyone sick??

Edit: Okay, to clarify, steak wasn't a good choice for examples, chicken is the more obvious one due to salmonella. And yes, if everything is being cooked right after, so long as everything is cooked to the right temperature, it's fine. Just be sure to wash the cutting board thoroughly and sanitize your tools. parthaenus9556

DUH!

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Always wear pants while cooking bacon. tjipa84

REDDIT

Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking is available here.

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