20 Of The Most Common Mistakes Amateurs Make In The Kitchen

June 8th, 2021

When first learning how to cook, you can anticipate making a lot of mistakes. Even if you follow every recipe to the last detail, things don’t always come out the way expected. Well, these 20 chefs have spent some time in the kitchen and while they’re still amateurs, they should’ve known better.

A chef below will show 15 common mistakes new cooks make using just one recipe. He’s earned over 4.8 million views for his helpul tips.

After the video, see below the top 20 mistakes that made the list:

Let’s just say these mistakes make professionals chefs cringe.

1. Not sifting dry ingredients

There’s a reason to sift dry ingredients. This ensures they’re all evenly mixed. So, when adding them to wet ingredients, everything blends perfectly.

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Unsplash/Vlad Putkov Source: Unsplash/Vlad Putkov

2. Using old knives …

… or even worse, rusty knives. For one thing, they don’t work. For another, old, rusty knives can’t be healthy, right?

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YouTube Screenshot/Odd Tinkering Source: YouTube Screenshot/Odd Tinkering

3. Not taste-testing food

One of the first things people learn in culinary school is to taste while cooking. Sampling food is the only way to determine if the recipe needs something. For instance, a dish might not be salty enough or perhaps it’s too salty.

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YouTube Screenshot/Mashed Source: YouTube Screenshot/Mashed

4. Frosting warm cake

We get it. When a cake comes out of the oven, most people want to add the frosting right away so they can enjoy a piece. But unless the cake cools completely, the frosting will only melt and slide off.

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Instagram/chef_gail_sokol Source: Instagram/chef_gail_sokol

5. Opening the oven when in use

Food needs to cook at a specific temperature. Whenever someone opens the oven door while in use, it takes extra time for it to reach the appropriate temperature again. This is why chefs preheat ovens before placing food inside.

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Unsplash/Ashim D’Silva Source: Unsplash/Ashim D’Silva

6. Not preheating skillets

The rule of preheating also applies to skillets. Putting food into a cold skillet is never a good idea. This can lead to some of the food not cooking thoroughly and some burning.

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Unsplash/Carlos Fernandez Source: Unsplash/Carlos Fernandez

7. Pressing burgers while cooking

Pressing on burgers cooked on a grill looks cool because it causes the flames to rise. But this also does something that’s not so cool. Whether cooked on a grill or in a skillet, this forces all the fat out of the meat, which is needed to make burgers juicy and delicious.

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Unslash/Emanuel Ekstrom Source: Unslash/Emanuel Ekstrom

8. Putting tomatoes in the refrigerator

This is another mistake that amateur chefs make. Tomatoes should never go in the refrigerator. It changes their chemical composition, which alters their flavor.

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Unsplash/Bob Bowie Source: Unsplash/Bob Bowie

9. Not using a meat thermometer

Especially for chefs with little to no experience cooking meat, they should always use a meat thermometer. That way, they know for certain when the food is fully cooked. When it comes to meat, guessing is a bad idea.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

10. Having a disorganized kitchen

Regardless of how often someone cooks, it pays to keep the kitchen organized. For one thing, this will make cooking easier. For another, it’ll make cooking more enjoyable.

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Unsplash/Nicolas Gras Source: Unsplash/Nicolas Gras

11. Substituting the wrong spices

When used correctly, spices enhance the flavor of recipes. Due to a lack of experience, some amateur chefs make substitutions. But they select spices that don’t go together.

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Pexels/Shantanu Pal Source: Pexels/Shantanu Pal

12. Cooking too much food in the same skillet

Yes, some recipes call for a lot of ingredients. But that doesn’t mean overcrowding a skillet is okay. Doing that causes uneven cooking, which usually affects the flavors.

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Unsplash/Anshu A Source: Unsplash/Anshu A

13. Making food too thick

Both flour and cornstarch work great to thicken things like stews, soups, and gravies. But some amateur cooks go overboard, ending up with a gummy substance. The proper way to thicken a dish is to add a small amount of flour or cornstarch at a time.

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Unsplash/Kristiana Pinne Source: Unsplash/Kristiana Pinne

14. Throwing away bacon fat

This should be a crime. After all, bacon fat is loaded with flavor. Rather than throw it out, chefs can use it to flavor side dishes, main dishes, and vegetables.

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Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch Source: Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch

15. Using the dishwasher for everything

Without question, dishwashers are great. But that doesn’t mean that people should use them to clean everything. A mistake that some amateur chefs make … putting delicate dishes and China in the dishwasher.

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Pexels/Jean van der Meulen Source: Pexels/Jean van der Meulen

16. Getting carried away with spices

Oh, those darn spices. As mentioned, they can turn just about any dish into a masterpiece. But novice chefs think adding a larger quantity of spices than called for in a recipe somehow makes the food taste better.

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Unsplash/Ratul Ghosh Source: Unsplash/Ratul Ghosh

17. Not understanding cooking terms

For someone to become a great chef, they need to know the language. Here’s a prime example. If a recipe calls for the meat to be braised, that doesn’t mean boiling or sautéing it.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

18. Using too much water

Using too much water is another mistake. For soups, stews, and even ramen noodles, there’s a reason a recipe calls for a specific amount of water. Using too much dilutes the flavors and changes the texture.

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Pexels/Roman Odintsov Source: Pexels/Roman Odintsov

19. Using ingredients at the wrong temperature

Sometimes, ingredients need to be at room temperature but amateur chefs think that chilled is fine. If a dish calls for eggs at room temperature it’s to help them incorporate better. Whether eggs, butter, or something else, when chilled, they can negatively affect the consistency and flavor of a recipe

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Unsplash/Hello I’m Nik Source: Unsplash/Hello I’m Nik

20. Not taking advantage of alternative ingredients

When a dish needs something to make it taste better, amateur chefs usually add more salt, pepper, or spices. But there’s another option. To enhance flavors, professional chefs depend on things like lemons, limes, oranges, vinegar, and wine.

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Unsplash/Asa Palsson Source: Unsplash/Asa Palsson

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There you have it, so many helpful tips!

Source: Sweet & Savory, Fine Dining Lovers