12 Common Cooking Mistakes To Avoid

And how to fix them.

Ellie Sunakawa / BuzzFeed

Overcrowding the pan.

Overcrowding the pan.

This goes for everything from sheet pans to skillets. The basic rule is that you want to leave enough room so that the food isn't touching. With something like chicken thighs, that extra space ensures the heat from the pan evenly distributes, and that all sides can brown up easily and equally.

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Undersalting the water.

Undersalting the water.

Friends don't let friends underseason pasta water. 👏 Salt flavors the pasta from the inside out, and without it, you'll end up with bland noodles — no matter how killer of a sauce is poured on top. How much salt, though? Depends on your taste, but a great starting point is about 1½ tablespoons of salt for every pound of pasta. (You'll want to season the water when cooking similar bases too, like rice or quinoa.)

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

Using extra virgin olive oil to cook ~everything.~

Using extra virgin olive oil to cook ~everything.~

Compared to some oils, EVOO has a relatively low smoke point — or temperature at which it starts to burn. That means using it over super high heat can be bad news, especially when it comes to things like searing steak or making stir-fry. (Find a detailed breakdown of which oils you should be using instead at Bon Appétit.)

Bon Appétit / bonappetit.com


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