5 Habits of Highly (In)effective Cooks

Hi! This week’s post is a bit different (and fun)! There are countless articles on how to be a “better” cook, so I thought I’d come up with something a bit different. Enjoy!

FYI: Many of these habits are from personal experience. The rest are from Kitchen Nightmares 😉

Making a Mess– Walk into any ineffective cook’s kitchen and you’ll find pots and pans strewn about, scraps lying around the counter, a spill here or there, and if you’re really (un)lucky, knives sitting right at the counter edge waiting for their next victim. They’re always searching for a “missing” ingredient only to find it too late and complaining about the clean up after.

The Fix: Mise en place! Before turning on the heat, read the recipe and get out the required equipment and ingredients. Spend some time to chop veggies before putting in the pot so you’re not frantically chopping while it’s time to put them in. Wipe up messes and discard waste immediately. Finally, keep it safe. unused knives should be at least 10in from the edge of a surface with the tip pointing AWAY from you.

Multi- tasking– Skilled chefs “multitask” by making good use of waiting time; ineffective cooks “multitask” by interpreting “stir constantly” as “catch up on emails”. The result is overspilled pots, burned items forgotten in the oven, overcooked fish….

The Fix: PUT. THE. PHONE. DOWN. If the dish requires extensive inactive cooking time, sure, go ahead and catch up on work, but remember to set a loud timer before scrolling.

Wasting Food– Ineffective cooks toss anything they *think* they can’t use. Making lemonade? The peel goes into the bin. Roasting broccoli? Bye bye to the perfectly good stems. Most of the time, it’s simply because they don’t know how to take advantage of “off parts” or “don’t have time” to do more

The Fix: Plan Ahead! When using an part of an ingredient in one dish, find other dishes or uses for the other parts that aren’t in the recipe. For example, if you’re making lemonade, don’t toss the peel! grate it into another dish or stick it in the fridge for a natural deodourant

Cutting Corners- Ineffective cooks cut cooking times, guestimate the amount of baking powder or ignore the pesky instructions to “stir constantly”. They have a pipe dream that sauces will cook in half the time if only one were impatient enough or settle for “good enough”. Cutting corners is also what leaves these cooks wondering why their version isn’t as good as grandma’s despite following the same recipe.

The Fix: I’m going to sound like a broken record- Plan Ahead! Planning ahead will ensure you’ll have the time needed to give dishes the love they deserve. Take a mental left turn. Don’t treat cooking as grunt work to get to a meal ; treat each time in the kitchen as an opportunity to hone in an invaluable skill.

Not Asking for (and ignoring) Feedback– Ineffective cooks don’t ask or are satisfied with the polite “it was good” given by friends and family. Asking for and implementing feedback is the fastest and best way to improve. Alas, these ineffective cooks can’t be bothered. It’s “just a dish”, right?

The Fix: Ask, ask smart and ask followups. Instead of “how was it”, try “what do you think would have made the dish better”

Well, that’s it Which of these habits do you fall prey to? Are there others I missed? Do you have any fixes? Let me know!

Until next time, Bye!

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