There are few things better than a home-cooked meal. Thanks to increasing awareness about nutrition and an ever-expanding market for meal kits and grocery delivery services, people are spending more time cooking at home than ever before. In fact, according to a recent study, 72% of Americans cook at home four or more nights a week, with many indicating that they plan to increase the number of meals they prepare themselves.
However, many home chefs — whether experienced or just learning the ropes in the kitchen — are making crucial cooking mistakes. From serving soggy vegetables to cutting into food too fast, we’ve rounded up the cooking habits you need to stop now.
Not preheating your pan
Whether you’re cooking eggs on the stovetop or making roasted vegetables in the oven, starting with a hot pan is crucial. If you haven’t heated your pan before you add your ingredients, it will take longer for the dish to cook and will increase your risk of overcooking your food.
Over-mixing your dough
While finding little pockets of flour or baking soda in your baked goods is far from ideal, over-mixing is an equally egregious error. Over-mixing dough squashes the tiny air pockets that give baked goods their fluffiness and can cause the resulting product to become tough.