jan gleisner tips for cooking on your stovetop blog

If you are a frequent cooker, you have had both good and bad experiences in the kitchen. It happens to even the most experienced chefs every now and then. There are times when we have a recipe in mind and are so excited to bring it to fruition to only have it fail miserably. To some, these cooking blunders are sometimes despairing enough to make them swear off cooking indefinitely, opting for pre-cooked meals or, even worse, regular trips to their fast food joint of choice.

Don’t give up quite so soon! The solution to your cooking issues may be easily solvable. If you find yourself having frequent issues when making food on the stovetop, it could be one of these 5 common mistakes:

1. Cooking at the wrong temperature.

Temperature is crucial when making food, but some people don’t realize just how much of an impact temperature on the stovetop can have on the outcome of their dish. If the heat is too low, it could result in mushy food that has been saturated with oil or butter. If the heat is too high, the outside of a protein will finish more quickly than the inside, which means you will spend an obnoxious amount of time trying to make sure that the inside is cooked through.

2. Cooking with uneven heat.

If you notice that one side of your pan is always much hotter than the other, it may mean that your heat is uneven. This makes it very difficult to cook your food evenly through. Unfortunately, you may be able to diagnose this issue, but fixing it requires either new pots and pans or a new stovetop – which isn’t the most cost-effective option.

3. Moving around food too much.

When making food, some people lose all of their patience and just can’t help but stirring or flipping their food constantly. Only do this when the recipe calls for it – otherwise, find something else to do with your hands while your food is cooking. Too much movement makes it so that your food won’t brown properly.

4. Overcrowding food.

Your food needs room to cook. If you are trying to make a big batch of food and don’t have the right number of pans, or a large enough pan, don’t heap all of your food together. You may think it will be a time-saver, but you are going to spend more time cooking the larger batch and it isn’t even going to turn out as well.

5. Not utilizing the oven.

There are certain foods that will do much better if started on the stovetop and finished in the oven. This includes proteins and the occasional pasta or vegetable dish. Don’t rely on your stovetop to do everything for you!