I certainly know how easy it is to think I’m doing something right in the kitchen only to burn a whole through my pans in the process.
Well, turns out one Reddit user who shares the same sentiment wanted to know about these mistakes, posting on thread u/MomosOnSale: “Redditors who cook, what’s the biggest ‘no no’ thing in cooking?”
The responses were not only hilarious but pretty educational too. Check out the best ones below, as per Buzfeed:
1. Pouring hot oil down the sink.
“Never pour your oil in the sink at all. It will clog up everything so fast.” —u/munk_e_man
“Instead, I’ve been putting oil/fat in the fridge until it hardens and throwing it away when I take the trash out.” —u/Acid_Monster
2. Using a glass cutting board.
“I have a small glass cutting board but I don’t actually use it for cutting. It’s next to my stove and is my designated ‘I need to set this spoon down’ area because it’s easy to clean. That’s all it’s good for really.” —u/chivere
3. Pouring spices directly from their container into a steaming hot pot on the stove.
“The spices will congeal in their containers from the moisture introduced. Instead put the spices in a separate side container then add to a steaming pot.” —U/EatPrayShit
4. Forgetting to let your meat rest.
“Don’t cut meat immediately after cooking it. More juices will flow out and the meat will become drier. Wait a few minutes.” —u/atavaxagn
“Resting is part of cooking. That bacon you cooked to perfection that’s still in the skillet? Yeah, that’s too late. You need to remove things from heat a little earlier than you’d think so that the ambient heat continues to do its job. Otherwise you’re overcooking it.” —u/CiD7707
5. Not using the proper cooking oil.
“Olive oil is meant to be cooked at medium heat; anything higher will burn the oil.” —u/tomel6517
“Most oils have higher smoke points — meaning hey can be heated to greater degrees before starting to break down and smoke up. Canola, corn, sunflower, etc. Just not extra virgin olive oil.” —u/jasong222
6. Burning the garlic.
“Throw garlic in mid-way through when making vegetables with a long cook time. Garlic needs time to cook, sure, but if you throw it in first it’s more likely to burn. And garlic goes in before any large quantity of liquid.” —u/Life_is_a_Hassel
“There’s a difference between browned golden garlic and burnt garlic. Browned garlic is amazing. Burnt garlic is black and bitter. And it can quickly go from amazing to burnt in a few seconds.” —u/dinowand
7. Forgetting to replace baking powder frequently.
“Letting your baking powder get clumpy. Tiny rocks of baking powder ruin anything you bake.” —u/dzastrus
8. Rinsing your pasta.
9. Being afraid to experiment in the kitchen.
“Feeling like cooking is too hard or being afraid to experiment with stuff. Obviously don’t try something totally new when you’re cooking for guests, but don’t feel like failing means you suck. If you mess up, learn from it and move on. It’s not the end of the world. —u/DingleMyBarry
“I can’t tell you how many dishes I’ve made that I had to hate-eat because they turned out poorly or bland, but each one teaches you something important if you are willing to learn. My success rate at making new dishes is very high now because of all the failures.” —u/FuckShitSquadron
10. Using dull knives.
“Sharpen your damn knives. Seriously, dull knives are super dangerous.” —u/bendingriver
“Not only are they less effective, but they’re also dangerous because a dull knife is more likely to slip and go where you dont want it rather than safely dig into the cut you’re trying to make.” —u/EZKTurbo
“Cutting with a dull knife. Get yourself a sharpener, even if it’s a cheap one.” —u/NerbleBurfs
“Dangerously dull knives. I’ve seen some real bludgeons in other people’s kitchens. No wonder they hate prep work.” —u/BattleHall
11. Undercooking poultry.
“Medium rare chicken. Works for steaks, but not for hen.” —u/thermonuclearmuskrat
12. Cleaning your cast iron pan with soap.
“Don’t put soap on cast iron when you wash it. Hot water and a sponge is all you need, and you can use coarse salt to help scrub if it’s real stuck.” —u/Lazy_Lightning470
13. Letting your fridge get unorganized.
“Label and date when you open stuff and keep it near the front. Keeping it near the front is most important as it helps encourage you to remember, ‘Ah yes, I have this kale that I should use,’ before you open something else. —u/bendingriver
14. Cooking over heat that’s too high.
“Cranking the heat to reduce the cooking time will leave you with a burnt outside and an under-done inside.” —u/mkicon
“Alton Brown said (extremely paraphrased, of course) to consider time and temperature as if they were ingredients themselves. You can’t alter them any more than any other ingredient and expect the result to come out correctly.” —u/Brew78_18
“Cooking everything on high heat because you want it done faster.” —u/SheriffComey
15. Buying way too many knives.
“I’m a chef for a living, and I have six knives. Your average home chef needs three at most. A standard length chef’s knife, a paring knife (which most home chefs never use from what I’ve seen), and a medium-size blade for veggies.” —u/bendingriver
“Those are probably the only three I ever use: chef’s knife, paring knife, and a serrated knife. I would prefer to get rid of the rest because we really don’t use them and they look cluttered.” —u/Rdbjiy53wsvjo7
16. Only using your blender to make smoothies.
“Blenders are not just for smoothies. Use them for sauces and your life will be changed.” —u/bendingriver
17. Not exercising caution when cooking hot peppers.
“Learned this the hard way: don’t throw fresh chili peppers into a hot pan unless you want to basically pepper spray the whole house!” —u/sriracha_everything
18. Stirring and flipping your food too often while cooking.
“Stop mucking about with whatever it is you’re cooking. Unless it’s something you specifically need to be mixing or stirring constantly, leave it alone! You’ll never get proper color on things if they make more contact with your spatula than your pan.” —u/SorrySeptember
“Stop pressing down on things when you flip them. You make pancakes lose their fluffiness, or you make the composition more ‘compact’ by you pushing out the fat and flavor in the protein. Ultimately, it doesn’t make the food cook faster. Let it cook and do its thing.” —u/tinkabearcat13
19. Not being precise while baking.
“Guessing at amounts when baking.” —u/Wrong_Answer_Willie
“Baking is science. Cooking is art.” —u/32MB-Lamb
20. Adding too much seasoning too quickly.
“Remember, you can’t get some stuff back after you add it. Go slow with seasonings, and lightly. You can always add more, but you can’t take it back.” —u/powerlesshero111
21. Skimping on the butter and salt.
“Growing up, we used nothing but margarine. As I began to cook, I replaced it with butter and the flavor cannot be matched by any substitute.” —u/el_monstruo
“The secret to how restaurants make all their food taste brilliant is that they use absurd amounts of fat and salt compared to home cooks because, guess what, fat and salt make things taste nice.” —u/TaintedLion
“Things that make food taste good: salt, fat (butter), spices (garlic, chilis). I can’t tell you how often I eat food someone else has made and it’s like they’ve never heard of salt and they think margarine is fine.” —u/dicedice
22. Omitting the onions.
“You can’t cook without onions just because you don’t like them.” —u/BearBoner420
“Hate onions, still cook with them. Raw onions are totally different from cooking onions into something!” —u/Kitiarana
23. Using metal on a non-stick skillet.
“Coming anywhere near my non-stick pan with metal. If you scratch my pan I will scratch your soul.” —u/o0oO0o0Oo00oOoo00i
24. Forgetting to salt.
“There is a reason pretty much every recipe including candy and ice cream includes salt. Still, don’t overdo it either.” —u/gorkish
“Never, and I mean never, panic if you start a fire by accident. You need to be calm enough to know if you have to smother it (oil or grease fires) or grab the extinguisher. Panicking can get your house burned down.” —u/nippynip345
26. Not cooking with the proper pans.
“Using a regular or nonstick pan for searing steaks. The temperature required to get a nice sear will ruin the special coating on them, rendering them useless. Use a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. If you have to use a stove, it only takes a couple minutes to get a good sear with a ripping hot pan.” —u/odarien
27. Not letting your pans heat up all the way.
28. Not reading the full recipe before cooking.
“You should read and understand the entire recipe before you start cooking. You don’t have time to boil water when you need to ‘add boiling water.’ And it’s nice to have the rice ready when you arrive at ‘serve with rice.’ —u/mister-pi
29. Not prepping ingredients in advance.
“Do not start cooking unless all (or almost all) ingredients are prepped. You cannot start chopping onions while your meat is frying dry in the pan.” —u/Chinese_Wolf
“When prepping a meal with a lot of ingredients, have everything set on the countertop. Seasoning, garlic, and so on. That way, you don’t go looking for it as the meal is cooking.” —u/350Zamir
“That’s why cooking on TV looks so much easier. Someone put forth the effort to measure and prep the ingredients ahead of time. Nothing’s worse than trying to cook and prep at the same time.” —u/jahvidsanders44
30. Undervaluing fresh and seasonal ingredients.
“Fresh, fresh, fresh. And, if possible, local. It tastes better.” —u/TheSpaceBetw
“Try to buy seasonal. Charts like this one will help you figure out what’s ripe. Fruits and vegetables in peak season taste better. Try to shop local. Long shipping times require food be picked before they’re ripe.” —u/munk_e_man
31. Trying to catch a falling knife
“Don’t try to catch a dropped knife. Back away and let it fall.” —u/charlesnorthpark
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