10 Ways to Become A Better Cook, Using Your Senses
Become a better cook by learning to rely on all five senses in the kitchen: not just sight and taste, but hearing, touch and smell. (Adapted from: http://nyti.ms/2ns1Tab)
- •👂🍳Really listen to your skillet. Notice the steady sound of a sizzle when frying; popping noises or uneven rhythms mean the heat is too high.
- •👇🍪Touch the tops of cookies. That will help you decide if they are done: You should feel crisp crust, not soft dough.
- •👌Practice picking up 1/4 teaspoon of salt in your fingertips and learn what it feels like, so that you can measure without spoons.
- •👂💧Listen to liquids as they cook to learn the different sounds of a simmer, a boil and a hard boil.
- •👀Think about your eye level. Designate one shelf of your fridge and cupboard for the ingredients you use most often (flour, lemons, olive oil, soy sauce, whatever), so that you can recognize them immediately and grab them quickly.
- •👆🍞Dedicate an afternoon to learning what bread dough and pie crust should feel like when they have the right balance of flour and water; your fingertips will retain the information forever. (Plus kneading is a good arm workout. 💪)
- •🔪🐟, 🔪👄The blade of a small sharp knife can help you gauge when fish is cooked. Slide it into the flesh of the fish, then remove it and press it gently to your lips. It should feel pleasantly hot, like a hot shower: not warm, and not scalding.
- •👂🍰. Yes, 🎂.Listen to your cakes: A cake that is still baking makes little bubbling sounds, while a finished cake goes quiet.
- •👃👀✔️. ⏰❌.Use your nose and eyes when sautéing garlic in oil, instead of following time guidelines. Garlic is cooked when barely golden and fragrant, whether the process takes 10 seconds or 2 minutes.
- •👐🥗.Toss salads with your hands to ensure the leaves are evenly coated with dressing. Touch the greens before tossing to make sure they are fluffy and cool: Limp leaves should go back to the refrigerator for refreshing, covered with a damp kitchen towel.