Stop Making These 15 Cooking Mistakes Before You Ruin Your Next Meal

Don't lose hope in the kitchen! Here are 15 cooking mistakes to avoid when you're cooking. These will help you become a better cook. Promise!


Whether you love cooking or hate it, you probably have to make a meal in your household once and a while. If you tend to overcook things or ruin entire meals, it’s time you learn how to avoid making these cooking mistakes. Impress your friends and family with your new skills by avoiding these 15 common cooking errors.

1. Putting cooked pasta in cold water

Don’t rinse your cooked pasta in cold water because you will remove all the starch from the pasta. You want to keep the starch so the sauce sticks to the pasta.

2. Kneading your pie dough too much

If you make your own pie crust, remember to knead your dough gently. If you knead it too much then it becomes hard and it will be more difficult to roll and flatten.

3. Constantly flipping breaded meat

Only flip your meat after cooking it for 3 minutes. If you flip it before, you remove the meat from the hot surface of the pan so it will take longer to cook. Be patient and wait!

4. Adding salt when you’re cooking potatoes

Don’t salt your potatoes when you are boiling them. Wait and only add salt and pepper at the end, just before you serve them with dinner.

5. Leaving your pie in the oven to let it cool

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If you leave your pie in the oven after it is cooked, it will continue cooking! Take it out of the oven and place it on your counter at room temperature.

6. Draining your boiled potatoes correctly

Drain your potatoes properly so when they are ready to eat, they will taste like potatoes and not water. If you want to make sure they are completely dry, place your drained potatoes in the hot cooking pot they were in so the heat dries them.

7. Add your mashed potato seasonings straight from the fridge

Don’t make your mashed potatoes cold before you’ve even had a taste! Add room temperature or warm butter and heated milk or cream to your potatoes before mashing them so they stay nice and warm. There’s nothing worse than taking a bite of cold potatoes!

8. Speeding up the cooking process

Does the meat you cook tend to be dry? Remember that you should never try to quicken the cooking process by increasing the temperature. If your meat takes 2 hours to cook, there’s a reason why!

9. Overcooking your vegetables

Don’t let your vegetables cook for too long. If you are steaming them, once the water is boiling, it only takes about 7-10 minutes for them to cook. You can start cooking them when all your other food is nearly ready.

10. Cooking your food too much in advance

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Some food can be cooked in advanced but potatoes should never be made too much in advance. If you want to make them before your guests arrive, add your cooked potatoes to a heat resistant bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place it on top of a pot with simmering water for 2 hours. If you have a slow cooker, you can also use that. Make sure you mix them well before serving.

11. Cooking meat in a cold pan

Always make sure your pan is hot before adding your meat. This is a basic cooking hack everyone should know.

12. Cooking with the wrong kind of potatoes


Russets and Yukon Golds make the best mashed potatoes. You don’t want to choose waxy potatoes like the red and white kinds because you will end up with sticky and pasty.

13. Salting your food at the wrong time

Only salt your food once it is ready because the salt develops aromas at the end of the cooking process so there’s no point in salting your food when you start cooking it.

14. Adding the dressing in your salad too early


If you are making a salad for a dinner party, don’t add the dressing until it is time to serve the salad because if you add it too early, the lettuce will become soggy.

15. Burning your onions

Cook your onions at medium heat or else they will burn! You don’t want burnt onions in your meal.


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