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Cooking Tip: How not to Burn your Food

No matter how skillful you are, we are all subject to shortcomings and distractions. Although it is important to learn from one’s mistakes in culinary, there are certainly ways to avoid them and prevent burning your food.


one of the most common challenges one faces while cooking is the dreaded fate of burnt food.

How many of us had to throw away our dinners or start a recipe all over again because we burnt our food and the bitter taste overpowered the whole thing? Whether you are a food enthusiast, or just a college student trying to avoid ramen for the 3rd night straight, one of the most common challenges one faces while cooking is the dreaded fate of burnt food. But don't worry, we prepared for you a comprehensive guide to mastering the art of not burning food!


What happens when you're burning food?


At its core, burning is a chemical reaction. When food is exposed to heat over high temperatures or for too long, it undergoes a process of caramelization that can turn into carbonization, resulting in a very overwhelming and unpleasant bitter taste and burnt appearance, so to avoid burning food, it is crucial to know how to control heat. Start with a low heat and then gradually turn to medium or high. Or, if you like your food a little charred, you can start with high heat, and then switch it to medium and low to finish cooking. Stirring is also a great way to prevent your food from burning as it doesn’t let the food stick to the bottom of the pan.


Helpful tools


Timers can also be very helpful to remind us it’s time to take our food from the fire or oven. Most recipes come with the time a dish or dessert requires, and nowadays, we can easily set timers on our phones or even in our stoves and microwaves. Whether we are sauteeing mushrooms or waiting for a cake in the oven, timers are real-life savers when it comes to not burning food. 


Knowing your equipment is also a very important tip, as different pots, pans, and ovens conduct heat differently. For example, Cast iron retains heat longer, while stainless steel heats up quickly. Also make sure your oven matches the temperature scales of your recipes, whether Fahrenheit or degrees Celsius. that can be crucial for your recipe to either take hours to cook or minutes to burn. 


Cleaning your pans is also important, as past residues or used oils can burn your food faster. Non-stick pans are great for not burning food, and adding a bit of oil, and butter are also great options that help not burn your food. 


Take a cooking class for practicing!


The best way to learn is by practicing. So start with something as easy as scrambled eggs, and play around with the heat. Practicing baking can also be helpful as it demands accuracy in both temperature and timing.


In case of burning, don't panic! the first step is to lower the heat and move the food around, or even move to a different pan if possible. In the case of baking, just turn off the oven and let it sit for a while, sometimes even scrapping off the burnt parts can help save the dish. Burning food is a common mishap, but it's easily preventable with the right knowledge and attention. It is normal to burn ourselves as it is part of the learning process but don’t let it intimidate you, embrace the hot mess, and keep trying, every chef has burnt something at some point.


With these tips in mind, you're sure to say goodbye to ramen and burnt cake, and finally be able to treat yourself to a delicious and sophisticated meal every time!

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Whether it's a birthday celebration, a work retreat, or a date night, let us set up a private cooking class for you with any chef around the world. 

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