We all have behaviours – whether biting your nails, swearing or clicking your pen in meetings – that are so subconscious, we often don’t even know we’re doing them. In the kitchen, little habits can make or break your experience, especially when someone else is in or sharing your space.
1. Not sharpening your knives
If you’re cooking with a blunt knife, there’s a large chance that you’ll need to apply more pressure when chopping with it, which can lead to disaster. It also means that the food you’re cutting is ultimately ‘bruised’ rather than neatly sliced. Don’t know how to sharpen knives yourself? There’s no shame in it – just get them professionally sharpened.
2. Overfilling your pot or pan
There may be times when you might think, “Ah, f*#k it, everything is going in,” but it’s good to have some patience and cook things in batches, like when browning meat. Why? Overfilling a pan causes less of its surface area to be available to the food, increasing cooking time and leaving you with a mushy end product (or, in the case of meat, it won’t brown properly).
3. Not cleaning up as you go
It takes constant mindful practise, but cleaning as you go is a game-changer. And even if you don’t feel like it’s making you more efficient, at least it will look like you are! Plus, it’s more hygienic and ensures that you’re on top of things, should an unexpected emergency arise.