Having the chance to audition for a Food Network Canada show is many home cooks’ dream. But going face-to-face against one of the greats in a surprise twist? Well, that’s just downright nerve-wracking. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure your dishes stack up to the pros every single time. All you have to do is stop making the same mistakes that the pros on season two of Outchef’d consistently see home cooks make in the kitchen.
According to the likes of Alex Guarnaschelli, Darnell Ferguson, Robert Irvine and more, there are four common mistakes that home cooks always make. Read on and watch the video above to find out what they are.
1. Trying To Do Everything All At Once
As soon as you try to multitask too many things in the kitchen, other mistakes will follow. There’s a reason chefs rely on mise en place, or “putting in place.” It’s so they have everything at their fingertips when it comes time to cook.
“Cut everything at one time,” says Ferguson. “By the time you get to cooking, all you should be doing is cooking.”
2. Not Tasting As You Go
Several of the season two pros stand by the rule of thumb, taste as you go. How else are you supposed to know whether you need more seasoning or if something is missing? If you wait until the final product is ready, it’s too late to fix anything.
Kelsey Barnard Clark agrees that this is a mistake she constantly sees. “It’s a lot of just following recipes and not really thinking about it,” she explains. “And then all of a sudden, there’s never been a moment where you’ve stopped and say, ‘This needs salt.’”
3. Misunderstanding Seasonings
Using fresh seasonings and knowing their different uses can make a big difference between an okay dish and a stellar one. Joe Sasto says he sees home cooks confusing their salts all the time, for example.
“There are different kinds of salts, they’re not seasoning heavy enough or they’re using finishing salt when they should be using kosher salt,” he says. “Understanding how to properly season will elevate your cooking game.”
4. Not Following the Proper Steps
Knowing the fundamentals of a recipe and following them are key when it comes to being a successful cook. “Not letting their meat rest to get to room temperature, not having enough water to cook pasta, and not saving the pasta water,” lists Geoffrey Zakarian as examples.
“They put oil in from cold to get it hot,” adds Irvine. “Never put oil in pans to get hot. Put the pan on, get it hot, then add the oil.
“Following the processes of like, the braise. And doing things properly,” chimes in Eric Adjepong.
Catch up on Outchef’d on Food Network Canada. Also available on STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, fuboTV, Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream.