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Three common mistakes beginner chefs make

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Cooking at home can be more than a necessity.  With the right tricks and planning, it can be a pleasurable  therapeutic experience, and even cement your status as the star in the kitchen.

Don’t hob knob too much – or too little

Adding oil or food to a pan before it’s properly heated can lead to a host of problems with the final result.

Heat causes food to release their stored moisture. A hot pan creates an instant seal that locks in the  juices and flavor of ingredients. A pan that’s not properly heated however will cause your dish to end up stewing in its own juices. In deep-frying, the food absorbs more oil and becomes greasy when fried at too low a temperature.

Preventing deep fried food from coming out overly greasy, the oil needs to be heated to the right temperature before the ingredients are added.

On the other hand, overheating the pan can not only cause burning and the breakdown of oil, but food may come out burnt on the outside while remaining uncooked on the inside. Unless it’s meat that requires searing, like steak, don’t twist that knob on your hob too much.

To test whether a pan is hot enough, try sprinkling a few drops of water on the pan before you add the oil. If it sizzles and evaporates immediately, the pan should be ready for cooking.

For  chefs who prefer not to idle around, the burners on Electrolux’s range of Brio cooking hobs are designed for maximum flame efficiency. The Brio’s Aerated Penta Jet technology ensures an efficient flame which heats up food faster, so oil is brought to deep-frying temperature in just 4.5 minutes.

Pots don’t pan out

There’s a reason why we don’t fry eggs in pots or boil soup in pans. The sides of a pot is deeper to  trap and hold steam, so trying to fry anything in it will give you a soggy mess rather than a crisp result.

The size of the pot or pan also matters. Using a pan that’s too large for the burner will decrease the flame’s efficiency and increase cooking times.

Every kitchen needs a set of pots and pans that can handle the types of cooking to be done.

Avoid overcrowding the pot or pan  too as covering the entire surface of the pan will create and trap steam, preventing browning and causing your food to  boil or steam instead of being fried. In a boiling pot, every ingredient added lowers the temperature of the water. Add too much and the water stops boiling, which alters the cooking process and the result is mushy and clumpy  pasta.

In either case, keep it simple and use an appropriate cooking utensil whose size best fits the quantity of  food. Induction cooktops like the Maxisense have large induction zones that allow you to use larger pots and pans should you require them.

Moving food around too much

 Flipping that pork chop religiously won’t make it  brown faster or better, so put down the spatula and let it cook. While you should watch your food while it’s cooking, it doesn’t need as much hands on attention as you think. In fact, by playing culinary gymnastics with your meal, you’re resetting the heating process each time and preventing the heat from the pan from cooking the food. Not only will this extend the cooking time, it also  alters the texture and colour of the food. Unless the recipe calls for it, leave the dish alone until it’s ready. Induction hobs like the Electrolux EHED63CS are ideal for keeping the temperature in the pot or pan consistent so food cooks evenly.

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