Close-up of chef’s hands holding a sauté pan to cook food, flambeeing contents. Flames rising from the pan.

Whether you can prepare Beef Wellington that could knock the socks off of a queen or you are one of the unlucky few who can barely boil water, you can benefit from the tips outlined here. Use this guide to take your cooking to a whole new level of excellence.

The most difficult and time consuming thing about cooking is doing all of the prep work. You can buy pre-prepped vegetables or prep your ingredients the day before to cut down on the time you are in the kitchen. This is very helpful if you need to get dinner out in a hurry.

When cutting onions, hold a match between your teeth while you cut. Make sure the match is not lit. This will keep those stinging eyes and unwanted tears away. Your experience cutting the onion will be more pleasant if you follow this simple tip each and every time.

Always add oil to the side of the pan when sautéing. If you find that you need more oil in your pan while you are cooking, never put it right in the middle. Add it to the side of your pan. That way, it will be sufficiently heated by the time it reaches the food.

Cook your rice in vegetable or chicken stock instead of using water. Choosing a stock will add both extra taste and valuable nutrients. The cooking process and time are the same as with water, so you won’t be adding any extra work by trying this method.

When you are cooking, it is possible to substitute honey for sugar in several recipes. First, begin by using an amount of honey that is half of the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. If you find that the final product is not sweet enough, you can add more honey the next time around.

Eggplants tend to turn black during cooking unless you treat them properly. Add a spoon of milk to the cold cooking water and add the plant to that milky water. The eggplant will not change its color during cooking and will make your dish more appetizing when you serve it.

When you are roasting meat, you should save the juice left in the pan. You can use this juice for making a rich gravy to accompany your meal. When you are done cooking, put the juice in a pan with spices and add flour to it. Stir until thick and you have gravy.

Whenever possible, you should buy your food from the farmers market rather than a normal grocery store or supermarket. Food from the farmers market is fresh and sometimes requires less maintenance to bring out flavors rather than normal food. Remember to keep it simple when cooking with food from the farmers market.

Keep vegetables fresh longer by covering them with a wet paper towel and then putting them in an airtight bag. They will stay fresh for several more days if they are kept slightly damp. Refrigeration and lack of air will also keep them fresh. It is important to get the most out of your vegetables by sealing them tightly and storing them away immediately if you do not plan to use them.

If you are new to cooking, remember that there are great meal kits that you can use to save time and avoid a taste mishap. Meal kits are designed to offer a quicker method of creating a meal, while ensuring that those that need a great meal idea have all they need to make a delicious meal that is completely fail proof.

When cooking, one of the things that you need to do is to read the recipe before starting. This will prepare you for all the necessary steps you will need to follow to make a successful dish. Once you read the recipe, gather all your ingredients so that you have them lined up and ready to go. Doing this makes the cooking experience go smoothly and it will be much more enjoyable.

Keep it familiar when you are having guests. Cooking can quickly go from fun to entertainment disaster when you try too many complicated things at the same time. A good rule of thumb successful cooks follow is to never-mix a new ingredient and new recipe in the same meal.

Replace the water in a recipe with beef, chicken or vegetable broth to add flavor. Try using boullion cubes and water if you do not have chicken stock. Each of these suggestions provides the proper amount of moisture for your food while still giving it a bit of extra flavor.

Now that you are armed with the cooking know-how to wow your family, friends and guests, you are prepared to make some knock-out dishes. Enjoy your time in the kitchen, and use the tips in this article to guide you towards the very best in fine dining and everyday cooking.