Is cooking a scary frontier for you? Are you nervous about entering your kitchen, remembering a previous disaster? If this is you, never fear! Plenty of people have trouble with cooking, and all it takes is a little practice and proper education to cook like a pro! Read on to find out how.

Have you ever wondered how your neighbor’s pie crusts turn out to be golden brown and glossy while yours is always pale? There is a trick to learn which guarantees the desired result every time. Beat some egg whites and brush it over the pie. You will take out beautiful, glossy, golden brown pies from your oven.

Always use the freshest ingredients you can find for your cooking. Fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood all taste better when they are fresh. Besides better taste, fresh ingredients are usually healthier than pre-packaged, canned or frozen ones. Fresh foods have superior nutritional content and lack the unhealthy additives found in packaged foods.

To cook healthier, try replacing highly refined goods with whole-grain alternatives when you bake. Enriched white flour and other such refined grain products are low in nutritional value. Even replacing a fraction of them with natural whole-grain products will improve the healthiness of the finished dish. Consult packaging directions for specific replacements; whole-grain products do not always replace refined ones at a 1:1 ratio.

When you are cooking a dish that requires it to be sauteed, add oil around the edges of the pan rather than directly on the food. This gives the oil a chance to heat up before it reaches the cooking food that is in the center of the pan. Hot oil will give you improved results and makes your dish taste better.

Ice cube trays are fabulous for freezing and storing leftover sauce. Then, at a later date, it is a simple process to reheat the cubes on your stovetop in a pan. Don’t worry, your sauce will taste great even after having been frozen.

Once in awhile, burgers stick to the cooking surface making it nearly impossible to get them off in one piece. You should brush a thin layer of vegetable oil over the grill before you begin cooking. This will keep the food from becoming stuck to the grill surface.

When cooking, make sure that you never put anything metal in the microwave, as it will cause sparks given the electromagnetic energy. Always make sure that the items you are microwaving are safe to put in there. This will help to increase your level of safety when you are in the kitchen.

When boiling or sauteing veggies, use chicken broth instead of water. This helps to prevent vegetables from sticking on the pan. In addition, chicken broth improves the vegetables’ flavor. Chicken broth is readily available at most grocery stores, and it is very affordably priced.

Drinks are an essential part of every meal as you will want to have the appropriate wine with your dish if you are eating meat. Make sure that you choose a fine red wine if you are having quality meat, and this is sure to maximize the quality of your experience with friends and family.

One useful tool to use when chopping herbs into smaller sizes is the cutting board. Often while cutting, herbs move around instead of staying in place. To stop this from happening, simply apply a little salt to the cutting board before you begin cutting your herbs. This will keep them in place and make your cooking much easier.

Don’t throw out turkey leftovers, whether it is from a holiday dinner or an everyday meal. Instead, cut it into slices, store it in an airtight container, and place it directly in the freezer. Doing this will keep the meat fresh for longer, allowing you to use it in many different ways.

Don’t use prepared seasoning mixes when you cook, especially if you have high blood pressure. These mixes often have a high sodium content. Instead, use fresh herbs and spices, or make sure you choose a low-salt mix. For more flavor, try adding lemon or lime zest or a few chili peppers to your meal.

For the best cooking results, spices have to be replaced after six months. If you keep them longer than this, they may lose their flavor. If you know you will not use the whole spice bottle, give some of it to someone you know.

How to ‘un-seize’ melted chocolate. If the chocolate you are melting suddenly gets lumpy or grainy, this means it has ‘seized’, and it will ruin a recipe. Remove the pan and add 1/2 to 1 tsp of shortening or cooking oil (not butter or margarine). Stir until the mixture becomes smooth again. To prevent seizing, make sure the pan is completely dry before trying to melt chocolate.

As was said in the beginning of this article, cooking is all about education and practice. This article has given you the building blocks to become a better cook, now all you have to do is practice, practice, practice! Soon you’ll be making great food that you’ll love to eat!