10 Cooking Mistakes That Can Be Solved with One Ingredient


Cooking is a challenge for some and an effortless talent for others. For example, we can tell you that there are so many things we do wrong in the kitchen on a daily basis that we don’t think professional chefs would ever be so careless as to do, but we’d be wrong. The simple truth is that cooking is an art. Some of us are much better at it than others (not me, just for the record) and sometimes careless mistakes happen to even the best chefs when they are in a rush, distracted or multitasking. It happens; and sometimes you can’t do anything about your cooking mistakes but start over from scratch and let it go. Other times, however, you can go ahead and make it a point to add an ingredient to your dish and change the face of the entire dish. Some cooking mistakes can be fixed with one simple ingredient, and we can tell you what they are and how you can fix any mistakes you make when you are in the kitchen. Let us help you fix your next cooking mistake by telling you how to go about handling the most common mistakes we make in the kitchen.

Pasta Mistakes

Sometimes we think we have a good concept of how to make a good pot of pasta and then we realize halfway through that the pot is too small and it’s not going to work, but we’ve already started the process. You can add more water to the pot to make it work, but that one ingredient isn’t going to work in a small pot. So go ahead and add 6 quarts of water to a larger pot, let it boil with a little salt and then transfer your pasta to the bigger dish.

Runny Pancakes

If you are making pancakes and they’re very thin and runny, you can fix the problem by adding a bit of flour to the mix. Just add a little at a time and continue to mix the batter until you reach the consistency you desire. It’s a very simple fix anyone can do.

Thick Pancakes

On the flip side – oh yes, I went there – your pancakes could be too thick and not able to form into a lovely little pancake shape. If this happens, you’re going to use the same approach you would to fix runny pancakes but with water instead of flour. Add water a little at a time, mix it as you go and stop when you reach the desired consistency.

Flat Cookies

One of the best things you can do when you make cookies, such a chocolate chip, to keep them from becoming too flat is to use shortening instead of butter. It helps to make them a lot fluffier and more delicious than the flat alternatives.

Too Much Salt

When cooking we add a lot of salt to things to make them tastier, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, it becomes a bit of a problem when you add so much salt that it’s not good anymore. The fix for this issue is to squeeze a little lemon juice over the dish to remove a bit of the salty taste. You can also use a bit of lime juice or vinegar. Just be careful not to add too much and to taste as you go to make sure you don’t overdo this little addition to your meal.

Too Much Sugar

Sometimes we make things and they turn out too sweet, and no one wants to eat it. The problem is not the end of the world, but it is something you can fix with relative ease. The best way to overcome the added sweetness is with a bit of something sour. We recommend putting a pinch of salt in anything that is too sweet so that you can counteract a bit of the sweet and fix the entirety of the dish. A little bit of salt and even sometimes a bit of vinegar to a dish can make the sweet seem less sweet and the dish taste the way that it is supposed to taste in the first place.

Watery Sauce

Pasta sauce and other sauces need to be the right consistency to make them as flavorful and delicious as possible. When this happens and you can’t seem to fix the issue, do something very simple to cause the sauce to get back into this normal shape. Add a bit of flour or cornstarch to the mixture. The trick is to add a little at a time so that it’s not ruined. When the sauce reaches the right consistency, you’ll be able to stop adding and rest in peace knowing that dinner is not ruined forever.

Overcooked Vegetables

It’s a bummer when you overcook your vegetables and they’re no longer good. Our idea for this is to cook some pasta and add the veggies to this so that it’s not so noticeable. And this also helps you create a more complex meal so it looks like it was on purpose.

Overcooked Rice

I am so bad about cooking rice. I always forget about it on the stove and cook it just a little too much. But what I’ve learned is that a bit of olive oil added to the mixture can help break up the rice and make it tastier and less overcooked. Just add a teaspoon for every cup of rice and make sure that you don’t overdo it to make it runny or too much like olive oil.

Too Much Spice

We all love spicy food, but that doesn’t mean we want to feel like we are on fire when we’re eating it. So with that in mind, we have to find a way to cut back some of the spice when we overdo it and cause problems. Our suggestion is a bit of lime juice over the meal to help take away the sting of the excess spice. It works wonders that you wouldn’t even believe.

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The New York Culinary Experience


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