Many people view cooking as a hassle. This article provides you with suggestions to do just that.

When you store your spices and herbs, keep them in a place that is cool and dark. If they get exposed to any light, humidity or heat, their flavor will begin to weaken. Generally, ground spices and herbs keep most of their flavor for a year. Whole spices have a longer shelf-life and can hold their flavor for about three years. They’ll last longest when stored properly.

If you are just beginning to cook more of your meals, go straight to the nearest bookstore or library to find a cookbook that has simple, fun recipes. Cooking might take a while to master, as it requires perfecting certain techniques.

Season meat very sparingly to begin with and add more during the cooking process. Foods such as meatballs, meatloaf, and hamburgers too all require delicate seasoning. Hold off on cooking the entire dish until you have checked the seasoning. Just cook a small piece formed into a patty. After that, you can either cook the rest or adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Use sharp knives to prepare your favorite meals. If you try to cut using a dull knife, you will have a lot of difficulties, and it can also a very dangerous. You are more likely to get cut exerting a force on a dull knife to slice a vegetable than you are when using a sharp knife.

Cooking vegetables quickly improve their overall quality. If you slow cook vegetables they will lose nutritional value and taste. You have an added bonus because these certain techniques make vegetables healthier in general. Only cook vegetables as much as you have to, in order to preserve their taste and nutritional value.

Proper timing of grilled meat can be tricky to figure out. It is a great idea to utilize a meat thermometer to make sure you cook the meat properly. For meat that is more than an inch and a half thick, you might want to close the lid of the grill to decrease the cooking time.

Cook your vegetables in chicken broth. Cooking vegetables in chicken broth is a low-fat, flavorful option. Chicken broth can be bought at almost any grocery store and is so inexpensive.

Get the most from garlic by buying only the freshest bulbs you can find. When garlic is fresher, it will not taste as bitter. Fresh garlic usually has a firm skin and no bruises or soft spots.

Leave the bone in your roast if you are in a hurry. It will cook faster because the bone will evenly distribute the heat inside your roaster. It is easy enough to cut the meat off the bone once the roast is cooked.

If you desire to keep your spices fresh, preserve them in a chilled, comfortable area until your next meal. Keeping your spices and herbs stored above your stove or in high cabinets where warm air collects will dry them out and destroy their flavor.

To add more flavor to your dishes, try adding some stock that you have prepared. Made in large batches, it’s easy to store in the freezer if you use resealable plastic bags. If you do this, you will never be short of stock for soups, stews, and other such dishes. Creating your own stock can reduce preservatives in the concoction that you cook.

Explore creativity when you cook. Following a recipe is not fun if you do not add a personal touch. Experimenting fearlessly with cooking, adding a new ingredient, cutting one out, and changing amounts is how great new recipes are born. The ability to think creatively shows the heart of a real cook.

If you saute a food, don’t overload the pan. Too much liquid in the pan will result in steamed, soggy food and not the crispy texture you were trying to achieve by sauteing. Keep the pan set on a lower temperature.

Care for your wood cutting board properly. Excess moisture, heat, and dryness may cause a wooden chopping board to split and warp. You should not ever leave your board submerged in water, rather apply a wet sponge to clean it. To repair a damaged cutting board, use an oil designed to restore this type of board. Make sure it is completely dry before you use it.

Learn a little bit about any vegetables or fruits you haven’t cooked with before. You may be surprised, with a little research, at the versatility of a new food. To have a better cooking experience, educate yourself before starting anything new in the kitchen.

Potatoes are divided into different categories, and each category should be used differently. Waxy potatoes are best used for things like potato salad but would not work well if made into a French fry. Russet potatoes are best suited for baking or mashing, or for making french fries.

Try new methods of preparing oysters. There are many ways to prepare oysters besides eating them raw. You can place oysters that have already been opened into an oven-proof container, and add a bit of cream on top. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and black pepper, place under broiler until bubbling. Another tasty method is to take the oysters and saute them. Put some seasoned flour on them and fry them up in butter or oil for around two minutes. They should be a nice golden brown when done. Consider baking oysters while they are still in their shells. Put them into a casserole dish and then add some butter and breadcrumbs over the top. Put in the oven and bake for five minutes at 425 degrees. Carefully watch oysters that you are baking because the butter will quickly begin bubbling. Once you remove the baked oysters you can serve them with bread or some other side dish that you desire.

As you’ve read, there are a variety of ways that cooking can be made fun and exciting and not just a chore. Try following these tips and come up with new ideas on your own to start cooking meals you will enjoy more.