Once you have learned a few basic skills, cooking can be a lot of fun. The following advice is going to improve your cooking skills so you can be a better cook. All you need is a little confidence to have fun in the kitchen!

If you want to use skewers when cooking, remember these helpful hints. For metal skewers, twisted or square types will better hold the food than round ones.

You must prep well if you want to cook a large, festive meal. You need to have the ingredients readily available. Check the day before you start to cook to make sure that you have everything that you need to cook the dish you have planned. This will allay some of your fears and anxiety when it is time to cook the meal.

If you boil your vegetables or cook them for too long, they will lose a lot of nutrients. To keep them loaded with nutrients that are beneficial to your body, chose faster-cooking methods like steaming or sauteing, or enjoy them raw.

After you have prepared some sauce, freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays. This will make reheating the sauce easy, as you can pull out as many cubes that you need for the next meal. The frozen sauce will keep extremely well until the next time you need it!

If you are on a diet, try cutting down the amount of oil you use in your food. Oil and butter provide a lot of unneeded fats. Consider giving the non-stick cooking spray a shot. The end result is virtually the same, but these sprays are often fat-free and have ingredients that are more friendly to your diet.

Take a look at the nutrition facts when you buy ingredients to cook with. Lots of common supplies used for cooking contain unhealthy ingredients that you didn’t even know were there. You need to see to it that the ingredients are not high in sugar or sodium because both may cause complications to your health if consumed in large quantities.

When cooking pumpkins, set the pumpkin so the top is facing up and slice it in half down the middle. Lay the cut halves on individual baking pans. Spray a bit of water on each baking sheet, and then put both into an oven pre-heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake them for about an hour.

Cooking doesn’t have to be an exact science; that’s baking. But you should still measure the amount of oil you cook with. It will be easier to control how much oil you consume by measuring instead of pouring “enough” oil into a pan. This will enable you to keep track of the amount of oil you are using.

If you are making a meal that requires garlic, buy fresh garlic or grow your own. In general, garlic tastes sweeter when it is fresher. Fresh garlic is not soft and shriveled nor does it have bruises.

Do not use wine for cooking that you have not tasted. Using a wine that you are not familiar with in your food can cause you not to like the flavor that’s produced. You can find wines that are made primarily to cook with.

Try making your own dried tomatoes. To be able to dry them yourself, cut the tomatoes half an inch thick, or you should cut Romas lengthwise in half. Place them cut-side up on a rack that you use for cooling, and add a little salt. After placing the rack atop a cookie sheet, allow the tomatoes to dry for 10 hours in an oven at 190 degrees. Place the tomatoes into a freezer bag, and freeze them for later use. You can also pack dried tomatoes in a jar with fresh herbs and olive oil. Tomatoes stored in this fashion will last for two weeks in the refrigerator.

Don’t throw away turkey leftovers, at Thanksgiving or any other time. What you want to do with them is slice the meat, put it in a freezer friendly Tupperware, and stick it into the freezer. Keeping the turkey in the freezer allows it to stay fresh for a couple of weeks, and then it can be used for sandwiches or in a salad.

As you’ve read here, cooking is an art that can be learned, or improved. With a little time and drive, you could learn these skills. Follow these tips to improve your time in the kitchen. Cooking is a blast when you let it be.