Cooking 101: Everyone Should Learn How To Prepare Fresh Meals

Cooking 101 should be a course that everyone takes in school. Yes, there are home economics courses, but they are electives. Cooking is an essential life skill. Think about how much money you spend on food. According the Kitchen Gadget Lab website people spend a significant portion of their income on the foods they eat. Learning how to cook also has everything to do with budgeting. Check out these Cooking 101 tips to help you get a handle on what goes on in your kitchen.

First, meal planning is essential. Whether you’re the type of person that buys groceries for the month, the week or likes to visit the store daily, plan out your meals and grocery lists. Think about what recipes you can make that can be stored and provide leftovers, too. For example, you can make spaghetti for cheap and use whole, fresh ingredients, and you can save the leftovers for a meal the next day or even days later.

Speaking of recipes that call for whole ingredients, that is how you want to think when buying groceries. No, you don’t have to take the time to make everything from scratch. But there are many ways that people cut too many corners avoid cooking and end up eating tons of processed foods. Your first goal is to stay away from the freezer section as much as possible. That’s not cooking whatsoever.

Cooking is going to find you browsing the produce section. Even when cooking recipes, you are going to see yourself using canned ingredients from time to time. No one said you had to knead your dough or bake your biscuits, but hey, do what you can. Start with buying all those fresh fruits and vegetables that you can incorporate into recipes.

Let’s use that spaghetti again for example. You might not make fresh pasta or homemade spaghetti sauce, but you can certainly cook up fresh vegetables to add to your spaghetti, such as onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and olives. Just to let you know though, it’s not extremely difficult to make your own fresh spaghetti sauce either.

The more you explore healthy cooking, the more meals you are going to learn to make. The more you are going to use fresh ingredients, and doing that is going to translate into healthy eating. It doesn’t happen all at once, but a good cooking 101 class would help everyone. Cooking is fun, and you can prepare much tastier meals than what you find in the frozen section or at a drive-thru.

What is a Convection Oven – Convection Cooking

So you’ve heard about it, but you’re not really sure exactly what is a convection oven. The convection oven adds a very effective feature to the traditional oven, circulation of heated air. Convection ovens have a switch that activates a simple fan inside the oven that moves air inside the oven cavity. The movement of heated air does two things. First, it “smoothes out” the heat within the oven so you don’t have to worry about the food you are roasting or baking drying out where it is closer to the heating element. Second, it speeds up the cooking time dramatically.

Why Do Convection Ovens Cook More Evenly?

A traditional oven can have hot and cold spots within the oven cavity. Most simply, the closer the food is to the heating element, the hotter it is. If you are using two racks at the same time you will create additional inconsistencies as the food on the higher rack blocks the heat of the upper heating element and the food on the lower rack blocks the heat from the lower element. The circulation of air from the convection fan helps to distribute the heat to create a more even temperature to improve the cooking process. It ensures that a uniform heat reaches the top and bottom of foods in and around multiple racks. For this reason, convection ovens are especially favored by bakers who need even browning and often use multiple racks at the same time for baking pies or cookies.

Is a Convection Oven Really Faster?

Yes, it is, as much as 25% faster on some recipes saving time and energy costs. Circulating air transfers heat more quickly than still air. To transfer the same amount of heat with a convection oven you have to actually reduce the cooking temperature. This means you will need to adjust your cooking times and temperatures, but with a little experimentation, you will no doubt be rewarded for the effort.

Tips to Get You Started

So you asked what is a convection oven and now you know. What’s next? Buy an oven and start experimenting! A good place to start is by reducing your recipe temperature by 25 degrees and the cooking time by 25%. Check for doneness and adjust based on your results. Convection experts also recommend using baking pans with low sides and roasting racks to improve airflow. Use cookie sheets without sides. Never cover racks with aluminum foil. And if you need help choosing the right countertop convection oven just click the link below to learn more about the various types available in the market today.