Whenever I’m feeling blue, I tune into one of cooking legend Gordon Ramsay’s food shows. His screaming is soothing and I love absorbing all the advice on what not to do in the kitchen. You know if I ever end up having to make him lunch at a top-tier restaurant out of the blue. Don’t forget the lamb sauce? Check. Don’t send out raw salmon? Gotcha! Don’t be an idiot sandwich? Roger that! But there are tons of other cooking no-no’s that are extremely useful to know.

And redditor MomosOnSale got other cooking aficionados talking and sharing their advice on what you shouldn’t be doing in the kitchen. We’ve collected the best tips and tricks for you to snack on. Remember to upvote the ones that you found useful and if you’ve got any extra ones to share, drop us a comment below.

Pie artist, baking expert, and cooking diva Jessica Clark-Bojin told Bored Panda all about her kitchen pet peeves, the basic blunders that amateur cooks tend to make, and how to make our meals look enticing, so be sure to read on for her wonderful insights. Jessica recently announced the first book dedicated to pie art, 'Pies Are Awesome: The Definitive Pie Art Book,' and has just sold her very first NFT and the world's first-ever cryptoFoodArt.

Just for the record—ugh! Who uses glass cutting boards?!

#1

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Don't pour oils down the drain!

ChattyDog Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
2 months ago

This needs more upvotes!

View more comments
#2

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Coming anywhere near my non-stick pan with metal. If you scratch my pan I will scratch your soul.

o0oO0o0Oo00oOoo00i Report

Jozie
Community Member
2 months ago

LMAOOO.

View more comments
#3

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Medium rare chicken. Works for steaks, but not for hen.

thermonuclearmuskrat Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 months ago

Yeah, you're just asking to get sick.

View More Replies...
View more comments

"Weighing by volume rather than by weight is a big pet peeve of mine," pie artist Jessica shared with me in an interview. "The chemical reactions involved in baking require precise measurements of ingredients, and depending on how densely people pack flour into their measuring cups, they can be using up to 25% more or less than the recipe actually calls for!" Instead, she suggested using kitchen scales as an alternative. They're cheap. And they're much more precise. This leads to far fewer mistakes in the kitchen.

"Working mis en place can eliminate most blunders amateur cooks make… Issues with timing, forgetting certain ingredients, using ingredients at the incorrect temperature, etc.—all of these mistakes can be avoided when you take the time to prep and lay out all tools and ingredients before you start cooking or baking!" Jessica suggested getting everything ready beforehand.

#4

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Don't try to catch a dropped knife. Back away and let it fall.

charlesnorthpark Report

Equine_Ravenclaw_Directioner
Community Member
2 months ago

I've done this out of instinct so many times and still do it *insert face palm*

View More Replies...
View more comments
#5

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes If it has touched raw meat, it can't go anywhere near cooked meat

Aerod1n Report

BorPand8
Community Member
2 months ago

Or salad or anything else that won't be cooked first.

View more comments
#6

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes DON'T

LEAVE

PASTA

IN THE WATER

WHEN IT'S

DONE!!!!!

grishagrishak Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 months ago

OKAY! I GET IT!

View more comments

"This way you aren’t wasting time waiting for your butter to chill for pie dough, or waiting for eggs to come to room temperature for meringue, overcooking one ingredient in the wok because you forgot you needed to dice another ingredient first, or suddenly realizing you’re completely out of salt."

For Jessica, food isn't just about the taste—the aesthetics are equally as important! Especially when it comes to making a good first impression. "We eat first with our eyes—and if we’re having a meal with friends over Zoom, we’re only eating with our eyes! Try sprinkling a complimentary spice/powder on your food through a stencil as a quick and easy way to add some aesthetic impact to your food," she suggested.

#7

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Don't cut meat immediately after cooking it, more juices will flow out, the meat will become drier. Wait a few minutes

atavaxagn Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
2 months ago

Gordon Ramsey taught me that

View More Replies...
View more comments
#8

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Cooking with unwashed hands

unknown Report

Jozie
Community Member
2 months ago

Ew! Who does that!

View more comments
#9

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Never and I mean never panic if you start a fire on accident, you need to be calm enough to know if you have to smother it (oil or grease fires) or grab the extinguisher. Panicking can get your house burned down

nippynip345 Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
2 months ago

Panic is involuntary

View More Replies...
View more comments

"You can sprinkle paprika on mashed potatoes, cinnamon on pudding or ice cream, activated charcoal on home baked bread, matcha powder on your tea, cocoa powder on pie dough or toast… there are so many options! All you need is a flat surface and a food safe stencil—either store bought, or you can cut your own from acetate. You could choose a simple pattern, a word, or even a template of your friend’s face that you create on the computer yourself!"

Bored Panda had the pleasure of carving up the world of gastronomy in earlier articles as well. Previously, I spoke about kitchen mistakes with pie artist Jessica about some of the other issues that came pop up in the kitchen. For Jessica, problems in the kitchen can range from the tiny and insignificant to the dangerously disastrous. Distraction and a lack of preparation, in her point of view, are the main villains.

#10

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Never pour spices directly into a steaming pot on the stove. The spices will congeal in their containers from the moisture introduced. Instead put the spices in a separate side container then add to a steaming pot.

EatPrayS*** Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
2 months ago

Always pre-cook spices in a little oil to release the flavours.

View more comments
#11

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Don't use a nice knife on anything other than food. (a common offense would be opening a food package with it)

Don't send a nice knife through a dishwasher

Don't leave a sharp knife in the sink

Don't leave a knife wet, even ones claiming to be stainless will often rust if left wet.

atavaxagn Report

80 Van
Community Member
2 months ago

Knives are some of your most useful tools in the kitchen. Invest in the best knives you can afford and treat them with care, and you will have an amazing and consistent experience preparing food.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#12

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Glass cutting boards. Like seriously, just GTFO.

And in a similar vein, dangerously dull knives. I’ve seen some real bludgeons in other people’s kitchens; no wonder they hate prep work.

BattleHall Report

ThatOneCrazyFanGirl
Community Member
2 months ago

i didn't even know that there were glass cutting boards

View More Replies...
View more comments

"Kitchen 'mistakes' can range from the catastrophic, 'I forgot the pot roast in the oven and now the kitchen is on fire' to the more benign, 'I accidentally put paprika in the cookies instead of cinnamon', but in most instances, they stem from the same thing: distraction and a lack of preparation,” she said.

In Jessica’s professional opinion, improving our skills in the kitchen starts with picturing in our minds all the steps that we need to take before diving head-first into the gastronomic fray. If you’re prepared, you’re less likely to run the risk of burning yourself, your kitchen, and your pride.

#13

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes guessing at amounts when baking.

Wrong_Answer_Willie Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
2 months ago

Plus: double heat will not shorten the baking time by half. And double everything might not have the same result.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#14

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Always wear pants while cooking bacon.

tjipa84 Report

80 Van
Community Member
2 months ago

Good general advice for any cooking.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#15

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes I'd like to add to this that you should read and understood the entire recipe before you start cooking. You don't have time to boil water when you need to "add boiling water". And it's nice to have the rice ready when you arrive at "serve with rice".

mister-pi Report

Vicky Zar
Community Member
2 months ago

I had a recipe that had 130g of Butter. The recipe said "mix 120g Butter with..." and at the end "use the leftover 10g of Butter to...". I overlooked that I had to use only 120g at the beginning, instead of the whole 130g. So yeah. Read the recipe through before starting.

View More Replies...
View more comments

"Taking the few extra minutes to prep will give you a lovely stress-free baking experience!" Jessica believes that it’s hard to mess up if you follow all of these steps. What’s more, following them means that if any mistakes do pop up, you’ll catch them before they cause some serious havoc. 

Jessica also revealed to Bored Panda about what cooking’s like in her family. Every member of her family cooks, however, they all have very different dietary preferences! You can imagine what a nightmare that is when it comes to actually getting people to taste the food as it’s being made.

#16

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Skipping fresh ingredients.

Just peel & chop garlic! Squeeze a lemon! Skip the jar/ bottle

unknown Report

Kristof De Smet
Community Member
2 months ago

Mushrooms from a can, just... NO!

View More Replies...
View more comments
#17

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes For the love of god stop mucking about with whatever it is you're cooking. Unless it's something you specifically need to be mixing or stirring constantly, leave it alone! You'll never get proper color on things if they make more contact with your spatula than your pan.

SorrySeptember Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
2 months ago

Knowing when to stir and when not to stir comes with experience. Please feel free to muck about until you achieve your desired results and get comfortable with your cooking intuition:-)

View more comments
#18

People coming into the kitchen to "help".

BuckshotShow Report

Chich
Community Member
2 months ago

That is a hangin' offense ;)

View more comments

“We have family members who are vegetarian, vegan, celiac (and just plain fussy) and it’s not always possible for the cook to taste what they are making for everyone else. But you can always bring in a pinch-taster and get a second opinion!" she said.

Jessica also gave us some useful tips on how to ensure that food products stay fresh longer than usual. “One of my favorite tricks is to serve fruits and veggies in cups with a layer of ice in the bottom. It keeps the snacks fresh and prevents them from getting dried out and floppy," she said.

#19

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Learned this the hard way: don't throw fresh chili peppers into a hot pan unless you want to pepper spray the whole house!

sriracha_everything Report

Jozie
Community Member
2 months ago

Lol true.

View More Replies...
View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#20

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Cooking everything on "high" because you want it done faster.

SheriffComey Report

80 Van
Community Member
2 months ago

High heat to sear meat when you want the outside cooked much faster than the inside. Low and slow if you want the meat cooked evenly. Both have their time and place, so make sure you know what you’re going for before picking your cooking method.

View more comments
#21

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Adding salt as a matter of course, or just because the recipe says to. Taste first, and only add if needed. If you've used stock or a stock cube in your dish you might not even need salt, they already have it.

LucyVialli Report

Chich
Community Member
2 months ago

Most people put too much salt in their cooking. Use very little and let people add it later if they need it. I've had several meals served to me with so much salt they were inedible.

View More Replies...
View more comments

"They make a pretty little bouquet in the cup, and the individual serving sizes mean no grubby little hands contaminating a communal veggie platter! Which I know is something at the back of all of our minds these days,” she pointed out that this is very useful in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

#22

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Don't season a liquid before reducing it, it will become too salty after you reduce it.

atavaxagn Report

C.S. E.
Community Member
2 months ago

Also, allow liquids to cool a bit before tasting. Hot vs warm vs cool liquids all taste different. One of my favorite things is Korean Lunchbox Potatoes (Gamja Jorim). Because they are meant to be eaten at room temp, if you taste them while they are cooking, by the time you eat them fully cooled, you may as well be eating a block of soy sauce.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#23

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Don’t press your burgers down as they’re cooking. You’re releasing all the juice. It’ll give you a dry ass burger.

There are such things as smash burgers, but I believe on those, you smash them at the beginning before the fat has a chance to melt so you’re not smashing the juice out.

adamtwosleeves Report

Steve Barnett
Community Member
2 months ago

First rule of Burger club. NEVER PRESS THE BURGER. The second rule of bur... Oh you know the rest.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#24

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Not using enough butter.

janlaureys9 Report

Francesca Annoni
Community Member
2 months ago

Using too much butter..

View More Replies...
View more comments

Meanwhile, Canadian cake designer Darci, the founder of Kake by Darci, also told me earlier what we can do to keep food fresh for longer. She said that products like milk, whipping cream, and fresh fruit spoil the fastest, so you have to use them all ASAP.

“If you have leftover fruit, you can make fillings! Milk, you can freeze into cubes and use later on. Whipping cream is an easy caramel recipe," Darci said.

#25

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Never put oil in the pot when cooking pasta, as the sauce will just slip and slide away instead of sticking to the pasta.

Pasta should never, ever be rinsed for a warm dish. The starch in the water is what helps the sauce adhere to your pasta. The only time you should ever rinse your pasta is when you are going to use it in a cold dish like a pasta salad or when you are not going to use it immediately

overdose_of_c*m , HoboBeered Report

Guy MacGregor
Community Member
2 months ago

If you add sauce your pasta, thus said.

View more comments
#26

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes never let water touch chocolate.

FairyFaye42 Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 months ago

Water makes chocolate seize up, and you get grainy lumps.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#27

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Cutting with a dull knife. Get yourself a sharpener, even if it's a cheap one.

NerbleBurfs Report

80 Van
Community Member
2 months ago

Or, better yet, get a honer to realign the knife and make it last much longer than if you sharpen it regularly. Sharpen around once or twice a year, but hone your knives with each daily use.

View more comments

What useful food prep, cooking, and kitchen tips do you have for us, dear Pandas? What are the biggest kitchen no-no’s that you know of? Which of the things mentioned in this list have you done at least once? Share your thoughts in the comment section with all the other readers.

#28

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Resting is part of cooking. That bacon you cooked to perfection that's still in the skillet? Yeah, that's too late. You need to remove things from heat a little earlier than youd think so that the ambient heat continues to do its job. Otherwise you're overcooking it.

CiD7707 Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
2 months ago

Overcooked bacon is still pretty amazing

View More Replies...
View more comments
#29

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Remember, you can't get some stuff back after you add it. Go slow with seasonings, and lightly. You can always add more, but you can't take it back. Don't let your food taste like ocean water.

powerlesshero111 Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 months ago

Ocean water is an improvement over my sister's cooking sometimes. Her food tastes like a salt lick.

View more comments
See Also on Bored Panda
#30

Using sugar to take the edge off a highly acidic sauce. Just put a damn carrot in it and let it absorb the acidity instead of covering it with a new flavor.

TheMatroid Report

Raine Soo
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

I like to put in a couple of tablespoons of milk or cream to an acidic tomato sauce. If I want a more rich taste, it might be a bit of parmesan.

View more comments
#31

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Cranking the heat to reduce the cooking time will leave you with a burnt outside and an under-done inside.

mkicon Report

kasa alex
Community Member
2 months ago

For example, like the first time i ever cooked pasta **cringe**

View more comments
#32

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Don't use a cold pan to sear something; get the pan hot first, better sear.

atavaxagn Report

Eliška Hůlková
Community Member
2 months ago (edited)

If the pan is too cold, food tends to stick to it.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#33

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Do not mix hot cooking oil and cool sink water! I saw a girl burn the hell out of herself because she didn't listen to the Home Ec. teacher. She threw her hot oil in a sink with some cool water running. Boom! Sprayed hot oil all over her arm and neck. Let your oil cool folks.

XxVerdantFlamesx Report

BorPand8
Community Member
2 months ago

Don't throw oil down the sink at all! Unless you want to develop a very close relationship with your plumber, not to mention mess up the sewers for everyone else.

View more comments
#34

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Don't let your baking powder get clumpy. Tiny rocks of baking powder ruin anything you bake.

dzastrus Report

Nat Hedley
Community Member
2 months ago

If it has gone lumpy, rub it through a metal sieve with the back of a spoon.

View more comments
#35

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Cooking with extra virgin olive oil over high heat

unknown Report

troufaki13
Community Member
2 months ago

I prefer my olive oil raw, not cooked.

View More Replies...
View more comments
#36

Biggest-Cooking-Mistakes Don't grab something that is on the stove without a towel or some type of heat protection

atavaxagn Report

Jozie
Community Member
2 months ago

Duh!

View More Replies...
View more comments