Cooking can be one of life’s joys. For someone who loves to cook, few things are more satisfying than loading up a table with food you’ve cooked and feeding it to hungry people who then sing its praises. Of course, as any good cook knows, consistency is key. So what can you do to get consistent results when you cook?
Use Weights, Not Volume
A lot of recipes call for measurements that use volume. It makes sense, since most of us have plenty of measuring cups and spoons, but not all of us have food scales. The thing is, how densely ingredients are packed into those measuring implements can drastically impact the outcome. Anyone who’s ever not properly measured out flour can attest to that. The solution is to use weights. Measure out your ingredients on a cooking scale to guarantee that you know exactly how much of any given ingredient has been added to your recipe.
Precision Cooking Methods
A lot of recipes use stovetop or oven cooking methods. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. Those cooking methods do tend to lend themselves to less consistent cooking. There’s a reason people use thermometers instead of just relying on the temperature the oven is set at. The way sous vide cooking works, however, makes cooking at a precise temperature a lot easier. The water that the food cooks in is held at a precise temperature the whole time, ensuring even cooking at exactly the temperature you want.
Stick to the Recipe
There’s a time and place for experimenting with a recipe. It can be a lot of fun to play around, but that’s exactly the sort of thing that results in inconsistent results. Once you’ve found a recipe you like, or you’ve tweaked it so that you’re happy with it, you need to stick with what you’ve got. Making any changes is a sure way to guarantee that you’re going to end up with something that’s different from what it was before.
Consistency is one of the hallmarks of a good cook. The more you can standardize your process, the more consistent your results will be. You’ll never have to wonder if your cooking will turn out the way it did that one time when everything went right again, because you’ll know how to get it right every time.
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