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12 things you've been doing wrong in the kitchen your whole life*

This article will improve your dinner. *Probably.

MOST OF US learn our kitchen habits when we’re quite young, and keep them for the rest of our lives.

That doesn’t mean they’re right though, does it?

1. Reheating pizza in the microwave

The Pizza Review The Pizza Review

Always ends up soggy, doesn’t it? Yes it does.

Instead of the microwave, use a frying pan to gently reheat individual slices, base side down (obviously). The base will remain crispy while the cheese melts again.

(We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with eating cold pizza, mind.)

2. Slicing onion

Shinagawa Shinagawa

Chances are you’ve been cutting onions like the person above, trying to hold the bits together on the board as they slip around the place. And possibly losing your fingertips in the process.

Here’s how the chefs do it:

(See this video from Tasting Table for the full instructions)

3. Washing your hands normally after chopping garlic

Soap and water is all very well, but it’s not going to get that bang of garlic off your mitts.

If you’re planning to brush your fingertips lightly over anyone’s face in the near future – or even if you just don’t want your fingers to smell of garlic – simply rub them on something made of stainless steel.

Sounds weird, we know. But it really, really works.

Dominic Sayers Dominic Sayers

4. Squeezing lemons

ssgrey / YouTube

This trick to avoid pips will change your life:

5. Not cooking meat in batches

Afroswede Afroswede

Every time you put uncooked meat into a pan, you cool the pan down. If you try and cook too much at once (like when you’re cooking for several people), the pan will never get hot enough. And instead of things browning, you’ll end up with lots of liquid sloshing around while the meat turns greyish.

Be patient and do it in several goes. Honest. The browning is where all the flavour comes from.

6. Slicing pretty much anything

Most people use a simple up-and-down motion for chopping. Instead, you should be going back and forth – keeping the tip of the knife on the chopping board at all times.

It helps keep things precise, AND it lets you use your knuckles rather than fingertips as a guide (as above) so you won’t lose the ends of your fingers.

(See this video from Serious Eats for more details)

7. Eating chicken wings

Eating around the bone? You are wasting… good… meat.

CrazyRussianHacker / YouTube

8. Not using enough water for rice

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A lot of people learned the ‘twice as much water as rice, then cook until dry’ method. Here’s the thing, though – rice varies, and that method often leaves you with gummy, damp gloop.

Instead, simply use loads of water and drain afterwards, as you would with pasta. And don’t overcook it.

9. Chopping cherry tomatoes

Imgur Imgur

Say no more.

10. Not preheating the pan

waferboard waferboard

Look everyone. You just need to preheat the pan, OK? Pretty much all the time, except when you actually WANT your food to be soft and gummy and not browned. There’s a full explanation here.

11. Accidentally making green vegetables sad

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When you cook green veg, you get that bright, almost luminous green colour. But as soon as you let them sit around before serving – as most people do, while we’re doing the more important bits of the meal – they’re going to go soggy and yellowish.

To stop this, dunk them in a bath of ice-cold water as soon as you take them off the heat. You can always reheat later if necessary by putting them in a dry pan for a few seconds.

(Let’s not even talk about overcooking your green veg. YOU ARE NOT YOUR MOTHER.)

12. Scooping ice cream

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You know when your scoop is more of a… scrape? Have a cup of hot water close by, and dip the spoon in it between goes. It will melt the ice cream JUST ENOUGH to give you lovely scoops.

Also, this guy claims that if you put ice cream in the freezer in a sealed bag, it will stay perfectly just-soft-enough forever. You’re welcome.

More: How Grim Is Your Dinner?>

More: 7 handy cooking tips for the lazy person in all of us>

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