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Many people see cooking as a relaxing, rewarding pastime. A welcoming kitchen filled with pleasant smells is something everyone enjoys coming home to. It can be hard to find the right tips about cooking. The insights here will give you some tried-and-true tips for creating that masterpiece in your kitchen.

When storing your herbs and spices, they should be kept in a cool, dark spot. Humidity, light and heat can cause your spices and herbs to lose their flavor. Ground herbs and spices can retain full flavor for about a year. Spices that come in the whole form will keep their flavor for around 3-5 years. As long as they are stored properly, they will hold onto their flavor for several years.

You should do the prep work for your meals in advance. This will simplify matters when you are cooking your meals. Cooking with a deadline to meet can become stressful. By doing all of your preparation in advance, you avoid the stress and just enjoy your meal.

If you are baking crusts for a pie or tart, you will probably need to bake them for a while longer than you thought. It will help if you achieve a darker, more delicious golden caramel color, rather than stopping when the crust is still pale. This deeper color is evidence that the sugar has caramelized in the crust for added sweetness.

The prep work is a very important part of assembling a home-cooked meal for family or friends. Be certain that you have every ingredient you will need on hand. The day before the big event, get everything ready to go. Make sure you have all the utensils and cookware you will need. This will help to alleviate your anxiety and maximize your potential.

When cooking or preparing for someone important, such as your boss or a new date, it is best to cook food that you are good at. You don’t ever want to try new ingredients or recipes that you don’t have experience with. By using a recipe that you are comfortable cooking, you will be less stressed and can concentrate on your company.

Are you cooking using fresh basil? Keep a fresh-cut bunch of basil inside a glass. Fill with water to cover the stems. Keep it on the kitchen counter and it should stay fresh. If you occasionally change its water, it will sprout roots. Plant the fresh basil in a small pot with rich soil to have fresh basil available at all times.

Guessing how long food will take on the grill is nearly impossible. Use an accurate digital meat thermometer to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked. If you’re grilling especially thick slabs of meat – anything thicker than an inch and a half – bring the lid down on your grill to speed up the cooking process.

As this article has discussed, cooking is revered by many as an excellent and enjoyable hobby. However, some people don’t know where to start, in terms of picking the right recipes or using the proper techniques. Follow this article’s advice and you will be on your way to cooking great food.