Learning to cook is a skill that will prove to be useful to you throughout your life. Cooking is useful, because you need to feed yourself and your family, and it is fun too. Following the tips provided in this article will help you learn more about this useful life skill.

Keep a potato masher in your kitchen at all times. This useful device can be used to mash more than just your typical potatoes. Try mashing carrots, cauliflower, and other root vegetables. You can mix any of these in to your usual mashed potatoes to make them more vibrant, nutritious, and interesting.

Use a collapsible steamer basket to make the best steamed vegetables. These devices are available widely and cheaply. They can slip into almost any pot you already have and can be used for almost any vegetable you would like to enjoy. Be sure to watch your cook time to avoid getting mushy vegetables.

When cooking your next large pot of spaghetti, add a drop of oil to the boiling water. This will keep the pasta from sticking together and improve the taste. Your boiling time will remain the same and there is no extra work added by using this method.

Whenever possible, avoid canned ingredients in your cooking. They have numerous disadvantages. Canned food has lost vital nutrients that you want in order to cook the healthiest possible meals. They also taste different – if not downright worse – than fresh ingredients, potentially ruining your recipes. Finally, canned foods have unhealthy additives – especially extra sodium – that you do not need in your food.

For the moistest banana bread ever, peel and then freeze the bananas slated for the next loaf. Bananas placed in a covered container in the freezer will absorb moisture from the freezing process and that little extra “juice”, goes a long way. Not only will your bread be more moist, it will also have a more intense banana flavor.

You should use your freezer bags more than one time. You need to store your meats or vegetables in regular storage bags and then place them into freezer bags so that you can use them repeatedly. Freezer bags are very expensive and this will cut back on your costs each month.

Cooking hamburgers seems to be easy, but there are some tricks to learn. Make a hole in the center of the patty before you put it on the grill. The hole prevents the meat from rising in the middle so you won’t have an uncooked middle with burnt edges any more. The whole will completely disappear during cooking so no one will notice your trick.

When cooking, make sure that you never put anything metal in the microwave, as it will cause sparks given the electromagnetic energy. Always make sure that the items you are microwaving are safe to put in there. This will help to increase your level of safety when you are in the kitchen.

As you can see, cooking is not as hard as you may have previously thought. By following these tips, you are well on your way to becoming a competent chef. Your family will love the delicious meals you provide them, and you will likely pass these skills along to them too.