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23 Basic Cooking Mistakes Everybody Makes

Stop leaving the pit in your guac!!!

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We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community what things people are cooking totally wrong. Here are the best of the many tips and suggestions.

1. Leaving the pit in the guac doesn't really make it last much longer.

Flickr: Boca Dorada / CC / Via Flickr: bocadorada

"The best way to keep your guac fresh is to add a little lime juice and keep it in an air-tight container."

jamied41

2. Don't cube your butter. Use a cheese grater instead.

Flickr: Joy / CC / Via Flickr: joyosity

"This reduces the amount of mixing because the butter disperses more evenly. Ipso facto, gluten development is inhibited, thus increasing the fluffy/moisty factor."

ellenk4bcf1ffab

Learn more here.

4. Spin that salad, unless you want mud in your mouth.

Flickr: Robert Couse-Baker / CC

"People need to wash and clean their produce very well before consuming. The amount of dirt in there is astonishing!"

roubinal

5. And if you're sauteeing onions with garlic, wait until the onion gets soft before adding the garlic.

Flickr: Arora Dreem / CC / Via Flickr: aroradreem

"If you want to fry onions and garlic for a dish, don’t put them into the pan at the same time. The onions need a little more time to get soft while the garlic easily gets burned."

mimi01124

6. Please rinse your rice.

Rockyoubaby / Getty Images

"As someone who grew up in a household that eats rice for 90% of the meals, trust me when I say please wash your rice. Tastes so much better to wash off some of that starch."

—Thao Ma, Facebook

7. Let the meat REST, people!

Karandaev / Getty Images

"When you cut it while it's still hot, all the juices run out and it will end up dry."

—Samantha Elizabeth, Facebook

Learn more here.

8. Don't be afraid of flavors. Use lots of spices!

Flickr: James / CC / Via Flickr: 40726522@N02

"People who underseason food drive me crazy. I’ve had a lot of people ask me why my food tastes so good and it’s because I use a lot of great spices and herbs. So many people I’ve met will watch me cook and can’t believe how much rosemary or cumin or garlic I put in a dish then they taste it and love it. Don’t be afraid to use the spice cabinet!"

Jenna Ballinger

10. Don't just dump salt and pepper in at the end. Season throughout.

Flickr: didriks / CC / Via Flickr: dinnerseries

"What really bothers me, even in the recipes of seasoned food bloggers, is dumping in salt and pepper at the very end of cooking. You really should be seasoning throughout your cooking process. Your food will taste way better and you might find you don’t need to use as much."

freefalling

Read more here.

11. If you find a recipe online, check comments and reviews to make sure it actually works.

Flickr: sparkplug / CC / Via Flickr: smilygrl

"I check the comments to see if people actually like the recipe or to see if there are any pointers or suggestions that can help me make the meal the best I can make it.

sparkplug

12. And if you're following a recipe, you need to actually follow it.

instagram.com

"I always find a comment that says something along the lines of 'I followed this recipe for lasagna ***EXACTLY***….except instead of pasta I used sliced zucchini. My family hated it. This isn’t a very good recipe.' It just grinds my gears."

sparkplug

13. Remember: If you're doubling the recipe, make sure to double everything!

Flickr: woodleywonderworks / CC

"My friend made a recipe of mine and called me recently to ask why it didn’t taste the same. It turns out she doubled the recipe, but didn't double the water amount, because it seemed like too much. Bottom line is: Recipes are just instructions, not suggestions. When you don’t follow the recipe don’t ask why the food doesn’t turn out the way you thought."

laureni40a2f0d79

14. If you want to brown something, don't crowd the pan.

instagram.com

"If you're attempting to brown something and you put too much stuff in the pan, the temperature will drop and you'll never get the nice, brown outer layer you're searching for."

—Samantha Elizabeth, Facebook

Read more here.

15. Don't serve overcooked green mush. Blanch those bad boys.

Flickr: wyn ♥ lok / CC / Via Flickr: w_yvr

"I hate when someone cooks green beans or broccoli into a green mush instead of just quickly blanching. When you blanch your vegetables, they stay nice and keep their vibrant color."

c42cf19034

16. Why microwave sweet potatoes when you can roast them?

Medwether / Getty Images

"Roasting them whole — with the skin on — caramelizes the natural sugars. Cooked this way, you don't need to add salt, pepper, sugar, butter, cream or anything else. The skin gets crispy and the flesh is creamy and sweet. They're naturally delicious."

—Kylie Glatt, Facebook

17. Don't overwork your ground meat.

Flickr: Mate Marschalko / CC / Via Flickr: mares87

"Whether you're making hamburger patties, meatballs, or meatloaf, try to handle ground meat as little as possible. Handling it too much can cause the meat to be tough and ruins the texture."

blackzephyr

18. Forget about putting oil in your pasta water. Just make sure to salt it.

Flickr: fedecomite / CC / Via Flickr: fdecomite

"Just stop. It’s stupid, makes no sense, and literally does nothing. Who started that rumor? Just make sure to salt it like the ocean. That’s the only chance you have to season it. After you drain it? DO NOT RINSE IT. The starch molecules will help sauce cling to your pasta. "

richelled and amyleeh

Learn how much to salt your water based on personal taste here.

19. Boiling Brussels sprouts usually makes them stinky and mushy.

Flickr: Peter Knight / CC / Via Flickr: rocketboom

"My whole life my mom would serve boiled Brussels sprouts. They were quite often mushy and would usually stink up the house. On a cooking show, I saw the guy cut fresh Brussels in half and then sauté them in garlic and olive oil. That’s the way to do it."

amandah61

BTW! Roasted Brussels sprouts are ALSO delicious.

20. Don't cook wet tofu. Press your tofu for better, firmer texture.

Flickr: Robin Zebrowski / CC / Via Flickr: firepile

"For crispy (not squishy!) tofu, place a heavy object on top with some paper towels. Change when soggy for a few hours."

zvarri

21. When you're making an omelette, cook your fillings separately before you add them.

Flickr: Eric L / CC / Via Flickr: virtualzen

"Smh. It's much better to cook the fillings in a separate pan first. That way you can cook out most of the water first so that you don't have a runny omelette."

—Tara Mitchell, Facebook

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Submissions have been lightly edited and condensed.

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