Skip To Content

    Home Chefs Are Sharing The Biggest Cooking "No-Nos," And We Could All Learn From Them

    "It's just like my grandma always told me..."

    With a little bit of practice, cooking isn't so hard. But there are some mistakes you'll definitely want to avoid. So redditor u/markoserqwq asked, "What is a big NO-NO in cooking?" Here are some responses.

    20th Century Studios

    1. "Overcrowding the pan if you're trying to brown something."

    Cooking scallops in a skillet.
    Getty Images


    "It's just like what my grandma always told me: 'Sear it in batches, dumbass.'" —u/ObLaDi

    2. "Letting knives sit in the sink. When the sink is full of dishes, dirty water, and soap, you won't see them."


    3. "Using too high a flame. Too much heat leads to burnt food or food that's undercooked at the center."

    Sautéing zucchini in a skillet.
    Getty Images

    4. "Scraping your knife blade down on the cutting board."

    "It dulls knives quickly and you can ruin them. If you're going to scrape with your knife, use the back of the blade." —u/Spidersandsparrows

    5. "Using too many spices."

    An Indian meal with rice and spiced chicken.
    Getty Images

    "Just because you have 20 different spices in your cabinet does not mean you should use all of them at once. You have to know the right combinations." —u/alfoman

    6. "Over-salting. Sometimes when you think you need more salt, you really need to add acid."


    7. "Adding fresh garlic too early when frying."

    Garlic frying in oil with shrimp.
    Getty Images

    "I used to always put garlic in at the start of cooking (like with the onions), but it only takes three minutes or so to cook." —u/deleted

    "In almost every recipe where you need to sauté onions and garlic, the instructions say put them in together. Wrong! That's how you burn the garlic and destroy the dish." —u/f_leaver

    8. "Using your cutting board without washing it thoroughly after cutting raw meat or fish."

    "This just puts any bacteria from the raw meat into your fresh food." —u/Daizelkrns

    9. "Walking away while boiling milk. Don't do it unless you're willing to start over."

    Milk boiling in a saucepan.
    Getty Images

    10. "Never take something out of the oven using a wet towel or mitt. The moisture will turn to steam instantly and burn you."


    11. "Don't adjust a baking recipe unless you really know what you're doing."

    Someone preparing dough for a baking recipe.
    Getty Images

    12. "You can always add more seasoning but you can never take away."


    13. "Not practicing a recipe before making it for company."

    Serving a bowl of tagliatelle.
    Getty Images

    "Some recipes are too expensive to make multiple times, but you can practice with cheaper ingredients." —u/Nikkian42

    14. "Frequently opening the oven to check on your food. Stop peeking and just let it cook!"


    15. "Rushing to finish a recipe. Taking enough time to cook things properly is the magic ingredient."

    Someone making Bolognese sauce.
    Getty Images

    16. "Always cooking with extra virgin olive oil."

    "It burns too quickly. Regular olive oil or other oils (vegetable, canola, avocado) have a higher smoke point and are better for cooking with." —u/sheepsleepdeep

    17. "Putting food in the pan when the oil is still cold."

    Placing raw meatballs into a frying pan.
    Getty Images

    18. "Rinsing pasta after you boil it. This gets rid of all the flavor and starch, which helps the sauce coat the noodles."


    19. "Not doing the prep work before you start cooking. It makes cleanup much easier and allows you to focus more on the recipe."

    Chopped and sliced vegetables in small bowls ready to be cooked.
    Getty Images

    20. "Trying to roast damp ingredients. Pat dry meats and dry veggies before adding fat to roast. Otherwise you're just basically steaming them in the oven."


    21. "Not letting your meat rest before slicing it."

    Slicing a medium-rare roast beef.
    Getty Images

    "It breaks my heart to watch someone cut into a nice steak fresh off the grill. Those juices could have stayed in the meat if the cook had some patience. Set a timer for 10 minutes and just step away from the steak." —u/Slowjams

    22. "Reheating everything in the microwave."

    "My mother-in-law spends hours cooking an incredible meal, but then she puts everything in the microwave to 'warm it all up' before serving. It ruins perfectly good food." —u/background-character

    23. "Not checking to make sure to have all the ingredients before starting a recipe."

    Beans, veggies, stock, oil, and spices in small bowls to make soup.
    Getty Images

    24. "Adding corn starch to hot liquid to thicken it. You need to mix the starch with cold water and then add it to the hot liquid."


    25. "Cooking with wine you would never drink."

    Adding red wine to a beef stew.
    Getty Images

    "If you wouldn't drink it, you shouldn't be cooking with it." —u/lotharmat

    26. "Not sharpening your knives. You are more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than with a sharp one."


    27. "Not heating up a cast iron pan before cooking."

    Bacon cooking in a sizzling cast iron skillet.
    Getty Images

    "You should never start cooking with a cast iron when it's cold." —u/Crochetdolf_Knitler

    28. "Using metal utensils with a non-stick pan. It completely ruins the pan and all your food will start to stick to it."


    29. "Stirring or constantly moving food around when you're trying to sear or brown it."

    Stirring mushrooms in a skillet with chopsticks.
    Getty Images

    "Just let it sit until it's golden brown." —u/hucklebutter

    30. "Not salting boiling water. Whether you're boiling veggies, rice, pasta or whatever, a tiny pinch of salt is a game changer."


    Do you have a kitchen faux pas that wasn't mentioned? Tell us in the comments below.