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    Professional Chefs Shared The 18 Most Common Mistakes We're Making, And I Think We Should Listen Up

    "Cooking your meals on tinfoil is toxic, and it'll migrate into your food."

    We asked the professional chefs of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the most common mistakes we're making in the kitchen. Here's what they had to say:

    Gordon Ramsay in the "Hell's Cafeteria" sketch on "The Late Late Show with James Corden," calling Julie Chen "an idiot sandwich"

    1. You shouldn't put too much time on the oven timer because you'll ultimately overcook your meal.

    Cook taking ready fried baked chicken with vegetables from the oven
    Nerudol / Getty Images

    "When using the oven, aim for less time β€” it's always easier to add more time when cooking or baking to avoid overcooking."

    β€”Brigette Bertelson

    2. You should avoid over-seasoning chicken or any kind of meat.

    The hand of a male chef putting salt and spices on meat
    Mikhail Spaskov / Getty Images

    "Most seasonings tend to burn and turn bitter if left in the heat for too long. Salt and pepper will do before cooking, then add the seasonings you want toward the end. Fried chicken is a great example β€” I recommend using all your seasonings in the buttermilk bath, and then only using salt and pepper in the flour mixture. No one wants burnt fried chicken."


    3. Cooking meals on tinfoil isn't always the smartest thing to do.

    Raw garlic and herb pork with Brussels sprout and carrots on a baking sheet with tin foil; raw pizza with cheese and broccoli on baking sheet with parchment paper
    LauriPatterson / Seva_blsv / Getty Images

    "It's basically toxic, and it will migrate into your food. Parchment paper is a good substitute for tinfoil."


    4. You shouldn't cut vegetables, meat, and other ingredients with dull knives.

    A cartoon of a cat trying to cut a tomato with a knife, but cuts finger instead while crying
    Mike Hinson / BuzzFeed

    "You're much more likely to cut yourself badly using blunt knives, so only use sharp ones."


    5. You also shouldn't use knives interchangeably.

    10 different types of knives
    Tasty / Via

    "Learning what every kind of knife does is so important, such as when to use a serrated blade versus a chef's knife."


    6. Measuring your ingredients before cooking (or mise en place) is always a good idea.

    Pastry chef measuring ingredients for a cake; Mise en Place in a German restaurant kitchen
    Jodiejohnson / Atlantic-kid / Getty Images

    "MISE EN PLACE. Even when I'm making a sandwich, I portion out all of the ingredients, then put the containers away before I start assembling it. Especially in small spaces, this saves so much hassle and frustration and helps make sure things are cooked the way you want them."


    7. You don't need high-quality olive oil for every recipe.

    Close-up of olive oil being poured into a clear glass bowl
    Dulezidar / Getty Images

    "The smoke point is low, so it burns easily. You should use a low-quality olive oil, vegetable oil, or blended oil instead."


    8. Salt isn't the most unhealthy ingredient to use in a dish β€” sometimes it's needed!

    A woman putting salt on every dish she eats
    Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

    "Please use salt in any dish. Salt, acid, fat, and heat are the most important things in your dish. Once you find a way to get a good balance of these four elements, you will be set."


    9. Stop constantly checking on your food in the oven. It'll most likely ruin the whole thing!

    A messy cake being baked in the oven, drizzling all over the place
    Stephanie Kenner / Getty Images

    "Heat will fly out, and it will have to preheat itself once again. Check it after the time is done."


    10. You should stop buying herbs that aren't fresh.

    Spinach, sorrel, dill, mint, basil, parsley and cilantro on dark surface
    Istetiana / Getty Images

    "Use FRESH herbs as MUCH as possible! It makes a world of difference to the dish. You should add most fresh herbs toward the end of cooking a dish, except for heartier herbs like thyme and rosemary. This is going to elevate all of your dishes for sure!"


    11. You should always taste your food as you're cooking.

    Chef working in the kitchen of a Japanese sushi restaurant, tasting food
    Mint Images / Getty Images

    "Adjust seasonings and acid based on what it tastes like, then taste it again until it’s right."


    12. Avoid measuring dry ingredients in wet measuring cups (and vice versa).

    A chef measuring salt in a measuring spoon
    Tasty / Via

    "It never ensures accuracy."


    13. Stop cutting your food unevenly β€” if you cut it evenly, your food will cook and taste better.

    Evenly cut carrots, peppers, onions, and cucumbers
    Kucherav / Getty Images


    14. Don't leave a huge mess of pots and pans while preparing a meal.

    Huge pile of dirty pots, pans, cups, and dishes in the sink waiting to be washed
    Camilotorres / Getty Images

    "I work as a chef in a hotel, and one of the first things I was told when I started was the cleaning procedures. No matter how busy my prep list looks in the day, I'm always told to clean down my work surfaces between jobs (clean as you go). Some people might find this really obvious, but you have no idea how much of a difference it makes once you start the next meal."


    15. Stop sticking to the exact measurements in a recipe.

    A torn copy of "The Good Housekeeping Cook Book"
    Kayla Yandoli / BuzzFeed

    "Don't get too stuck following an exact recipe."


    16. You should always pay attention to the type of flour you use.

    Male chef kneading dough
    Gerenme / Getty Images

    "When you make bread or dough, always pay attention to the flour you use. It is a science."


    17. You shouldn't avoid asking for help whenever you're stuck.

    A cartoon of a young woman reading a recipe, then throwing the directions in the trash, then picking them out of the trash
    Alicia Herber / BuzzFeed

    "Never be afraid to ask for help, EVER! Whether on the restaurant line or just at home, swallow your pride and just ask for some support. Many dishes can be salvaged (or avoid needing to be salvaged) if you just request some assistance! There’s nothing wrong with asking for a professional opinion on what you need to do with a dish at home β€” teamwork makes the dream work. 🌈"


    18. And you should never just leave your pasta water as is β€” add salt to it!

    A chef pouring salt into a pot of boiling water
    Drbouz / Getty Images

    "You never even realize how much flavor salted pasta adds to your dish, regardless of how flavorful your sauce may be."


    Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Are *you* a professional chef? If so, tell us the biggest cooking mistakes we're making in the kitchen!