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People Are Sharing The Cooking Habits That Absolutely Drive Them Up The Wall

"I lack the words to explain the torture of using a glass cutting board."

When it comes to cooking, there are tons of useful tips and tricks that can make things a lot easier (and tastier!) in the kitchen. But there are ALSO some less-than-great habits you should try to avoid. 🔪🔪


Earlier this week, a Reddit thread in /r/Cooking spelled out some of the most common offenders. Here are several:

1. Overcrowding the pan.

Cast iron skillet with properly-spaced chicken cooking in it.
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

"If you crowd the pan, you'll end up steaming whatever you're cooking instead of browning it."


2. Using a glass cutting board.

"I lack the words to explain the torture of using a glass cutting board."


3. Adding garlic too early — then inevitably burning it.

Pan with burnt bits of garlic in it

"Also, I can't deal when people put onions and garlic in at the same time and expect the onions to caramelize and the garlic not to burn. Onions need more time than the garlic will allow!"


4. Seasoning with salt after you're done cooking, instead of throughout.

"You can't expect the saltshaker at the table to do the job. Nothing seasoned at the table with a saltshaker will ever even approach the flavor of something that was seasoned throughout the cooking process."


5. Plating plain pasta with a pool of sauce on top, instead of finishing the pasta *in* the sauce.

Ladling a spoonful of marinara sauce onto plain spaghetti noodles
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

"I grew up in an Italian family and never saw anyone do this until I moved to the Midwest and ate at a friend’s house. I was so confused by this pot of naked-ass spaghetti they told me to 'help myself' to."


6. Cutting everything with a steak knife.

"An apple? Steak knife. Onion? Steak knife. Watermelon? A cooked steak?? Butter knife. WHY?"


7. Letting your knives get dull.

A sharp knife slicing through carrots
Tasty / Via

"Not sharpening knives regularly is one of the worst things to do to your knives. People most often cut themselves on a dull knife, not a sharp one. It's also just better for the food you'll end up eating: Veggies won't be so bruised, and steaks won't be overly tenderized from forcing a dull knife through it."


8. Seasoning the pan instead of seasoning the food.

"My husband sprinkles salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning into a hot pan and then adds plain, unseasoned protein on top. He seems to think this accomplishes the same thing as seasoning the meat directly. It does not."


9. Using the highest heat setting to cook *everything.*

A stovetop burner turned to the highest heat setting
Afp Contributor / Getty Images

"It's wasteful, it overcooks food and overboils everything, and it really does ruin pans."


10. Using metal utensils with Teflon or nonstick pans.

"It makes them wear down SO easily. My mother does this. Even after I've explained that you never use metal in the pans, she does it anyway and says she forgot. We've gone through three nonstick pans so far."


11. Putting noodles into water before the water is boiling.

Raw spaghetti noodles dropped into a not-yet-boiling pot of water
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

"Like, the water is straight out of the tap and the stove's not on yet. Read the instructions! Boiling water takes longer than three minutes, and that's why your ramen is mushy AF."


12. Using the sharp side of your knife to scrape the cutting board.

"Fastest way to ruin your knives."


13. Cooking meat in nonstick pans.

Burger patties cooking improperly in a non-stick pan
Tasty / Via

"Nonstick pans don’t hold heat well. So if you’re trying to get a sear on meat, as soon as you put the meat in the nonstick, the heat transfers and the pan's temperature goes down. Getting consistent browning and crust is impossible this way. (If it’s the Maillard reaction you’re trying to achieve, a cast-iron skillet is the best option, in my opinion.)"


14. Steaming veggies without seasoning them.

"Especially parents who only steam vegetables and barely use salt or pepper on them — and then act shocked when their kids don't like it. Of course they won't like that! Most adults would be peeved getting something like that too."


15. Wasting zest or fond.

Close-up of fond being deglazed from a pan

"Don't throw either away. Use them."


Especially fond, which is the brown bits that get stuck to the bottom of a pan. They're a goldmine, flavorwise.

16. Smashing things down into the pan.

"I can't stand when people press down hard on everything they’re cooking. I'm thinking of one person in particular who is an absolute mess in the kitchen. Making pancakes? She flips them and then mashes them down with the spatula. Fried eggs? Smash them!"


17. Not cleaning as you cook.

A countertop prep space with a 'prep bowl' and a 'scrap bowl' labeled

"Leaving the knife dirty. Not wiping down the counter. Cross-contaminating everything. Clean as you go!"


18. Moving a screaming-hot pan to the sink and dumping cold water all over it.

"I had to explain to a friend why she couldn't do this to her roommate's brand-new Le Creuset braiser."


19. Opening the oven while it's in use.

An oven with its door open, while three cakes are baking inside
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

"If you're looking, it ain't cooking!"


20. Waiting until you've finished cooking before you actually taste the food.

"I've had to teach so many of my friends to taste their food as they cook it. It's shocking to me that this is apparently not obvious to some people."


21. When other people touch the stove — even though *you're* the one cooking.


"I had some tomato sauce going at a nice, even simmer, but apparently someone else in my household thought it should be boiling like pasta water, so they jacked up the burner to high and added more time to the timer. Moral of the story? Don't touch!!"


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

What's something you wish you'd known sooner when you were just starting out in the kitchen? Share in the comments!