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    24 Kitchen Tips And Tricks For People Who Are Disasters In The Kitchen

    To loosely quote Ratatouille, anyone can cook, but some of us might need a little more help.

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    1. Skip the online recipes for now and consult a well-loved cookbook that covers the basics and will get you a lot further than an isolated recipe with a long intro and several hundred contradictory comments.

    2. Rinse your rice before you cook it for the perfect fluffy texture. It'll give you a perfect base for a million recipes from a ton of different cuisines.

    3. Stop filling your house with smoke every time you turn on the oven, so you can actually use the darn thing. Spray on some fume-free oven cleaner, wait a couple hours, and then just wipe off all that gross cooked-on residue.

    4. Fully stock your kitchen with some dishwasher-safe basic cookware — that one weird pan you've had for forever isn't gonna cut it anymore.

    5. Pay special attention to your knives — a good knife set can make all the difference when it comes to how long it takes to chop, and how easily a meal comes together.

    6. Avoid!!! Putting knives!!!! In the dishwasher!!!!!!

    7. Speaking of keeping your knives sharp, it's really worth your time to pick up a dedicated knife sharpener.

    8. In the meantime, protect your cute lil' fingertips with a pair of cut resistant gloves while you sharpen up your knife skills.

    9. Slice an onion most of the way through horizontally once or twice before you start to chop it — it's not hard, I promise, and you'll end up with an even dice that you can use to flavor a ton of recipes.

    10. Differentiate your meat cutting boards from your veggie ones with color-coded cutting boards, so you won't have to worry about cross contamination and bacteria.

    11. Be super, super safe and grab a countertop fire extinguisher. Let's hope you never need it, but in the event of an emergency you'll want to have it on hand.

    12. Avoid the stove entirely with a microwave pasta cooker that'll let you make your favorite foods without the mess and inconvenience of boiling a big pot of water.

    13. Take a page out of the book of a professional chef and use a bench scraper for all of your scooping, dividing, and transferring needs.

    14. Put those nonstick pans to use making the perfect egg in them. Be sure to use low heat, and go slowwwwwwww — whether you're scrambling or frying, your patience will be rewarded.

    15. Fish out those annoying fragments of eggshell with the rest of the egg! Game. Changer.

    16. Stop spreading around bacteria with that one gross, old kitchen sponge. Get a long-lasting plastic one you can disinfect regularly — and that won't fall apart after a week of scrubbing.

    17. Stock up on the utensils you need for any scenario, so you don't get halfway through a recipe only to discover that you really need to whisk something when all you have is a slotted spoon.

    18. Skip the drama of making hard boiled eggs in a pot (it's so hard! why is it so hard???) with an egg cooker that'll automatically make perfect eggs every time.

    19. Poke your meat (and your hands) to determine whether it's done, don't just go by how brown it looks on the outside.

    20. Let dinner cook itself in a slow cooker while you do more important things, like working or taking a nap.

    21. Season your food (I'm begging you, please don't become another unseasoned chicken meme) but be sure you know how long to do it for.

    22. Store your spices in a cute countertop rack so you'll actually remember to use them, and they won't just get dusty in a cabinet somewhere.

    23. Prepare and chop everything in advance and keep it in little bowls, so when the time comes to do the actual cooking, you won't be running around like crazy.

    24. Grate absolutely everything with a microplane. It's traditionally used for hard cheeses and citrus zest, but it's a sleeper MVP for when you want to avoid chopping garlic.

    And if you're looking for some more step by step guidance, cook with training wheels for a bit and try out a meal kit delivery service. You'll learn some skills and get to try new recipes without all the effort of planning and shopping.

    Good luck on your cooking journey, from me and Julia!

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