Have you ever been in that kind of situation when you’ve probably invited guests over for a meal and you’re cooking them a meal – when things go horribly wrong! Your dish has become too salty or maybe too sweet or overcooked? Well, we’ve all been there I’m sure and may not have known what to do. Well, in this article I’ll give you many tips on how to fix some of the most common cooking mistakes out there. Check it out below!

 Part 1 - 12 Common Cooking Mistakes and how to fix them

Here are ways to fix 12 common cooking mistakes:

1. Your food isn’t browning

If your food isn’t browning, it could mean you’ve overcrowded your pan or the heat isnt high enough. It could also mean that items have been overlapped. Thus, you should avoid overcrowding and also overlapping of items, as well as turn your heat up if needed.

2. The food has become too salty

Adding excess salt can be a very common mistake and here’s what you can do to fix it –

  • If meat is uncooked, soak in water before cooking (for at least 2 hours).
  • Add in lemon, vinegar or anything acidic to dilute the saltiness.
  • Add in some water, if it is a soup.
  • You can add in milk, cream or some sour cream to dilute the taste.
  • Drop in pieces of potato to absorb the saltiness.

3. The eggs have become rubbery

Take the eggs out of the hated water and immediately drop them into a bowl or vessel filled with cold water. This will help stop it from cooking boiling any further.

4. The food has become very sweet

To reduce sweetness, you can add in lemon juice, lime juice or some olive or avocado oil to reduce the sweetness. You can also add in a pinch of salt.

5. Your deep fried food has become oily

If your first lot of a fried item has become too oily, it could be because your oil was not hot enough or you’ve fried too many pieces at one time. Therefore, let the oil be fully hot (between 325 to 400 degrees at least) and make sure to fry your items in a small quantity.

6. The food is quite sour or too tart

If your dish has too much vinegar, add in some sugar, honey, cream or even caramelized onions to dilute the taste. You could also add in a few cut up carrot pieces as well to absorb the taste.

7. Your dish has become over-spicy

For overly spicy food, you can add in some creamer, Stir in a tablespoon at a time of yogurt, sour cream, milk, coconut milk and/or a mild cheese like Parmesan to counteract overly hot flavors.
A little sweetness too would do, in the form of honey or sugar to tone down the heat.  You can also use nut butter or tahini. You can also add in broth to dishes that can be be thinned down. Some people swear by adding shredded carrots or cubed or shredded potatoes to temper heat. 

8. You’ve overcooked your pasta

This can be yet another common cooking mistake and all you need to do is heat up a pan with some oil and dunk in your overcooked pasta and toss it on medium heat until it browns in some places.

9. You’ve burnt the bottom of your dish

In case you’ve burnt the bottom of your dish, make sure to quickly transfer all the contents of food into another pot. This will save it from ruining the flavor of the entire dish (from tasting burnt). Cover the burnt pan with 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda and add a bit of water to make a paste. Crumple up some aluminum foil and scrub until all food bits and stained areas are clean. Rinse pan with warm soapy water. 

10. You haven’t seared your food enough

There are two ways to prevent food from getting sufficiently seared and for that you need to reduce flipping your food, while also increasing the heat if need be. Also, remember that after you’ve poured oil into your pan, it should get well heated before you add in any vegetable or meat. This means that you should wait for the oil to sizzle a little before tossing in the items.

11. Lumpy curry or sauce – If the sauce has too many lumps, then just add it to a blender and blend in to smooth out the the liquid.

12. Overcooked vegetables – Overcooked vegetables may not have the best texture, but they can be easily transformed into soups or purées. Add some broth or cream, blend, and you have a delicious soup or side dish.

Click below for part 2 – cooking mistakes and how to fix them –