It is much easier to order take-out than it is to cook. After all, you get to sit and wait and there’s no clean-up afterwards. But when you do the cooking yourself you have more control over the ingredients and it tastes better because it comes from your heart. Here are a few cooking tips to make you put the phonebook down and take out the pots.

Try to add the oil into your pans from the sides, so that by the time it touches the food, it will be hot. Hot oil adds more flavor to the food, giving you the tastiest results when you’re finished. Make sure that you have the place settings set beforehand so that you can reduce the stress that you will have when you are bringing your food to the table. High levels of stress do not mix well when you are cooking, given the danger, so you will want to reduce this as much as possible. Use a heavy duty, zip-lock plastic bag to separate pan drippings. After roasting meat, pour the pan drippings into a zip-lock plastic bag. Let the fat rise to the top. Carefully snip off one of the bottom corners on the bag, and pour out the fat-free broth. The fat will stay in the plastic bag, and you will have a tasty broth as a base for gravy or a sauce. Always use the freshest ingredients you can find for your cooking. Fruit, vegetables, meat and seafood all taste better when they are fresh. Besides better taste, fresh ingredients are usually healthier than pre-packaged, canned or frozen ones. Fresh foods have superior nutritional content and lack the unhealthy additives found in packaged foods.

To cook healthier, try replacing highly refined goods with whole-grain alternatives when you bake. Enriched white flour and other such refined grain products are low in nutritional value. Even replacing a fraction of them with natural whole-grain products will improve the healthiness of the finished dish. Consult packaging directions for specific replacements; whole-grain products do not always replace refined ones at a 1:1 ratio. You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive gravy for your dish. Instead, save the juices that your meat creates at the bottom of your pan, and use that as the base for a nice gravy. It’s a lot cheaper and can taste great. There are many different recipes available that use this juice to make gravy. Trying to cook with little children running around under your feet? Give them something to do. Any small and simple task will make them feel like they are helping with the meal, and it will keep them out of trouble for a little while as you try to finish up the dish that you are working so hard on. Cooking is all about preparation.

To take the edge of cooking, whether it is a small appetizer, simple dish, full nine course meal, or elegant dessert, prepare for your cooking a day or two ahead. Plan what you are going to make and for how many people you are going to make it for. Gather your ingredients ahead of time to ensure that you won’t have to rush.

When cooking vegetables, try cooking them in chicken broth. The chicken broth will help to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan and will also add some delicious flavor to them. Chicken broth is dirt cheap, and can be bought at any supermarket. If you have a lot of pets around the house, they should not be with you in the kitchen, if the stove is near the ground. This can present a safety hazard because you want to reduce any risk of your animals getting hurt. Keep all animals and small children away from hot ovens. You need to remember to poke holes in a pie crust before you put it into the oven. A pie crust made from scratch can be very delicious, but if tiny holes are not poked with a fork, it will cause the crust to bubble in places which can make it difficult to fill with yummy ingredients. When frying eggs a healthy option you should use is nonstick cooking spray. The spray will keep the eggs from sticking to the pan without the use of margarine or butter. The eggs will not stick to the pan, and they can easily be cooked to any liking. After cooking the eggs, the pan should be easy to clean, and the eggs should be delicious.

Read the recipe fully before you begin any cooking endeavor! Just reading the list of ingredients does not ensure that you are fully prepared to complete the meal. There are many different techniques and tools that may be required so do not be too ambitious when tackling a new recipe. To save money and improve your health, cook the recommended portion sizes and plan your meals ahead of time. Meat is one of the most expensive ingredients on your plate. By eating the appropriate portion sizes you can be sure that your family is getting plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Cooking your own meals can be a great experience. Use these tips to get your kitchen buzzing and rediscover how gratifying it can be to eat a meal that you prepared with your own two hands in your kitchen. You know what? Your meal probably tastes better than any take-out you can get.