Have you ever had a recipe fail?
How is that possible?
Aren’t these recipes tested first?
Shouldn’t you just be able to follow the instructions and bada-bing-bada-booom…..DONE!
Not always huh?
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“I tried your recipe but it didn’t turn out the same!”
***Now some people choose to leave out ingredients on special family recipes. We aren’t talking about that sly move here, but you should be aware it.
We did want to share real tips, not of the sneaky variety, that will not only make sure your recipe won’t fail but also improve your cooking!
Are you familiar with where the recipe is coming from? That makes a big difference. Do you know if it’s tested? How reputable is the writer, organization, etc? One of our highest recommendations is America’s Test Kitchen because they are tested to death and you learn why something may have worked or not worked. That knowledge, alone, is so helpful.
Do you know if that recipe calls for salted butter vs unsalted butter? Even better, do you know that there is a different butter fat content to different butters? Some have more water so that may lead to a different result. There are different types of honey which can give different consistency and taste, different oils have different smoke points if you are frying, etc. You get the point. Knowing ingredients and the way they interact with your other ingredients is very helpful.
What about the extra ingredients like zest and herbs? Often a chef will finish a dish with additional ingredients that may not be in the recipe.
Also, if you are watching a cooking show, remember they are using the highest quality ingredients possible…homemade mustards or the best bakery bread around, etc!
Do you know diced from minced or why its important? How about beating egg whites to a soft peak? There is some technical knowledge that can help that recipe come out just the way you wanted. Here are a few ways to combat that (affiliate link):
- Take a cooking class
- Ask other cooks
- Go to the web for instruction. We really can’t recommend Craftsy enough. The classes are really well done and with James Beard award winning chefs and quality instruction like the King Arthur Essential of Bread Baking. Want to try it and see, do a FREE class. YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED. We’ve done several and LOVE them. They are extensive so give yourself a little time to absorb it all.
We all do it…we are out of X ingredient while preparing said recipe and made a last minute substitution. Sometimes that’s amazing and you better write down what you did or you’ll forget (speaking from MAJOR experience) or sometimes it can be very bad. Call out for pizza bad.
If you substitute, make sure you really know the ingredient is a solid fill in. For example, all over the web (again consider your source) there is a buttermilk substitute with milk and lemon juice. This can give you a tartness and slight thickness but it won’t give you the same consistency. Plain yogurt mixed with milk would be a better replacement.
The recipe says to beat the batter for 5 minutes, but I don’t have a mixer. Do you know how much you are going to have to do it by hand, and with what, to get the same results? Do you know if your oven temp has been calibrated… meaning if you are cooking at 350 it really is 350 and not 375? Is your oven convection? Are you cooking with gas? Do you know that tomato sauce in a cast iron pan can lead to a metallic taste?
Don’t have enough time to complete the new recipe carefully following the steps? We are super excited about trying a recipe that we fail to realize it’s prep time alone is all the time we have. You have all the ingredients so onwards and upwards. Rushing a new recipe can really hinder the amazing outcome. It may work to rush it, but it’s recommended to take your time…….
AND READ THE RECIPE ALL THE WAY THROUGH FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!
Cooking mistakes happen and if you get a story out of it, or a pinterest fail, more fun we say. These tips are just there for knowledge on where it may have gone wrong in case you don’t want the pizza delivery on speed dial.
What was your worse recipe fail?
We promise, EVERYONE has been there!
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