11 Bad Kitchen Habits You Need To Stop Immediately

We are cooking in the kitchen these days probably now more than we ever have. With numerous people working or attending school from home, the kitchen has become a frequented room for many. While cooking in the kitchen can certainly be a joyful and therapeutic activity, if you’re not careful, you might pick up on a few bad kitchen habits that could ruin your recipes—or even make you sick!

In order to ensure that you’re making the most of your recipes, your appliances, and even the cleanliness of your kitchen, we rounded up a few important bad kitchen habits that you need to start avoiding. Once you have these down, you’re also going to like our list of 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.

skillet heating

If a recipe calls for you to cook something over medium or medium-low heat, you want to make sure that the skillet is actually at that proper temperature. Especially if you need to cook something for a particular time period—you don’t want undercooked food! Give your skillet a minute or two to heat up properly before starting your recipe.

If you’re a fan of skillet recipes, then you’re going to love our list of 35 Quick and Amazing Cast-Iron Skillet Recipes.

cooking high heat

It’s good for the skillet to be heated before you start cooking, but you certainly don’t want it to be overheated. If you’re cooking something at a particular temperature and it starts to char, it’s likely the skillet is too hot (unless the recipe calls for you to char something). This is particularly important if you’re flipping pancakes! The skillet will likely heat up even more, so make sure to turn it down before pouring the second batch of pancakes on the pan.

cleaning skillet

If you have a seasoned, non-stick cast-iron skillet, the last thing you want to do is ruin the seasoning with a lot of soap. While a small amount of soap is okay—especially if you’re trying to get some harder food bits from browning something—it’s not good for the skillet to be immersed in soap all the time. A true non-stick skillet will be able to wash fine with some warm water, and abrasive sponge, and good ol’ elbow grease.

Here are 13 Ways You’re Ruining Your Cast-Iron Skillet.

seasoning skillet

To keep a nice non-stick coating on your cast-iron skillet, it’s important to season it between washes. After washing out your skillet (with as little soap as possible), rub a small amount of oil on your skillet and leave it to dry. Vegetable oil works well, especially if you grab a container of shortening. You can scoop out a small amount and wipe it around the surface of the skillet with a paper towel. Here’s How To Season a Cast-Iron Skillet So That It Lasts for a Lifetime.

steak and potatoes on a plate

If you’re cutting into a steak immediately after pulling it off the grill, be warned! Your steak will likely become tough as you continue to eat it. That’s because

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Researchers discover both good and bad kitchen habits in different European countries

Every year, 5,000 Europeans die from diseases contracted from food. Researchers visited people’s homes and discovered both good and bad kitchen habits in different European countries.

Most of us know that we have to be careful about hygiene when preparing raw chicken. We should wash the utensils and our hands after handling chicken, and we should wash or use a different chopping board before chopping the vegetables for the salad.

There is a lot happening at the same time in the kitchen, and it is not always easy to remember to follow good hygiene advice.

‘We have to remember that cooking is a complex social practice that is based more on routinised habits than on food safety advice’, says Researcher Silje Skuland at Consumption Research Norway (SIFO), OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University.

Together with researchers in Norway, the UK, France, Portugal and Romania, she has mapped the shopping, hygiene and cooking habits of 75 European households. This is part of the big European research project SafeConsume, which is concerned with reducing the risk of foodborne diseases in private kitchens.

Everything you want to know

The work has resulted in an 800-page-long report on ‘everything you want to know about how food safety is addressed in everyday lives’, down to the smallest details.

Some of the questions the report answers are:

How do we wash lettuce? How and how often do we wash our hands? How do we wash our knives, chopping boards and other utensils? How do we transport, store and prepare our food? How do culture, habits and access to goods determine what we buy and how we prepare our food?

Comparisons between the five countries give the researchers knowledge about what food habits lead to the spread of bacteria and parasites.

Not just up to the consumers

WHO has determined that 23 million Europeans become ill and 5,000 die each year as a result of bacteria, parasites, allergens or toxins in food. Food’s journey from retail to fork has not been the subject of much research.

Skuland emphasises that consumers are not the only ones responsible for this.

‘It’s not the consumers’ fault that the food they buy in the shop contains Campylobacter bacteria or listeria. There is a tendency these days for consumers to be given the responsibility for fixing both environmental problems and public health challenges,’ says Skuland.

Skuland believes the food should already be safe when it ends up in our shopping bags. However, after the point of purchase consumers can minimise the risk by avoiding contamination and cooking meat well. 40% of cases of foodborne illness are caused by in the domestic setting.

Multitasking and cooking

The researchers went along when people did their shopping and followed them home to their kitchen where they prepared a meal of chicken and fresh vegetables. The goal was to find out how food was handled on its way from the shop to the table, which has

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