Over the winter, I studied and completed the course and testing to be a Food Safety Handler, so that I am certified to serve and cook in any commercial kitchen. The experience was difficult, but very eye opening to the bad habits within my own kitchen and what I look for while I’m dining out. I could see how meats were not cooked to the correct temperature and produce was not stored in the right areas of the kitchen. I wanted to write this post to educate anyone who is reading this to some of the tactics and rules I’ve learned.
Invest in multiple cutting boards for different proteins and produce. I recently stumbled upon a pack of cutting boards that are designated for different foods in TJMAXX. There was one for meat, veggies, seafood and poultry. I had been searching for cutting boards for this purpose. I also have a glass cutting board that I use meats because it does not hold bacteria like plastic ones do. I also make it a habit to put them in the dishwasher to ensure that they are properly cleaned and sanitized for the next meal.
A good sharp knife make all the difference while preparing your dishes. Also, it is best to know which knife to use for each food. Bread should be cut with a serrated knife and it is best to use a paring knife for peeling vegetables like potatoes and carrots. Holding your knife correctly makes your cuts even and uniform. It feels better and takes stress off your hand. A good set of knives does not have to be expensive. A few years ago, my mom bought me a set of knives, and I sure they didn’t cost hundreds of dollars for them. They are still as good as the day she gave them to me.
Get good cookware! I can’t say it enough because it’s so important. A few years ago, around the same time I got my knives, I asked my mom for stone cookware. She has several pieces and it’s great because it can go from freezer to stove to oven to microwave. The other great benefit is that they come in cool shapes, sizes and colors. That means the same dish you cooked in can be bought to the table. There is no need to dirty up extra dishes. One of my friends even bought me a personalized baking dish to display my creations. There won’t be confusion the next for the next potluck.
These are a few rules that have helped me be a better cook in the kitchen. I hope that they will help you as well!