Is It Done Yet? Cooking Tips

By: Mr. Food
By: Mr. Food

Is It Done Yet? Cooking Tips
Air Date: 4/9/2008

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We've all heard that "timing is everything." Well, that's especially true when we're cooking.

Ending up with an overcooked or undercooked dish is not only disappointing and frustrating, but it can also be really expensive if we wind up throwing out our main course.

If we're cooking beef, we can use an instant-read thermometer or we can gently press the center with our fingertips. If it's soft to the touch, it's rare. The firmer it gets, the more well-done it is. A good way to remember that is this little trick: Press your fingers on the inside of your arm, just below the elbow; that's what rare feels like. As we get closer to our wrist, that's well-done, and in between, medium (just the way I like it). Try it...it works!

How do we know when fish is cooked? When it flakes easily with a fork.

For poultry, when no pink remains and the juices run clear, we're in the clear.

If we're baking potatoes, insert a fork into each one. When it slides easily, all the way to the center, it's done.

With other veggies, the rule is to always check for doneness at the minimum cooking time, and cook them longer if necessary. Some veggies taste better tender, like eggplant, peas and greens. Others, like asparagus, peppers, and carrots, preserve their color and flavor if cooked only until they're crisp.

The next time you wonder "Is it done yet?" these tips might let you know just when your foods reach the perfect...


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