When you are preparing to cook a meal, you must keep several bits of information clearly in mind. As you formulate your recipe, add your ingredients, select cook times, and handle all the other demands of a busy kitchen, these strategies and tactics can help you turn bland meals into sizzling cuisine.

To successfully cook a meal you should always follow the recipe. This will assure you use the correct amount of each ingredient. Cooking is a science and each ingredient has its job. Leaving out an ingredient, putting too much of something, or cooking for too long can turn your dish into a disaster.

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.

To get the best sear and the crispiest crust on everything from fish to meats to other pan fried foods, the secret is a hot pan. Getting a nice brown color on your food requires a pan that is as hot as possible before the food hits its surface. Because the exterior of the food cooks first, you get only one chance to create that perfect golden color and crispy texture, so heat your pan and oil for several minutes prior.

The difference between a good chef and a bad cook boils down to effective education. By adding these tips to your existing cooking routine, you are sure to gain an edge over other chefs, impress your family and delight your own taste-buds with a medley of delicious meals. This information can take your dishes from dull to dazzling.