‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten Says This is the Biggest Mistake Most People Make in Cooking

Food Network star Ina Garten is known for her down-to-earth persona and delicious dishes when it comes to cooking. As the host of Barefoot Contessa and author of various cookbooks, the culinary queen clearly knows her stuff when it comes to being a chef.

Though some recipes can be more intimidating than others, Garten revealed that both amateurs and professionals make this mistake when it comes to making meals.

‘Barefoot Contessa’s’ checklist on book-worthy recipes

With her plethora of best-selling cookbooks, Garten has learned which recipes are the best to share with fans. The culinary icon has a certain checklist she runs through with each potential dish with a focus on keeping it simple.

“There are a few things I’m always looking for,” the Barefoot Contessa host said, according to TheKitchn.com. “The first is, can you go to the grocery store and buy the ingredients? Even if it’s an easy recipe to cook, if it takes you too long to shop for, you won’t want to make it.”

Garten also considers the amount of time the entire process requires… and of course, the taste of the finished product. “The second is, does it take less time than you would expect to prep and cook the thing?” she noted. “Then finally when it’s done, is it more than just good? I want it to be like wow, this is delicious.”

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Ina Garten shares how to ‘Cook Like A Pro’

In her 2018 bestseller Cook Like a Pro, Garten gives plenty of advice and tips on meal prep and working in the kitchen. One of her favorites involves preventing a mess.

“I love to go to the farm stand and get corn and cut it off the cob, but then it literally ends up all over my kitchen,” the Food Network star said. “So I thought, I’ve got to find a way to do this, so I got a sheet pan and a kitchen towel and cut the corn off the cob onto the kitchen towel. Then I picked up the kitchen towel and poured it all into a bowl. It was so much easier.”

Garten also reveals some ‘must-haves’ from savory to sweet for home cooks to keep on hand in the kitchen.

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“I think you should have good olive oil,” the chef advised. “Everybody should have pasta, Parmesan cheese, canned tomatoes to make a quick sauce. I have different kinds of mustards — Dijon, whole-grain, honey mustard. And different kinds of chocolates to make chocolate cake or pudding.”

Food Network star encourages seasoning

Culminating her culinary expertise over the years, Garten knows the value some simple seasoning can bring to a meal. Yet she finds that many hold back when it comes to using their salt and pepper shakers.

“Most people make the biggest mistake in seasoning with salt and pepper. They don’t use it enough,” the TV host revealed. “Every recipe says season to taste. But you don’t know what it’s supposed to taste like, so how are you supposed to season it to taste?”

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Garten feels that these tried-and-true ingredients can make or break a recipe. “If you have chicken stock that isn’t seasoned well, it tastes like dirty dishwater!” she said. “So if you add salt to it, you’ll taste the chicken, vegetables, and herbs.”

Home cooks would be wise to follow the Barefoot Contessa’s advice for their next meal!