Beginners in the kitchen aren’t exempt from committing cooking mistakes. With inexperience comes missteps, and that’s inevitable. No one will fault you for burning a pot of white rice, turning a supposedly medium-rare steak into an extra well-done piece of charcoal meat. That’s all OK. 

What’s not OK is a repeat offense. Committing the same errors over and over is a clear indication that you learned nothing. And if you aspire to be a decent home cook, at the very least, learning from your mistakes is non-negotiable. 

But what if you can avoid these crucial blunders from the get-go? It is possible, especially if you have a ‘cheat sheet.’ That’s what this short article is for. 

The Most Common Beginner Cooking Mistakes

Cooking isn’t an exact science, but there are prerequisites to help avoid a hassle at best and a disaster at worst. And these are the mistakes you should avoid.

Overcooking or Undercooking

The first item on this list is a standard error that’s also very understandable. Many of you have likely experienced following a recipe’s suggested cook time and even used a timer for good measure, only to get unsatisfactory results. It could be that the recipe writer miscalculated, but at the end of it all, you’re still unhappy with the outcome. 

As explained by recipe developer Melissa Gaman:

“The KEY thing about using a timer is that it’s a guide, not an absolute.”