The Top Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Favorite Recipes

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

We’ve all been there — we make a silly mistake in the kitchen that ruins a dish, or makes it less than dinner-party perfect. Luckily there are several common mistakes you can avoid if you just know what they are.

Here are the top mistakes to avoid when making everything from hard-boiled eggs and pork chops to brownies and burgers.

  1. Grilled cheese: When it comes to grilled cheese, it’s all about cheese selection, size, and temperature.
  2. Hard-boiled eggs: They might seem basic, but there are many variations and a few hard-and-fast rules.
  3. Potato salad: The last thing you want is a mealy, mushy potato salad.
  4. Pasta salad: Even with all the varieties of pasta salad out there, it’s important to avoid these key mistakes.
  5. Brownies: Once you’ve found your perfect recipe, make sure you don’t make these common mistakes.
  6. Burgers: After mastering these tips, you’ll have a burger that rivals the best restaurant patties out there.
  7. Pancakes: Pancakes require a little patience. Wait until the right time to flip them, and you’ll be rewarded with a perfectly fluffy stack.
  8. Tacos: When it comes to tacos, most mistakes are made with the tortilla. Master that, and you’ll be off to a good start.
  9. Stuffing: Dry stuffing can ruin Thanksgiving, or any other special meal. Make sure you make it the right way.
  10. Caramelized onions: The payoff of properly caramelized onions is worth mastering these few techniques. (Hint: It’s all about the heat level.)
  11. Pork chops: Both food safety and flavor are key concerns in learning to cook pork chops the proper way.
  12. Chocolate chip cookies: First, and most importantly, make sure you choose the right chocolate chip cookie for you.
  13. Meatballs: Don’t rely on your sauce to season the dish; make sure your meatballs are well-seasoned, too.
  14. Muffins: Make breakfast better by avoiding these muffin mistakes.
  15. Poached eggs: Poached eggs can be one of the trickiest kitchen skills to master, but if you avoid these missteps, you’ll learn to perfect your poach.