One Simple Rule to Improve Everything You Cook

It’s easy to get discouraged when you first start learning to cook for yourself. Nothing tastes as good as what Mom used to make. Heck, you can’t even top the stuff that comes out of a box or a can or the frozen-food aisle.If this describes you, there’s one thing I’ll bet no one has ever told you that will get you through this roadblock: use salt.

When I started cooking I looked at the ingredients on prepared foods. The sodium content on everything was sky-high. I “knew” that salt was bad for you, so I didn’t use any. (Whoops, should have done some research first.) I figured you can always add some once it’s on the plate. What I didn’t know was that adding the salt earlier in the cooking process makes a huge difference in the final flavor.

I could go into some pretty extensive details on the chemistry behind this. It would be all about brining and the Maillard reaction. I’d have to talk about semi-permiable membranes and coagulation of denatured proteins.

But the bottom line is that any salt added at the beginning of cooking will bring out all kinds of flavor from whatever you’re cooking. Salt added at the end of cooking will just make it taste salty.