<br/>Having cooking skill can be helpful in a lot of ways. A meal at home is fresher and more delicious. Not everyone is the most skillful when it comes to cooking. In this article, you will find several useful pieces of advice that can vastly improve your cooking skill. <br/>A cool and dark location is best for storing spices and herbs. If your spices are exposed to moisture, heat, or light they may lose their flavor. Usually, a freshly ground spice or herb will keep its flavor for around a year. Spices which are kept whole can retain their flavor for between three and five years. Proper storage is essential to maintaining fresh, robust flavors. <br/>Boiling and other lengthy cooking methods strip vegetables of their important nutrients. To retain these nutrients, rely on cooking methods that don't take a lot of time, including steaming or sauteing. You can even eat them raw if you have the taste for it. <br/>Cooking veggies improves the quality of them. Vegetables that are cooked slowly lose a lot of their taste and nutrition. You have an added bonus, because these certain techniques make vegetables healthier in general. When you know how to cook vegetables in the least amount of time possible, you will enjoy better tasting and nutritious vegetables. <br/>No matter what you are cooking, fresh ingredients are always much better than dried or frozen ingredients. Use fresh ingredients as often as you can; they offer more flavor and tend to be less expensive as well. <br/>Baking mixes, flour and sugar should all be stored in airtight packaging. By storing foods in airtight containers, you can ensure its freshness and prevent any contamination. These can be bought at almost any store. <br/>When preparing chicken stock, it is best to make a large batch. Plan on preparing a large batch so that the excess can be frozen and used later. Having this delicious chicken stock on hand will be useful when you are making soups, casseroles, stews and so much more. Once your stock is cooked, let the leftovers reach room temperature, then portion them into freezer bags. <br/>Reduce the amount of cooking oil you use if you are looking to lose weight and make your diet healthier. Oil and butter have lots of fat. Instead, opt for nonstick cooking spray. <br/>If you are intending to use skewers when you cook, do not forget to soak them in water for at least half an hour before you use them if they are wooden. This can cut down on the chances of the wood becoming burnt and singed during the cooking process. If you have issues with food falling off skewers, make it a double. Food is much more stable when you use two skewers parallel from one another instead of one. <br/>As you can see, cooking can be easy. With the right techniques, creating delicious dishes for family and friends can suddenly become a breeze! Now that you have been introduced to these great tips and tricks, you just need to make the time to go and give them a try!