This Is The Worst Mistake Cooks Make In Boot Camp, According To Anne Burrell

Anne Burrell is known for her no-holds-barred attitude and big personality — particularly when addressing novice "chefs" on Food Network's Worst Cooks in America. The feisty co-host has been mentoring participants on the popular reality show for more than 20 seasons and is passionate about helping them blossom from "loveable losers" to "very decent" in the span of just a few short months (via Total Food Service). 

Those who have watched Worst Cooks know that Boot Camp can get intense and that Burrell is quick to notice every mistake. In a list of advice compiled by herself and Rachael Ray, Burrell tells the Food Network that forgetting to taste a dish periodically during preparation is the worst infraction made by nervous recruits. She emphatically reminds unskilled beginners to monitor their flavor profile while there's still time to make improvements. The Kitchn agrees that regular sampling yields the most ideal results and is one of the best ways to learn how to trust your instincts in the kitchen.  

Don't forget to use the two-spoon method

The idea seems obvious when you think about it, right? But while even the most relaxed folks are more germ-conscious than ever these days, it can be nearly impossible to curb the habit of double-dipping your spoon while checking to see if that big bowl of guacamole needs more lime. Remember that a quick culinary mistake can transfer loads of potentially unwanted bacteria to your loved ones. CNN published study results led by professor and food scientist Paul Dawson that found a notable increase of bacterial populations in some dips after they had been exposed to the dreaded twice-dipped chip.

A notation in the U.S. Public Health Service Food Code states that a tasting utensil should never be used more than once. The safest way in which to taste-test a dish is clearly outlined in a PDF designed for school nutrition assistants in North Carolina Public Schools, which suggests using one spoon to acquire a sample of food and transfer it to a plate or onto a second tasting utensil without the two ever coming into contact, thus nearly eliminating the chance of contamination. Of course, if you own a lot of flatware and don't mind doing dishes, you could just grab a pile of spoons to dip and discard as you go.