Some people are naturally skilled in the kitchen. They can just kind of wing it and their meals turn out awesome. For those of us who need to follow a recipe to a T, winging it isn’t really an option. There are, however, some recipe steps that aren’t terribly important.
Once you’ve been cooking for a while, you learn which steps of a recipe are crucial and which are less important. For example, I can now eyeball the amount of salt to put in a dish rather than follow the recipe’s exact measurements (unless it’s a baking recipe. I still don’t dare go off-book when it comes to baking). This is an obvious example, but you get the idea. Epicurious points to a few more:
PEELING POTATOES: How many times can you say “it’s not lazy, it’s healthy,” and actually mean it? Potato peels contain 16% of your daily fibre, and anyone who’s had German potato salad or salt-baked spuds knows the skin can be pretty delicious. So put down that peeler! But do, uh, pick up that scrubber — keeping the skins means the potatoes need a wash.
ROOM TEMPERATURE EGGS: Some baking recipes (like pound cakes or meringues) call for room temperature eggs. While eggs that are straight from the fridge won’t mix as easily, it doesn’t make a huge difference if you decide to use them. But if you really want your eggs to warm up fast, put them into a bowl of warm water.
SEPARATE BOWLS FOR SALAD DRESSING: Any recipe that tells you to make salad dressing in a separate bowl deserves to be ditched. Instead, create your dressing first in a large bowl, then pile the greens and other salad ingredients into that same bowl and start tossing (or massaging, if you’re using hearty greens like kale).
Of course, there’s also personal preference — you might prefer your potatoes peeled — but they point out that these steps really don’t make much of a difference. Read their original article on skippable steps here, then check out their follow up steps at the link below.
6 Completely Skippable Recipe Steps [Epicurious]