We share the techniques you can use to tell when these common foods are cooked.
The bottom of the bread should be brown, and should sound hollow when tapped. If it’s in a loaf tin, the sides should be brown too.
Put a toothpick or sharp knife in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done. A cake that is not cooked will also jiggle as you move it.
Chicken fillets or legs:
If you have a meat thermometer, the thickest part of the meat should register at 74 ̊C. If
not, poke a sharp knife into the thickest part to make sure that there are no pink parts remaining and any juices that run out are clear, not pink.
Gently push a knife into the thickest part of the thigh. The liquid should run clear, not pink, and the leg should feel loose when wiggled.
The thickest part of the fish’s flesh should be opaque and flake easily. Any liquid that escapes should run clear.
Wait for your burgers to be well-browned on both sides, but not burnt. The liquid should run clear when a burger is pierced, and the centre should feel nearly solid to the touch.
Flip when bubbles appear on the top, and the edges are getting more solid. Cook on the second side for another minute or two, until brown.
This is tricky because ideally, you should keep the cover closed while cooking. It’s usually done when the liquid is absorbed, but taste a grain to be sure.
The best way to test pasta is to take a piece out of the pan using a fork and, once cool enough, test it with your teeth. You want it cooked ‘al dente,’ which means that there is still a little resistance when you bite it.
Pasta bakes and gratins
Any baked dish with a sauce should be golden on top and bubbling around the edges. In the case of potato or vegetable gratins, you may also like to stick the tip of a knife down into the center to ensure it’s soft throughout.
A quiche should be golden brown all over, not just at the edges, but it’s fine if it still has a tiny jiggle in the center – it will become firmer as it cools