So many recipes I’ve seen, online and on TV, use the phrase “to taste”.
To me, this is a terrible statement for aspiring chefs. You don’t lick raw chicken to see if it’s seasoned correctly. It’s also really hard to taste boiling soups without taking forever to let it cool while still getting a good taste. Opening the oven to take a taste of a roast, or casserole and rechecking it will make the cooking take longer.
On TV, you see chefs add salt to a sauce and they immediately take a spoonful. Not only does this not let the salt get absorbed, but it gives the false sense that if it doesn’t taste right, just add salt. For people who have no idea what taste they are looking for because they haven’t yet made it, it is kind of pointless.
So take “to taste” as it should be. After a while of cooking for yourself or others, you can kind of get a sense of how much seasoning you want on something. Like several shakes of salt and a couple grinds of pepper is what I do for a basis for most small things. Adding in a few shakes of any extra seasonings along the way or more for larger batches.
If you are cooking for multiple people, you should always season for the person who wants the least seasoning, because you can only add, you can’t take away.
If you can’t seem to get a hang of it, you can always season at the table.