Turn down the heat.
Credit: David Moir /Bravo / NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images

"I see it all the time: Cooks crank up the heat under a pan, they start cooking, and everything is burned because they don't bring it back down," Colicchio says. It's a given among many of us (especially those who watch cooking shows) that high heat is the way to go for most dishes. Colicchio says you might jack up the heat to get the pan to temperature, but once you put ingredients in the heat, it equalizes, which is precisely when you should drop the heat or risk burning or drying out or otherwise ruining your meal. Unless you're sautéing or boiling, medium heat is plenty. "As long as the ingredients are simmering nicely, you don't need to go higher," he says.