Taste, aroma, sight, feel and sound all contribute to the eating experience -- we smell food before we see or taste it, and sometimes we even hear it being cooked (think about the sound of frying chicken). Food is, above all, a sensory experience, but what about the cooking of it? Many people don't think to use their senses when they cook, but you'll be surprised by how much it will improve your cooking. Learn how in the slideshow below!

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  • Smell For A Change In Aroma

    Whether you're sauteing garlic or onion or toasting nuts or spices, you must smell for a change in aroma. As soon as you smell the difference, it's time to move onto the next step in the recipe. When it comes to smelling burning, the recipe is pretty much toast.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackson3/3750175310/" target="_hplink">Steven Jackson Photography, Flickr</a>.

  • Look For A Change In Appearance

    When cooking, make sure to add your oil to a hot pan and wait to see that it shimmers. Don't add food to a pan with cold oil because it won't sear or fry properly.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/22179048@N05/5195118392/" target="_hplink">BobPetUK, Flickr</a>.

  • Feel For Doneness

    The best way to check fish and meat for doneness is to feel it with your finger: it's mushy if it's rare, slightly resistant when it's medium, and hard if it's well done. This also works for vegetables (test with the tip of a knife) but in the opposite way: it's overcooked if it's mushy, hard if it's raw and slightly resistant when it's perfectly cooked.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chefmaggio/5731822151/" target="_hplink">Maggio7, Flickr</a>.

  • Look For A Change In Color

    When a recipe starts with sauteing onions, you want to make sure the onions change color from translucent to opaque before you move onto the next step. This also goes for sauteing fish or shrimp. And when you're browning meat for stew, you want to make sure the meat is actually brown before proceeding.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/oh_darling/6603889153/" target="_hplink">ohsarahrose, Flickr</a>.

  • Smell For Freshness

    You've probably heard this before, but it's very important to smell fish and seafood for freshness. If it smells like the sea it's fresh, but if it smells fishy it's not worth buying or cooking.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/andreagp/1122613434/" target="_hplink">Andrea Pokrzywinski, Flickr</a>.

  • Look For Bubbles

    When boiling it's really important to wait until the water is at a roaring boil with large bubbles before adding pasta, vegetables, etc. The worst thing you can do is add pasta to a simmering pot of water -- you'll end up with a gummy texture.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/notahipster/3027162977/" target="_hplink">little blue hen, Flickr</a>.

  • Listen For A Change In Sound

    Most people don't think to use their ears, but they can help a lot during cooking. When you're searing or frying meat or vegetables, the sound will change from a sharp sizzle to a mellow hum as the food cooks -- then you know it's ready to flip or remove because the moisture has cooked off.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/tarale/6689019875/" target="_hplink">tarale, Flickr</a>.

  • Look For Doneness

    Sometimes when you can't use your touch to check for doneness, but you can use your eyes and a knife as an extension of your hand. For example, to check a roasting chicken for doneness, insert a knife's tip in between the thigh and the breast -- if the juices run clear, the chicken is done.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/6831887615/" target="_hplink">Dinner Series, Flickr</a>.

  • Taste For Flavor

    Tasting during cooking is probably the most important use of your senses. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNym1wnDd2Y" target="_hplink">Some chefs say to taste at least three times</a>: toward the beginning, the middle and near the end of cooking. Tasting is important because you can adjust the food's seasoning to ensure its flavor is where you want it before serving. You can't expect food to taste good if you don't taste it.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rueful/5697846897/" target="_hplink">breahn, Flickr</a>.

  • Feel For Texture

    Most people are afraid to touch food when they're cooking, namely raw meat, but your hands can help you immensely. When working with dough or mixing up ground meat for meatballs, you can feel if the mixture is too dry or too wet so you know to remedy the issue before moving on.<br> <br> Photo from <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/adventurespf/3274671073/" target="_hplink">Adventures of Pam & Frank, Flickr</a>.

  • WATCH: Cooking With Your Five Senses

Sources: Hertzmann.com, SpinARecipe.com, TheKitchn.com.