Use a mister to keep skillets from scorching: When it comes to cooking anything in a skillet, particularly items like vegetables or chicken that do not have a high fat content, there is always the risk that your pan will dry out and start to scorch whatever is inside. It's easy to overcompensate by pouring more oil into the pan, or, if you're leery of using too much oil, filling the pan with water. But drowning your partially cooked food in too much liquid can affect the cooking process and strip it of flavor. A clever way to keep your skillet moist, especially if you're doing something like caramelizing onions, which requires a long and steady cook time, is to keep a spray bottle filled with water on hand. When the skillet starts to dry out, lightly mist it. This also will help slowly deglaze the pan, so the browned bits at the bottom don't burn but instead add more flavor to whatever you're cooking.
Michelle Stark, Times food editor