How to Become a Better Cook: 8 Helpful Tips
Did you know that the average household cooks ten meals at home every week? Despite this fairly high number many families still dread cooking at home.
That’s a shame because home-cooked meals have the potential to be fun, creative, and (most important) delicious. That’s why we made this article. In it, we’ll teach you how to become a better cook through eight simple cooking tips.
That way, you can start looking forward to your meals every night instead of dreading them. Let’s get started!
1. Know Basic Knife Skills
Is knowing how to julienne vegetables helpful? Sure! Is it going to be used in most easy recipes? The answer is no. So, stick to cutting more versatile skills.
This is a vital part of cooking for beginners. Learn how to cut and dice an onion in a way that’s fast and safe. The same goes for bell peppers, carrots, and any other vegetables or meat cuts.
There are many ways to cut food for your meals. Find one that works for you. Then, practice at it until it becomes like second nature.
Once you get a good grasp of the fundamental cutting skills you need, then you can move on to more advanced cutting techniques.
2. A Sharp Knife Is a Safe Knife
This might sound a bit counterintuitive. After all, if a knife is sharp doesn’t it have a better chance of slicing your fingers? While this might be true the reality is that most knife injuries happen because the knives are too dull.
When a knife is dull it becomes very hard to control its movements. This can lead to slipping and inevitable injuries.
Instead, invest in some good knives and continually sharpen them. This will give you much more control when you prep your food.
3. Mise en Place For Organziation
Mise en place is a French saying that means ‘putting in place’. If you ever watch cooking shows, you’re likely to see ingredients neatly organized in bowls. Everything is washed, cut, and prepped.
All that needs to be done is the cooking. It can be tempting to get started on a recipe, then continue prepping while it cooks.
Avoid this if you can. Multitasking while cooking is a recipe for disaster. Something will get burnt or forgotten.
Instead, you mise en place to stay nice and organized during the process.
4. Read the Recipe Before You Start
If you’re going off a recipe you should always take the time to fully read and understand it before you begin cooking. This is a common rookie problem.
You scan the recipe and realize that one step you thought would take thirty minutes takes four hours. Or, if the recipe requires lots of different ingredients at different stages you forget one.
Some recipes are forgiving. But, for the most part, once you get the ball rolling there’s no stopping it. Make sure you’re prepared for the action.
5. Invest In Good Equipment
The beauty of cooking is that you don’t need much to make something great. That being said, some recipes require specialized equipment. For example, some recipes may require an Instant Pot or a slow cooker.
Others might require a smoker or food processor. And nothing can beat the smokey taste of steak on one of the best outdoor island grills.
But don’t feel rushed to take it on all at once. New cooking equipment can make an excellent birthday or holiday gift. So, invest as you need it.
6. Shred Your Cheese When You Can
We know that shredding cheese can be a hassle. It requires forearm strength and recipes that need a lot of it can leave you sore and aching.
It can be quite tempting to buy the pre-cut stuff. But, at the end of the day, shredding it yourself is worth it. Why?
Because nothing melts like freshly cut cheese. The problem with pre-cut is that they cover it with starch to keep it from clumping up in the bag.
This both makes it harder to melt and takes away from the flavor. In a pinch, pre-cut will work. But, if you can, then shred it yourself.
7. Rest Meat Before Cutting In
Once you get a piece of steak or chicken off the heat it can be tempting to cut into it right away. However, if you do this then all the juices in the meat will come pouring out.
This can be both messy and take away from the flavor. Instead, wait at least five minutes to let the meat rest. That way, the juice has time to settle and you’ll get all the flavor in every bite.
8. At Your Twists On Classic Recipes
We all love recipes. But, you shouldn’t treat them like the constitution. Recipes are made to be played with. It’s helpful to view them as guidelines and suggestions instead of commandments set in stone.
You’re going to want to pay attention to things like cooking time. But, feel free to play with seasonings. Do you hate mushrooms?
Don’t be afraid to leave them out or replace them with another ingredient. Cooking is supposed to be fun and creative.
And putting your twists on recipes is a great way to make a classic recipe uniquely your own.
Enjoy Learning How to Become a Better Cook? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you learn how to become a better cook. It’s important to remember that failure is part of the process. Many people expect a perfect meal on their first try.
But, this simply isn’t realistic. So, take your time and be patient with yourself. If you keep at it, you’ll gradually see your cooking skills improving little by little.
Did this article make you hungry for more content? If the answer is yes, then you should keep exploring our articles to find similar ones for your tastes.