Cooking is an essential skill in today’s society, there is no question about it. If you are on your own, you have to be able to cook for yourself, and if you have a family you will likely need to cook at least occasionally (in addition to other family members) in order to keep everyone well-fed.
Even though many can manage with basic cooking skills, everyone could benefit from becoming a better cook.
With this in mind, we have compiled tips to create this practical guide to becoming a better cook. Ready to dive into the culinary world?
Learn To Season
Seasoning your food is essential. In fact, seasoning your food can greatly improve any dish, and even mask smaller mistakes such as slightly overcooking chicken.
The basic elements of seasoning are to sprinkle salt and pepper on your food before cooking and adjusting as needed as it cooks. Consider a basic tomato sauce, for instance. Let’s say you used a basic canned sauce and added a couple of vegetables and perhaps some cooked ground beef. Sprinkling in salt and pepper is a great way to boost the sauce’s flavour.
You can even take it further by adding spices like crushed chili flakes, onion powder, or garlic powder. Spices, whether they are fresh or dried, can easily elevate a dish without needing to be a master chef overnight.
Use Wooden Utensils
Wooden utensils, whether it is a spoon to stir your soup, a spatula to flip your burger, or another cooking utensil, have multiple benefits. In addition to their health benefits, such as not leaching chemicals into your food and their ability to kill germs, wooden utensils are also eco-friendly.
Finally, their primary function in improving your cooking skills is that they do not conduct heat. This means your control remains within the heat of the pan, pot, et cetera you are using, and there is not additional source you are not accounting for, resulting in a more even cook.
The more recipes and cooking tips you read, the better equipped you will be when you step into the kitchen. Reading more recipes has you familiar with not just cooking techniques, but also increases the selection of meals you could make in your kitchen.
Reading cookbooks is not a practical source for becoming a better cook, since it is all theory, but without knowledge of some recipes, cooking well becomes much more difficult.
Engage In Meal Prep
Have you ever tried to make a meal and found yourself rushing to chop your vegetables, stir sauce, cook meat, et cetera all at the same time? While it is possible, it is quite difficult to pull off if you are the only one in the kitchen, particularly if you want to make sure each component is done at a certain time.
This is part of why meal prep is a key to becoming a better cook. Where possible, you can prep components of your meal in advance (e.g. chop vegetables for the upcoming week on a Sunday).
Of course, meal prep should also include planning your meals, since you will need to know what you will be eating if you are going to prepare appropriately. You can do this with a simple notebook, but you may also wish to create your own little calendar using computer software.
Invest In Knives
Whether it’s slicing chicken, chopping onions, dicing garlic, or doing any other number of tasks when cooking your meals, you will need to have knives. If you really want to improve your skills, having ill-suited knives is only going to work against you.
Investing in a quality knife set will give not only the flexibility to chop and dice different sizes, but also to improve the quality and efficiency of each chop.