5 Tips to Help You Become a Better Cook
Feel like you’ll never be a good cook? Do your go-to meals come directly from the freezer section at the supermarket? Are you frustrated with the time it takes to cook a fresh meal? Cooking is a pain point for many people, but it doesn’t need to be a monumental challenge in your daily life for you to become a better cook.
Unfortunately, you aren’t just born a good cook. If you want to cook tasty meals that your family will enjoy and friends will rave about, you have to make the conscious decision to learn how to cook. While culinary school is great for those interested in pursuing a career in cooking, it’s not necessary for all of us. Instead, you simply need to be open to doing the right things, one step at a time.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you become a better cook:
Use the Right Kitchen Supplies
You don’t need a bunch of expensive equipment to become a better cook, but you do need the right kitchen supplies if you want to cook tasty meals. Three things you’ll definitely want include:
- A good set of kitchen knives is a must. You’re going to be doing a lot of chopping, dicing, slicing, and cutting. Don’t skimp in this area. A quality set will last you decades, while a cheap set will break at the most inopportune time.
- Everything tastes better on a cast iron. Again, there are cheaper options out there, but an investment in cast iron will pay off over time.
- You need a reliable oven that holds a true temperature. Trying to mess around with an inconsistent oven will produce inconsistent results. A gas oven is ideal.
Purchase Fresh Ingredients
While those semi-dried tomatoes have that extra flavor! You don’t need a bunch of fancy ingredients to cook tasty meals, but it is important to get fresh ingredients whenever possible. Fresh over frozen can even be cheaper if you buy in the right quantities.
Choose Simple Recipes
Stop trying to cook fancy meals that require you to perform dozens of steps over multiple hours. Not only are you going to lose interest, but you’re also likely to mess something up. So what makes a good cook? Well Some of the best recipes are simple recipes, so stick to the basics if you want to become a better cook.
Use Your Hands
Spatulas, tongs, spoons, forks, and tenderizers – these utensils are helpful, but the greatest resource you have in the entire kitchen is your hands.
“Your hands are your first and best kitchen tool,” cookbook author Faith Durand believes. “I use my fingers to mix and knead dough, to prod a piece of meat to check for doneness, and to rub out lumps in sauces before cooking. Your hands are the best tool for mixing a salad.”
Make Salt Your Friend
As a cook, salt is your best friend. This doesn’t mean you should dump a lot of salt on everything you eat, but rather that you should learn to use it strategically. One of the primary mistakes home cooks make is under seasoning food and only tossing salt on after the meal is cooked. By learning how to integrate salt into your meals early in the cooking process, you can produce tastier meals with much less effort.
Putting it All Together
It doesn’t take much to move past Easy Mac, frozen pizzas, and Hot Pockets. With the right approach, you can become a better cook within days. All it takes is the correct combination of supplies, ingredients, and recipes – seasoned with a dash of patience – and you’ll have everyone talking about your cooking.