In the US, 98% of Americans prefer to prepare their meals at home. Has this number shocked you? Then maybe it’s time to join the ranks!
The fact of the matter is, it just takes a little bit of time and practice to become a decent cook. But where do you even begin? Everyone’s at different skill levels, after all!
If you want to be a better cook in a general sense, then you’re in the right place. Read on to find out how to get better at cooking!
Keep Your Knives Sharp
If you’ve got yourself some decent knives, then it can be scary to bring them out for use. So the duller they are, the better right? That way, they won’t cut you as badly if you make a mistake.
However, that’s a huge misconception. You’ll actually be safer if you keep your knives nice and sharp!
This is because it’ll take less force to cut something. If the knife slips, then it’ll be just a slight brush on your fingers rather than a deep cut.
You can buy an at-home sharpener and sharpen your knives every few uses. But in addition, you should also get a professional sharpening once or twice a year. This will ensure that they’re safe to use and can give you the precision you need to prep your ingredients.
Read Recipes Thoroughly
Before you get to cooking, always read recipes thoroughly. That way, you can get everything out so they’re ready to go when you need them.
Plus, this gives you a chance to realize if anything’s missing from your pantry. If you are, you can switch to another recipe before it’s too late.
Remember how you had to go over the lab instructions at the beginning of class in high school chemistry class? It’d serve you well to do it for cooking too! When you know which steps follow the preceding ones, you won’t be left flailing as much.
Reading recipes beforehand can also enable you to plan ahead of time. If you see that a recipe takes 1.5 hours but you know realistically, it’d take you 1 hour on ingredient prepping alone, then you can adjust for your personal cooking time and start early if needed. This will help you get dinner on the table on time!
Taste Throughout the Process
Baking is an exact science, but cooking allows you more freedom. Treat the amounts given in a recipe as guidelines and adjust for your own tastes. Make sure you taste your food throughout the cooking process and add more seasoning if needed.
On that note, always start with conservative amounts of salt and spices if you’re not sure how much to use. You can always add more, but you can’t subtract it from your pot or pan.
If you’re trying to be creative, don’t add that extra ingredient/spice into the entire dish. Instead, spoon a little out, add that something extra to it, mix it up, and give it a taste. If it blends well, then go ahead with adding a proportional amount to your entire dish.
Don’t Stop Practicing
Maybe there’s a technique that you can’t get down, and you’re so frustrated that you’ve sworn off it. But don’t give up! Practice makes perfect, after all.
Sure, you might have to deal with some mediocre (or even subpar) meals at times. But without that experience, you’ll never get it right! In fact, it just might be the best meal you make in the future; that is, if you put the time and effort into it!
Learn the Basics First
You need to learn to walk before you run. So before you try and tackle a beef Wellington or some paella, start off with something easy and simple.
When you feel more comfortable and confident with your basic skills, then it’ll be easier to move onto something more complicated. And remember: just because it’s challenging doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a better dish! It’s ok to stick to simpler things if they suit your palate more.
On that note, it might be easy and less stressful to stick to what you know. But how are you ever going to grow as a cook if you don’t try new things? Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can then improve your skills and knowledge by being adventurous (that is, if you want)!
For example, cooking with CBD can be a great way to hone your skills while also incorporating health solutions. This cannabinoid requires optimal temperatures and environments for its benefits to come through in food. So if you can master mixing CBD with your food, then you can master anything!
You can also explore other cuisines. For instance, if you’re used to Italian food, then broaden your horizons by trying to cook Chinese or Mexican food. This will help you learn to use new ingredients and techniques, which will then allow you to create your own dishes that are full of flavor and uniqueness!
Become a Better Cook With Our Tips
If you’ve always wanted to become a better cook and never knew where to start, then we hope this article has given you some great inspiration and confidence.
Remember that you can’t make any progress unless you try! And everyone will make mistakes, so if you burn a dish or over/under-season another, what’s important that you learn from it to make your future dishes better. With enough practice, effort, and time, becoming a great cook will happen in no time.