How to Be a Better Cook: 4 Effective Tips to Know
Are you trying to learn more about how to be a better cook? If yes, you should check out some of our best tips by clicking here.
If there’s one thing everyone across the world has been doing a bit more than usual this year, it’s eating at home. The coronavirus pandemic has forced many into months of self-isolation, slipping out of the confines of the home only for a brief trip to the grocery store.
This has given many the opportunity to try to improve their skills in the kitchen (or forced them to attempt this by making all three meals in a day). If one’s looking into how to be a better cook, where should they start?
There are many great tips and tricks out there that can turn you from lame into Anthony Bourdain with just a little practice. Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
- Get the Right Tools
You wouldn’t try to become a carpenter without any woodworking tools, would you? Obviously not. So why would you take the same approach when attempting to become a better cook? The equipment that you have in your kitchen will have a big impact on how successful your food creation endeavors really are.
That means a smattering of the different kinds of pots (skillets, woks, roasting pans, slow cookers, etc.) as well as cutting boards, mixing bowls, a good set of knives, and measuring spoons.
If you’re a little strapped on cash right now (who isn’t!) you might not be able to fill in every gap in your kitchen toolkit right away. Getting as much as you can, however, will ensure you don’t leave yourself high and dry when a recipe requires a certain task that you’re unsure how to do without the proper tools.
In fact, scrolling through trending recipes that you’re interested in and seeing what kind of equipment you might need ahead of time can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
- Plan Ahead
One of the main obstacles many novice chefs face is simply the issue of getting organized. No one wants to have an overflowing refrigerator or will be thrilled to have to make many repeat trips to the grocery store over the course of a week.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to get organized at the start of the week. Bring the few different recipes you hope to make together and look at them as a one-week-long project as opposed to individual tasks.
Note the overlapping ingredients between recipes and ensure you’ll get enough of these items to make it through the week. In the same vein, make sure there is at least a decent amount of overlap. If you’re making several different recipes all with wildly different ingredients, you might find yourself in an overflowing (and expensive) situation.
With all your recipes together, you can make your shopping list and even break it down by aisle if you’re feeling extra on top of things. This will make your trip into the store itself less stressful– and you’ll be less likely to forget something you will later desperately need.
- Don’t Underestimate Herbs & Spices
Are you frustrated with the fact that the meals you make at home seem to be blander and less tasteful than those you get when you eat out? The reason might be that you have yet to master the art of herbs and spices.
The use of both is essential if you want your dishes to taste as good as they should. Herbs and spices are what bring vibrancy and flavor to most dishes. Keeping these close by to your work station will allow you to lean over and add a dash of this and that whenever appropriate.
It might take some time to learn which spices are appropriate with which kind of food. Sometimes, recipes don’t even mention this essential step. However, once you get in the habit of cooking regularly, you’ll start to develop an intuitive understanding of which spice would go well with which meal.
- Master the Timing
One of the biggest challenges of learning how to cook better is mastering the timing once you’re in the kitchen. If you’re creating a meal that has multiple elements going at once, juggling these many tasks can make you feel crazy.
If one element gets done far before another, your meal might not come together as well as you hoped.
Much of this is just practice. The more you cook, the more you’ll have an intuitive sense of how long certain tasks take and which to prioritize (and when!). Many recipes will also give you a specific order to help you space things out properly.
The best thing you can do to better your timing is to have all your ingredients laid out and organized prior to getting started. If everything is out and arranged, you won’t have to worry about unpacking, unfreezing, and so forth in the middle of putting your actual meal together.
You’re sure to run into certain mistakes along the way, but that’s just part of the learning! At the end of the day, the best way to become a better chef is simply by cooking as much as possible. Practice, in this case, does make perfect.
Understanding How to Be a Better Cook
There are many habits and practices you can take on if you’re attempting to learn how to be a better cook. Those listed above are just a few we consider the most helpful on your path towards kitchen domination.
Need more food and cooking advice? Keep scrolling our blog for more information!