Cooking is an activity that has numerous benefits. Not only are you ensuring that your meals will be healthy and catered to your taste, but it is also a relaxing activity that can make for a good time when you have a little free time on your hands. Whether you’re preparing meals for dinner or baking goods for dessert, quality time spent in the kitchen is a nice hobby to develop. With that in mind, it’s important to set yourself up for success when cooking. They say “if you can read, you can cook.” So take a look at these tips that will be helpful for anyone new to cooking.
Always Read Through Recipes Thoroughly
For some people, this tip might seem like an easy one. However, more often than not a common mistake made by most beginning cooks is that they find an interesting recipe, skim the instructions and get right into it. The problem with this is that errors are bound to be made, and you might miss critical steps. A lot of published recipes tend to leave information or even ingredients in hidden sections further down in the instructions. So if you merely skim the whole thing, you might miss something crucial such as “marinate the chicken overnight.”
Prep Ahead of Time
Prepping is another common mistake made by beginners and even those with years of experience in a kitchen. Everyone tends to get antsy and will want to jump right into it. A term that is used a lot by some of the top chefs is “Mise en place.” This is a French phrase that means “putting in place,” so in simpler terms it means before you even heat the pan, you need to get everything prepared. So everything should be washed, diced, chopped, etc. and set out on your countertop before you get started. Mastering this step in cooking will make things feel much simpler and more enjoyable.
Equip Your Kitchen With The Right Tools
Every kitchen needs proper kitchen gadgets. Without them, nothing can get done. When you are starting out with cooking, it might be useful to stick with the basics, so a set of reliable and heavy pans will be good to get yourself going. You will also want to invest in a quality chef’s knife. Your knife will be essential for chopping vegetables and cutting meat amongst other uses. For this reason, you want to invest in one that will stand the test of time. It might cost a bit more up front, but it will be worth it in the long run. Lindsay Pine, M.D, R.D, and owner of Tasty Balance Nutrition says “a good quality knife will last longer than your lifetime.”
Start Off Simple
If you’re like most beginners, you might be terrified at the thought of failing right out of the gate. Luckily, the best way to build confidence is through success. So start out with easy recipes like a simple meatloaf and mash potatoes recipe. There’s no need to come out trying to prepare five-star meals. Keep it simple, and once you feel confident in your abilities, then you can look to tackle that collapsed souffle or gummy risotto.