If you want to start cooking more at home but are starting from a place with very little experience, it is best to start with the basics. The more you begin to learn, the more you will understand how easy cooking can be with just a handful of techniques.
Here are 4 tips to help get you started on your cooking journey.
1. Read the Recipe First and While Cooking
Always read the recipe before you start cooking. This means reading the entire recipe from start to finish and paying attention to both the ingredient list and the instructions. It can be really tempting to glance at a recipe and assume you understand the steps or that you will have all the ingredients, but it is very frustrating when you are 20 minutes in, and notice you don’t have the right kind of oil or you are out of butter. It takes only a couple of minutes to read through and make sure you have everything before you get started.
2. Do Prep Before You Start Cooking
When you look ahead at the recipe, you will get an idea of what kind of prep you should be doing beforehand. For example, you might have vegetables you need to chop, garlic to press, or you may need to prep meat or fish before you actually start cooking it. If you don’t want to get all frazzled about being behind, do the prep work first. Does the recipe call for diced onions or cooked ground beef? You need to do these things first! Be aware of your time and what can be done ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling and burning parts of your meal.
3. Never Put Food in a Cold Pan
If you have tried cooking before, and it just doesn’t turn out how you hoped, it might be because you are putting food in a hot pan. This is especially true for meat, poultry, and fish. The meat cooks properly when it is placed in a hot pan, but in a cold pan, it releases too much moisture as it begins cooking. What happens is that by the time it is fully cooked, a lot of moisture is gone and it is much too dry and tough to enjoy. If you aren’t searing your chicken or steak on a hot pan, this might be where you’re going wrong.
4. Use the Best Equipment You Can Get
While you don’t need a bunch of fancy and expensive gadgets, it does help to start with some quality equipment. Get at least a couple of high-quality pans, some good knives, and a few gadgets and appliances. Look at how much your budget is and get the best equipment you can within that budget. We’re talking about quality, not quantity.