10 Cooking Tips for Total Beginners

If you didn’t grow up in a “cooking” household, then starting to cook fancy meals for yourself can be a bit daunting! For many years, I saw lots of meals on Pinterest that I wanted to make, but was too shy and scared to get started cooking. The recipes looked too complicated or seemed to require tools and appliances I didn’t have. Looking back, I wish I dived into learning how to cook much sooner.

In fact, I’m not alone. According to YPulse, 34% of Gen Z and Millennial Americans wish they were taught cooking skills in school.

Cooking at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips to help you improve your cooking skills and make the most of your time in the kitchen:

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Plan your meals

Before you start cooking, decide what you want to make and create a meal plan. This will help you stay organized, save time, and ensure you have all the necessary ingredients. Meal planning is also great for staying healthy.

Read the recipe thoroughly

Carefully read the entire recipe before you begin cooking. Understand the steps involved, the cooking techniques required, and the timing involved. This will help you avoid mistakes and surprises along the way.

Prepare all ingredients in advance

Practice mise en place, which means having all your ingredients measured, chopped, and ready to go before you start cooking. This makes the cooking process smoother and more efficient.

Use fresh, high-quality ingredients

Good ingredients can elevate the flavor of your dishes. Whenever possible, choose fresh produce, meats, and spices. Experiment with local and seasonal ingredients for the best results.

Master basic cooking techniques

Learn and practice basic cooking techniques like sautéing, boiling, roasting, grilling, and baking. These techniques form the foundation of many recipes and will help you become a more versatile cook.

Season properly

Don’t be afraid to season your food with salt, pepper, herbs, and spices. Taste as you go and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Remember, a well-seasoned dish can make a significant difference in the overall flavor.

Don’t overcrowd the pan

When sautéing or stir-frying, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. This allows the heat to distribute evenly and ensures that your ingredients cook properly instead of steaming or stewing.

Use the right tools

Invest in good-quality cooking utensils, knives, and equipment. Having the right tools can make your cooking experience more efficient and enjoyable. While you don’t need to invest in premium cookware, try to buy cooking products that are BPA-free.

Clean as you go

Keep your workspace clean and organized by washing utensils, cutting boards, and bowls as you finish using them. This will prevent clutter and make cleaning up after cooking much easier.

Experiment and have fun

Don’t be afraid to try new recipes and experiment with flavors and ingredients. Cooking is an art, and the more you practice, the more confident and creative you’ll become in the kitchen.

Remember, cooking takes time and practice, so be patient with yourself. Enjoy the process, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. With time, you’ll become a more skilled home cook.


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