So you’ve been watching all those cooking shows and realize you’re done just drooling over the screen and want to start some kitchen action of your own, eh?
If you doubt your ability to cook – don’t! Everybody can learn how to be a master in the kitchen, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Here are some tips to get you started on becoming the next master chef!
1. Set a Schedule
If you’re serious about learning to cook, you’re going to have to be deliberate about it. You have to set aside time and promise to commit. Lifehacker has some pretty good suggestions on how to build a cooking habit. Kitchen mastery takes practice so you have to set a regular schedule if you want to be a good cook.
2. Invest in Basic and Trusty Kitchenware
When you begin shopping for kitchen tools and appliances, a lot of the fancy stuff might catch your attention. It all seems exciting to get and put in your drawers, but in reality, you won’t need most of them especially when you’re just starting out. Pick out reliable appliances you’ll really need – you can check out some product reviews from CookoutPal before you shop.
Get yourself a trusty pan or two and a couple of sturdy knives and spatulas, and you’re good to go! Jamming your kitchen cabinets with too many tools and filling up space with unnecessary appliances will only overwhelm you and possibly even make you less motivated to cook.
3. Start Simple
As I mentioned earlier, being a master in the kitchen doesn’t happen overnight. Complicated dishes from cooking shows may make your mouth water, but you won’t be able to make them if you can’t master simpler dishes first.
Starting with a simple recipe will increase the chances of the dish to turn out great which will get you pumped. Increased confidence will get you cooking more and more and you’ll eventually want to take your skills to the next level. Before you know it, you’re tackling on dishes you can’t even pronounce!
4. Get a Beginner’s Cook Book and Stick With It
You don’t have to fill your shelf with cookbooks when you’re starting out. Just grab one or two for beginners and stick with it for a while. One of the best to start with would be “How To Cook Everything” by Mark Bittman.
It’s important to follow each recipe religiously as a starting cook. Stick with the measurements and the ingredients given and avoid substitutions. Ruining a simple recipe can get you demotivated so follow the instructions first and make your own adjustments only when you have gained more confidence.
5. Make Foods You Like
You may actually want to learn how to cook to impress someone – and there’s nothing wrong with that! But when you’re starting out, it’s best to focus on working on foods you like. Begin with your comfort foods – those you love and tingle your taste buds.
It’s important to start with cuisines you’re already familiar with so your tongue would know that you got it right. When you’re happy with the results you’re getting, then you can start moving on to different cuisines.
Perhaps another reason you’ve decided to cook on your own is that you want to eat healthier meals. That’s a good motivator, however, “healthy” meals aren’t exactly very appetizing. So don’t jump immediately into the bandwagon of a certain diet.
Instead, realize that just by cooking your own food, you’re already eating something much healthier than when you go out to eat. Push yourself to prepare your own meals by making something you’ll actually enjoy eating. Then slowly introduce healthier alternatives to your usual recipes. This way, your taste buds will adapt and you’ll still enjoy your food the way you always have.
6. Take a Cooking Class
A good way to keep a habit going is by doing it with other people. If you want to run regularly, do it with friends. If you want to go to the gym routinely, get a gym buddy. Having someone to do stuff with is a good motivator to keep ongoing.
The same principle applies to cooking. If you want to cook more, do it with other people who want to do the same. When you’re around people who want to be better cooks, you’ll also be encouraged to outdo yourself every time.
7. Cook for Others
One reason people find it hard to have the energy to cook is that cooking for one seems like a waste of time. If you find yourself thinking the same thing, then why not share your cooking with friends and family? It certainly will be worth your time to make a lot of people happy!
Cooking for other people will get you to put more thought into what you’re going to prepare. You would, of course, want to feed them something that’s both healthy and tasty and you’ll likely be more careful not to mess it up.
Plus, the praises you’ll get will also increase your confidence and get you to do it more often. But don’t do it solely for the compliments, okay?
8. Keep a Clean Kitchen
How do you feel when you arrive in the office and find tons of paper piled up on your desk and everything is a mess? You already feel tired, right? You are bound to get that same feeling when you enter a messy kitchen.
It can be tough to clean up after every cooking session, but the earlier you do it, the faster it will get done! Make sure to clean up all the pots, pans, spatulas, oven, or everything you’ve used to cook. Leaving a clean kitchen will make you feel more accomplished.
Procrastinating on cleaning can get you frustrated once you enter the area again. That will lead you to put off cooking too!
Anyone can be a good cook! Don’t doubt your ability before you even begin. So start slowly and don’t pressure yourself and before you know it you’re cooking up some mean meals all by yourself!