Cooking Basics for Beginners & Some Tips on How to Make Things Easier in the Kitchen
Everyone has to start somewhere and this is a great place to learn a few things about basic cooking and how to make the whole cooking process just a little bit EASIER.
Even if you think you can’t cook at all, you actually do have the ability to become a great cook in a short period of time if you follow a few simple steps!
One of the best tips for a beginner cook is to start simple and build your skills gradually. Start with super easy things and work your way up to a confident cook.
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Here are some more detailed beginner cooking tips to help you get started:
Cooking for Beginners
– Start with Basic Recipes –
Begin with simple recipes that have fewer ingredients and shorter cooking times. Mastering the basics like scrambled eggs, pasta, or a basic stir-fry will give you a solid foundation. Here is a very simple recipe for Easy Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil that is a basic pasta recipe that is simple for a beginner cook.
– Study the Recipe First
Every dish you cook will start with instructions or a recipe. Learn to read the recipe all the way through before you do anything else to get a good idea of what it will entail and the list of ingredients you will need. Start out with a very small and basic recipe to ensure your success and gain confidence.
Once you have a basic recipe and you have read the instructions through, gather all of the ingredients and place them in one spot on your kitchen counter.
Prep Ingredients Before Cooking – This is known as “mise en place.” Chop, measure, and prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking. This makes the process smoother and less stressful.
For less cooking stress for the beginner cook – try and start off with a clean and tidy kitchen.
– Have the Right Equipment
Make sure you have the right equipment before you get started. While you don’t need a fully stocked kitchen from the beginning, having some essential tools like a chef’s knife, cutting board, pots, and pans can make your cooking experience easier and more enjoyable. Here is a great list of what a beginner cook will need in the kitchen – Beginners Guide to Kitchen Equipment.
– Learn Basic Knife Skills
Knowing how to properly handle a knife is crucial in cooking. Learn basic knife skills to make chopping, slicing, and dicing easier and safer.
– Be Clean & Be Safe
Remember that being clean is being safe and wash your hands often. Never use the same knife to cut everything in the recipe. If you cut up raw chicken then wash the knife thoroughly before cutting anything else. Also, never use the same cutting board to cut meat and vegetables. Wash all of your fruits and vegetables under hard-running tap water. Even wash your lemons and limes before cutting.
– Clean as You Go
This can be hard to do for the beginner cook, but try and keep your workspace organized and clean as you cook. Wash dishes and utensils you no longer need, and it will make cleanup much easier when you’re finished. You will not feel overwhelmed if you don’t have to worry about a big mess to clean up after cooking.
– Practice Controlling the Heat
Understand how to control the heat on your stove. Different dishes require different temperatures, so knowing how to adjust the heat is essential for cooking success.
– Seasoning is Key
Learn how to season your dishes with salt and pepper properly. Season in layers as you cook, tasting as you go, to ensure your food is flavorful.
– Learn how to Store Foods Properly
All perishable foods that you bring into the house should be stored in the refrigerator as quickly as possible. Never leave foods sit out for more than an hour if possible.
Beginner Cook Quick Tips:
- Don’t Rush – Take your time when cooking. Rushing can lead to mistakes or overcooking. Cooking is about patience and paying attention to detail.
- Experiment and Learn – Don’t be afraid to try new recipes and ingredients. Cooking is a creative process, and making mistakes is part of the learning experience.
- Learn from Your Mistakes – Don’t be discouraged by mishaps in the kitchen. Mistakes are an opportunity to learn and improve your cooking skills.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – Like any skill, cooking gets better with practice. The more you cook, the more confident and skilled you’ll become.
Remember that cooking is a journey, and everyone starts somewhere. Enjoy the process, have fun experimenting with flavors, and don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t turn out perfectly at first. With time and practice, you’ll become a more skilled and confident cook.
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