Do you find yourself cooking the same rotation of meals over and over again? Are you often tempted to order a pizza because you can’t face another mediocre home-cooked meal? Perhaps you’re a culinary newbie who can’t tell a spatula from a sieve?
Whatever your reasons for wanting to improve your cooking, it’s never too late to learn. Every time you cook, you develop your skills a little bit. Expanding your cooking repertoire will only help you on your way to becoming a master of the kitchen.
If you feel your cooking abilities need work, there are some culinary basics every cook should know. These tips will help you understand more about the science of cooking and give you more knowledge to make every meal taste amazing. Your family and friends will thank you for it too!
Most people don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to seasoning. They either leave their food completely under-seasoned or dump a load of salt on at the end with no reasoning behind it. Salting in stages throughout the cooking process is the best way to extract the most flavor from food. And you should learn how to use different herbs and spices to enhance the taste of any dish.
There are many brilliant cookbooks and cooking videos out there to help you prepare any dish you want, but following these too stringently can leave you restricted and unable to grow as a cook. Learn to trust your instincts. Be mindful of the quantities of food you use and how this makes the food taste. The recipe should be a guideline that you can adapt when needed.
Keep your knives sharp
Any good chef will have a sharp set of knives at the ready. Whatever knife you use, you must keep them sharp. A dull blade can slip and cause a lot more accidents than a sharp one. Invest in a knife sharpener or honing steel to keep a fine edge on your cutting implements. Be wary of your chopping boards too. Stone or glass boards will quickly blunt your knives. A plastic or wood board is a far better option.
Pick the best ingredients
The reason restaurant food generally tastes much better than home-cooked is that they take care to pick the finest ingredients. If you want to improve your home cooking, pay more attention to the food you buy. Shopping for fresh ingredients at farmers’ markets will always ensure your food is tastier and healthier.
We’ve all been there. You’re too busy chopping the vegetables for your side salad that you’ve failed to notice the food burning on the stove. Being more organized in the kitchen will make the cooking process more efficient and less stressful while reducing the risk of mistakes. Do all your preparation in advance to prevent rushing around. Clean the kitchen as you go if you want to be more like the professional chefs.
Presentation is key
We eat with our eyes. You don’t have to Instagram every single dish, but the way your food looks is a key influence on how it tastes. A sloppy stew spattered into a bowl might taste amazing, but a little more time spent on presentation could make all the difference. Take care of how you plate your food and use garnishes for that final touch.
Have you come across any tips in your own cooking or someone else’s that made the experience of eating their food just that much better? Are there any tips that I may be missing that you want to add? Let me know in the comments below.
Until our next rendezvous…