You may have seen Top Chef, Chopped, or some other TV cooking show before. On these shows, men and women compete for the “Best of” type of title in cooking. However, when you look among your peers, the best of is more often missing. What I mean by this is both men and women (and in the traditional sense, more people think of men as not good cooks) have not built skills in cooking. Perhaps this is why so many of us are overweight from eating processed foods (foods from a box or can) and restaurant foods.
Cooking is a skill that everyone can learn. You don’t need to be a chef to be a great cook. You just need to take the time to learn how to make a few simple changes to your cooking methods. If you want to improve your cooking skills, you can do so with a little bit of effort. There are a few steps you can take that will help you to become a better cook. With a little bit of practice, you will find that cooking is much easier than you thought.
“I cook, I create, I’m incredibly excited by what I do, I’ve still got a lot to achieve.”
I began cooking many years ago and have only improved my skills with seasoning, searing, stirring and so much more. I do not fancy myself as a baker, but I do appreciate being a cook (and worthy of chef from time to time). I made sure that the tips in this article will help you to learn how to improve your cooking skills. The tips are cursory, so if you want to explore more about cooking and improving your game, then I also provide great resources (links) for you to add to your overall repertoire.
These tips are designed to help you to be a better cook. You don’t need to fully understand everything you read in this article to start improving your cooking skills. If you are looking for some tips to improve your cooking skills, you can use them to help you learn more about cooking.
One thing worthy of note, I built more skills in cooking along with a broader understanding of ingredients for cooking as I learned of health problems which I was facing and likely to face. This has helped me become a far better cook than I was just a few years ago. When you are cooking for health, and not just for the pleasure of eating, you are able to create meals that are truly spectacular.
Men get the negative press when it comes to cooking
Women are often judged as bad cooks because they are expected to cook and be in charge of the household. This can lead to women feeling discouraged about their skills in the kitchen. Men, on the other hand, get a bad reputation for cooking because it’s assumed that they don’t know how to cook. However, men do know how to cook – they just aren’t given enough credit for it.
Men are often criticized for not being able to cook at all. The reality is that men often have their own tricks up their sleeve when it comes to cooking. When you think of a typical ‘hearth’ or ‘man cave,’ what do you usually picture? You probably see tools, tools and more tools scattered around the room. Tools like hammers, saws, pliers, screwdrivers and wrenches could be sitting on shelves and hanging from walls. These tools may seem useless in the kitchen but there are quite a few uses for them!
Cook with confidence using a “cooking with confidence” approach
Being confident in the kitchen can be difficult. But, it’s also not something that’s out of reach for even the newest cook. A cooking with confidence approach is what you need to start off on the right foot.
The first step to being confident in the kitchen is knowing your skills and limitations. Once you know what you’re good at, it’ll be easier to identify which parts of cooking are challenging for you.
One way to figure this out is by asking yourself a few questions:
What do I enjoy doing in the kitchen?
What does not come naturally to me?
What are my strengths when I cook?
What am I not very good at?
Which areas do I need to work on improving?
Once you have an idea of where your weaknesses lie, it will be easier for you to work on them and improve your skills in those areas. You should also remember that there are many ways to improve your cooking skills as well. There’s no one way that works for everyone so don’t hesitate to try new things if they sound interesting!
“Cooking today is a young man’s game, I don’t give a bollocks what anyone says.”
Tips for improving your cooking skills
- Technique: The first step in improving your cooking skills is to learn how to cook properly. This means using the appropriate technique for each dish.
- Tools: You will need the right tools to make cooking easier. More often than not, the best tool for a job is an inexpensive one that can be found at any grocery store.
- Ingredients: When you are learning how to cook, you need to understand ingredients and how they work together.
- Pantry: Your pantry should be stocked with basic cooking ingredients that you use on a regular basis. It should also have some specialty items like spices, oils, vinegars, etc., that you may use only occasionally but are useful when needed.
- Spices: Learn how to use spices correctly and where they should be used in dishes you make. Using fresh spices will help you improve your cooking skills.
A simple approach to mastering cooking skills for anyone
Start with foods you like. What foods do you prefer when you visit a restaurant, mom’s house, or similar? Make a short list of several dishes you would like to master for yourself.
When I was younger, I already liked quite a few dishes, so I had to be more specific. I chose dishes which would be good for entertaining friends or dates. Whichever dishes you choose, make a list of them. Then do some simple research. Look up recipes for each of these dishes and READ the INGREDIENTS list. If there are ingredients which you do not know, look them up and become familiar with them. Are they savory, sweet, tangy, spicy, or similar? What do the various ingredients OFFER to the dish overall. Learning these building blocks can really help you establish a strong foundation of knowledge from which you can readily pull to create original dishes for yourself in time.
Once you have a group of recipes researched, watch videos, or simply practice on one recipe at a time. Make sure you have all the required ingredients and follow the steps as described. When you are following a recipe and it describes a process which you may not understand, return to videos, or call a friend who does cook. Most people are happy to provide guidance to boost your skills.
As you complete new dishes, you will determine what things you have a knack for, and which need more practice. In either case, it is good to continue pushing yourself to cook the things that you like and that are healthier for you than the processed foods found in boxes and fast-food joints. This alone will boost yo