Cooking is not a skill that we are just born with. While many people learn it from their parents or guardians, it seems like even those parents and guardians don’t know how to cook these days! Blame it on fast food joints and affordable prepared food at the market. However, if you want to cook healthy meals for yourself or your family, you may be grappling with a variety of different problems. Cooking at home can be very rewarding, but before you can do it well, you’ll need to do some basic things. Making your own meals can also help to save money. For an individual on a budget or a family with a limited income, that really can make a difference. Buying prepared meals can easily cost 10-times as much, especially when you consider the fact that you can make some things in large quantities for very little money. Use this guide to help you improve your skills in the kitchen and start feeding yourself, your family and your friends with the food you make.
Start Slow Learning to cook isn’t one of those things that you can do overnight. In fact, it could easily take you months to perfect even one dish. So how do you go about feeding your family and serving others? The best bet is to start slow and work on recipes that are simple. Soups, pasta dishes and even condiments like homemade salsa are excellent beginner dishes. You can also try these cheap and easy crockpot recipes if you’re on a budget. These will be edible and delicious even as you perfect your technique, so you don’t have to worry about making major mistakes that will ruin your food. Start cooking foods you like as well, not just things that are easy. Break down dishes into smaller steps and leave harder processes out if you need to.
What Do You Like? A big part of cooking is figuring out what style of food you like and really want to work on preparing. Do you have a Chinese background and want to master that style of cooking? Maybe you just love pizza and pasta and want to be able to serve people the best ravioli they’ve ever had outside of Italy! One of the best ways to figure out what you like – if you don’t already know – is to flip through some cookbooks. You’ll likely find that one particular style appeals to you, or maybe a menagerie of different styles is best, but with certain continuous components. Make note of different dishes you want to prepare and spend a few dollars on printed cookbooks. They’re a great guide for getting better in the kitchen and all of the recipes will be reliable.
Cook Regularly Cooking is something that takes a fair amount of practice to even do well on a basic level. If you want to get really good at it and make it feel like second nature, you’re going to need to spend some time in the kitchen. Make dinner for your family every night or when you have time. Practice making larger meals even for yourself and keep the leftovers in the refrigerator. They’ll be great the next day and you’ll be getting the hang of cooking for a bigger group – something that’s important as you develop your skills. You’ll also want to branch out into foods that you don’t normally cook. If you usually skip breakfast, try making eggs in the morning until you get that perfect sunny side up or scramble.
Practice Your Skills Unless you’re in culinary school and you’re training to become a chef, you’re probably not going to stand around all day chopping practice onions to get the perfect dice. That doesn’t mean you can’t work on the particular skills that need work. Focus on making dishes that push you outside your comfort zone. If you’re not good at chopping onions, try making a French onion soup! Doing the thing that’s uncomfortable is essential, and eventually, you won’t dread those tasks anymore.
Take Classes If you don’t feel like you’re progressing in the kitchen on your own, or you’re just the type of person that does better with an instructor, consider taking cooking and baking classes such as these ones offered by Cozymeal. You’ll find a variety of different classes in your area, and no matter what you want to cook, you’ll be able to find the right style. Whether you want to bake perfect wedding cakes or you want to make your own pasta by hand, a cooking class is one of the best ways to do it. Look for times that suit your schedule, but try to take at least once class per week. Taking less than one class per week will leave you rusty and won’t offer enough time for you to really practice.