With the avalanche of different cooking shows and competitions aired on cable channels worldwide, everybody seems to be a budding master chef in their own kitchens these days. Many a family member, friend or colleague now take the time to prepare homecooked dishes they can enjoy with guests while celebrating an important occasion or simply chatting and spending time together.
Are you looking to improve your cooking skills to serve your loved ones gourmet dishes anytime you feel like it? Yes? Well, here are a few tips that can get you started.
1. Learn the ropes. Do you know the proper way to cut and sauté onions? A cooking activity as simple as this can make or break your master chef aspirations. Knowing the basic cooking and food preparation techniques, which includes not only cutting and slicing of meats and produce, but the proper ways to clean and handle them as well.
2. Set measurable goals. There are a lot of things to learn when it comes to cooking like a pro. Instead of being overwhelmed, pick out the basics which you need to master first. For example, you might want to focus on perfecting your knife or peeling skills within a month and then move onto learning how to cook an impeccably grilled steak the next month.
3. Invest in good cooking tools. Don’t get too excited and buy a lot of cooking tools which you won’t use in the long run. Invest in the backbone of cooking – quality pans, pots, and knives. Choosing quality over quantity makes your cooking life a lot easier and productive. If you need to purchase additional cooking tools, consider what you cook most often so you don’t waste money.
4. Organize your kitchen. How does your pantry, freezer or fridge look like? Do they hold expired ingredients and spoiled produce you can no longer cook? Get rid of useless goods and then store what’s left in neat, organized containers. Apart from labeling each container, write the expiry date of their contents in a visible manner, too.
5. Buy and cook only what you need. Master chefs are good at measurements – anticipating how many ingredients, like meat and produce, will be needed for a dish for a certain number of people. Figure out what you really need so you can avoid leftovers and spoilage. If you have meat trimmings or produce scraps, make sumptuous bisques or soups out of them. A great chef can always create extraordinary dishes from simple ingredients – and even leftovers!
6. Choose recipes that match your cooking skills. If you’re a beginner, stick to recipes that are appropriate for your level of skill. This will keep you from feeling unnecessary frustration. Have a mentor or someone who can gauge your skills and taste your dishes before you plan to level up.
Mastering the art of cooking
Whether you’re a novice chef or a seasoned one, you can always improve your cooking skills through practice. Make time to cook and enjoy every part of it – the good and the bad. If you treat cooking as another chore to tick on your to-do list, you will feel stressed and become unwilling to learn. Engage all your senses when you cook – smell, feel and taste every ingredient. And, you will find cooking to be a relaxing and rewarding activity as you learn its many aspects.
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