Cooking can be your hobby or a lifetime profession. Everyone needs to know some basic things about cooking so that they can prepare food for themselves. Even if you don’t cook, and you need to eat to survive, someone cooks that food for you or you’re buying it from the store. Cooking is one of the necessary skills people learned in the past, so they can make the meat easy to chew and some vegetables more digestible. When you combine simple ingredients, you are making a dish that is delicious and tasty.
If you are a good cooker, you can always be even better. Every recipe can be changed and adapted, following your taste and preference. You can miss or add some ingredients, but before you do that, you need to learn the basics of cooking.
What are the basic cooking skills?
Every good cooker should know some basic things. Even the Michelin star chefs use their exceptional dishes. For example, you need to know how to use the knife, but also that there are a lot of knives for different purposes. So, take the knife and try to cut the ingredients as needed.
Then, learn how to make a stock for your soups and stews by combining the vegetables and meaty ingredients. Every cooker has some special sauce, and you need to improve the recipe you have and how to make the most popular sauces. You can’t declare as a good cooker if you don’t know at least three ways to prepare an egg. As you gain more experience, you will learn how to work with meat and dough and stay safe in the kitchen.
After you “master” the basics, you are ready to improve your cooking skills:
1. Buy the right tools
It would be best if you had all the tools and equipment in your kitchen, starting from the knives, chopping boards, pans, stoves, and ovens. You need a different varies of knives, frying pans, and a good stove for the essential recipes. Always choose a piece of high-quality kitchen equipment so that you can avoid disasters caused by bad pans and cooking tools.
2. Learn how every ingredient can be prepared
Every ingredient added in a different phase of the cooking. You need to know how much water do you need to cook rice, can you deep fry the potatoes, when is the best time to add the vegetables in the soup, how long you need to cook the meat and so on. Once you know everything about your ingredients, you can start practicing your skills. You must know how to use the spices and when it’s an excellent time to add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, turmeric, dried vegetables, and every other seasoning you want to use.
3. Master in basic cooking techniques
Everyone needs to know what is baking, boiling, and frying. You will use these techniques to prepare every dish, even the most advanced ones. As you master the basics, you realize that you are ready to embrace the whole range of ingredients and ways of cooking, and the more you try and practice, the more open you are for new things. If you think you can’t practice these techniques by yourself, you can sign up for cooking classes like Culinary Lab School, where you can learn and have fun at the same time. After you pass, your kitchen will be your favorite place to play with the ingredients and get better in cooking.
4. Do a lot of practicing
Practice every day, even for five minutes. Take an onion and try to slice it in thin slices. Then try to chop the carrots and peppers in equal pieces. Take an egg and crack it with one hand while you stir the mixture with the other. Watch a lot of videos and inspire yourself. Try to flip a pancake without using a spatula for that. Assign a new practice task every day, and you will see how you are getting better with every next try.
5. Try to make a dough
Fresh homemade bread and other pastries require a lot of skills and techniques to be soft, crunchy, and tasty. Try a few recipes, including a sourdough, which is good for bread and sandwich loaves. You can look for a lot of sourdough starter recipes and try to make some of them. In the past, our grandmothers didn’t have yeast, and they were always preparing delicious bread or pie using these starters.
Bonus recipe: Flour sourdough starter
You need a jar and equal parts of flour and water. Every day you are adding a little flour and water, mix it and wait for the bubbles to show up. That’s how you know it’s ready. See? Nothing too complicated. You don’t need to know the science behind it. You will know when it’s ready to use for your next sourdough project. Yes, it is that simple.
6. Always take care of the safety
Follow the basic rules for kitchen safety, especially when you use the knives or cook on a gas stove. The kitchen tools should be kept out of kids’ reach so that you can prevent injuries. Use special clothes that will protect you from burns and keep your hair tied. Never wear jewelry while cooking because the metal conducts the electricity, and you can get injured. Keep the temperature-sensitive ingredients away from the stove. Be careful with the raw meat and eggs. Wash your hands regularly so that you can avoid contamination.
Everyone can cook, but not everyone can be a good cooker. It would be best if you had a lot of knowledge, skills, and techniques to become a professional chef. In general, cooking is a combination of simple skills and talents of mixing the right ingredients and techniques to create delicious and exceptional meals. Every good cooker started to do that at home until they get a formal education that improves their chances of hiring in some restaurant.