Cooking is an enjoyable and rewarding hobby anyone can try. If you want to teach yourself how to cook, here are the steps you can follow.
Step 1. Start with Easy Recipes
Cooking your very first meal or dish doesn’t have to be complicated. You’ll learn a lot more if you do basic recipes, and also have a higher chance to succeed in your first try.
It’s perfectly okay to try and boil, poach or fry an egg at the start, then go another route such as cooking pasta, rice or stir-frying vegetables. In fact, it’s recommended that you cook a lot of different things instead of the same one over and over so you can grow.
For easy recipes you can turn to the internet as a resource or invest in one or two ‘easy cook’ books made by famous chefs.
Step 2. Familiarize Yourself with the Equipment
Working in the kitchen for the first time can be a daunting experience. You’re surrounded by all these silverware, pots and tools, and with little to no idea how to use them.
We know what a pot and a knife does, but how about a colander, or a peeler? If you’re not familiar with them then you should take the time to read up and understand. You may come across them in your recipe or cookbook, so it’s best to learn what they do and how you can handle them.
Aside from the basic tools such as knives and tongs you should also learn how to differentiate a broiler from a slow cooker, for instance. If you’re not sure, look up the brand and model on the manual or the internet.
Step 3. Learn the Common Cooking Lingo
Most cookbooks will only show you what you should do with an ingredient- for instance, they might tell you to ‘sear’ the meat, but how do you do that exactly?
Cooking lingos are a dime a dozen, and if you want to make things easier then you should learn about them too. The outcome of a dish will be vastly different if you don’t follow instructions, particularly the cooking style.
Again, the internet can help in this regard. You can watch YouTube videos or tutorials on how to cook an ingredient a certain way.
Step 4. Measuring Ingredients is Important
In the same vein as learning how to complete different cooking processes it’s equally important that you know how to measure and mete out ingredients and portions.
Cookbooks do a good job of telling you how much you need, but then you might be confused on what a ‘dash’ or ‘pinch’ is. Also, you’ll want to have your cooking equipment such as measuring cups and glasses handy for preparing flour, vegetables such as spinach or rice, among others.
Following instructions will make or break your first attempts at cooking, so it’s best to do this for now. Later on you’ll have the freedom to adjust or even make your own tasty creations.
Step 5. Watch and Learn
Most people get inspired to cook for their partners and loved ones by watching cooking shows on Netflix, YouTube or local channels. The way various ingredients come together is fascinating to watch, but then things might not go as planned when it’s your turn.
Videos and shows are excellent teaching material and go quite well with cookbooks. You can gain greater confidence when you start watching as you cook your meals so you’ll have an idea of what to do and what the food will turn out in the end.
Step 6. Practice Makes Perfect
You’ll certainly come into several issues as you teach yourself how to cook. This is perfectly okay because only a few get it right the first time.
Understanding the basics, such as measurements, cooking utensils and preparation is essential for being a good cook. There’s really no shortcut for this- the more you do it, the more comfortable you become and the better you get.
Try out different recipes of different meals and stick to the ones that come out good. Rely on your equipment, such as a meat thermometer or induction cooker or fryer so you won’t have to second-guess temperature and cooking time.