If you love cooking, you already have the advantage of becoming a great cook. Having a passion for cooking plays a massive role in your cheffing abilities, and when you love to cook, people will taste it in your results. However, there are other elements that can contribute to a better cooking experience. Most people avoid cooking because it can be stressful, but if you don’t plan accordingly, it will be.
Here are a few simple, yet effective changes you can make to become a better cook:
Get the right cookware to support your cooking needs
Having the right utensils and cookware needed for your dish can make a significant difference in the preparation process and the end result. Some of the essential items include cast iron cookware, a pan set, cast iron pots and roasting dishes, mixing bowls and cutting boards. It’s important to have separate cutting boards for meat, fish and vegetables to avoid any contamination. Smaller boards are bound to cause frustration in the kitchen because you will need to constantly clean your boards to make space to cut something new. Purchase big cutting boards and make sure you have backup equipment if need be.
Organise your workspace before you start
When you start to cook a meal, make sure you organise the area where you are going to prepare your food and pack everything out beforehand. By doing so, you will be able to avoid shuffling around for an item at the last minute when you need something for your dish. Much like keeping any extra equipment at arm’s reach, make sure you keep a selection of knives close by as well as your dustbin to get rid of any rubbish that needs to be thrown away to clear up some space. Being organised can really make a difference to your working experience as it will reduce stress and make everything feel seamless.
Make smarter shopping decisions
If possible, shop for your ingredients in advance so that the minute you get home from work and want to start preparing dinner, you have everything at your disposal. Having to stop off at the grocery store takes up time and adds to the pre-cooking stress you need to try and avoid. Another tip with grocery shopping is to shop smart. Shop in bulk if your pocket can afford to do so. This way, you are able to simplify your extensive shopping list and make as few trips to the supermarket as possible.
Keep a stocked pantry of ingredients
Another reason why people refrain from cooking is because of the ingredients needed to cook each dish. If you start collecting your ingredients slowly, over time you will have a pantry full of items to make an array of different dishes. Each time you decide to make a different dish, always keep your pantry in the back of your mind. This will save on expenses and allow you to use up what you already have first.
Leverage the power of herbs and spices
Do some research, read some recipes and learn how to take advantage of herbs and spices when cooking. Understanding which spice works best with certain dishes will help you to cook creatively without having to resort to the simple salt, butter or cream options make a dish more appealing to your guests. Make sure that you stock up your herbs regularly as these items do become dried out and, in some cases, they can go off. Once a particular herb or spice dries out, it also loses its flavour. If you want to go a step further, plant a vegetable and herb garden to help you bring the freshness straight to the table.
Make use of a recipe
If you want to experiment by making something new, make use of a recipe. If you are new to cooking, the chances are that won’t be all that accurate when pairing the correct ingredients with meat for taste purposes. So, before you mess up the entire dish by trying something completely new, get to know the different food combinations by making use of recipes to cook your food. This will broaden your recipe knowledge so that one day you will be able to make something delicious off of the top of your head.
Cooking is fun and a hobby for many people. Make the most of your time in the kitchen by applying the above-mentioned tips. If you have a high-quality cookware set, some sharp knives, the right ingredients, a recipe and enough time to prepare your meal, you’ll be able to start cooking like a pro.