What Are The Best Tips For A Beginner In Cooking?
When you want to ensure that you will eat nutritious and delicious food, you decide to cook. In general, many people love cooking as it’s an outlet for them to boost their creativity and prepare something that reflects their effort. But what if you are a beginner who wants to take the first steps in cooking? Whenever there is a passion and aim, there is nothing that can stop you from success.
We’ve compiled the 6 best tips for a beginner in cooking to help you start from the basics and create a “delicious” atmosphere inside your kitchen.
Start With Cooking Utensils
The first step you should take as a beginner in the kitchen is using high-quality cooking utensils:
- Chef’s Knife: The first and most important utensil in the kitchen is a chef’s knife. Cut your ingredients evenly and promptly with a sharp knife. A high-quality chef’s knife can serve you a longer time. It can be used for various kitchen purposes: slicing, chopping, dicing, mincing, and more. Sharpen your knife weekly for a better experience.
- Pans: You can get a set of pans for a low price, but they won’t heat evenly if they are poorly made and thin which can result in spoiling the quality of your meals. Purchase a set of reliable, long-lasting pans. Whenever you want to make spaghetti or fish you’ll need a stockpot, a small and large sauté pan, a frying pan, and a saucepan. Having a cast iron pan, which is versatile and long-lasting, is also essential. You can buy cast iron cookware that has already been seasoned, but the more you use it, the more seasoned it becomes. And also you should have a non-stick pan that is easy to clean.
Other essential cooking utensils for beginners are:
- Cutting Board
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Colander, etc.
Consider the Recipe
Always read the recipe thoroughly before you begin cooking. In the recipe, there is essential information regarding the temperature (the degree to preheat the oven) and ingredients (the measurements and how to prep them). Ignoring the recipe leads to an unappetizing dish.
As a beginner, you have to pay close attention to the measurements. Refer to the entire recipe before you start preparing your dish. Sometimes, we only pay attention to the ingredients and immediately go to buy them before looking at the time of the preparation. Maybe you want something that needs to be prepared in an hour, but you choose a recipe that will take over two hours. That’s why you need to always look at the recipe.
Buy Fresh Ingredients
Here are some tips for choosing quality ingredients:
- Choose in-season vegetables and fruits.
- Choose quality meats sourced from animals that have been raised ethically.
- Throw away your old spices and buy a new one. Although spices do not have an expiration date, they do lose flavor with time. As a result, rather than buying ground versions, you should buy them whole but for that use a grinder. You can also buy them pre-packaged, but keep them in a dry and cool area to preserve their freshness.
- Look at farmers’ markets to find fresh and healthy vegetables.
- Always buy organic foods because whenever you use poor quality ingredients you taste that ‘odd flavor’ in your dishes.
When it comes to vegetables, use your eyes, smell, and hands to buy high-quality ones. Pick the colors that are the most vibrant and lively. There should be no black spots or mold on the surface. The leaves shouldn’t appear to be wilting and the skins shouldn’t be wrinkled. Smell the veggies, because the fresh ones also have fresh smells.
Touch the veggies to determine the freshness by texture and firmness.
Regarding the fruits, you can indicate their freshness through weight, as it shows their juiciness, such as oranges, watermelon, lemon, etc. Fresh fruits have a mild aroma as well, but not too intense, which could indicate over-ripeness.
Prepare Ingredients Beforehand
Always prepare ingredients before starting to cook. Measure each ingredient and put it on the table, saving you time and creating a more organized cooking environment. Also, if you are preparing alone, this technique can help you. When you don’t do that, a 10-minute recipe takes 50 minutes or even more.
Before heating a pan, make sure you have everything you need, then measure out and prepare the ingredients as needed, wash, dice, chop, mince, etc. This will ensure that the cooking process runs well and you don’t forget to prepare a key ingredient.
Whenever you saute a carrot and have yet another ingredient to chop, the carrot may burn if you don’t do it quickly. Always have everything in place to have an enjoyable cooking experience.
Know Easy Tips About Common Cooking Issues
We all have had that moment when eggs don’t peel, vegetables don’t last longer, etc. Here are some tricks you can use to solve common cooking issues:
- Add Vinegar in Boiling Water – When you prepare eggs and they don’t peel easily, you get frustrated. By adding vinegar into the water it would be much easier to peel.
- Know More About Vegetables – Know which vegetables freeze well and how to make veggies last longer. Blanched carrots, green beans, roasted or mashed root vegetables freeze well. The best approach to keep food fresh is to store it in airtight containers. To avoid freezer burn, sprinkle vegetables with a little olive oil or press them down with plastic wrap.
- Smash Garlic – The peeling of a garlic clove becomes a breeze when you smash it with a knife.
- Heat Cold Pan – Meat will release moisture when it heats up in a cold pan. Preheating a pan will help you get a nice sear on your meat, which will keep all those delicious juices within.
- Never Overcrowd the Pan – As food cooks, it releases moisture. When pans become overcrowded, your food steams rather than browning. For example, when you prepare potatoes in an overcrowded oven, they won’t crisp on the outside. That’s why you need to keep extra space for your meal if you need them to brown and crisp thoroughly.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Spices
Replace unhealthy ingredients like ketchup or extra fat with herbs and spices. For example, to make a quick topping for grilled steak, combine fresh cilantro leaves with cut onions and tomatoes.
Oregano, cumin, mustard powder, chili powder, etc. provide flavor to recipes that would otherwise be boring.
These were some of the essentials for beginning your cooking journey. Prepare delicious foods and fill your kitchen with incredible smells.
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