Preparing your own meals is arguably one of the hardest things to adapt to when you first move out of home. Cooking may look easy when someone else is doing it, but once you’re fending for yourself in the real world, you’ll very quickly learn that there’s a reason it’s considered a skill. This is especially true if there was no one at home to teach you the basics, or if you didn’t realize how much you’d need to know them. That’s why we’ve put together this list of essential kitchen tips for beginner cooks to make your life just a little easier:
Stick To The Plan – Not The Pan
One of the most common issues beginner cooks run into is having their delicious treats stick to the pot or pan. We’ve all been there – you followed the recipe diligently, added a light coating of oil to the base of the pan, and got to it, only to discover that you’ve lost half your meal to the crockery.
Luckily, this problem can easily be avoided by purchasing a quality nonstick cookware set. The special coating allows your dish to move around freely and will make plating up a whole lot easier.
The majority of non-cookware-related kitchen errors come from rushing through the prepping and cooking process. Yes, we know that steak is making your mouth water, but speeding through things can send the whole dish terribly wrong in a big hurry. So, take your time.
Never Underestimate The Power Of Herbs And Spices
Mashed potato is delicious, but with garlic and thyme, it is a thousand times better. Likewise, a healthy dash of mixed herbs on your fish fillet can really take things to the next level. Herbs and spices add a whole new dimension of flavor to even the most basic of dishes, and their power should never be underestimated. Plus, they’re super healthy, so you can’t lose.
Use The Right Type Of Oil
Recipes often call for a specific type of oil, and while it can be tempting to switch it out for something you already have in your pantry, this isn’t a great idea if you’re not experienced in the flavors and behaviors of different oils.
Not only does each individual type add its own taste and texture to your dish but they also all have different smoking points. This can be a real problem if you decide to use olive instead of sunflower in a high heat pan.
Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment
Every meal that isn’t raw fruit, vegetables, or berries came into existence because someone decided to experiment. While we’re not suggesting that you play around with shorter cooking times for chicken, or that you try to whip up some fancy new dessert that the world has never seen before, we are saying that a little bit of experimentation in the kitchen isn’t a bad thing.
As long as you’re following all the correct food safety protocols, the worst that can happen is a meal that doesn’t taste very nice, so don’t be afraid to add your own flair to recipes or try something new.
Learning how to cook is all about trial and error. Nothing is ever going to be perfect the first time you do it, and making mistakes is all part of the fun. Having said that, the tips in this article will help ensure you have fewer mishaps and more delicious meals along the way.