Cooking is one of those things people seem to pick up out of the blue. One moment, you and your friends are having lunch prepared for you by your school or parents, then the next thing you know, your lunch is a lovingly home-cooked meal prepared by those same friends!
There’s no shame in being a late bloomer when it comes to cooking. Many people don’t have the easiest opportunities to learn the requisite skills in their youth. The good news is, it’s never too late to start practicing, and this is something you absolutely can train yourself to do well. Here are 5 tips for teaching yourself how to cook.
1. Go for Timeless Quality Rather Than the Latest Trends
If you’ve gotten by this long without cooking for yourself, chances are your kitchenware is lacking. So, the first step is to remedy this. The best cookware sets come with all the essential items you need as a beginner cook. Don’t worry too much about getting trendy items or specialty cookware for now. You want reliable pieces that inspire you to cook, not flashy gadgets that intimidate you with their high-tech features.
2. Start Simple and Experiment With Spices
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when thinking about cooking the types of special dishes you enjoy ordering at restaurants. As a beginner, you are better off sticking to simple low-ingredient dishes that revolve around using one or two basic techniques like roasting, boiling, steaming, or pan-frying.
You will quickly notice that the majority of home-cooked staple meals – think pasta and rice dishes, wraps, soups, roasts, and casseroles – are all quite simple to make. If you want to experiment, do it with your herb and spice use. This will allow you to gauge how different flavors interact with your cooking and see which ones you prefer!
3. Commit to Eating One Home-Cooked Meal a Day
Cooking is a practice you need to do regularly in order to become skillful and efficient at it. The catch-22 here is that many people dismiss making their own meals because of the time cooking from scratch takes.
If you’ve been putting off learning how to cook because of time constraints, start with a small goal of how frequently you eat home-cooked meals. One meal a day is enough to get your new habit started, especially if you currently buy all your meals pre-prepared.
Before you shut this idea down, remember the aim is to consume, not to cook one new meal per day. So, eating frozen leftovers from when you cooked a big batch of pasta or stir-fry totally counts!
4. Recreate Your Favorite Meals
While you’re getting into the rhythm of cooking your meals, you might find it difficult to choose what you want to spend your time and energy on. That’s why it’s always good to start with your favorite comfort meals from childhood or from your regular brunch spot. This will keep you motivated as you learn how to recreate the flavors you love at home. You might even find you prefer your homemade version better because you can tailor it even more to your tastes!
5. Embrace Mistakes as Part of the Learning Experience
When cooking, things will sometimes get burnt, overcooked, undercooked, soggy, or dropped! As a beginner, making mistakes in your kitchen is inevitable. Don’t be harsh on yourself when it happens. Instead, reset your smoke alarm, and commend yourself for trying something new and learning what not to do!
Now we’ve covered these five beginner tips, it’s time for you to get cooking. Enjoy!