Ways to Improve Your Cooking

By Jennifer Noble | Sep 11, 2017

There’s nothing like a delicious, home-cooked meal, especially if it’s one that you made yourself. But if you can barely scramble eggs, you may feel like the cooking gene passed you by.


No matter your cooking skill level, there are a few simple things you can do to immediately make your dishes better. Follow these tips and you’ll be whipping up meals that wow yourself and your guests.  Jamil Bouchareb, CEO of Restaurantware, says that the home cooking boom ignited by companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh have caused a major push to companies like his for new take out packaging.


Choose the Best Ingredients


The quality of the food you buy will make all the difference in the finished product. Although you don’t need to always buy the most expensive ingredients if you go the opposite direction and only buy the cheapest ingredients, the quality of your meals will suffer.


Remember that no amount of cooking skill can make subpar ingredients better. If you’re making a dessert, get great chocolate. If you’re using parmesan cheese, go for the imported option over a cheaper domestic brand. And when it comes to salt, there’s really no comparison between your standard table salt and a sea salt or a kosher salt.


Put Your Hands to Good Use


One characteristic all the great chefs have in common is that they’re not afraid to use their hands in the kitchen. Since hands are so sensitive, they’re perfect for cooking. You can use your hands to knead thedough, sprinkle seasonings, make sure sauce is applied evenly and check meat to see if it’s done (rare meat is soft and becomes firmer the more done it gets).


Don’t Rely on Timers


It’s good to use timers when cooking, but you don’t want to rely on them over your other senses. Check the recipe to see what kind of descriptions it uses, as it will likely include signs that the meal is done.


For example, a recipe may instruct you to bake a dish at 350 degrees until it reaches a golden-brown color. Instead of pulling the dish out when the timer reaches zero, go by when the dish is the color described. You can do this with any type of dish, and the more you use your senses, the better you’ll be able to tell when food is done.


Get High-Quality Equipment


Just like you can’t make magical dishes with poor ingredients, you’re handicapping yourself if you don’t have the necessary equipment. If you’re serious about your cooking, you’ll need a good set of pots, pans, baking sheets and cutting boards. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll need a set of knives, including a good chef’s knife. Chef’s knives have wider, longer blades that allow you to make fast, controlled cuts. Don’t forget to sharpen your knives regularly.


Although this doesn’t affect the taste of the food, you should also make sure you have beautiful tableware to serve meals on. The Proper presentation will give your meals the perfect finishing touch.


Practice the Essential Techniques


There are all kinds of techniques involved in cooking, and if you get better at them, you’ll have a much easier time in the kitchen.


You need to be able to cut and chop foods into equally sized pieces. Chopping a few onions is a great way to practice this. If you don’t need a bunch of chopped onions at the moment, you can always caramelize and freeze them afterward.


Pan flipping is required for many dishes, but it’s a tricky skill that can result in food spilling everywhere if you don’t know what you’re doing. To learn the technique and build your confidence, practice doing it with a pan full of dried beans. They’re cheap and you can sweep them up if you spill any.


Cooking is a skill like any other, and even if you’re an adult who has never cooked before and doesn’t have a natural feel for it, you can get much better at it with some small adjustments. The nice thing about improving your cooking is that you’ll benefit from it right away when you get to taste your yummy creations. All you need to do is get the right equipment, find a recipe you like and head to the kitchen.


 

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