Whether it is to satisfy your food cravings or impress family and friends, it is in fact a fantastic idea to want to improve your cooking skills. You will discover that it doesn’t require so much to develop yourself into an excellent cook. Read on to discover the right knowledge you need to improve your culinary skills.
How to Improve Your Skills
Make Do With What You Have
It seems cooking involves a lot of money; like you just have to get the perfect set of cooking pots, knives, and what-have-yous. However, a great meal doesn’t necessarily require state-of-the-art equipment. What is important is to be able to curate a decent meal with great taste using what you already have.
Invest in Cooking Equipment
Yes, it is great to make do with what you have. It is even better to invest in cooking tools and kitchen equipment that will make you not only have a great cooking experience but also prepare better meals.
Consider knives, for example. You will cook better if you use just the right kind of knife for the required activity. A chef’s knife will do about 90% of the necessary cutting. A paring knife works better for peeling smaller foods like garlic, while serrated knives are more suited for slicing bread and waxy vegetables.
If you consider being frugal a good reason not to buy a set of knives, that is perfectly understandable. Instead of a set of knives, you can buy a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife, for now.
Don’t overlook the importance of chopping boards—wood or plastic composite boards are the preferred options. Get the right pots, pans, and a quality functional oven. Buy non-stick pots and pans. You will be glad you did. If you must purchase kitchen equipment, go for quality products that will last.
Enroll in Culinary Lessons
One sure way to improve your cooking skills is to take culinary lessons. You might prefer to attend a culinary school or take online cooking lessons. Whatever you decide, learn from the best. A quick tip: if you opt for virtual cooking courses, choose one with detailed, step-by-step modules.
Learn and Master Basic Cooking Skills
Cooking is not a conjurer’s trick. Basic skills such as chopping onions, preparing an omelet, boiling egg, frying meat, and preparing and dressing a salad are prerequisites to great cooking. Master the skill of cutting or slicing things uniformly. This will aid uniform cooking so that your food is evenly ready, not some burnt and some uncooked.
As you strive to become a better cook, master basic skills like these and you will be well on your way to seeing great cooking results.
Understand Cooking Terms and Techniques
Study culinary terms like steam, simmer, brown, stir-fry, deep fry, glaze, saute, etc. The more you understand, the better for you. That way, cookbooks will make more sense to you and prove effective in making you a better cook.
Understand Your Ingredients
If you want to manipulate the cooking recipe, you need to understand the different ingredients and what they contribute to the taste of your meal. You will also understand when they are in season, the best way to preserve them, and the perfect way to cook them to achieve optimal results. Understanding your ingredients is pertinent to becoming a better cook.
Go from Basic to Advanced
As it is with every skill you acquire, you start with simpler tasks and progress to more advanced tasks. Start by preparing simple, basic meals and move on to advanced meals as you progress. This way, you will have mastered enough basic cooking skills to do a decent job with advanced meals.
Don’t Straightjacket Yourself with Recipes
Yes, recipes are helpful. But it is better to be flexible with your cooking. Read the recipes to the end before you start. It is better to first note all the ingredients needed and understand the instructions. You can then cook according to your preference and manipulate the ingredients and cooking methods to suit your taste.
Use the Freshest Ingredients
How do you think chefs achieve that mouth-watering taste? They simply use fresh, perfectly ripe produce. They don’t just hope to get fresh produce but go in search of it or demand it.
No matter how good you are, fresh ingredients produce the best cooking results that leave the mouth wanting more. Buy fresh produce for your meals. An easy way to achieve this is to buy directly from a farmers’ market. A farmers’ market is most likely to sell fresh produce at the peak of their season. To enjoy this, understand the ingredients in each recipe and plan your meals around the produce season so you cook only the freshest of meals.
If this is impossible, refrigerate the fresh produce you buy until you are ready to use it at a later date to preserve, to a large extent, its freshness.
When you go in search of fish, the gills should be red, not dark. Eyes should not be sunken. For filets, the skin should be firm to the touch and not leave an indentation when pressed. Fruits and vegetables should be preferably without spots or discoloration.
With PhoneHistory, getting in touch with the nearest farmers with fresh produce is easier. You will be able to get their social media handles and their addresses where available.
Follow the Principles of Mise En Place
Mise en place is the French term for “keeping things organized.” This simply means having all your ingredients prepared and within arm’s length before anything hits the pan. Being organized is a great way to improve your cooking. Don’t only consider organizing your ingredients when you are about to cook. Your whole kitchen should be organized with everything in its rightful place. From cooking equipment to ingredients, everything should be well labeled and properly stored. This is so you don’t have to go looking for whatever whenever you are ready to cook.
Avoid Overcrowding the Pan
It is better to fry or steam in batches if you can’t get a wide enough pan to contain all you want to fry at once. An overcrowded pan won’t give you the desired result and is likely to burn your fish or meat instead of browning it evenly.
The most important step in improving your skill is to practice and practice and practice. Just like with every other thing, becoming a great cook requires practice. Don’t be afraid to make careful mistakes. Instead, learn from every mistake and get better at the next try. Remember to keep your kitchen organized and uncluttered as you work.
Follow these steps. Voila! You are a better cook.
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