When the world was plunged into a global lockdown, many of us turned to the kitchen to occupy our time at home and replace the regular restaurant visits we were no longer allowed to indulge in. For some, it was an activity they were happy to leave behind, but for many others, it ignited a passion they were unaware they had.
Like most things in life, there is always room for growth, and improving your cooking skills allows you to spoil yourself with great-tasting food and helps you achieve culinary masterpieces you may only dream about. From buying the right Smiths City Appliances to elevating your taste buds, there are simple but effective ways to improve your cooking skills.
Simple & Effective Ways to Improve Your Cooking Skills
Use Top Ingredients
Each meal will only reach your desired levels if you begin with good ingredients. While it is not feasible for everyone to get expensive organic produce and free-range meat, investing in higher-quality products will go a long way in improving the taste of your food.
Visit your local farmer’s market for fresh fruits and vegetables, occasionally splurge on special cuts of meat, and consider baking your own bread to elevate your cooking skills. Your ingredients and recipes don’t have to be extravagant and over the top. Buying simple but exquisite items can turn even the most basic lemon pasta or Margaretta pizza into a food experience.
If you watch cooking shows on TV, you will notice that chefs have all their ingredients laid out and ready to use before they begin cooking. This isn’t just because it looks good on camera, but rather to eliminate any unnecessary distractions once you start.
If you constantly run to the fridge or pantry for something you need, your attention is kept from whatever task you are trying to complete, increasing the risk of your food getting spoiled. Prepare beforehand to streamline the entire process and allow yourself to focus solely on creating a delicious dish.
Taste as You Go
Another vital habit professional chefs pick up, and you should too, is tasting their food throughout the cooking process. By tasting your food before and after you add an ingredient, you begin to learn the different flavors and how they work together.
This understanding will help you balance flavors better, learn combinations to highlight specific tastes and aid you in building your own recipes and flavor matching. If you are cooking for others, be sure to use a clean spoon each time to avoid any food contamination. And keep your taste to small, mini bites so as to not ruin your appetite when it comes to sitting down and eating.
Use the Right Tools
No job can be completed successfully if you use the wrong tools, and cooking is no exception. You do yourself a disservice when using blunt knives, incorrect measuring tools, and faulty appliances. While it is unnecessary to rush out and fully stock your kitchen, having the basics done right will open up plenty of opportunities for exploration at home.
Suppose you are unsure what the necessary basics of the kitchen should be. In that case, the world-renowned culinary institute, Le Cordon Bleu, recommends a plastic spatular, a good chopping board (knife experts and food hygienists claim wood is best), a cast-iron skillet with a detailed description of how best to maintain it, sharpening steels, and a quality set of knives.
Invest in Classes
If you have the extra time and money, consider investing in yourself and taking a cooking class. It is a surefire way to guarantee that you will learn new skills and collect new recipes under the watchful eye of a professional.
Furthermore, it is the perfect environment to ask any questions you may have regarding ingredients and techniques. As a bonus, working alongside classmates will help you develop your communication and teamwork skills.
Nobody enjoys hearing critiques about themselves. But in a lot of aspects of life, we do our best reflection and make the biggest steps forward by taking constructive feedback we receive and using it to create blueprints for improvement.
When cooking for your friends and family, ask them for feedback regarding their meals and what they like and dislike. Remind them that you are not after criticism but pointers about how they would enjoy the meal more or why they are satisfied with it right now. Remember, these comments are not a reflection of you as a person but instead on a skill you want to improve, so take their words into consideration but don’t take them to heart.
If you are feeling uninspired about what to cook or need clarification on how a cooking method works, turn to the professionals. They have years of training and experience and can cater to cooks on all levels, from complete beginners to seasoned foodies.
Look up your favorite chef online for cooking videos, or turn to their published cookbook. A plethora of content is available online and on tv to leave you feeling inspired and ready to conquer the kitchen.