I love to cook, but I know not everyone shares that sentiment. There are things you can do to make your cooking experience a little more pleasant. Here are a few tips that will help you – no matter if you’ve been cooking for years or if you’ve never boiled water!
1. Clean As You Go
Nothing takes the wind out of my sails like finishing a great meal only to remember my kitchen is buried in dirty dishes and drippy messes! If you establish a habit of cleaning up bit by bit, you can actually have an almost clean kitchen by the time the meal is ready! I talked specifically about how to do this in a post I wrote last fall…click the picture below if you want to read more!
2. Read the entire recipe before you begin cooking
Make sure you have all the ingredients listed – and make sure you have enough of each ingredient to complete the recipe! Read through the steps and make sure you understand the instructions and the order in which things happen. Failing to follow this tip has resulted in my most frustrating cooking fails!
3. Use the right tools
My Gramma detested the act of cooking. I know she didn’t follow my first tip, but this one had to be her downfall. She used a pairing knife for everything! I can’t imagine how much time and effort she wasted with that tiny utensil! If a recipe says to whisk something, use a whisk. If it says to bake something in a 9×13 dish, don’t try to cram it into an 8×8 pan. Experienced cooks know when there is wiggle room in this area – but if you’re a new cook or one who doesn’t enjoy cooking, stick with the right tools! I can tell you from experience that eggs over easy are so much “easier” 🙂 when you cook them in a new teflon or well greased pan instead of the opposite!
4. Learn from others
Much of what I know about cooking I learned from my mom. She taught me how to cook by having me help her in the kitchen every day. While I learned a lot from her purposeful instruction, I also learned by watching her cook while talking or hanging out with her in the kitchen. If you weren’t fortunate to have someone teach you like I did, find someone that you can learn from!
If you don’t know anyone personally who can teach you, there are plenty of people on YouTube or TV that you can watch. I enjoy watching cooking videos from How Jen Does It and Pretty Neat Living on YouTube, or there’s always Martha Stewart’s Cooking School! You might not make the exact recipes they do, but there are techniques and processes that will help you as you learn!
5. Take Your Time
Learning to cook takes time…and practice! Stay focused when you’re in the kitchen. Talking on the phone or watching TV can often distract from the task at hand.
There will always be flops and fails (here are a few of mine!), but following these five tips will help you enjoy the process more!