Cooking is hard. If it wasn’t, everyone would have their own show on the Food Network (and what would be the fun in that?)
Despite the challenges, some people are determined to become pros in the kitchen. Learning to make your own food provides a sense of accomplishment, helps you control your eating habits, and—best of all—it’s fun!
If you want to impress at your next dinner party, read on four easy ways to upgrade your cooking skills!
1. Dial Back the Heat
But you probably did—and that’s okay! One of the biggest mistakes people make in the kitchen is cooking on too high of heat. Resist the urge to crank the dial up to HIGH, simply because you’re hungry and want to eat sooner. More often than not, this will just leave you with burnt, unsatisfying food.
Have patience, and keep your burner between low and medium. Remember to stir, flip, and check food regularly. If you’re using the oven, crosscheck a few recipes to see how hot it should be for the type of food you’re making.
To prevent over or undercooking your proteins, invest in a meat thermometer to get the perfect level of heat every time!
2. Invest in Some Handy Tools
Even the best cooks rely heavily on their instruments.
Equipping your culinary toolbelt with a few staple items is crucial to elevating your cooking game. From practicality to style, these three tools are a must-have in the kitchen:
- Non-stick pan – Stop losing half your recipe to the bottom of an old pan. Some quality non-stick cookware is crucial to better food and quicker cleanup. Look into ceramic and copper for materials that won’t chip or wear down easily.
- Cutting tools – A good knife set is a given, but what about when you want something fancier? For perfectly sliced vegetables with a little flare, try using a julienne peeler or a spiralizer.
- Garlic press – The secret ingredient in most recipes is usually just more garlic. Mincing clove upon clove by hand can be tiring, but a garlic press will help speed up the process. All you have to do is place peeled garlic clove in the press and squeeze for an extra pop of flavor!
3. It’s the Season to Season!
The right seasoning will make or break a recipe. Whether you’re struggling with lack of seasoning, too much seasoning, or simply the wrong seasoning—it takes practice to get it right.
Consider some of these easy tips to elevate your flavor game:
- Salt your boiling water
- Season throughout the process, not just as the beginning or end
- Research spice rubs, marinades, and seasoning blends for inspiration
- Get your hands on some fresh herbs
- Branch out from just salt and pepper
Don’t be afraid to get creative with this step! Experimenting in the kitchen is how you discover what works and what doesn’t.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
The final step to upgrade your cooking skills is simple: practice!
Wolfgang Puck didn’t come out of the womb sous vide-ing steaks to perfection, and neither did you! It’s important to give yourself time to practice cooking, and understand that you’ll get better with each attempt.
If things aren’t coming out as planned, don’t beat yourself up! Grab a meat tenderizer and take that frustration out on your next recipe.
You’ve got This, Chef
Remember that cooking should be enjoyable, and making mistakes is okay. So preheat the oven, grab a clove of garlic, and get to it!
Article Submitted By Community Writer