If you’re a complete newbie in the kitchen and you’ve been thinking about starting to cook, then we’ve got some cooking tips for absolute beginners that will surely help you out. We’ve already talked about ways to improve your cooking, here on our website, because we’re more than happy to help people make good food and eat healthier and today it’s the absolute beginners’ turn. Read on, take notes and remember that you always have something new to learn, no matter how much you think you know about something.
10. Buy Good Pots, Pans and Knives
Even if you’re not too serious about cooking, you simply can’t start cooking even the simplest of recipes in a dodgy pan. We know that great pots and pans can be expensive, but good ones are fairly accessible and they’ll last you a decade. When it comes to knives, we’re sorry to let you know that the more expensive the knife, the better it is and you really do need to get great knives. Did you know that a blunt knife is even more dangerous than a sharp one?
9. Learn the Cooking Times
Let’s say you want to make a simple soup. You need to know the cooking times of the vegetables you use for the soup. Onion cooks much faster than carrots, so if you want to get all your vegetables ready at the same time you need to put some thought into it. You could, let’s say, place everything in a bowl and cook the mixture for a half an hour until everything is done, but then you would get cooked carrots and mushy zucchini. And that’s not good!
8. Invest in a Good Slow-Cooker
A crock pot is a fool-proof machine. You just add ingredients, set the time and then you’re done. It’s also a great way to impress your friends and family without requiring too much trouble on your behalf. Not to mention that everything that comes out of a crock pot is a miracle for your taste buds.
7. Learn Basic Cooking Terms
What’s sautéing? What’s the difference between mincing, chopping and dicing? Do you know what a marinade is? If you have no idea what any of these are, relax, it’s easy as pie. Sautéing is the first thing you do when you start cooking, add some oil and maybe a little water and cook the vegetables or meat until they’re tender. Mincing, chopping and dicing refer to cutting up the food in different sizes, mincing being the smallest. And to marinate something is to leave it in a mixture of oil, herbs and spices and maybe some vinegar to tender.
6. Invest Some Time in Learning How to Cook
You’re not going to learn anything new if you don’t allow yourself some time for it. So, we suggest you do it on the weekends, when you’re more relaxed and have more time to clean up the potential mess. We’re not just suggesting you’re going to make a mess, we know for sure you are!
5. Get a Good Book for Absolute Beginners
One of the best cooking tips for absolute beginners is to get a good book that will take its time with you. Although you learn a lot from Youtube videos and cooking channels, a good book will always come in handy. We suggest: Absolute Beginner’s Cookbook, Revised 3rd Edition: Or How Long Do I Cook a 3 Minute Egg?
4. Learn How to Make Your Favorite Dishes
This is a great trick that will get you excited and motivated about cooking. If you learn how to make a few of your favorite dishes, just think of how much money you’re going to save and you could even tweak the recipe and make it even more delicious. Choose something that’s not too hard to make and watch as many tutorials as possible. You can’t really learn how to cook from books, not if you’re an absolute beginner anyway.
3. Learn the Basic Kitchen Truths
There are many basic kitchen truths and the more of them you know, the better. For example, pasta doubles in size when it’s cooked and you should always follow the cooking times. Once a pot starts boiling you should turn the heat low so as to avoid the food from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Don’t store your knives with the blades touching, they’ll become blunt. Green herbs are always added at the end of the cooking process if you want them to maintain their color and nutritional properties. The list could go on and on, but you get the idea.
2. Start Simple
You cannot make eggs Benedict on your first try, because you will fail, that is a certainty. Let’s try to boil an egg (no, we’re not kidding you, that’s not as easy as one might think, because there are certain times you need to follow) or some pasta with tomato sauce. You can also screw up pasta really easily, so try to respect the instructions and never rush things. Don’t be afraid to Google things or ask your mom or friends, it’s the only way to learn.
1. Learn How to Hold and Use a Knife
You know what’s more important than food? Your health and safety! That’s why, before you start making even the simplest of dishes, you need to learn how to hold and use a knife. There are several tutorial videos on Youtube (the ones from Jamie Oliver are pretty awesome), so watch those and then practice. The gist of it is to learn how to keep your fingers out of the way at all times, because they are more important than any food in the world. Yes, they’re even more important than pizza.
Did you enjoy our cooking tips for absolute beginners? Do you have anything else you would like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you, our readers, so drop us a line in the comment section below and let us know what you think.