I absolutely LOVE cooking in the kitchen!
My grandmother (though I never met her) was a caterer. And my dad always loved cooking things up. I guess I come by my love of the kitchen naturally.
But I know A LOT of people who are intimidated by the kitchen.
If that’s you, I’ve got good news! There are ways to improve your culinary skills.
Improving your cooking skills is definitely something you CAN do.
Even though I cooked in the kitchen with my parents growing up, most of what I’ve learned is self-taught.
With a little patience, willingness to work, and these six tips your cooking skills can improve over time.
1. Master the Kitchen Basics First
Things like perfect rice, al dente pasta, and properly cooking a piece of chicken can make a difference. These basic skills are the foundations for your dishes.
Master those basic cooking techniques if you haven’t already.
Don’t worry about being fancy when you’re first starting out.
Stick to simpler recipes with fewer ingredients. Spaghetti, tacos, and stir fry are great things to try. There are tons of delicious, simple recipes you can use to improve those techniques.
Then slowly branch out to similar and more complicated recipes to transfer what you’ve learned before.
A lot of techniques and knowledge can be used from recipe to recipe.
2. Use the Proper Tools for What You’re Cooking
I’m not talking about getting fancy gadgets although I do love those! #kitchennerd
There are some basics you need to know about your kitchen tools.
For example, did you know you should use different tools to measure liquid than you do for your dry ingredients?
And did you know you’re not supposed to just scoop the flour out of the bag with your measuring cup? Use a separate scoop, fill the measuring cup, and then use a knife to level it off like this tutorial shows. Otherwise, the amount of flour you get can vary each time.
The University of Nebraska has a document that lays out common kitchen tools, the best instances to use them, and how to choose them in the store. You can check it out here.
3. Get a “Kitchen Bible”
But I’m talking about a good, old-fashioned, classic cookbook.
Growing up my mom would always pull out her Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook. With hundreds of pages, it had recipes for EVERYTHING! It even has tips on how to cook the basics (woohoo!) with recipes you can alter to fit your preferences.
When I got married, my mom got me the updated version. I’ve used it a lot in my cooking journey.
Whether I’m looking for the classics, a “Make it Mine” recipe I can alter to fit our taste, or tips on cooking rice, it has everything I need.
4. Watch Cooking Videos
I may watch more cooking videos than I should. . . . It’s a bit of an obsession really.
But watching videos is helpful. You can actually SEE what you’re supposed to be doing.
Kitchen Conundrums has videos on YouTube that teach you how to make common recipes. Spice rubs, pastry, roasted chicken, cupcakes . . . there’s a variety to choose from! It is my go-to for cooking videos.
Watching shows on Food Network, Netflix, and other platforms is helpful as well. Many chefs will talk about what they’re doing. These shows slowly help you know your way around flavors and cooking techniques.
5. Find a Few Trusted Websites and Cooks
There are a million blogs and cooking accounts out there. Literally ANYONE can start a cooking blog. So find a few you can trust to provide delicious recipes as you keep learning.
You can have all the skills, but if the recipe is crap it doesn’t matter.
6. Practice, Practice, Practice!
I know it’s a cliche.
But it’s also true.
No matter what you’ll never get better if you don’t put in the work. Theory is one thing. But using that theory to create a delicious meal is another.
Start small and grow with your abilities. Keep trying and when you mess up do a little research (or contact a great cook you know!) to figure out what went wrong and try again.
We all start somewhere.
How do you improve your cooking skills?
Let us know and share some resources in the comments below.
And while you’re working on your kitchen skills try some of the great recipes from our very own ABQ Mom Team!
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