Cook Your Heart Out: 10 Cooking Tips


Cooking is an art, but it can get overwhelming if you still haven’t mastered your way around the kitchen. That’s why we have cooking shows and magazines that tell us how to make the perfect omelet or how to cook a steak perfectly. As much as it’s a potentially fun experience, it can also be very frustrating. The frustration comes from the fact that if you don't know what you're doing, the outcome can be disappointing or even dangerous. If you want to avoid these pitfalls, there are some simple tips that will help you learn how to cook.

1. Set up everything before starting.

This means that you need to prep your ingredients in advance and even clean and dry the sink, stovetop, and countertops before you begin cooking. Make sure you have all of your equipment ready so that when you start cooking, you won’t get interrupted in the middle of the task.

Put your baking pans in their proper places and put all the ingredients on the counter in their appropriate containers. If you have any equipment that needs to be washed before you start, make sure it’s clean and ready to go before you start cooking.

Do this not just at the beginning of the recipe, but also before each step begins. For example, if you're making bread dough, make sure your flour is at hand and that your mixing bowl is clean and ready to use. It will save you time later on when things go wrong and you have to stop what you're doing to clean up or deal with other items in the kitchen.

Furthermore, if you need to start cooking something in the oven, make sure your baking sheets are clean and ready for use. This will save time because you won’t have to wash them again later on when they become dirty again after being used by other dishes. 

It’s easy to get distracted while cooking and lose track of what needs to be done next or how much time has passed since the last thing was done in order, and this tip can hopefully eliminate the problem partly, if not entirely.

2. Read the entire recipe before you start.

You’ll be surprised how many people just skim through the recipe and try it for themselves, only to get disappointed in the end because they weren’t able to nail it. In this regard, reading the recipe entirely beforehand will help ensure that you are following directions correctly and that all of your ingredients are in their proper quantities. 

Read through the entire recipe at least once prior to starting anything in the kitchen so that you know what tools and ingredients need to be there before starting each step of your recipe. If you’re having any trouble understanding a certain step, you can always refer back to the recipe and do your research while you’re at it. This will help prevent confusion and get things done faster once they begin cooking.

If this is a recipe from a cookbook or another guide, read it first and decide how much time it will take to prepare the ingredients before starting on your cooking process. If there are several steps that need to be done before starting the actual recipe itself, read those steps too so you know where to begin and what needs to happen next. 

3. Jot down some stuff that worked for your recipe.

Once you've read through the entire recipe once or twice, try it out yourself. This is especially important if you learn by doing things. Aside from learning the steps, you can also acquire tips or tricks for making certain dishes easier or faster that you can share with your family and friends.

4. Don’t overstuff the pan with food.

If you have too many items in one pan, it will be hard to get them cooked evenly and may even lead to spillovers or burnouts on top of each other. Try using larger pans that still fit the stove if need be. This is a must so that there isn’t too much going on at once in the oven or on top of the stovetop burner.

5. Never guess measurements, especially when baking.

This is a must, especially if you’re a newbie. Even if you're just making something simple like scrambled eggs or toast, always double-check your measurements before cooking. If you don't know how much water or butter should go into a recipe, ask someone else in the kitchen what they think–most people know their own recipes better than anyone else does.

6. Use sharp knives only.

Dull knives will not cut food precisely, which can cause unevenly cooked dishes and unsightly shaped cuts on fruits and vegetables (like potatoes). On the other hand, a sharp knife will cut through food more quicker and easier. A good chef's knife is one of the most important tools in your kitchen.

Moreover, a dull knife is dangerous and it's also annoying when you have to spend extra time trying to sharpen it before using it again. If your knives aren't sharp enough, they'll slip around in your hand while you work, which makes it more difficult for you to control them and can cause accidents too, not just on yourself but on other people nearby.

7. Explore seasonings and use them as much as you can.

Think of seasoning as an ingredient that adds flavor and depth to the dish you are making. In this regard, a little goes a long way. Seasoning plays an important part in making your food taste great. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new flavors and try different combinations of herbs, spices, and other ingredients to find what suits your needs best.

cooking tips

Just a reminder that seasonings add flavor but they don't make food taste better on their own; instead, they enhance the natural flavors of the food itself. You should always try adding seasoning before, during, and after cooking, especially if you're cooking something new or unfamiliar with how it tastes when cooked properly. 

8. Use the right equipment for the job.

No matter what type of cooking you are doing, there are certain pieces of equipment that will make it easier for you to accomplish your goal. For example, if you want to bake cookies, then getting an oven rack with raised edges is essential so that you can place pans on top without having them fall off during baking time (which would ruin all of your hard work). Likewise, if you are making pancakes, they need to be cooked on a griddle or non-stick pan so they don't burn or adhere to the surface.

9. Save time by cleaning up every step of the way.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but doing this can help you save a lot of time, especially when you’re tired after all your cooking bouts. Clean up while you’re waiting for the water to boil. You can even do this while you’re waiting for the beef in your menudo to become a fork-tender. This may seem difficult at first but when you get the hang of it, you’ll thank your past self for working on improving in this area.

10. Have fun while cooking.

A well-prepared meal is much more than just a mouthful of food; it's the result of many different elements coming together to create something delicious and satisfying. The right ingredients, the right equipment, and the right technique are all important parts of creating that perfect meal. Even if you don't cook every day, there are still plenty of ways you can use these tips to improve your cooking skills while having fun during the process. If you’re stressed out while cooking, ask for help from someone to make things lighter and more enjoyable for you.

cooking tips