Cooking can be fun and exciting. This gives the feeling of accomplishment and can relieve stress to some people.
Those who are just starting to cook might not feel the excitement yet nor the accomplishment, but they will in due time. As of the moment, it is important to concentrate on the basics of cooking and practice all the time. Take good advice from your friends or ask a local chef some questions. You might also want to consider these cooking tips for beginners.
Here are 10 Basic Cooking Tips that beginners should consider:
Have someone beside you for guidance.
When cooking for the first time, it is advisable to have someone who knows how to cook with you. This person will be able to help you operate and define things that you are unfamiliar with.
Always be safe
Wear or use appropriate protection when needed.
Safety should be the top priority. Wear an apron all the time. Use appropriate kitchen gloves or oven mitt (Ove Glove is a good one) when holding hot pans and trays.
Learn how to operate kitchen equipments, gadgets, and tools
Cooking will involve the use of kitchen equipments such as stove top, oven, microwave, grill, etc. Chances are that you will also need to use kitchen tools, gadgets, and utensils to peel, chop, puree, and cook the food. It is a must that you have an idea on how kitchen equipments and tools work so that you will be able to use them properly in a safe manner.
Understand the basic cooking terminologies
Knowledge has always been the key to success. Try to understand the meaning of basic cooking terminologies. For example, to simmer is different than boiling. If you are instructed to simmer the meat for 30 minutes, this means to cook it just below the boiling point. This usually extracts the flavor from the meat and makes it tender. Boiling it will produce a different result.
Have a recipe handy
Look at a recipe as an instruction manual. This will be your main guide in cooking the dish that you desire. It is a must for beginners to follow a recipe religiously in order to arrive at the expected result. Ingredient substitutions and measurement changes can be done later when you are in the intermediate level.
Have all the ingredients ready before starting
Ingredients are the basic part of every dish. You cannot make a successful dish if you lack ingredients. Make sure that all ingredients are prepared before hand before heating your stovetop. Peel and slice all vegetables and meats as needed. Measure and segregate all the seasonings and spices. It is easier to cook if all the ingredients are available and ready.
Do not forget to taste before proceeding
One common mistake of beginners is not to taste the dish while it is being cooked. It is significant to taste the dish even once after all the seasonings have been applied. This will let you know if something is lacking or needs to be added. Remember, recipes might be your guide, but your taste buds is the final judge.
Observe proper timing. Do not undercook or overcook the food.
In almost all aspects, timing is everything. This is also true in cooking. Meat takes some time to simmer in order to become tender, while vegetables should be cooked in a short amount of time to avoid overcooking. Frying chicken for a short time might cook the outer part, but will leave the inside undercooked. You must observe proper timing in cooking different dishes to obtain best results.
Monitor the temperature. Learn when to cook in low, medium, or high heat.
Aside from timing, temperature is also important. You might need to cook the meat longer to make it tender, but lower temperature is required for you to achieve the expected result. In this example, cooking the meat in high heat can overcook it. High heat is needed usually for quick cooking such as sautéing or stir-frying.
Learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them
Experience is the best teacher. Do not repeat the same mistakes and always make room for improvement. You will be an expert cook soon.