How many times have you gone into your kitchen with the intention of making a fabulous meal for your family, only to end up in disappointment when the results didn’t live up to your expectations? If great cooking skills elude you, you’re not alone. Many people find cooking to be arduous, mostly because they lack some of the crucial skills that more accomplished culinary aficionados employ to deliver outstanding dishes time after time.
If you’re looking for ways to become a better cook, read on. Below we discuss several easy-to-follow tips to improve your cooking to the surprise and delight of your family and friends.
1. Start with the Proper Tools
A master chef is no better than the tools he or she uses to prepare the food. Without good quality cookware and the right utensils, you might struggle to create gourmet-quality dishes.
Before you even think about trying to improve your cooking skills, invest in pots and pans with non-stick surfaces, high-quality knives, and ensure your stove and oven are working as they should. These fundamental tools will play a central role in helping you reach your full potential in the kitchen.
2. Chop Chop!
Much of the appeal of gourmet food is in the presentation. As such, it’s crucial you learn how to chop ingredients correctly. Whether your slicing, dicing, julienning, paring or mincing, perfecting your knife skills saves time, effort, and gives your dishes an air of professionality.
3. The Basics of Egg Boiling
Many aspiring chefs take for granted that boiling an egg is the easiest thing in the world. While in theory, this hypothesis may appear to be the case, the reality is that the perfect boiled egg is, in fact, quite a delicate and precise art. Mastering it is a fundamental element of most traditional cooking schools.
Welcome to Egg Boiling 101.
Always start with a room temperature egg.
For a soft-boiled yolk:
Step I: Bring water to a boil in an appropriately sized pan.
Step 2: Gently immerse the egg in the water using a spoon.
Step 3: Cook for 3-5 minutes.
For a hard-boiled egg:
Step 1: Place eggs in a pan of cold water.
Step 2: Bring water to a boil.
Step 3: Cook eggs for 7-10 minutes.
Remember, the longer you cook an egg, the firmer the yolk will be. When the eggs are done, immediately immerse them in cold water to stop the cooking process and avoid overcooking. The secret is in understanding the relationship between the size and number of eggs, the heat and volume of water and identifying the perfect cooking time within the above-mentioned ranges.
4. Use a Double Boiler
Many dishes such as custards and chocolate sauce call for a delicate touch, and that’s where this handy little tool comes to the fore. Learn how to melt chocolate and cook custard in a double boiler to avoid scorching and curdling them.
5. Learn How to Cook Fluffy Rice
Cooking rice is one kitchen task that can go disastrously wrong very quickly. If you learn to do it right, it’ll open the door to dishes you only dreamed of making before.
Many novice cooks are intimidated by cooking rice, but there’s no need to be. You don’t need a rice steamer, either. Simply follow this easy tutorial to make the perfect rice every single time.
Whether you’re a beginner or you know your way around a kitchen, there’s always more to learn, and hopefully, the six simple secrets above will help you improve your cooking.