If you feel like you’re a bad cook, don’t be too harsh on yourself. All chefs had to start somewhere, and there was a time when they were just as bad or even worse than you. Becoming a good cook comes with practice, and pretty much anyone can become at least decent by learning the basics. From then on, you can start building your repertoire and work your way up. Let’s take a look at a few things that you can do to improve your cooking skills in 2023.
Learn the Science of Taste
The most important thing for any aspiring cook is to understand how flavor profiles work. You have four main flavors: sour, sweet, bitter/pungent, and salty. Some people will add umami and spicy to the mix, but they’re not always necessary when cooking dishes.
If you notice, most of the best dishes will use a combination of all of these flavors, and if you feel like your dishes are missing something, it might be because you are not using all of them. Things like corn, beets, and carrots can be used to add sweetness, vinegar and lemon juice can bring acidity, and things like garlic are great for adding pungent notes. Start playing with different flavor profiles, and you’ll be surprised at how using a complete flavor profile will help you instantly elevate your dishes.
A cook can only be as good as the instruments they use, so try to upgrade your current setup if you want to make cooking more fun and extend the number of recipes you can make. If you have the space and budget, adding an indoor grill with a professional range could be one of the best additions you could make.
You could also consider getting a wood-fired pizza oven like the Ooni Karu 16. Adding an outdoor pizza oven will allow you to cook professional-grade trattoria-style pizzas that will please everyone in the family, and they’re surprisingly affordable, so consider looking at a few models.
You also have to invest in the best knives you can afford. Knives are the most important pieces of equipment for any chef and will allow you to cook efficiently and safely. All you need is a chef’s knife at first, but you will need to add things like a paring knife, santoku, carving knife, slicing knife, and serrated bread knife. You also cannot cook seriously without a cast iron pan either, so start looking at high-grade options.
One mistake that people make when they learn how to cook is trying to go too fast. If you want to get chef-level knife skills, you cannot rush things. As we said earlier, all chefs had to start somewhere, and they were not always as fast or efficient. So, be patient and focus on mastering the proper technique first. Speed will come with repetition.
This is all you need to know if you want to take your cooking skills to the next level this coming year. Try to learn as much as you can from multiple sources and consider enrolling in professional classes if you’re serious about improving your cooking skills.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.
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