A lot of people claim that being a good cook is something that you are born with. That it is a talent that you are born with and which is difficult to learn. The truth is that making your way in the kitchen and impressing the people you cook for is not as difficult as you may think. While not everyone has the necessary patience to become a 5 star chef, learning to cook like one is entirely possible. There are no secrets only things that you can do to make your food better. Here are some tips to follow if you want to get better.
It Is About Practice
The real reason some people become amazing chefs or cooks and others do not is because it takes some practice and good instruction. You should pay attention to the people around you who can cook and watch them as they make their way in the kitchen. If you are trying to learn on your own start with easy recipes and read the entire book and instructions from the author and not just the recipe itself. There is technique that you can learn, but if someone is not in front of you, then you can look at videos of the pros.
You should think of cooking like you would any sport; the more you practice the better you will be. Also remember that by practice we mean actually "starting from scratch" cooking. Putting something in the microwave or the oven that has already been prepared by others does not count. The good news is that practice means that you will eat freshly made good food every day. That is a lot better and healthier than buying already made food and you know the ingredients that are going into every meal.
From Easy Recipes To Your Own
Start with easy recipes that you find. Look for things which have anywhere from 3-6 ingredients and master those recipes. Learn the taste and texture so that you can move to the more complicated recipes later. Look at the restaurants you enjoy the most and think of the spices and dressings which they might be using. Start experimenting with things that you like and see what actually works. In some cases you may end up with food that you would not serve to anyone, but that is how you find your own flavor which will make you a good cook.
Some people think that cooking means sticking to everything a recipe book says, when you should use that book as a map. When you stick to the recipe you are no really proving that you can cook, but rather that the person who wrote it can. You need to take a few chances to come up with the dishes that you will be able to present as your own. Always keep track of cooking times and ingredients used, but do not forget to also track your own personal touch.
A good cook knows that he/she needs to taste everything they are cooking, but you should also try to taste as many ingredients as you can on their own. If you know what flavors you are working with, then you will have ideas about what goes well with what ingredients. Before you turn the flame off make sure that you have tasted your food so that you know if it really is ready. Even if you are dealing with something you think is an easy recipe, you need to taste, because easy does not mean tasteless or mediocre. If you see an ingredient you would normally not use because of the way it looks or tastes. You may end up surprised at the flavors you can get when you give a meal a small but different twist.
Tasting everything will also give you a better idea of the flavors that you get when mixing ingredients. If for some reason you are missing something then you will be able to correct it before serving a dish. Even experienced cooks get distracted once in a while and forget to season a dish correctly. Tasting before serving will also give you an idea of the dish's temperature so that you do not give someone cold food or something that they will not eat because it is too spicy.
Use All Your Senses
You have five senses and in the kitchen a good cook knows that he/she needs to use them all. You can tell if a steak is rare, medium or well done by touching it; softer means rare and harder means well done. The smell of the ingredients mixing up can tell you if something is missing. Listen to the sounds the food makes as it sometimes you will know when something is done by the sounds you hear. You can tell how done a fish is by looking at it. You will see a change of color on the side which is how much the fish has cooked and how much it is missing, and finally taste everything.
When you keep practicing in the kitchen eventually you will learn to master all the smells, and looks of food once it has reached perfection. While there are some tools that you can use to help you like meat thermometers, it is more impressive when you just know that something is perfect and ready to serve.
Don’t Be Intimidated
Some people feel that cooking some foods is too hard for them. Fish and meats are the two biggest fears of new cooks, but they are very easy recipes to make once you understand what you are doing. Look at videos from chefs that give you an idea of how to make the dish you find challenging. A lot of those instructional videos will tell you things that are not on the books, but that once you see it with your own eyes it will click. You can become a good cook with a lot of practice. There is no secret to being great in the kitchen, just a willingness to learn