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I received an email from a woman this morning that got me thinking. The subject line read, “how can I learn to cook better?”
In her message, she explained how she’d made it a goal to learn to cook in 2020 but when Covid hit her priorities shifted.
And as I started to reply, it hit me. She is definitely not the only one.
If you’re like many who set a goal to learn how to cook in 2021 but, shall we say, failed miserably, you’re not alone. And, you’ve come to the right place.
So, you’re thinking, how can I learn to cook better in 2022?
Lucky for you the answer is much simpler than you’d think. These days it’s easier than ever to master a new skill without leaving your home and with a few basic tips and tricks, you’ll be chopping, dicing, sautéing, and braising like the pros in no time.
Here I’ll cover the basic methods by which you can learn how to cook better and make 2021 so much tastier than 2020.
But first, consider your current level of cooking know-how. Are you someone who has the basic cooking techniques down but chooses to order take-out because you can’t be bothered to cook?
Or maybe you order out because the idea of cooking is just too overwhelming? (read: where do I start???)
Do you know how to dice an onion? (not sure why, but that always seems to be a measurement of one’s cooking prowess)
Either way, the idea here is to get better at cooking, so any improvement will be a win, right?
Now let’s get started:
1. Get The Right Kitchen Tools
There is nothing more frustrating than following a recipe and realizing you don’t have the right tools for the job. Having a few key kitchen utensils can completely change the way you cook.
Your time in the kitchen will be more enjoyable and far easier.
Now, you don’t have to break the bank to improve your collection of kitchen utensils, cookware, and tools.
Check out The 16 Kitchen Tools You Need Right Now for a few must-have suggestions and a few nice-to-have that maybe get added to the holiday wish list.
These will definitely get you on the right path toward learning how to cook better.
2. Learn Basic Cooking Techniques
“But, how can I learn to cook better if I don’t know what to do with these tools?” I got you.
The next step in learning how to cook better is to brush up on your cooking technique.
Simply learning knife skills, for example, can cut your prep time down significantly and make your time in the kitchen more efficient.
Learning cooking techniques is easier than you think. There are a ton of great YouTube videos out there to teach you basic techniques and beyond.
Start with this Beginner’s Guide On How To Learn Cooking Techniques.
3. Watch And Learn
Even if you’re just starting out and have never attempted to cook anything, you can learn a great deal from watching others do what you haven’t.
I am a big fan of YouTube cooking channels because they are concise, informative, and often really funny.
There are literally thousands of cooking videos to choose from, so start with this list of 7 Of The Best YouTube Videos To Learn How To Cook better this year.
Who would’ve thought that part of the answer to “how can I learn to cook better” would involve streaming videos?? Amazing.
4. Season Your Food
Sure, seasoning your food seems like an obvious part of learning how to cook better.
But you’d be surprised by how many beginner cooks avoid using spices or fresh herbs in their dishes.
Using spices in cooking doesn’t have to be intimidating. Like anything, learning how to cook better involves a lot of trial and error and experimentation.
Hey, you don’t know what you like until you try it, right?
Start by Learning How To Use Spices In Cooking Like The Best Chefs do and your dishes will be more exciting in no time.
5. Remember, Cooking Is Fun
Cooking serves many purposes in our lives. Fundamentally, of course, we cook to nourish our bodies.
But what about cooking just for fun? These days we’ve gotten far more creative when it comes to having fun at home and cooking is certainly part of that.
Maybe the answer to the question “how can I learn to cook better” isn’t so much in the technique as it is in the attitude.
After all, if you’re having fun while learning to cook then it’s worth doing, right?
Check out these 10 Fun Things To Learn How To Cook for a little inspiration.
[Related: “5 Awesome Ways To Learn To Love Cooking“]
6. Round Up A Few Taste-Testers
We tend to be our own worst critics so I find the most helpful part of learning to cook is leaning on taste-testers for feedback.
Round up your kids, spouse, partner, sister, neighbor, etc. and bring them dishes to try out.
Now, you may be thinking “how can I learn to cook better when the only taste-testers in my household are kids?” Valid question.
Sure, kids may not have the most advanced palettes and they may not appreciate the intricacies of fine cooking, but they have one quality that makes them better suited than anyone for the job.
Kids are honest.
For better or worse, a kid will tell you if your dish isn’t successful.
Now, for a more advanced opinion, lean on neighbors if your household is limited.
I don’t know a neighbor who wouldn’t love to receive a home-cooked meal when the only thing asked in return is a little feedback.
Plus, you might just make a few new friends in the process.
Already an experienced home cook? Check out The Secret Guide To Learning How To Cook Like A Chef!