As a home cook, there are a few basic skills you may want to work on to ensure that you are cooking each ingredient and dish in the best possible way. You may not need every single skill to start but try to work on each of these a little at a time so that you improve.
How to Use a Knife
This is probably easily one of the most dangerous parts of cooking outside of boiling and frying. There are numerous videos on YouTube that can teach you the right knife skills that you need. With knife skills, nothing can replace practice. First understand the right way, then do it often. That’s it.
The Correct Way to Store Food
Everything you buy as a preferred method of storage. It’s essential that you research how to store the food for best results. If you store it right, it’ll last longer and taste better. For example, did you know that spices don’t last very long? Buying spices in bulk is a waste due to that.
The Proper Use of Seasonings and Salt
How you season food and when is very important when it comes to ensuring the right flavor profiles of the food you prepare. Salt has a job in cooking that is more than adding flavor. Adding salt to cabbage, for example, will help get the water out of it for making Kimchi. Salting your mushrooms too soon will make them expel too much liquid and ruin your cook.
The Right Cook on Different Food
Sometimes the reason you don’t like something is that it was cooked wrong. Steak overcooked will feel and taste like leather. An apple pie overcooked will be mushy. Rice can turn out mushy, crunch, or anything but delicious if you don’t know how to cook it based on the type you’re buying and how you’re going to use it.
How to Stay Safe in The Kitchen
Kitchen safety is paramount. For example, turning pot handles in so that you don’t accidentally knock it and burn yourself or someone else is important. Ensuring the floor is not slippery and that you have plenty of ventilation in your kitchen can help make it all much more fun and pleasant.
Understand Flavor Profiles of Food
There are five fundamental flavors in food and any one dish. They are sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. The more you can incorporate all these flavors in the right balance for your dishes the better the food will taste. Not only that, when you understand any one food’s flavor profile it becomes much easier to substitute.
How and Why to Prep Ingredients Before Cooking
Learning the right way to prep your ingredients before you cook them is also an important skill. How and why you cut the veggies a certain way for one meal over another way for the next meal plays into whether the food cooks right and then whether it tastes good or not.
As you improve your skills, cooking will become more pleasurable and delicious. Knowing the right cooking times and the proper preparation methods go a long way to ensuring the flavor of the food is spot on. When the flavor is awesome, you’ll naturally be motivated to do more of it.