The Ultimate Cooking Guide: Everything You Need to Know!

The Ultimate Cooking Guide: Everything You Need to Know!

So you've made the decision to learn to cook like a chef. You've booked more cooking time, cleaned your stove, and gone shopping for all the ingredients you'll need. Congratulations! You're already well on your way to learning how to cook like a pro.

But now comes the difficult part: you must really begin cooking. The good news is that in this day and age, stepping into the kitchen alone with no idea where to start is no longer essential. Fortunately, there are many specialists that are willing to offer their knowledge on how to prepare almost anything.

You get access to an almost limitless number of cooking lessons, recipe materials, and video tutorials to help you learn to cook like a chef and acquire confidence in the kitchen. Prepare to sharpen your skills and knife set with a few wonderful venues to master the fundamentals of cooking.

Whether you're a novice cook or have been cooking for a long, these culinary tips can help you raise your game!

  1. Thoroughly read recipes ahead of time. Twice.

Accept it. You're thinking this is the stupidest cooking tip ever. Of course you should read the recipe! When you locate a decent recipe, though, you skim it quickly and begin cooking.

It is not only necessary to read the recipe before you begin cooking, but it is also necessary to read the recipe after you decide to make the dish.

Why is it so crucial?

Even recipes from published cookbooks can exclude information (or ingredients!) from the list, yet it's there, concealed farther down in the directions. It's also likely that you'll overlook the "marinate overnight" or "pour batter into Springform pan" instructions don't have a Springform pan.

  1. Plan ahead of time by preparing and organizing.

This is something I'm guilty of from time to time. I get restless. I just want to get this process started and bypass this step. I tell myself that I'll just chop the tomatoes while the meat browns. Why is that incorrect? Because being prepared is critical for safety and recipe success, and it will only help you (us) become better cooks!

The cool cooks call it "mise en place." It's a French term that means "to put in position." Prepare everything before you start heating the pan. Prior to cooking, everything should be washed, chopped, diced, minced, talked lovely nothings to, and placed on your countertop.

I'm not sure about you, but I'm not a patient cook. Timing is not one of my strong suits. So I feel upset when everything is going on and I realize I still need to chop another ingredient that needs to be added to the pan and the onions will burn if I don't do it quickly. Pinky finger wounds and burnt thumbs might result from kitchen stress.

If you master this stage, cooking will feel effortless and much more fun.

  1. Do not overcrowd your baking dish or pan.

As foods cook, they emit moisture. When pans become full, your food will begin to steam rather than brown, changing the texture of the food. In the oven, potatoes will not be as crisp on the outside, meat will not brown as nicely, and so on. Give your meal plenty of area in the pan, especially when browning or baking items that require crispness (like French fries in the oven or breaded chicken).

Cook in batches if your pan is too small. For example, in order to produce the extremely crispy coating that makes my Homemade Chicken Nuggets so wonderful, I have to fry the chicken in batches unless I use a larger skillet.

Don't cram too much food together to steam it unless the recipe calls for it.

  1. Move the pan handles to the side.

You enjoy your legs, don't you? Examine yourself in the mirror. Is your skin supple? Tan? Or are you irritated by your varicose veins?

Whatever your legs look like, a lovely new huge burn on them WILL NOT look good.

Yeah. Spittered oil burns, contrary to popular perception, are not appealing.

Turn your pan handles to the side at all times. When things become busy and you're sprinting across the kitchen to retrieve an ingredient, you could run into the handles and knock the pan to the floor. Or maybe a cat.

Even if you've done steps 1 and 2 and are feeling all Zen about cooking, your children could knock over a scalding saucepan of boiling water.

Cooks, get into the habit of turning your handles to the side to remain safe!

  1. Invest on a decent chef's knife.

If there's one culinary tool I can't live without, it's my chef's knife. A chef's knife is also known as a cook's knife.

I hadn't given much thought to my knives in years. I can't remember a moment when I didn't have a decent knife. It made my cooking life so much easier. I had been battling with cutting skills, and to my surprise, it was the knife that was holding me back and giving me the impression that I was laboring when cutting.

A excellent chef's knife should be sharp and comfortable in your hand. If you have small hands, a 6-7′′ knife may be more comfortable, whereas larger hands may prefer an 8-10′′ knife.

Some good alternatives are:

  • Chef's Knife Shun Classic 8"
  • 6′′ Wusthof Classic Cook's Knife
  • Wusthof Classic 7′′ Santuko – As you can see, Santuko knives are not like the others. They both operate as well; it's just a matter of taste. I own both, with my Santuko quickly becoming my favorite.
  1. Invest in fresh, high-quality ingredients.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll know I'm a snob when it comes to this stuff. Friends, I can't help myself. This is how I was born!

Your dish is only as good as the ingredients you use, and you get what you paid for.

Don't use expired or outdated spices.

If you're just starting off, you probably don't have a lot of spices. But if you've had that paprika for ten years, it's time to replace it. Don't you think you deserve spices from this decade? And I'd hate for the Spice Cabinet Police to arrest you.

If your spices resemble these, you should simply turn yourself in.

Purchase vegetables that appear to be fresh and healthful.

Farmers markets are a terrific way to start your search.

You can utilize an onion that has passed its prime if you have one. However, it will not be as powerful or as zingy. Just be aware that the end result of your food will be less tasty. You could add a little extra onion than the recipe calls for in this situation.

Purchase high-quality cheeses and meats.

I've recently been comparing organic chicken to ordinary chicken, which is less expensive. There is a change in my food! It all started when I cooked hard boiled eggs from cheap eggs, and some of them tasted like fish. YES, a fish! [shudders]. I discovered that some hens are fed fishmeal, which could explain why. So I began by purchasing vegetarian fed eggs. I'm not an expert, but I've found that when I buy organic goods and higher grade meats, they taste better.

When it comes to generic brands, be picky.

I'm not suggesting you should never buy generic brands, but if you discover one you like, stick with it. I scrimp at times and spend at others. It simply depends on what I'm cooking and the importance of the dish at the time. For example, because I'm baking a cheesecake for a special occasion tonight, I purchased Kraft Philadelphia brand cream cheese rather than store brand. I'm not sure which is better, but it's a special occasion, and like all snobs, I want the best!

  1. Stay in the kitchen.

This may sound obvious, yet we've all done it. You've got your food boiling on the stove and you know you only have a few minutes to start a new load of laundry. You certainly can. However, it is dangerous. Sometimes nothing awful happens, but sometimes you return to a burnt meal.

If you've cooked the meal enough times, you'll know when to break this guideline. But if you're trying a new dish or are a novice cook, remain put!

  1. Never cook food in a cold pan.

When you place cold meat in a hot pan, it will leak moisture as it heats up. If you don't mind nibbling on dry meat, heat your skillet first so the moisture stays in the flesh and doesn't escape too soon. By preheating the skillet first, you give your steak a good scorching and keep all those tasty juices in.

  1. Remove meats from the refrigerator as soon as possible. Also, never cook wet meat or fish.

Okay, I mixed these two, and the first part does not sit well with everyone. I try not to grill or pan meat straight from the fridge. Some recommend bringing it to room temperature first. According to the theory, your outer will overcook by the time your inside temperature rises. According to some cooks, this is a myth. I fall someplace in between. I just try to remember to take my meat out of the oven early to give it a fighting chance to warm up before cooking.

Another trick I learnt is to blot the outside of your meat with a paper towel before searing it. When there is moisture on the surface of the meat, it does not brown as nicely.

  1. Allow meat to rest after cooking!

I am, indeed, yelling. Because, you know, rest your flesh!

I won't delve into all the scientific jargon, but here's the gist:

Moisture travels outward towards the margins of the meat as it cooks. All of the fluids spill out if you cut into it soon away. Allowing it to rest causes the juices to return to the middle of the steak, where they will end up in your belly rather than on your plate.

How long should meat rest before cooking? It is determined by the size of the flesh. 3-5 minutes for steaks 10-20 minutes for roasting Large turkeys can rest for 30-45 minutes and are still boiling hot when carved!

  1. Make use of appropriate measuring tools.

Regular Spoons vs. Measuring Spoons

Use measuring spoons rather than teaspoons and tablespoons from your kitchen.

Please do not laugh! I've witnessed it. And don't feel ashamed if you've done it. You may not be aware of this as a novice cook. Perhaps you're in college and don't yet have any cooking tools.

The size of the spoons we use varies based on the design of the spoon. They're not exact. You could probably get away with using standard spoons for cooking because the measurements will be quite close. However, you will not be able to obtain the specialized 1/8, 1/4, and 1/2 sizes. If you anticipate cooking more than one meal in your lifetime, investing in a set of measuring spoons is worthwhile. Invest in metal rather than plastic. Static cling on plastic can cause some spices to stick to it.

Actual measuring spoons are required for baking. There are no exceptions!

Measuring Cups: Wet vs. Dry

A liquid cup and a dry cup have the same dimensions. So why do you require both? A dry cup is for items like flour, sugar, and other fine granules, and you should fill it all the way to the top so you can scrape out any excess with the back of a knife. This is not possible in a liquid measuring cup. You fill the liquid all the way to the top. Using dry measuring cups for dry ingredients allows for more precise measurements, which is critical in baking.

  1. Be wary of hot temperatures.

Unless I'm boiling water, I never use high heat on my stovetop. Every stove is unique. Mine is powered by electricity (unfortunately). High heat is simply too much! If I used excessive heat, I'd burn everything.

Because I know my stovetop gets extremely hot, when a recipe calls for medium-high heat, I reduce the heat to medium or slightly lower (between 3 and 4). It's just one of those things you'll get used to as you cook more on your stove.

  1. Season your pasta water with salt and never rinse.

Season the water.

According to Mario Batali, you should salt your pasta water until it "tastes like the sea." I concur.

You don't have to worry about consuming too much salt because the majority of it is washed down the drain. Before you add any sauce to your pasta water, season it with salt.

Rinse not.

The starchy water in which the pasta boils contains all of the goodness and aids in the adhesion of the sauce to the pasta. Rinsing also causes your pasta to become cold quickly. I even keep some of it to use in my sauces.

  1. Try not to improvise too much.

If you're a novice cook, stick to the recipe. You can always take notes and change the recipe the next time.

Simultaneously, if you know you dislike mushrooms, leave them out!

Once you've mastered the kitchen, you may be as daring as you want.

NOTE: Do not experiment with baking. Baking is an exact science, and everything must be carefully measured. This guideline can be disregarded by doing anything as easy as omitting nuts from a cookie recipe or adding a little more spice to a pumpkin pie.

  1. Be adaptable. Take it as it comes.

Congratulations on your failure at a dinner! That implies you've taken another step toward becoming a better cook.

You can never be an excellent cook unless you have some major flops. For example, I once attempted to cook a fancy schmancy herbed butter turkey that would transform lives. It altered our lives...we nearly broke our teeth on the dried meat with the consistency of jerky. Not to mention the innumerable failures I've had while creating recipes for this blog. Failures occur. Simply have your preferred local pizza delivery phone number handy!

3 Health Benefits of Cooking at Home

  1. You consume less calories without realizing it.

Restaurant meals are frequently high in butter and salt, but packaged food is typically high in sodium and chemicals. Homemade meals, on the other hand, are more healthy and contain fewer calories. This is because when you cook for yourself, you have complete control over the ingredients you use and their proportions.

You're also less likely to order restaurant-sized quantities, which are frequently large enough to feed two or three people, or to indulge in a dessert or a cocktail. "At home, we approach the meal differently, which makes us less likely to include needless items that should be consumed in moderation," she adds.

A consistent diet of healthful, home-cooked food might even improve your eating habits between meals. After all, if you've gotten used to eating wholesome, nutritious cuisine at home, you could start looking for it elsewhere. "I've seen that when my kids are at a playdate or a party, they're more likely to nibble on fruits like carrots, even if junk food is given, no matter how tempting it may seem."

  1. You're more conscious of what you put into your body.

Many individuals speed through meals or multitask, which means they're probably not thinking about what they're eating. However, when you sit down to a plate of food you've cooked, you're more likely to eat consciously, noticing each taste and component you included in your dish.

Feeling centered can also be achieved by experiencing and appreciating the act of eating. Even just one bite of mindful eating can allow us to return to the present now, to let go of the swirl of ideas that we are frequently caught up in, and to realize that a more clear, simple, and connected way of being is only a bite, or a breath, away.

  1. You can socialize with family and friends.

Everyone benefits from spending time with family and friends. It can help to prevent loneliness, which has been related to depression, heart disease, and other illnesses. Cooking, with a little effort, can help you become more social. Invite your children to join you in the kitchen — give them easy duties if they're little — or cook with friends. If you want to meet new people, consider joining a cooking class where you may bond with your classmates while learning new skills.

Don't forget about the social benefits that come with having a dinner ready. Celine, for example, enjoys serving home-cooked meals to her friends and family at various events. The dish is frequently welcomed with smiles and a desire to return.


Food is essential for human life. Some people prefer to prepare dinner at home since it saves money. Some people, on the other hand, prefer to be comfortable and save time by eating ready-made meals. However, if you choose to take care of yourself, I can advise you on the benefits of cooking at home on your own. Home cooking has three advantages: it is healthful, it saves money, and it allows families to converse. To begin with, home cooking is healthier because you may choose fresh ingredients of excellent quality for your planned menu.

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