Improving Kitchen Confidence
When you head to the kitchen, do you reach right for the packaged meals? Or do you whip up something new and fresh for you and your family? Everyone has different skills when it comes to the kitchen, but the truth is that everyone can improve their culinary skills. You don’t have to become a master chef, but you can create recipes and meals that are sustainable, healthy (healthier than processed meals, at least), and absolutely scrumptious. If you want to take your meals to the next level, check out these easy tips for becoming a better cook!
It's such a small aspect when it comes to the world of cooking, but it makes a world of difference. If you’re holding your knife like you hold a pencil or like you’re scared, then you’re holding yourself back. Sharp knives are dangerous, of course, but when they’re used correctly and held with confidence, you’ll hardly ever run into any problems.
In your dominant hand, place your thumb and index finger around each side of the bolster (where the metal of the knife flares out from the handle). From there, the remaining fingers can wrap around the handle. Your cutting method should glide through what you’re cutting, with more of a wrist action than a top-to-bottom, full arm action.
Another big mistake people make is not reading through the entire recipe before starting. If you’re new to cooking your own meals or are trying out a new recipe, then you need to read it before you begin. This saves you the frustration of finding out that this is actually a two-hour-long recipe rather than a 30-minute one. Give yourself a better start in the kitchen and read through first.
You’ll learn that simply grilling up a chicken breast doesn’t give you nearly as much flavor and pizazz. Tickle your taste buds and utilize various spices and herbs while you cook. Whether you’re making pasta and need some oregano for an authentic Italian feel or want to get that citrusy kick without destroying your knuckles on a grater, there are spices, herbs, and flavorings that can do just that. Play with how they pair with one another, and your cooking will instantly improve!
A French culinary practice that’s common in professional kitchens but will definitely be helpful in yours, Mise en Place translates to “everything in its place.” Simply put, you should peel, chop, measure, gathers, etc. everything in the recipe before anything hits the pan. Many people in the kitchen get overwhelmed because they start cooking before they’re ready. Give yourself the opportunity to succeed—get everything ready before you start.
Our last small tip for becoming a better cook is to taste as you go. If you tend to run into the issue of a bland meal when it’s on the table, then remedy that by tasting (and flavoring) as you go. Tasting as you go will make you better at determining the flavors, acidity, and texture you want for your food before it’s too late.