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The United States is home to roughly 330 million people. That number goes up every year and as it does, the country becomes more diverse in its habits, opinions and a multitude of other things.
No matter how different everybody that lives in the United States is, do you want to know what unites us? Food.
That’s right people. Find us a human that doesn’t need to eat and… Well… I’m not sure what you’d be showing us but it is definitely not human… Or alive at least.
Anyway, food is great and when you know how to cook it, it can be downright incredible.
If you’re a sorry chef, don’t shed a tear and do keep reading because we’re going to run you through 8 simple tips that’ll help you to become a great cook and a more responsible user of food.
1. Taste… A Lot
Cooking is unique in that it’s both an art and a science. The science part comes from following exact recipes that, when done correctly, create well-balanced dishes.
The art part is when you’re able to cast your recipe aside, freestyle a little bit and create something even more incredible.
While following instructions in a cookbook is easy enough, being able to effectively participate in the artistic side of cooking is a little bit harder to master. It takes a lot of practice and that practice comes in the way of tasting.
As you cook, taste your dish at various stages of your recipe (so long as it’s safe to do so). Get an understanding of how flavors change as they’re added and in no time, you’ll be able to play around with ingredients without needing someone to tell you how to do things.
2. Get Your Meat to Room Temperature Before Cooking
A lot of us store our meats in the freezer which is something that we’ll talk more about later and is A-OK. Before you cook those slabs of deliciousness though, you’re going to want to thaw them out to room temperature.
Cooking meat from cold or frozen leads to disaster when it comes to being able to reliably heat things.
Cooking from room temperature, on the other hand, makes cooking meat fast and consistent. Just control the conditions of your meat thaw to ensure that it doesn’t contract bacteria.
3. Follow Heating Instructions
Every great cook knows the importance of following heating instructions. Every novice cook tends to learn this lesson the hard way.
To be clear, if a recipe takes 30 minutes to cook at medium heat, it’s not a good idea to cook it at high heat to cut the cooking time in half. If you overheat your pan, you’ll ruin your dish.
4. Get Spice Fluent
Most food items don’t taste excellent straight out of the box. Many rely on spices to bring out their natural flavors.
The problem is that most people don’t really know how to leverage spices effectively. The best way to learn is to smell and taste all of those powders and leaves that you have sitting in your cabinet.
As your understanding of spices grows, so to will the flavor of your dishes.
Cookbooks aren’t just about finding a recipe to make on a given day. They’re about understanding the processes that go into certain dishes and then saving tidbits of information in your head that you can apply to your future dishes.
A person who reads cookbooks/unique recipes like the ones that you can view here will always be a better and more creative chef than the person who hasn’t.
6. Aim For Al Dente
Pasta is a novice cook favorite because it’s easy to make. So, here’s a quick tip to up your pasta game.
Take your pasta off of the stove just before it has the consistency that you like. Pasta will continue to cook after it’s removed from the water because of how hot it is. If you take it off the flame the moment it’s done, by the time it makes it to your plate, it’ll be overcooked.
7. Wash Your Hands
Every great cook washes their hands. It doesn’t matter how clean you think that they are. Cooking with just a spec of bacteria on your fingertips can contaminate a whole dish.
Never cook when sick and always wash with soap and warm water before handling food.
8. Use Your Freezer
Wasting food is a sign of a bad cook. As you get good, you’ll start to understand how much food needs to be prepped for any given event and you’ll also begin to leverage your freezer to keep leftovers rather than throwing them in the garbage.
Many things that would go bad in hours can hold out for weeks when frozen. Using your freezer properly, consequently, can save you hundreds of dollars on groceries and can help put an end to the food waste epidemic that’s seen in much of the developed world.
Wrapping Up Our Tips That’ll Help You to Become a Great Cook
Becoming a great cook is a matter of practice and being conscious as you prepare dishes.
Armed with our tips above, you’ll improve your efficiency on both of those fronts and eventually, be the cooking maven that you’ve always wanted to be.
Still looking for more inspiration on how to be the best version of yourself? We’ve got you covered.
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