You don’t need all the fancy equipment a Michelin star chef uses. You definitely don’t need one of those fancy Samsung fridges that remind you to order shopping and stream music and we’re pretty sure you won’t require a precision cooker that cooks meat in a bucket, to improve your cooking. You can get better in the kitchen with the bare essentials and if you want to push your culinary expertise up the grade levels, here are five easy steps to improving your cooking:
Use high quality ingredients
The higher quality your ingredients are the better things are going to cook and taste. Supermarket basics are fine but sourcing vegetables grown using seed technology (which means they are free of disease and therefore pesticides) or cooking with high quality olive oil are just two things you can start with. Visit your butchers for good cuts of meat at reasonable prices and where you can try and grow your own fresh herbs – it will make all the difference to your dishes and improve your cooking.
Don’t be restricted by recipes (except for when it comes to baking)
Recipes can be pretty constraining when it comes to cooking, so instead of putting down the mixing spoon when you realize you don’t have that obscure ingredient in Jamie Oliver’s cookbook, it’s a good idea to improvise. Learning what tastes good and what doesn’t is one of the most important aspects of improving your cooking so test out different flavors and make recipes your own. However, try to avoid doing this when it comes to baking. Baking is a fine science, and the ingredients and their measurements are there for a reason – you can’t just go adding more flour or cutting out the sugar. It could mess up the whole thing.
Seasoning is essential but if we keep reading Daily Mail stories that tell us we’re likely to keel over with a heart attack and become obese if we dare put salt on our chips we’re never going to embrace seasoning like we should. Start by buying decent salt, kosher flakes are the best and you can be liberal with them without getting through the packet too quickly. Rub it onto meat, sprinkle it onto trays of vegetables and pour it liberally into boiling water and pasta to ensure it’s all perfectly seasoned.
Think about textures
Textures are important when it comes to cooking and food, from crunchy lettuce to soft pasta, we want variety on our plate so to improve your skills think about using multiple textures in your cooking. Add water chestnuts to a spicy noodle dish for some crunch or even celery to spaghetti bolognaise for a surprising addition to the dish.
Buy a timer
There’s nothing more important than working out the timings for a big meal, no one wants their veggies to go soggy while the chicken is still cooking in the oven or for everything else to be cooked while the potatoes are still rock solid inside. To improve your cooking skills, you need to get good with timing, work out how long things take to cook and never serve up soggy green beans again.