If you’re a person who LOVES food, there’s a 70% chance that you might like cooking as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a good grip on it, however, if you learn from the basics, you might as well become a professional chef, eventually.
Here’s a list of cooking tips for beginners, prepared by our professional chefs:
READING THE RECIPE IS NOT ENOUGH, TRY UNDERSTANDING IT
Sure, it sounds dumb right now, but try following this tip once and you’ll see the magic. When you read a recipe once you get an overview of what you’re about to cook but when it’s read more than once, you’ll see yourself following the recipe in a certain flow, which in turn affects your cooking positively.
ORGANIZE AND PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS AHEAD OF TIME
Of course you can slice up the chicken while the onions are browning, only if you want your dish to fail. It’s way better and safer for you to have the ingredients cut and prepared before you start cooking, if you really want you dish to be a hit. Especially if you’re a person who’s really bad at time management, avoid getting stressed in the end and instead organize before you start!
ALWAYS PURCHASE FRESH INGREDIENTS
Buy fresh vegetables, fruits, yoghurt, cream, meat or whatever ingredients you need to cook that dish of yours, you don’t want to compromise the taste of your food because of stale ingredients. Keep updating your spices with time, with the weather that we have here in Karachi, the spices (salt, red chilli) go bad in 6 months.
DON’T LEAVE THE KITCHEN
Even if the food is simmering; avoid leaving the kitchen while your dish is still on the stove. It’s very risky, and might ruin the time and hard work you’ve invested into making your food. However, if you’ve cooked this recipe a few times before, you can leave because you will have an idea of when the cooking process starts, but if you’re trying a new recipe, never, we repeat NEVER leave the kitchen until your food is ready.
USE PROPER MEASURING TOOLS
Especially if you’re baking, always use proper tools to measure your ingredients (spices and cooking powders in general). If you plan on cooking more than once, then we suggest you buy the right measuring tools, so that you follow the recipe ingredients correctly and the dish turns out delicious.
AVOID OVERCROWDING YOUR PAN WITH FOOD
The heat might distribute unevenly if the pan/skillet if overcrowded with food and it might result in burnt or uncooked food. Some food ingredients release moisture while others need to be crispy, if the two are put together in pan in excessive quantity, there’s a chance that one of them won’t turn out the way you wanted.
NEVER TRY A NEW RECIPE IF YOU HAVE GUESTS COMING OVER
If you’re a beginner, please never ever try a new recipe if you’re cooking for anyone other than your immediate family or friends. Instead cook something you’ve previously cooked or have sufficient expertise on. You’re not even half as stressed about it during the meal, when you cook something you’ve previously made in the past.
KEEP TASTING THE FOOD WHILE YOU’RE COOKING
It is very important for you to taste the food while it’s cooking unless of course its raw meat, then wait till its cooked and taste. You don’t want other pointing out the lack of salt or excessive spice in your food. Also, you can always fix these errors while the dish is still on the stove, you can’t always fix these after the dish is served.
TEST THE HEAT OF THE OIL BEFORE YOU PUT IN ALL THE INGREDIENTS
Add a single piece in the pan to test the heat of the oil, instead of putting in all the ingredients. If it’s cool then all the ingredients might go bad and if its too hot then the ingredients might cook from the outside but will still be raw inside.
DEFROST THE MEAT BEFORE COOKING
If the meat that you’re using for your recipe had been freezing in the refrigerator, it is important that you bring it down to the room temperature before you marinate or put it in to cook. Frozen meat often leaves water, you don’t want that ruining your dish.
Follow these tips, and you’ll be a pro in no time!