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6 Steps to Becoming a Better Cook

Listen, I’m not saying I’m a good cook. And when I cook I’m not sure that I ever know what I am doing. Reduce? Simmer? Okay? It can be very intimidating to explore the many facets that are cooking. But if you ever want to be able to make anything other than freezer lasagna and minute rice you have to take some risks. Sometimes that risk might be failing at a meal or setting off the smoke alarm. Here are six simple steps that might be able to help you with that.

1. Make What You Like

Figure out what you want to eat so that you are excited to make it. Eating your favorite food when it was made by your own hand somehow tastes so much better. Even if you think you won’t be capable, even if you feel intimidated, you can just try. Just make it! If it doesn’t turn out good then you’ll learn and do better next time. You have to start, so start with something you like.

2. Take it Slow

Begin with recipes that start with the words “simple” or “easy.” Focus on one aspect of a meal, most likely the main portion. Have some minute rice with chicken you baked yourself. Have homemade meatballs with your spaghetti. And taking it slow means that you do not start to cook every meal every day. Plan a few cooked meals, but also remember to plan out your quick meals. 

3. Make What’s Familiar

You may already know some recipes, and you may have watched them being made or helped in making them while growing up. Cooking familiar food is easier. You already know what it should look and taste like. The recipe is already less foreign in our minds. This can give you more confidence in the kitchen. Once you have mastered a few familiar recipes you will feel more prepared to try something new. 

4. Look Up Recipes

Listen, we no longer rely on recipe cards and cook books. We have the internet. Personally, I could watch cooking videos all day. There are plenty of resources out there to find recipes for all skill levels and all tastes. If you are wanting to improve your skills in the kitchen then you are going to need some inspiration. Just look up recipes. Get yourself into a rabbit hole of pastas and fall soups and pies. You have to get that inspiration before you start, and it’s good to read through recipes before you decide to make them. 

5. Shop For Specific Meals

Go to the store with specific, planned meals in mind. Buy those meals and the ingredients for those meals. Throughout the week you will kind of be forced to cook. The food that you bought can only be eaten if you cook it. Boom. Sometimes you have to force yourself to do the thing. In this case the thing being cooking. Go grocery shopping to set yourself up for the meals you want to make that week. 

6. Plan Ahead

I used to get so overwhelmed in the kitchen. I felt like I needed 15 arms. Multitasking became a foreign concept. I decided to start my meals by reading the recipe and gathering and measuring all out of my ingredients. I prep and wash the food. Then I get out pots, pans, and utensils. This made cooking feel SO much easier. It adds organization to something that can feel chaotic. The first step to cooking should always be prepping and planning.

These steps have made cooking so much easier for me. I would go as far as to say that they’ve made it therapeutic. I have built up my confidence to the point that I can try just about any recipe. Cooking is fun and you get something yummy from it! Maybe it’s just me, but I take pride in what I cook. I feel so capable. You just have to start. Nobody is just naturally a good cook, it takes practice. So start practicing!

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Rachael Andreasen

Rachael is a current student at Utah Valley University, where she will be graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Communications. She is a lover of learning, animals, traveling, her family, and food. She is afraid of open water, bears, skin cancer, and driving in the snow. Rachael is a current writer for 24 slc, where she gets to write about what she loves.

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