With Netflix and Hulu consistently producing more cooking and baking shows, it is no wonder so many new cooks are making their way into the kitchen. But once they get there, many ask, “Now what?”
Well, cooking is like any other skill — it takes time to become a pro. Check out these amazing cooking tips and hacks to speed up the process of becoming a master of the kitchen.
1. Weighing and Measuring
No matter what recipe or how many kitchen hours you’ve logged, ingredient quantities matter.
Weighing ingredients instead of measuring them out with spoons and/or cups will provide a more accurate measurement (and save time). One of the first things new cooks should invest in is a food scale!
Food scales make doubling (or tripling) a recipe super easy for those big gatherings. If you don’t have a scale, a conversation chart is essential for adjusting recipes for larger or smaller gatherings.
Have you ever been two layers into lasagna and then realized you don’t have ricotta? There is no need to fret; just take a peek in the fridge to find either plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese to substitute for the Italian staple. Unlike baking, you can get pretty creative with cooking substitutions. Quick searches can give you lots of ideas.
Alternatively, baking substitutions need to be a little more tried and true. Adjustments will need to be made to your overall recipe if you’re subbing ingredients.
For example, applesauce can be used for oil, but you will have to reduce other liquids by a third to a half because of applesauce’s high water content. Or, you can make many cake recipes vegan-friendly by substituting apple cider vinegar and baking soda per egg. No one will know it’s missing eggs!
Here’s where things feel overwhelming — you have got to season your food at almost every stage and taste your food as you go. Salt and pepper may be one of the most critical cooking hacks for any rookie. Being familiar and comfortable with the four types of seasoning will instantly enhance your dishes.
Designate a space in your kitchen just for tasting spoons — like 10 or so spoons. They don’t have to be nice like your tableware; cheapies will do the trick. All you’re going to do with the spoons is taste what you’re creating so you know if you need to add more seasoning or maybe more spices or dried herbs.
Delivery? Yes, because cooking is a matter of time. If you only have one oven, roasting a ham and baking rolls is going to be a struggle — and have you thought about dessert yet?
If you’re a novice cook still developing time management skills, bakery desserts delivery or ordering your favorite cookies will save you time! Having someone else put in the work (and clean up), so you can focus on other dishes is our ultimate hack!
Cooking is a lot of fun but can take time to master. Perfecting the basics and outsourcing as needed will make getting the kitchen more fun than watching those cooking shows. Who knows, maybe you’ll have your cooking show someday!