Culinary art is one of the most sacred and ancient arts. There have been many culinary artists, also known as chefs or cooks, from time to time around the world. They have inspired many souls to take up the basic humane skill of cooking as their profession. Being driven by such kind of enthusiasm, I myself took cooking as my profession.
Being a cooking expert myself, I know many difficulties are to be faced in the path of cuisine. I had to face extra difficulties as when I was a beginner; no one was there to guide me. So, I now want to share some tips from my experience to help and inspire the beginners out there and spread the art of cuisine.
Here are 51 Tips for the cooking enthusiasts out there to kick start their cooking skills. Let’s look at a glance.
1. Staying Clean:
Cleanliness is a noble virtue. Amidst this pandemic, we have realized the importance of cleanliness more than anything else. Before starting anything regarding cooking, make sure you are clean yourself.
A dirty person may carry loads of viruses or bacteria with them. So it is crucial to be clean yourself.
- Wash your hands: while washing hands, you need to make sure you are washing properly for a minimum of 20 seconds to 1 minute.
- Make sure to wear clean and comfortable clothes: The clothes must be adequately cleaned with detergent. The covid virus can stay up to 1 or 2 days on your clothes. So they need to be cleaned and sanitized.
- Tie up your hair: hair fall is a common issue nowadays. As normal as it sounds but seeing a hair on your can ruin your whole appetite. That is why tying up your hair is very important.
- Cleaning the surface: the surface where the cooking will take place must be cleaned properly. It needs to be sanitized with either alcohol-based products or detergents.
2. Organizing Your Utensils:
After you finish being cleaned, you need to organize the utensils and tools needed to start your cooking. Those who are accustomed to cooking don’t need this step that much as they are already familiar with the things. But a beginner should always make sure they note down the required utensils and check mark if they are all in the right place.
Utensils should basically include-
- A pan
- Gas lighter or electric stove
- Kitchen towel
- Cutting board
These are some basic utensils. Make sure you have them, and you are good to go.
3. Preparing The Recipe:
It’s good if you want to experiment. We all do experiments with cooking every now and then to enhance the taste of the monotonous food we eat daily. But if you are a beginner, it’s better not to experiment.
Instead, you should stick to the old recipes and practice with them. For that, you need to prepare your recipe and get the idea of the recipe you are about to cook.
4. Post Preparing Recipe Step:
After preparing the recipe, you need to collect the necessary items for you to prepare the food according to the recipe. In case of collecting the items, you need to keep in mind that the things should be-
- be fresh,
- As much inexpensive as possible,
- Exploring the markets to get the best product out there at the best price.
5. Choosing The Right Spices:
Before proceeding to the main task, you should select the spices. Spices are the most essential part of cooking any dish. There are many kinds of spices available in the market. Choosing the right type is the most formidable job.
Different food items need different types of spices. As a beginner, you should learn to know which spices are good. Also, a crucial part is to know, from where to collect the spices.
Not every store sells good quality spices, and some charge way too much. Being a beginner, it’s always better to explore your neighborhood stores and find it out yourself as well as ask the people around you who are experienced in this.
Also, keep the spices away from heat to maintain their taste and flavor.
6. Getting Your Senses To Work:
After getting done with the pre-cooking stage, as mentioned above, now you should move towards your main task, and that is cooking. During cooking, one needs to be attentive.
You might think cooking is like mixing those magic portions from harry potter; you say one magic word and everything falls in place! Only if real life was this easy and simple.
Even after preparing everything according to the recipe, you need to trust your guts and understand yourself if some spices are required more or some less. Smelling and tasting can go a long way.
7. Choosing The Right Vegetable:
If you are trying to cook vegetables, the most important task is choosing the freshest vegetable available. Seasonal vegetables are best to cook.
Try selecting a winter vegetable if you are cooking during winter. Likewise, choose a summer vegetable during summer.
8. Tips Regarding Tomatoes:
If you are cooking tomato or using it during cooking, try to find locally grown ones.
Usually, during winter, the freshest tomatoes are available. If you are planning to make tomato puree, tomato sauce, or soup, then your first job is to peel the tomato. Now it can get messy if you start peeling it directly.
Here are some tips regarding peeling tomatoes:
- First, take some nice firm tomatoes to start with.
- Then take a knife and put a cross or X mark over the top of the tomatoes.
- Then take a bowl or pan on the stove.
- On the bowl or pan, you need to take some water and put it on the stove.
- After a few minutes, when the water starts to float bubbles, put the tomatoes in it.
- Keep it for 5-10 minutes, depending on the size and amount of your tomatoes.
- After it gets boiled (here, you need to use your intuition to know if they are ready to peel or not), take them out of the water and start peeling.
9. Making Tomato Pest Or Puree:
Try using a blender to make tomato pest or puree. Mixers are a great blessing to us. In the modern era, we tend to depend on electric things a lot. Making tomato puree without a mixer can be really hard as well as messy. Being a beginner, a mixer or blender will help you to make the perfect desired tomato puree.
10. Tips Regarding Potatoes:
If the chefs worldwide are asked about one vegetable to name, 90% of them will undoubtedly name potato. Potato is the most commonly found vegetable that is tasty, full of protein, and, most importantly, affordable.
The number one trick and tip regarding potatoes is you need to peel them when they are hot.
- Like the tomatoes, put a cut mark around the potato.
- Put it into the warm pre-heated water.
- Let the water boil till the potatoes become soft enough.
- Then pull the skin from both sides.
- Voila, your boiled, peeled potato is ready.
11. Using Potato Masher:
Try using a potato masher if you want mashed potatoes. Start mashing the potatoes right after peeling them when they are hot. You can also use a potato ricer. It is an advanced tool where you don’t need to peel the skin off.
12. Be The Salty Bae:
There is not a single dish that can be imagined without salts. This sounds like just one ingredient but even the most experienced chefs around the world mess this part up.
Sometimes it can be too much, sometimes too little. Being a beginner, you need to put in extra effort to grasp the salt technique. The pro tip would be to use a little amount first. You can always add salt afterward.
13. No More Tears:
We all have seen people crying and flooding their eyes and nose while cutting onions. Onions have some acid inside them which causes a burning sensation while cutting them.
Because of this, our eyes get teary, and it seems like we are crying. Pro and experienced cooks are used to this and can tolerate this burning sensation. This is no less than feeling like getting hit by tear shell gas for the beginners out there.
To avoid such catastrophe, you need to soak the onions for at least half an hour before cutting them. This will neutralize the acid and stop the burning sensation.
14. Handling The Oil:
Another important and crucial part of cooking for beginners is managing the oil. Too hot oil or not hit enough oil can both destroy your dish equally.
Here are a few tips regarding oil management-
- Let the oil get heated gradually.
- Don’t put water or wet food directly into the hot oil.
- Don’t just throw food into the hot oil. Put it gently.
- Always dispose of the burnt oil. Never reuse.
- Don’t put food items into blazing hot oil, or else it will burn.
15. Choose Your Eggs Wisely:
Some beginners may think, how can we tell if an egg is rotten or bad just by looking at it? Well, the answer is you can not. We are human beings, not any superheroes with X-ray vision eyes. That’s why we need to test it.
The process is
- Take a bowl full of room temperature water.
- Then float your eggs.
- The ones that will float are the bad or rotten ones and those laid down in the bowl by getting sank are the fresh ones.
When making omelets, add some drops to the water to make your omelets fluffier. You can add different vegetables to enhance the taste.
17. Poached Eggs:
While making poached eggs, you can add some vinegar to prevent the egg yolk from breaking.
18. Sunnyside Up:
While making sunny side up, people often face difficulties regarding turning the eggs upside down. To avoid such difficulties being a beginner, you can always use a lid.
19. Boiled Eggs:
Eggs are an essential part of the diet. It is one of the primary sources of protein for our body. Boiled eggs are widespread across the world. There are different types of preferences in the case of eating boiled eggs.
Depending on the time, eggs can be soft boiled, half-boiled, or thoroughly or fully boiled.
20. Cracking The Eggs:
Cracking the eggs can be messy for beginners. You can use a paper towel to crack the eggs, so it doesn’t get much messy.
21. Time Management:
Being a professional, I would suggest not following any time frame set by any other person or any recipe. Set your own time. Try using your own sense such as taste, smell, and touch.
For example, while cooking rice, there is no specific time frame. If you are not using an electric device and following the manual ritual, then you need to set your own time. You need to check and see yourself if the rice is ready to eat or still needs to be cooked.
22. Usage Of Knives:
Beginners won’t know much about knives, and that is entirely okay. Beginners don’t need that many versatile knives. A basic knife, sharp enough to cut everything, would do more than fine. The most important thing to remember is to keeping the knife sharp. You should always use a sharp knife.
23. Getting Rid Of The Burning Sensation From Chilies:
Cutting chilies can be a hard and complex challenge for beginners as it leaves a burning sensation afterward.
Such kind of burning sensation doesn’t go away easily. To get rid of that, you can use cold milk on your hands. It will reduce the burning sensation. You might as well get rid of it.
24. Getting Rid Of That Smell Of The Garlic:
Garlic can be really smelly. Washing your hands with soap isn’t enough sometimes. You can rub your hands on stainless steel to get rid of such odor or rub some lemon on your hands.
25. Making The Chicken Extra Crispy:
If you want to make your chicken fry a bit extra crispy, add some cornflour to it. Breadcrumbs can also make it crispy, but breadcrumbs taste entirely different, and they do not taste as crisp as cornflour.
26. Always Leave Room For Correcting Your Mistakes:
Don’t be too snotty when it comes to restoring your errors. In cooking, we all make mistakes, even professional people.
So it is always better to taste your food before seasoning. Especially if you are a beginner. Do not shy away from tasting the food you cooked.
27. Milk Storing:
Milk can be sensitive when it comes to storing. Cows’ milk without any preservatives can get ruined. You should always keep the milk in a container after boiling it and keep the container closed.
Keep it away from strong-smelling food items in the fridge.
28. Making The French Fry With The Right Amount Of Crisp:
French fries are famous all over the world. There are hardly any people who do not love the french fries with some tomato ketchup. But many fail to keep it crispy.
That is why my tip for you would be to mix the spices with the potatoes after cutting it. Then keep it in a refrigerator for as long as possible. It will help to make the fries crispy.
29. Avoid Getting Messy While Frying Chicken:
Frying chicken can get messy. When we fry chicken, we dip it in egg once, then dip it in a dry batter. If we use one hand, then the dry batter gets clumpy easily, and everything gets messy.
My advice would be to use one hand for dry ingredients and one hand for wet ingredients.
30. Reheating Your Leftover Pizza:
If you want to eat that last slice of pizza that you couldn’t last night, then you might need to heat it again. But after reheating the pizza, the crust gets hard.
To avoid such a situation, put a glass full of water in the oven with the pizza slice while heating it. The water will help keep the moisture in.
31. Storing The Vegetables:
Vegetables are seasonal. Not every vegetable is available every time of the year. Thanks to modern technology, you can now store the vegetables in the freezer and use them all throughout the year.
32. Making Mayonnaise:
You don’t always need to rush to the departmental store if you want to buy some mayonnaise. Take some eggs n oil. Mix it up in the mixer, and you will get your desired mayonnaise.
As per the famous chef Gordon Ramsey, you can add powdered milk to enhance the flavor even more.
33. Keep Your Herbs Fresh:
Herbs are something that needs to be used fresh. But it’s not always possible to go to the market and buy fresh ones. For that, there is an expert tip from me.
Take a glass of water or a bowl of water, depending on the number of herbs you have. Put the herbs in that water and put them in the fridge. This will help the herbs to stay fresh.
34. Cleaning The Strawberries Perfectly:
Strawberries have many tiny insects and dirt inside them, which are hard to see from bare eyes. They stay inside the strawberry, so just washing them from outside is not enough.
Soak the strawberries in vinegar for some time. You’ll see small insects and dirt coming out of it.
35. Seal The Bags Of Flour And Chips:
Flours, chips, and stuff like such are meant to be kept in an airtight place. Many packet sealers are available on the market.
Buy one of them according to your budget and store the flour or chips by sealing their packet.
36. Save The Apples From Rotting:
One rotten apple can make the other apples rot in no time. So, you should always take the rotten ones out of the good ones as soon as possible.
37. Ripe Your Fruits Quickly:
Help your fruits ripe quickly by putting an apple with it. The components in an apple help to ripe fruit faster. For example, if you keep an apple with a banana and a banana without an apple, the banana with the apple will ripe faster.
38. Using An Egg Slicer To Cut Fruits:
Egg slicers can be of great use to cut fruits. They can cut fruits like strawberry, kiwi, blueberry, raspberry, and other small-sized fruits.
39. Keep Your Mushrooms Dry:
Always keep in mind that while storing mushrooms, they should be adequately dried. Mushrooms easily catch moisture and store water. To prevent such situations, they should be kept dry.
40. Vegetable Peeler Can Be Used In Many Ways:
A vegetable peeler is usually used for peeling off the skin of any vegetable. But it can also be used for
- Peeling small ribbon-like vegetable slices for dishes or salads.
- Peeling chocolate shreds for chocolate curls.
- Peeling thin slices of cheese.
41. Using The Pepper Grinder Correctly:
The pepper grinder can grind different-sized peppers depending on how tight or loose the screw. The tightened screw will give you finely grinned peppers, ideal for soups or sauces.
A bit loose screw will provide you with medium grinned peppers, perfect for sizzling. A loose one will be perfect for steaks n fish.
42. Peeling Garlic:
There are many different ways. One is to take one single clove and smash it using a knife. The skin will get pilled off easily. You can also take whole garlic, press it, and then take the garlic in a bowl and cover it.
After covering the bowl, shake it for 10 to 15 seconds. All the skin will come off.
43. Defrost Your Meat:
Always make sure before cooking your meat that it is at room temperature or has been defrosted. Cold meats turn hard after cooking. To ensure the meat is juicy enough after cooking, you should make sure the meat is at room temperature.
44. Keep The Butter In Your Fridge:
Butters are made from milk. They tend to melt in the heat.
To prevent the butter from melting down, keep it in your fridge. They also get burnt down due to heat on the pan. To prevent such a situation, you can add some lemon juice in it.
Butters are great in taste. You can always consider using butter instead of oil in your cooking to enhance the taste.
45. Take The Seeds Out Of Chili To Lessen The Spice:
Sometimes chilies are over spicy; for that, you need to take the seeds out. Taking the seeds out can be messy if not done correctly. First, take chili and rub it between your palms. Then cut it from both ends and shake it a bit to get rid of the seeds.
That is how you can get rid of that extra spice, as some of us don’t like spicy food much. Over spicy foods are not suitable for health as well.
46. Always Use A Chopping Board:
Chopping boards are great for cutting food items. Always use a chopping board to chop off meats or vegetables. If the board is uneven, try putting a paper towel beneath it.
47. Keep The Eggs And Butter At Room Temperature Before Baking:
Remove the eggs from the fridge and the butter too for better results at baking. Frozen foods are hard to cook with.
48. Making Buttermilk At Home:
Buttermilk is not available everywhere. Not all of us live in places near supermarkets. That is why you need to know how to make things by yourself.
You can always add some lemon or vinegar to milk to turn it into buttermilk. Take a cup of milk and add ¼ cup of lemon juice or vinegar, and you will have your buttermilk.
49. Using Electric Tools:
Being a beginner, electric tools are your best companions. Rice cooker, toaster, grinder, mixer are life-saving machines. Always keep them beside you.
50. Keep The Green Veggies Fresh By Sealing Them:
Vegetables are hard to keep fresh. Going to the market and buying, again and again, is problematic too. That is why you need to know how to keep your vegetables fresh for as long as possible.
You can keep the green vegetables fresh by keeping them in a sealed bag. The airtight sealed bag will help them last longer.
51. Add Salt While Chopping Garlic:
While cooking spicy foods, especially Asian dishes or curries, minced garlic is a must ingredient. There is hardly any dish without garlic. But it’s quite a challenging task for beginners to chop garlic in fine pieces. To get a good result while chopping and mincing garlic, add some salt. The salt helps the garlic’s fiber break down, and hence the minced garlic comes out fine.
By following the tips given above, a beginner can start cooking without any fear. Nonetheless, art should be one’s own creation. So always use your intuitions and senses while cooking.