Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tips for Beginner Cooks and Chefs by Randi Glazer

Cooking is a fun activity. It is a profession yet a hobby at the same time. You don’t have to be a chef to be a good cook. You can learn how to cook by experimenting with different ingredients, pots and pans, and temperatures. You can also alter the way you cut vegetables and meat, and cooking sauces in different ways. Doing all of these things will give you cooking experience and pedigree and will improve your overall cooking skills. Beginner cooks lack this experience, and the only thing to do is to start cooking and learning from what you make. Here are a few tips that all beginner cooks should consider.


First off, it’s important that you never leave the kitchen. This may seem obvious, but a situation always comes up where you need to leave the kitchen for a quick second. Try and avoid these situations as much as you can. It’s not a given that something bad will happen if you do leave the kitchen. However, the possibility of burning your food still exists. You may be out longer than you initially planned and 30 seconds could make all the difference between a meal that is well-cooked versus a meal that is burnt.

Cooking requires patience, which is why you should never put food into a cold pan. It will make your food cook faster, but only for about 2 minutes or so. If you put your food into a cold pan, it won’t cook in a balanced manner. Moisture will release, and your food will start to cook via steam rather than browned in a pan as you intended it to. This is especially true with meat. Place meat in a heated pan will nicely sear the meat whereas, in a cold pan, the meat will simply release moisture.


When you are cooking meat or fish, make sure that you have taken them out of the fridge prior to cooking so that they can get to room temperature. Also, make sure that your meat or fish is dry and not wet. Drying your meat and fish will allow both to sear nicely. Allowing meat and fish to reach room temperature allows the inside of the flesh to cook at a more balanced temperature.

Avoid using high temperatures at all costs. The only time it is okay to cook at high heats is when you are boiling water. Using high heat as a guaranteed way to burn everything that you cook. Every stovetop is different, so you need to understand what temperatures work well for you, but cooking on medium or medium high at the most is the most advisable temperature to cook at.

Lastly, look forward to failing with some meals and make sure that you learn from your mistakes. You’re only going to become a better chef by making mistakes and gaining experience. That’s why it’s important to have fun and not take you too seriously.

Randi Glazer is a senior insurance, professional. She enjoys cooking as a hobby in her free time.

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