Nobody is born a great cook. It's a skill that develops overtime with practice.
Whether you're someone who struggles to put together scrambled eggs on toast or a foodie who canâ€™t get enough of the kitchen, these tips and tricks will help chef at all levels improve their culinary skills.
Take notes in your cookbook: Tarts with soggy bottoms? â€“ You should have blind baked the pastry. Under-cooked chicken? â€“ Probably needed an extra ten minutes in the oven. Itâ€™s important to take note of fails in your cookbook so you donâ€™t make these mistakes again.
Look after your knives: A good knife is your best friend in the kitchen. It makes your cooking experience easier, more efficient and safer. To keep your knives in good shape: do not put them in the dishwasher, use plastic or wood cutting boards and sharpen your knives on a regular basis (once a year recommended).
Taste as you go: The flavours of your dishes develop as you cook. It's important to taste as you go so your dish gets the right level of treatment, for example correct amount of salt and spices.
Buy a meat thermometer: This year master the art of cooking steak by investing in an instant-read meat thermometer. No more guessing, no more over-cooked meat, just steak cooked exactly the way you like.
Try new dishes regularly: Continue to step outside your comfort zone. Once you've mastered one dish, try another one. Keep experimenting in the kitchen.
Plan meals: Sit down once a week and plan your meals and shopping list. No more last minute trips to the supermarket and nice, home-cooked meals every night. Being organised really has its benefits.
Measuring equipment: If you don't have a scale, buy one. If you don't have decent measuring cups, buy a set. Properly measured ingredients are essential to every successful dish.
Clean as you go: If you hate cooking because of the mess in the kitchen, clean as you go. Cleaning as you go is much better and easier than leaving everything until the end.
Know your oven: Ovens have different temperature powers. It's important to know your oven temperature and its effectiveness. The correct temperature means food will be cooked properly (no more dry chicken and overly crisp spuds).
Keep your cupboards fully stocked: Baking powder, flour, salt, pepper, spices, sugar, make sure you always have a decent stock of these ingredients.
Toast: Spices, nuts and grains, grab a dry skillet and heat these ingredients. It wakes up the spices and releases oils meaning a lot more flavour.
Cook what you know for friends: If you ever have friends or family over for dinner, never cook a new recipe. The pressure of cooking for someone will increase your chances of messing it up. Stick to a dish you know you can cook well.
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