7 simple tips for better home cooking

Whether you’re setting up home for the first time or just want to improve your skills, here are some simple steps everyone can take for better home cooking.

A woman stirs the contents of a frying pan on the hob

In association with Circulon

I love cooking, whether I’m preparing a big roast dinner for a family celebration or just whipping up a simple pasta dish to eat on my own. It can be very relaxing and of course, the results can be very satisfying!

But it takes time and experience to become a good cook and for most of us, it will take plenty of practice. Of course, that’s no hardship when you get to sample the homework!

Cooking is also a great hobby and I know a lot of people who either took up cooking for the first time during 2020 or developed new skills. For me, it was breadmaking – I can now make a pretty decent bloomer loaf!

So you may well be thinking ‘how can I improve my cooking skills at home?’. Luckily there are plenty of ways you can elevate your cooking from basic to gourmet.

Buy the right equipment for cooking

You don’t have to spend a fortune on your kitchen equipment, but it’s worth investing in good quality tools to get the best out of your cooking.

If you have just started cooking for yourself, you need the essential equipment. Getting a new pan set will allow you to get started in cooking and it’s worth paying a little extra for ones that won’t buckle or warp. 

A good set of cook’s knives is a must, and I would also recommend buying a set of chopping boards for raw meat, cooked meat, vegetables etc.

Chopping a selection of vegetables on a wooden chopping board

Watch online tutorials

Luckily, the days of having to wait a week for your favourite cooking shows are long gone, and we no longer have to send off a self-addressed envelope for the recipe booklet either!

You’ll find free online cooking tutorials for pretty much every type of recipe now, which are very entertaining to watch and give you a good lesson on how to cook. Try Bosh TV for delicious vegan dishes or BBC Good Food for all sorts of delicious dishes.

Invest in a cookery course

But as good as online tutorials can be, there’s nothing like having someone stand by you and show you exactly where you’re going wrong.

Try searching online for cookery courses near you to find a course that will help you perfect your technique and correct your errors. And if you’re feeling extravagant, you could even splash out on a cookery course with a professional chef like Marcus Bean’s cookery school in Shropshire!

Try something new 

It’s very easy to get into a rut with cooking, especially when you’re turning out family dinners week after week. 

Sometimes adding a new dish to your repertoire can help to boost your confidence and improve your cooking in general. You could open a cookbook at random and cook the recipe that turns up, or ask your friends to recommend a recipe that they love cooking.

A middle-aged woman chops vegetables and reads a cookbook

Add more seasoning

You don’t want to over-salt your food, but sometimes recipes don’t taste right because we’re too timid with the seasoning. 

If you find that the results of your cooking are a little bland, try increasing the level of seasoning or adding it throughout the cooking process. Seasoning food throughout rather than just one time can really help to bring out the flavours. 

Be more adventurous

If you’re lacking inspiration for your home cooking, why not promise yourself that you’ll try something new each time you eat out instead of always ordering your favourite dish.

You could also try ordering food boxes to cook at home, which contain recipe cards and all of the ingredients you’ll need to make them. Pay close attention to which flavours go well together, and then try recreating them. You could add your own twist to the recipe as well, if you’re feeling confident!

Cook more often

Practice makes perfect, so really the best way to become a better cook is to cook more often. You could set yourself a goal of perfecting a particular dish, like I did with the classic bloomer loaf, or pick a book and work your way from cover to cover. Over time, you’re sure to find that your kitchen skills will improve.

Cooking is about regular practice as well as an instinctive feeling about what tastes good. And the more you cook, the better you will get. So by following these tips, I’m sure you’ll soon be a better home cook!

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