When it comes to food, everyone has an opinion and a preference. It’s arguably more diverse than politics, religion or any other hot subject. Everyone, no matter who they are, will have their own edible tastes and prefer to experiment within certain parameters. Of course, good food and bad food still exist, and there is an objective determinant of quality. However, when it comes to becoming a better cook, it can be difficult to learn where to start.
What cuisine should you specialize in? How do you learn new techniques? How do you approach that new ingredient you’re hesitant to try? Well, some of the best ways to learn is through the experience of those who have worked in professional kitchens. We’ve managed to secure some of the best tips they learn, which can hopefully inform your own time in the kitchen to a significant degree.
Without further ado:
Always Keep Your Station Clean
Obviously, in this situation, our ‘station’ is likely going to be our kitchen countertop. However, just because you haven’t a screaming head chef following your every move, the benefits of kitchen hygiene should not be ignored. Not only does it help you keep everything organized, but it’s much safer. Dropping a piece of heavy equipment, or cross-contaminating is much less difficult when you regularly wipe down your countertop with a disinfectant. Not only that, but cleaning as you go helps you eschew the dread of a huge dish-pile to take care of at the end of the session, allowing you to focus more on the meal you’ve created stress-free.
Of course, there are many places you can learn about cooking. Sometimes, the best place you can learn is from your grandmother or close relatives, especially if they know old methods which your culture have preserved for years. Carrying on a family recipe could be an important privilege to hold. However, that doesn’t mean learning online can’t be immensely resourceful.
Not only do you have a wondrous repository of online recipe books, and video tutorials provided by sites like ours and celebrated television chefs, but specialist websites such as Fire Food Chef allow you to diversify your interests in knowledgeable directions, such as meat-specific cooking or vegan focused alternatives. Even the best chef’s will look at their iPhone during service to make do without ingredients they might be lacking, or to top off their menu with that little-added flair. Information is everywhere, so be sure to use it.
Timing Is Crucial
While cooking is a skill with seemingly endless possibility, there are some steadfast rules that anyone embarking on a pursuit within the kitchen should learn. For example, one of the most important things to understand is that timing is crucial to know. A mastery of timing getting a feeling for the different cooking requirements of certain foods will help you masterfully pull your dish together. You can use the best ingredients in the world, but an undercooked or overcooked feature of a dish can ruin the whole experience. For that reason, experimenting, experimenting and experimenting could be for you. Try to memorize the time and temperatures of certain implements instead of simply relying on looks, and you’ll have a sharp tool in your arsenal to contribute to the fight of making beautiful food.
With these tips, you’re sure to be a little more skilled in your ambition, approaching the same level of the chef’s you would gladly pay to cook for you.