A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Top 8 Easiest Methods to Get into Cooking

Do you love to eat, but maybe you’ve never properly cooked before?

If you’re thinking of starting to cook, even though you don’t understand the recipes online, then you’re quite brave; and in for a treat too! Remember that everyone needs to start somewhere.

Cooking in the home kitchen

Main image by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

You just need to persevere to level up while learning how to cook. If you are an absolute beginner, this article will take you through 8 ideas that will help you start cooking easily.

1. Meal kits

Do you want to know the easiest way to get into cooking? It’s meal kits! Meal kits became quite popular during the pandemic when a lot of people wanted to sharpen their cooking skills. 

Meal kits equip you with everything you need to make a meal. The best thing is that you can focus on learning the skill of cooking rather than fret about grocery shopping and trying to understand what to buy exactly or where to find it.

Meal kit Instructions

The set of instructions provided in the meal kits are easier to understand due to pictorial guidance; they are designed to make cooking easier for you. The detailed descriptions are not like the recipes you read online, because they refer to the things enclosed within the kit you buy.

Meal kits give you a better sense of quantities and portion size as they are mentioned on the pack.  Due to the detailed instructions, the simplicity of meal kits is clear: just follow it to the tee.

That’s it! You can start cooking instantly without the pressure of grocery shopping because you have everything you need. You can get meat kits delivered easily and you can learn to cook as you plan your meals.

2. How to Read a Recipe

The best way to efficiently read a recipe is to read it till the end first. It not only lessens the anxiety you feel about getting started but also tells you exactly what you’ll need to have close by and prepares you for the process. Just reading the ingredients list doesn’t tell you that.

Reading while cooking can be a bit confusing since making food needs an awareness of time and speed, as you will need to prepare and will probably need to gather a lot of ingredients and tools.

3. Conversions

Convert the quantities to the ones you are comfortable with. If you don’t understand cups and spoons, go scientific and use the grams or litres.

If the recipe you are trying to follow is online, try to find the calculator provided on the website. This will give you an accurate conversion according to the recipes. As a new cook, you can invest in graduated cylinders and beakers to have exact quantities.

4. Go Slow

Don’t jump to difficult recipes all too soon. You may get overwhelmed. Slowly progress from following recipes to a tee to adding your own creative flair to the recipes.

Begin with boiling rice and pasta, soups, roasting, and stir-frying vegetables. These are the basics behind virtually thousands of recipes. Perfect the basics first, and then you can level up to complicated recipes. 

When you chop the vegetables, remember to wash and dry them first. Use a knife with a clean edge for hard vegetables, not the serrated ones.

If any of the recipes require stir-frying, you should use a wok. You can also use a wide-bottomed non-stick pan. Heat the oil to medium-high. You can check this by throwing in a breadcrumb. If it sizzles, the oil is ready.

Now add the meat, cook until it browns. Take the meat out, add vegetables, and just fry for 2 minutes and then add soy sauce. Add the meat back in and you have just cooked yourself a stir-fry!

You can rely on the rice maker to make rice. They are quite inexpensive and easy to find. If you don’t want to buy one, you can make it on the stovetop as well. Here’s a tip: creamy rice porridge is a great leftover meal!

Pasta increases in size. If you are using half a cup of uncooked pasta, it will boil into a cup’s worth.

Always read instructions on the pack and boil accordingly. You can experiment with sauces, but first, learn how to boil the pasta properly so as to avoid sogginess, which will affect the sauce and the overall experience of the pasta. 

A slow cooker may help you learn to cook easily. You just put in all the ingredients in the morning, by night you have yourself a meal!

5. Watch Videos

If you try to cook and keep failing, try to find YouTube videos that don’t go over the basics while trying different recipes.

Watching each step in a video will help you understand the process better and you can follow it easily. There are countless channels that teach cooking. Look for the ones that you find easy to follow.

6. Baking

If you are interested in baking, you can consider using brownie or cake mixes available in the market. This helps you gain a sense of achievement when you eventually bake the cake. This also helps you focus on the steps of baking. Then you can consider baking from scratch.

7. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Don’t rely completely on the basics. Going slow does not mean that you linger on the first level for too long. Set a timeline and ensure that by that time you will definitely move up. Once you have learned a few recipes, you tend to not change them at all, but you should try different recipes.

8. Cook Safely

A kitchen is a very dangerous place. The knives, fire, and spices present various hazards for you. You can watch videos or ask someone to show you the right way before you start to cut and chop vegetables.

 Beware of the open flame. Do not leave it open, if there is nothing on the stove. Another thing novice cooks forget is washing hands.

Couple cooking in the kitchen

Main image by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Learning to cook can seem very scary to beginners or people who were previously intimidated by the kitchen. However, you just need to start with the basics. You’ll find yourself easily cooking delicious recipes that you never thought you could. 

There are many products out there that can make cooking much easier. Utilize them, hone your skills and then plan all the meals you are going to make regularly. Follow the tips above to make learning to cook a great experience.

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