If you’re someone who thinks they’ll never be able to cook, then you’re wrong! Anybody can cook – it’s just a matter of learning how! Learning to cook is one of the most useful things you can do – it’s not just one skill, but a whole set of skills that you can learn and develop over a whole lifetime.
If you’re completely new to cooking for yourself, you might not know anything at all – and you’ll be confused about all sorts of things, such as what knives to use, what’s the best flan pan, what temperature to cook things at…it can feel like there’s so much to learn!
Well, it might seem like a daunting task, but with a little bit of learning, some time, and some patience – and some handy hints and tips, of course – you’ll be cooking in no time. We’ll show you how in this quick and simple guide to learning how to start cooking at home!
Table of Contents
You don’t need a whole lot of things in order to start cooking, but there are a few essentials. Here’s a quick list of things that you should definitely have in your kitchen.
Chopping board – you’ll need at least one of these. Wooden ones are usually the best, as they’re far easier to keep clean than plastic boards – they’ll last for years longer than pretty much any plastic chopping board. Wooden chopping boards kill germs naturally, as long as they’re wiped down well after use, and left to dry properly. Care for it well, and it can last you for many years. Don’t use glass ones ever – they’re sold because they look attractive and can have decorative images and writing on them, but they absolutely ruin the edge of knives. Wood or plastic only – preferably wood.
Chef’s knife – you need at least one good quality, sharp knife. A chef’s knife is ideal – they’re extremely versatile knives, they’re well shaped for most jobs you’ll do in the kitchen, and they’re of a good size – not too big, but not so small they’re not useful. Keep it clean, and don’t put it in the dishwasher, or in a drawer where the edge can get bumped into things and damaged.
A hot thing – no, really! You can’t cook without heat, so you’ll need at least something simple like a hotplate or stove. An oven is also great to have, but if you only have a hotplate, or stovetop, then it’s really not a huge problem – you can make so many amazing meals with just a few saucepans on a stovetop. Even a single cheap hotplate is fine in a pinch – although it’s preferable to have two, or a double, at the very least. Being able to heat at least two saucepans up at once is so worth it!
Some saucepans – at the very least, you’ll want to have two saucepans – although an inexpensive set of four or so will last you for years, and is well worth it. You don’t have to spend much money on these at all to be able to make amazing tasting food in them – and if you’re on a budget, there’s nothing wrong with getting the absolute cheapest non-stick pans that you can find. Treat them well and you’ll make some amazing food in them!
Cheap wooden spoons and spatulas – you don’t need more than a few of these, but the more the merrier – they can take some time to dry after being washed, so think about that when you decide how many you need! Luckily, they can be found pretty cheaply. These won’t damage non-stick pans, which makes them perfect for cooking. Don’t use anything made of metal in your non-stick pans, as the non-stick coating will come right off as soon as metal touches it.
Food and a recipe – luckily, with the minimum tools above, you’ll be able to cook an absolutely huge amount of different meals. It might not seem like there’s very much there, but if you’re new to cooking, you’ll be amazed at how much you can do with just these few things – and some ingredients and a recipe, of course!
Bowls, plates, knives, forks, spoons, etc – obvious stuff.
Can opener – for opening cans.
Timer – this can be a clock, a watch, an app – anything that helps you keep track of how long things have been cooking for. This really helps take a lot of guesswork out of cooking!
Pick A Recipe – Then Cook It!
Have a look online and find some recipes. Look for some food that you like – or even just some ingredients that you like the taste of. You’ll be guaranteed to find some absolutely amazing tasting recipes that you can make with just the aforementioned equipment. If you’ve never cooked before, you can skip over any recipes that ask for more equipment than you have. There are so many simple recipes that can be made with just some very simple skills, and very basic equipment. As long as you’ve got a way to make things hot, a way to cut things up, and a way to stir things, you can make some of the best tasting food on the planet – that’s a fact!
Pick something that looks nice – and if it’s got good reviews or feedback, then if you think you want to try it, then go for it! Pick something that looks simple – you’ll be amazed at how many great foods can be made simply by cutting some things up a bit, and heating them up a bit – they magically turn into delicious meals! Follow the instructions as closely as you can, use a timer – and afterward, keep your equipment nice and clean for next time.
If you make any mistakes along the way, don’t worry – absolutely everybody does, even the best chefs in the world! Learn from them – always think about how you can avoid the same thing happening again.
Above all, don’t let cooking stress you out! As long as you’re cooking food safely, keeping everything clean, and making sure to give yourself plenty of time, cooking needn’t be stressful at all – and learning to cook can mean you get to eat some absolutely amazing food! Start simple, with simple equipment and easy recipes – and you’ll be surprised at how easy it can be to make great tasting, healthy food!