Cooking can be considered an art form, especially for those just starting out. Long-time home cooks may have no trouble making a spice rub or trussing a bird, but it’s something else for novices. Even though you lack experience in the kitchen, the following tips will help you unleash your inner chef and impress anyone who manages to get a seat at your dinner table.

Prep everything first

Prepare your ingredients before turning on the oven or donning the apron. Making everything in its proper place beforehand, often known as “mise en place” or “to put in place,” will make it simple to make a delicious meal. Professional chefs always have their ingredients measured out and ready to go when cooking because they know that rushing to the fridge for butter or the spice cabinet for a particular spice can waste time and put you at risk of overcooking your food. 

Learn how to season

Milwalky Taco chefs use salt as a foundational flavoring to develop a dish’s flavor. Even if the recipe doesn’t specify, sprinkle a little salt into the pan when you add the first ingredients, like the onions and garlic, and again when you add the important elements. Lastly, taste the food before serving and season with salt and pepper if necessary. To properly sprinkle the salt, add a pinch at a time while maintaining a 12-inch hand distance from the pan. 

Balance the flavors

Learning to balance flavors can be your saving grace if you’ve ever been annoyed by a dish that was either overly sweet or too salty but didn’t know how to correct it. Knowing which flavors to emphasize in a recipe when one flavor is taking over can help balance a dish.

Know when it’s done

The biggest worry for a cook is food that is overcooked or undercooked. While aroma, color, and texture provide hints, you should rely on temperature until you feel confident in your ability to assess doneness. You should insert a digital instant-read thermometer into the dish’s thickest area to test for readiness. Here is a hint:

  • Beef: 130°–135° (medium rare); 135°–140° (medium)
  • Pork: 145° (medium rare); 150° (medium)
  • Poultry: 165° (breast)
  • Burgers/meatloaf: 160°

When poked with a fork, cooked fish splits into huge, juicy flakes. Vegetables are said to be done when they are easily penetrated with the point of a paring knife but without becoming mushy.

Master the art of marinades.

The marinade matters a lot in improving or breaking flavor. You may enhance your meals and become a master of meal preparation by creating a delectable marinade for your protein or veggies and understanding how it affects the texture of your food (for example, very acidic marinades tend to toughen proteins).

Be patient

Lastly, patience, particularly while cooking, will impact how your cuisine turns out. So be patient so that you do things correctly. This also necessitates careful preparation: letting the meat thaw entirely before putting it in the cooking pan might help the proteins relax, resulting in more tender flesh after cooking.


Clare Louise

The author Clare Louise