Cooking can seem like a daunting task to some, while others make it look so easy. Whatever the case, cooking is an essential part of our lives and it is best to learn the basics at the very least. So, here are four easy tips and tricks you should keep in mind, especially if you’re a cooking novice.  

1.   Make Use of Proper Measuring Tools

If you don’t already have proper measuring tools, get them. You’re probably trying to wing it by using normal kitchen utensils rather than measuring tools, which might seem like a great hack but ultimately causes a wild disbalance in your flavor. To make it easy for you, just get the most basic measuring tools which include measuring spoons, wet and dry measuring cups, a scale, a timer, and an instant-read thermometer. Although these seem excessive, they come in handy quite a lot when you’re cooking or baking.

The reason why you can’t use regular spoons in place of measuring spoons is that regular spoons aren’t always the same sizes. If you’re cooking a meal that needs precision, it is important to cook with this precision or you might end up with bad flavor. After all, you don’t want the food you’ve spent hours cooking to be either too salty or flavorless. So, investing in a set of measuring utensils is definitely a good idea.

2.   Get A Good Knife Set

Getting a good knife set seems pretty evident, but you’ll soon come to realize that it is the most important tip you’ll get. Your knife is basically your best friend when you’re cooking. Most of your cooking will include cutting, chopping, slicing, and the like, all of which will be done with a knife. So, if you have a bad quality knife that has gone blunt or doesn’t fit your hand, this will ultimately affect the quality of your food. 

This is why you should get the perfect knife set for yourself which fits your hand perfectly. Both the grip and sharpness of your knife are factors you should consider. It’s important that your whole cooking experience is as smooth and efficient as possible, and getting a good knife is the first step to ensure that.

3.   Go Through the Recipe, Organize and Prepare Before You Start Cooking

Reading the recipe beforehand is an important part of the whole cooking process, and no- just skimming through it won’t be enough. It is important that you thoroughly read the recipe way before you start cooking. This will not only help improve your kitchen knowledge but also give you an estimate of how long the whole cooking process would take. Be sure to organize and prepare all your ingredients before you heat up your pan. This includes washing, cutting, dicing, mincing, or anything else that needs to be done before you add the ingredients to your pan.

Now- you must be thinking that it would be easier and less time-consuming to do the slicing and dicing while there’s something on the stove as well, after all, you can multitask, right? Wrong! If you try to multitask while cooking, especially if you’re a beginner, chances are, you will end up burning the whole meal. So, make sure that you read the recipe and do the slicing and dicing in advance.

4.   Don’t Buy Your Ingredients in Bulk, Stick to Fresh Produce

Buying your ingredients in bulk probably makes more sense than buying fresh ones every time. However, getting fresh ingredients takes your food a long way. Hard to believe, right? Well, you can try it yourself and you’ll feel the difference in the taste of your food when you have gotten fresh ingredients versus when you’ve used stored produce. 

The first step is to get fresh spices, especially if you’re a beginner. Sure, you have that old paprika bottle you have that’s been stored in your cabinets for two years. Although it’s good that you’ve decided to cook, you should probably replace your old spices with new ones.

Next step? Buy fresh vegetables. Fresh vegetables will considerably improve the way your food tastes. If you use old vegetables, they will feel flaccid and the taste will be off. That tasty crunch of fresh vegetables cannot be replaced. Also, make sure you get good quality meat and cheese from vendors you trust. No one likes weird-smelling meat in their food.

If you’ve just started cooking, it’s normal to get overwhelmed sometimes. However, once you get the hang of it, it won’t seem like such a difficult task, you may even end up enjoying it. If you start off by utilizing the 4 tips and tricks that we’ve provided here, you have the perfect foundation to become an amazing cook in no time.