Cookware Featured 1
Blog, Favorite, Featured

10 Best Cooking Tips for Beginners and Aspiring Chefs

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

While cooking is essential, it can definitely feel intimidating. There aren’t many day-to-day activities that require flames, high temperatures, and knives, so it’s completely understandable if you aren’t feeling so confident in the kitchen as a beginner. That’s why I’m here to help with my 10 best cooking tips for beginners and aspiring chefs.

Rinse your rice

Rice is a staple in every home chef’s kitchen and can be a real lifesaver when your fridge is looking a little empty. You can make delicious meals with rice simply by adding whatever else you’ve got lying around. 

Rice is one of the easiest things you can make, but for whatever reason, they never tell you on the bag or box that you need to rinse it before you cook it. Rinsing your rice gets rid of the starch that sits on the surface of the grains. 

If you don’t rinse it, it can cause the rice to cook unevenly or, worse, end up super gummy and pasty instead of light and fluffy. Rinse it in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear then follow the package instructions. 

Save your pasta water

You might have heard this one a few times, but it’s such a great tip for all you pasta lovers out there. Pasta water’s starchy binding power can:

  • Thicken sauces
  • Bind your sauce and noodles together
  • Emulsify sauces like cacio e pepe and carbonara

It really is liquid gold, so it’s always a great idea to reserve a cup before pouring the rest of it down the drain. 

How to roast veggies

Roast veggies are delicious, healthy, and simple. Vegetables might not seem like the most exciting thing on the planet but roasting them transforms them into something spectacular. 

Cooking tips, roast your vegetables

The heat of the oven browns and caramelizes the natural sugars, bringing out the incredible depth of flavor that no amount of steaming or sauteing could ever accomplish. 

Simply preheat your oven to 425°, a temperature that’s ideal for most vegetables. Then, chop your veggies into bite-sized pieces and toss them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you’re feeling adventurous, add some garlic powder and red pepper flakes too. 

Keep an eye on them, and in 30-45 minutes, you’ll have a healthy and hearty side dish to serve alongside any protein or main dish you’ve made.

Keep your knives sharp

While this might be hard to believe, a sharp knife is a safe knife. If your knife is dull, it can bounce around on the food you’re trying to cut and give you much less control. 

You can even risk cutting yourself if the knife gets away from you. By keeping your knife sharp, you have more control over how the blade moves through the food. 

A sharp knife offers effortless chopping and slicing, so you’re less likely to accidentally cut yourself while preparing your food. 

Taste as you go

This is so important! 

While you can’t do this with meat, every other dish you make needs to be tasted while you’re cooking to ensure that the flavors and seasoning are to your liking from start to finish. 

Waiting until the very end to taste your food can often be too late for you to add any ingredients or spices you might have missed along the way. 

Taste as you go so you can fine-tune your dishes to your liking every step of the way. 

Use the right size pots and pans

This one’s important because it can help you improve the flavor of your food and prevent some major messes. 

When you’re cooking anything in a pan, you’re looking to lock in flavor with those delicious brown crusts you get from searing. Whether it’s meat or veggies, everything tastes better with a bit of browning. 

If you overcrowd your pan, your food will steam instead of brown, which won’t make it taste or look as good. If you fill your pots too much, be it with boiling water, soups, or stews, you risk the chance of everything overflowing, which can cause major messes and even flare ups on gas stoves.

If you overcrowd your pan, your food will steam instead of brown, which won’t make it taste or look as good. If you fill your pots too much, be it with boiling water, soups, or stews, you risk the chance of everything overflowing, which can cause major messes and even flare ups on gas stoves.

Wear an apron

This often gets overlooked, but it’s important to remember that things can get messy in the kitchen. 

No matter what you’re cooking or chopping, there’s always a risk of spills, splashes, and the worst of all, oil hopping out of the pan and onto your clothes. 

There are some great stain removers on the market, but wearing an apron can save you a ton of headaches and nasty stains on your favorite clothes.

Read recipes all the way through

This tip is so important. It’s always easier to cook when you’ve got a clear picture of where you’re going instead of just figuring it out along the way and hoping you get there in one piece. 

10 Cooking Tips Recipe

By reading the recipe all the way through, you’ll know when to use certain ingredients, how many pots and pans you’ll need, and if you need to have the oven preheated. 

This will save you time in the long run and help you make fewer mistakes like mixing the wet and dry ingredients too early. 

Prep your ingredients

When you’re making a recipe for the first time, it can feel challenging to keep up with the steps. Taking the time to prep all of your ingredients before you start cooking will make it so much easier to follow along with the recipe and helps you to feel less frantic going through the steps.

Knowing that you have everything you need to start the recipe will give you more confidence in the kitchen, and you’ll be less likely to burn something or have a pot overflow from having to turn your back on your food. 

It will also cut down on the cooking time since all you’ll have to do is toss things together. 

Get a thermometer 

This one is a no-brainer. 

Guessing when your meats are ready is not a fun game, and there really isn’t a ton of wiggle room between undercooked and overcooked. Raw meat can make you seriously ill, and overcooked meat is dry and flavorless. 

Neither outcome is a great one and is part of the reason many home cooks are just too nervous to try making delicious proteins at home. Using a meat thermometer takes out all of the guesswork and will have you making perfectly cooked proteins every time. 

There are so many great thermometers on the market, so just make sure you’re grabbing an instant-read one. 

If you want to go a little fancier for your meat roasting and smoking, a Bluetooth thermometer enables you to program your desired temperature from your phone so you can safely walk away without having to check the temp of your food constantly. Your phone will simply let you know when your meats are ready!

There are so many great thermometers on the market, so just make sure you’re grabbing an instant-read one. 

If you want to go a little fancier for your meat roasting and smoking, a bluetooth thermometer enables you to program your desired temperature from your phone so you can safely walk away without having to check the temp of your food constantly. Your phone will simply let you know when your meats are ready!

Final Thoughts

If there’s one thing I want you to remember, it’s to have fun in the kitchen. Nourishing yourself doesn’t have to feel like a chore, and you’ll feel so proud when you’ve created a delicious meal for yourself. These are only some of my best cooking tips, and you can find more great ideas by checking out my other blog posts. 

Happy cooking!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

*