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Five cooking tips for beginners

Cooking Tips By Audrey Masitsa
When in doubt ask for help (Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels)

If you’ve never had to prepare a meal for yourself, the thought of standing in the kitchen, preparing ingredients, cooking them and of course putting together a balanced meal can be daunting. But cooking doesn’t have to be rocket science. With a little bit of guidance, it can actually be an enjoyable, even therapeutic, affair.

Let’s look at some cooking tips which will hopefully demystify this science.

1. Equipment

Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated especially when it comes to the equipment. When you’re just learning, keep it simple.

i. Get different sized knives that can cut into bigger foods such as meats and smaller knives for chopping vegetables.

ii. A chopping board will make cutting easier and reduce chances of cutting yourself.

iii. Different sized sufurias. Try to get at least three. A frying pan

iv. Cooking utensils such as wooden spoons

2. Stock up on foods that you will actually eat

The easiest way to learn how to cook and actually enjoy it is to prepare foods that you actually enjoy. Go shopping for essentials e.g. rice, spaghetti which are easy to cook, meats and eggs, tomatoes and onions.

You will also need cooking oil and salt. When it comes to spices, start with those that you can use in multiple dishes and once you have learned the basics, you can experiment with new spices.

3. Get recipes

Be it from family, friends, cookbooks or the internet, recipes will give you step by step directions on how to prepare different foods as well as cooking and preparation times and portions.

As you begin, ensure you’ve read through the recipes and that you understand what is required of you. It’s also very important to follow the recipe as accurately as possible since you’re still learning.

4. Learn cooking methods

Know the difference between boiling, frying, stewing and steaming. Start with what you find easiest like boiling/steaming rice and stewing meat. Eggs can be boiled or fried. Once you’re sure you can manage those, start learning new methods.

5. When in doubt watch a video

If you’re not sure what translucent onions should look like or you prefer to look at someone cooking to confirm that you’re doing things right, look for videos. YouTube is full of cooking videos which will debunk even the toughest cooking mysteries.

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