To start cooking doesn’t require mad science skills, yet so many people seem to be totally clueless or quite scared of messing up when cooking, and therefore do very little cooking at all. I believe that cooking more will help you the first step to a healthier and more satisfying life . knowing the food we eat, before we put it into our mouths. so i want to encourage everyone to cook more, even if you’re a total newbie who’s never had any practice. here’s what you need to do before you start cooking.
It is very important to maintain a really clean atmosphere when you are cooking. Yes, it can get really messy while you cook, but the the mess be from the ingredients and not from your body or hair or a dirty cutting board.
Wash your hands before you start to cook, wash your hands if you handle raw meat or fish to prevent cross contamination as raw meat isn’t so clean. Use a good unscented liquid wash, wash underneath your finger nails, the back of the hand, between your fingernails, rinse and dry your hands with a kitchen towel.
Tie or Cover your hair especially if you have long hair to prevent any hair strands getting into the food. dont get into the habit of scratching your hair when you cook too.
Remove jewelry such as bangles, necklaces or rings, you don’t want to contaminate your food or have your neck jewelry getting caught up in your hot pan
Tie an apron or wear your kitchen garb. pull up your sleeves. You need an apron to protect the food from any contamination and also to protect you from stains, smears and splatters. Don’t mind what you see on cooking shows where the cook is well dressed, trust me your clothes will suck of all the food aroma and you will smell like a juicy chicken when you are don’t cooking, so be ready to take a shower after you cook
Clean your work area before you start cooking, you will need a clear space for cutting, mixing, or prepping your food items, no matter how tiny your kitchen is, all you need is basically a sink and a little work space (depending on how much food you are cooking)
2. PLAN OUT WHAT YOU WILL COOK
Before you start cooking, you need to have a plan. What you will cook will depend on what food items you have in stock e.g vegetables, meats, carbs, spices, fats etc. While it might be easy to follow a recipe, remember that sometimes you may run out of or not like some items and will require you tweaking your recipe (or panicking) which may often product results that are different than the recipe you are using.
So if you are following a recipe, read it a couple of times and note the different ingredients and methods that are required, note whether you nee to marinate your beef, simmer your cream, chill your chocolate or even chop your vegetables.
3. PREP YOUR INGREDIENTS
This is very important. Always wash, cut or slice your vegetables, preheat your oven, bring and bring your dairy (eggs and milk) to room temperature before you start cooking. Doing these things will save your time and reduce your confusion while you cook and
4. SAFETY IN THE KITCHEN
At all times, remember that the kitchen is not a place for fun and games, so its important to be cautious of the hazards such as open flames, hot pots, hot oil, sharp knives etc.
Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking, so you don’t get carried away with activities and forget yourself while your meat burns.
Handle hot pots gently, use a pot holder (especially if your pot doesn’t have insulated handles). Turn pot and pan handles to the side, away from you so you don’t mistakenly knock them down and spill hot sauce on you (or your poor dog).
5. USE SHARP KNIVES
This is so so important. A dull knife is a key to a frustrating cooking experience. Before you start cooking ensure your knife is sharp; a sharp knife will cut swiftly and easily with less effort. Its funny too that a dull knife is even more dangerous than a sharp knife because
6. USE FRESH INGREDIENTS
Fresh ingredients have a rich fresh flavor, nutritious and are safer for you. Ensure you buy food items from trusted sources and always check the expiry dates for your packaged products. if any items are stale or expired and you are unsure about their freshness, its better to trash them. If something smells bad or funny, trash it.
7. REMEMBER TO HAVE FUN
Cooking is a fun experience, though it can be annoying and frustrating and stressful, but always try to enjoy yourself while you cook. Personally i like to listen to music or podcasts while i cook, just so that i can maximize my time in the kitchen.
Whats your own way to de-stress and enjoy your cooking time? Leave your comments in the comments section below.
I hope this post has been helpful to you. Remember to like and share with your friends.