Home cooking is a delight when you learn how. When you know how to cook for yourself and your family, you directly control the ingredients. Control is highly advantageous when you have dietary requirements such as gluten-free or allergens. Additionally, understanding portion control and ingredient reuse will help you save money. But cooking is an ongoing skill that you develop over your lifetime. However, you can get off to a flying start with these tips.
Get the Right Tools
Cooking is nothing more than chemistry and physics with a flair for the dramatic when finishing off your meals. But it’s also a skill, and like any skill, you need the right tools for the job, or you risk completely ruining your food or injuring yourself. For instance, a bunt knife is more dangerous than the sharpest, and sugarcraft supplies are essential for a touch of finesse on your baked goods. Without adequate tools for preparing and finishing off your meals, you might as well order an overpriced and underwhelming takeaway.
Understand Food Hygiene
Further to health and safety, you must know about food hygiene as a surprising number of people don’t know you shouldn’t wash chicken. But many do since they think they are removing bacteria when they are actually spreading it all over the food. Some basics include:
- Keep your hands as clean as possible by washing regularly.
- Learn how to cook foods through and the internal temperatures of meat and poultry.
- Store cooked and uncooked meat apart from each other.
- Keep countertops clean with antibacterial wipes and sprays.
- Never cross-contaminate between meats, poultry, fish and vegetables.
- Always clean your chopping board.
It might seem like a lot of work to stay hygienic in the kitchen, but with a bit of practice, you will realize most of it is common sense and things you should be doing anyway. But be aware that carelessness can cause severe illnesses such as salmonella.
Know Your Oven
When you cook for any period of time, you come to understand that not all ovens are made equally. That’s not to say a £6,000 range cooker is better than your standard home kitchen oven for ten times less. They all have pros and cons. By getting to know your oven, you will get the best from it. And in most domestic cases, the priciest cooker probably isn’t worth it anyway. Additionally, always get a thermometer installed into your oven – no matter its prestige. Domestic ovens are notoriously bad at keeping an accurate temperature, even the pricey ones.
Health and safety in the kitchen is probably more important than any other area of your home. Perhaps because of the multitude of things that can really hurt you. In the worst case, you could burn your house down. Cooking causes 49% of all domestic home fires in the United States alone. So, be careful when cooking. Organize sharps into one area and tools like whisks and tongs in another. Always use oven gloves, and for Pet’s sake, learn how to put out a kitchen fire using the appropriate extinguisher and fire blankets.