We all have people in our lives who seem to have been born to be great chefs. You can put them in the kitchen with a handful of mismatched ingredients and know that they are going to come back out with plates piled high with great food. For the rest of us, excellent cooking is something that we have to work a little harder at. We have the passion, but sometimes we need a little help turning our big ideas into excellent meals. The last couple of years have given us a lot more opportunity to think about what we like cooking and how we do it, but there is always room to grow. What’s more, research has also shown that home cooking can help with mental health. This is an activity we should all be trying to do more of.
There are also several different elements to consider if you are thinking about how you can up your cooking game. For example, you are going to want to make sure that you have all the necessary tools at your disposal to cook the meals you want. You are going to need to think about what kind of cooking you like to do, and what you would like to learn. It always helps to have a goal in mind with any new challenge such as this. And you also need to make sure that you have all the ingredients. If you want to take your cooking to the next level this summer, here are a few tips to help you get started.
Know Your Level And Work From There
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? One of the most important steps in tackling any new challenge is understanding your current skill and confidence level. You wouldn’t try and run a marathon the day after joining a gym, would you?
If you are a complete cookery novice, then it makes sense to start with some basic recipes to get the hang of things. If you have a higher confidence level, then you can aim a little higher and try longer and more complex recipes. Remember that the temptation to give up will always be stronger if you aim too high and miss first time. Small steps are the way forward.
Think About What Food You Enjoy Eating
Next, it is time to think about the most important question that anyone will face stepping into the kitchen: what are you hungry for? You are far more likely to enjoy the challenge of stretching your cooking muscles if you are cooking something that you actually enjoy eating. For example, pushing yourself to the limit making an elaborate three course meal is not going to be particularly rewarding if you do not want to eat the end result. Remember that there are always new levels that you can take any of your favorite dishes to.
Say that you are a pizza fanatic, for example. While we all enjoy getting take-out or even getting a frozen pizza from the store every now and again, there is absolutely no substitute for a home-made pizza that has been cooked to perfection in a wood-fire pizza oven. If you cannot get enough of the fresh baked goodness, then you should absolutely think about investing in a quality pizza oven. If you have an outdoor space, then why not think about inviting your friends over this summer to sit in the yard while you cook up some great pizza? The Ooni Karu 16 Pizza Oven is a wood-fire pizza oven that can cook fantastic pizza with ease, and it only takes fifteen minutes to reach cooking temperature. Visit their website to find out more and browse their great recipes.
Make Sure That You Have The Right Tools For The Job
From pizza ovens back to the fundamentals. Every workman needs to have the right tools for the job, and if you are serious about cooking then you need to make sure that you have the proper equipment. It is time to take a good long look at your cooking knives (and invest in a knife sharpener, too).
Most of us have the essentials but there is a big difference between having cookware that will get the job done and something that will produce something to a high standard of quality. It may well be time to upgrade those pans, that chopping board, and think about what kind of cookers you need to make the kind of food you want. Would a slow cooker be a valuable addition to your kitchen range? Do you have a wok that is going to be able to handle the kind of Asian-inspired dishes that you have planned? Do your research and read some reviews to make sure that you are getting the right gear and remember that performance is much more important than something that looks good on display.
Don’t Forget To Think Healthy
As we head into summer, most of us have our eyes on getting the barbeque out with a few beers on a hot sunny day. However, these days it is so important that we think about our health and the environment when it comes to the food that we are buying and eating. First of all, cutting down on or cutting meat out of your diet will have a huge impact on your heart health. Red meat is a major contributing factor in heart disease as well as other serious illnesses, and processed meats are just as bad. Looking for proteins from different sources will help to lower your blood pressure. It is also important to remember that cutting down on meat is a great way to cut down on your carbon footprint.
Given all the news stories that we have seen about climate change in recent months, this is not something that we can afford to ignore. The good news is that there are so many great meat alternatives on the market these days. What’s more, summer is the perfect time to try cooking more fresh vegetables and fruit, so head down to your local farmer’s market and find out what’s good!
Find Chefs That You Like
When you are thinking about adding cookbooks to your collection, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are so many books out there and they all promise to change the way that you go about your mealtimes. Once again, the best place to start is by thinking about what sort of cooking you enjoy doing. Do your research and find some authors who have been well-reviewed and remember to factor in your experience level. Most chefs have books for experts as well as beginners, and your money will be much better spent if you get the book that you are going to be able to use. A good cookbook will connect with you personally, it will be on the same wavelength as you when it comes to how you think about food and the pleasure you get from it.
Remember To Have Fun With It
It can be all too easy to psych ourselves out when we give ourselves a challenge, and there is nothing like trying to prepare a difficult meal to make us overstressed. The most important thing to remember when you are cooking is that this is something that should be fun. This can be an activity that we enjoy as a family and there has been a lot written about how that time has been lost in recent years. At the end of the day, it is only food, and if you try something new and screw it up, you can always try another time.