New to Cooking? Here’s How to Get Started

If you’re new to cooking and still learning your way around the kitchen this guide is for you. As you embark on many new culinary creations there are a few tips that will help make your journey better and your meals tastier.

Get the Right Equipment

Before you start your cooking journey it’s important to get the right equipment. This includes some space to actually cook. Even if your kitchen area is small, clean it well so that you have room to chop and mix and heat.

In terms of equipment you can buy some and borrow others from friends, but most items are available for a lower price than you think and will help you truly embrace the cooking experience. You will want to get different sized pots, a set of good knives, a high-quality cutting board, a cheese grater and zester as well as tongs, a ladle, a spatula, a flipper and baking trays as well as casserole and lasagna dishes. There are many more items as well which you can pick up at your local home appliance or multipurpose store.¹

Small Steps

The first key to cooking success is to start with small steps. Don’t immediately try to make a fancy French recipe that you found in a gourmet cookbook. Instead, boil some water and make a simple pasta dish to start or try making perfectly done eggs sunny side up. Then go from there.

Start basic and small by mastering the simple aspects of cooking. This will be a firm foundation for branching out into more advanced cooking. Everyone had to start somewhere and boil their first pot of water.²

Get Your Basic Ingredients

Every recipe requires different ingredients, but in order to start becoming a good cook it’s key to get some fundamental ingredients that you always keep around in a large amount. These may include flour, rice, eggs, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, mustard and sauces, butter, cream, milk and cheese.

Think of these as your building blocks. Vegetables, meat and more advanced spices can always be added, but keep these items on hand because many recipes use at least some of them.³

Practice the Basics

Cooking can be thought of as a repertoire of skills that you build on and create delicious mouth-watering meals from. Chopping, stirring, heating, mixing, roasting are just a few of the actions you want to know. Practice chopping vegetables and sautéing them with chicken to make a teriyaki stir fry or scrambling eggs perfectly and then adding diced onions, chopped mushrooms and grated cheese. Actions like this will boost your cooking skills and get you prepared for the next levels of culinary accomplishment.⁴

Be Creative and Don’t Stress About Recipes

As you’re starting out in cooking it’s great to embrace your creative side. Recipes are not an ironclad rule and you can mix and match now and then and see what happens. Instead of stressing about following each recipe down to the letter, think about starting from scratch and working with a few basic ingredients to make a delicious meal.

This could be something like rice with some stir-fried chicken and vegetables and a simple sauce drizzled on top or the addition of a side of boiled asparagus. Don’t be afraid to be creative and to try out new ideas, you will learn a lot and have fun.²

Learn Your Way Around the Aisles

If you want to be a cook you need good ingredients. This means that it matters where you shop and what you buy there. Learn your way around the aisles and don’t be afraid to carefully read ingredients or test out new produce before buying a ton of it. Learn where you need to go to get the ingredients you need and you’ll be all set to make some delicious kitchen creations.⁴