The College Student's Guide to Learning How to Cook
By Brittany Loeffler
Learning how to cook is an essential lifelong skill that is best learned at a young age. As with any skill, practice makes perfect. The earlier you start learning how to cook, the better you will be over the years.
Why learn how to cook when there are so many delivery services and restaurants around?
The most important reasons are health and cost.
While there are healthy restaurants out there that serve salads and vegan meals, you never necessarily know exactly what ingredients and how much of them are in your meal. While you may have ordered a vegetable side substitute for your french fries, they can still be drenched in butter.
The second reason is the cost. It can get very expensive when eating out, especially when you’re tipping 20% for every meal you’re eating. Learning how to cook will help you save money and live a healthier lifestyle.
Where do you start, though? Read on to find out!
Build Your Kitchen
Before you start learning how to cook, you need the tools to make it happen. Begin building your kitchen with the essentials. On a college budget, you can always ask your parents if they are getting rid of any cookware, go to a local thrift store, or find a good deal on Amazon.
Now, some of you may not even know the difference between a pot and a pan. Luckily, there are starter kits with all the essentials you may need available.
Soon, you’ll learn that each pot and pan has its own use. You’ve probably wondered why your mom had three different sized saucepans sitting in her cabinet.
YouTube is Your Friend
Sometimes the best way to learn how to cook is to see examples of it in action. Rather than binge watching Netflix, why not watch the Food Network channel or some tutorial videos on YouTube? You’ll be surprised at just how much information you soak up by watching these videos.
If there’s a specific dish you’d like to make, just search for it on YouTube. Out of the millions upon millions of videos posted, there is bound to be one that you’re looking for.
Start with Some Recipes
Along with YouTube and cooking videos, recipes are going to be your best friend. These will be the easiest way to learn how to cook specific dishes. The best way to start is with chicken recipes. It’s a cheap healthy meat that is so versatile and enjoyed by many.
After you’ve mastered some common recipes to make weekly, try your hand at a more difficult recipe. Try shrimp scampi, for example. This can be your “show off” dish for when you want to make dinner for someone special. Practice making it until you’ve perfected it!
Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Cooking is all about experimenting. Think of your kitchen as a lab and your ingredients as different chemicals. If you tried one dish but didn’t care for it, make it again and add a little more or a little less of an ingredient.
Combine different foods and ingredients that you never would have thought about before. The worst thing that can happen is that you don’t enjoy the meal at all and you grab leftovers from the fridge.
Practice Makes Perfect
When learning how to cook, you must accept that not every meal you make is going to be delicious. You’re going to burn your chicken, overcook your spaghetti, and under season your vegetables.
Taking the time to practice cooking and learning from your mistakes is what will make you a great cook, though!
By Brittany Loeffler. From Uloop.com, Online Marketplace for College Life.
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