Do you like to cook? Maybe you follow reality TV cooking shows religiously and aspire to cook glamorous dishes like the contestants? Some say that culinary skill is a talent, but the truth is, anyone can learn to create beautiful meals. All you need to know is a few crucial tips to turn your cooking into something of which any professional chef would be proud.
If you’re looking to take your cooking to the next level, the six secrets to cooking like a master chef below are for you. Commit them to memory and use them often to create delectable, gorgeous dishes just like your favorite contestants on Hell’s Kitchen.
1. Invest in the Right Tools
Just as a heart surgeon wouldn’t attempt bypass surgery without his trusty scalpel, you shouldn’t cook without the proper equipment and utensils. Invest in the best cookware sets that have superior non-stick surfaces and are versatile enough to use for many different types of cooking. High-quality knives are a must as well; they last longer, are safer and give you a more professional result.
2. Cook for the Season
All professional chefs know that using the freshest ingredients make for the best-tasting dishes. Cooking with in-season, locally-grown, fresh produce ensures the food you make tastes amazing. Visit your local farmer’s market for the freshest fruits and vegetables and get to know the grocers in your area for advice and tips on what’s in season and when.
3. Spice it Up
It doesn’t matter how well you cook a meal; if you underdo the spices and seasoning, it will taste bland and uninspired. Seasoning takes your dishes from blah to delicious, so don’t be afraid to sprinkle it on quite liberally. Be generous with the salt and pepper, but don’t be shy to experiment with unfamiliar herbs and spices. You’ll be surprised at the new flavor sensations that you discover. Be sure to taste-test your gourmet creation throughout the cooking process to make sure you’re seasoning to perfection.
4. Keep Practicing the Basics
Master chefs don’t start out as maestros. As with any skill, you need a solid foundation on which to build. This means practicing basics like poaching a perfect egg and grilling a juicy steak before moving on to more complicated techniques. You’re never too good at what you do to take a step back and keep practicing what you already know.
5. Time is Your Friend
No one ever said cooking was a race. In fact, in many cases, the slower you cook something, the better it tastes. Whether you’re gently roasting or grilling meat to make it more tender, or you’re caramelizing onions, your dishes will improve if you take your time. It’s also important to mention here that slower cooking also removes much of the food’s water content, which delivers more concentrated, bold flavors.
6. Invest in a Good Quality Stove
This one is simple: a good quality stove enables outstanding quality cooking. Your cooktop should provide even heat and precise temperature control and functionality. If your equipment is old, it will be challenging to create the gourmet dishes you’re hoping for, no matter what your skill level. If you’re serious about cooking, investing in a new stove is a must.
Cooking well isn’t so much a talent, as it is an art form that you can nurture with patience and practice. If you aspire to cook like a master chef, implementing the tips above should bring your creations from the everyday to amazing.