Cooking tips that every newbie cook should know

Being handy in the kitchen is an important life skill. You do not have to be a cordon bleu chef to put together a delicious and nutritious meal – if you choose quality, fresh ingredients, you are already half way there. Add in these simple tips and you will be preparing meals for friends in no time.

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Be prepared

Make sure you have everything you need before you start cooking. Read the recipe thoroughly and make a list of all the equipment and ingredients that are needed. Try to avoid getting half way through a recipe to discover there is vital component that requires a trip to the shop.

Do what chefs call the ‘prep’ before you start to cook anything. Make sure you can concentrate on each step by having all the ingredients chopped, washed or marinated before you begin. Some recipes call for an ingredient to be seasoned many hours in advance.

Be safe

Clear space for cooking before you start and turn the handles of hot pans to the side so they cannot be knocked over. Food hygiene is also critical. Store food properly and wash all utensils and your hands thoroughly before and after handling food, especially meat.

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Follow the instructions

If you are a beginner, don’t improvise too much. Find recipes with photos if you are not feeling confident. Think of cooking as a simple chemistry experiment with a result you can eat. If you are browning meat, it needs space; otherwise, it just steams. You may need to do this in batches. With pasta, salt the water, don’t add oil, and don’t rinse it.

It is easy to find inspiration with online food recipes. The internet can be an incredible source of information and guidance for all cooks, beginners and experienced alike, if you search in the right places. Some sites are more trustworthy than others. If you are looking for well-researched online food recipes, try a respected site such as for expert suggestions.

Don’t forget to have fun with your cooking – once you relax, it is enjoyable and feeding people is very rewarding. Whatever you do, do not leave cooking food unattended. It needs to be watched; otherwise, you could find the kitchen on fire.