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More than Following a Recipe

What you need to learn to cook.

You might already help out your family by cooking on occasion. Good, you’ve got a head start. Knowing how to cook might not look like cost savings. However, you can save a lot of money over time by knowing how to cook. Here are some tips about how to learn to cook and how you can save money by cooking.

Learning to cook

  • The Basics – Learning the basics isn’t always easy. Simple things like making scrambled eggs or even toast take practice. But they are great places to start. Watch videos, find theories on how to make the best scrambled eggs or other easierTeens Cooking dishes. Eggs are cheap, and even if you mess them up, you can make them taste okay. A lot of world-renowned chefs actually use scrambled eggs as a test when hiring new cooks. If you don’t like eggs, find a simple thing you do enjoy and work on it to find the techniques that yield the best results.
  • The Methods – The method you use to cook your food is just as important as the food and seasonings. You don’t want to deep-fry a steak and you don’t want to grill shoestring potatoes. Some foods can be cooked in a variety of ways, green beans, for example, are great sauteed, roasted, grilled, or even deep-fried. The key is learning what method is going to go best with the end goal of your meal. Again, look up recipes, watch videos, maybe even read a cookbook. Work on the basics like grilling, baking, and sauteing before you experiment with more complex cooking methods.
  • The Skills – The most important skill to have when learning to cook is knife skills. Flipping the contents of a pan with the flick of a wrist looks cool, but it is mostly for show. Knife skills, on the other hand, are about safety and a proper dish. Not only should you know how to control a knife, but you should also know the difference between slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing. Along with what julienne, brunoise, cube, and chiffonade. Also knowing what cutting technique is best with which fruits, vegetables, and herbs is key. Once you have a good, sharp knife, buy a bag of carrots or celery and practice. Then practice some more. And keep practicing. Not only will it save you time, but it will also make your dishes better.
  • The Ingredients – Like everything on this list, start with basic things. Use ingredients you’re familiar with and expand from there. Don’t go out and spend a lot of money on fancy ingredients you’ve never experienced before. It’s easier to justify a ruined chicken breast because your experiment failed than it is to write off an expensive piece of fish or a dry-aged cut of beef. Learning what goes well together takes time. Simple dishes like mac and cheese don’t reflect that your skills are poor; it’s a simple dish that a lot of people like. If you can knock it out of the park, you can put together a lot of great meals around it.

Working on your skills and knowledge will take effort, but stick with it and you can really change up how you’re eating. Gone are the boring meals and in are the healthy, exciting ones you made with pride.

Why cook

  • To Save – Eating out costs more. You’re paying someone to cook for you, bring you your food, and clean your dishes. Not to mention the cost of gas and little or no leftovers.
  • To Impress – With some practice, you’re going to be making meals better than most restaurants. You might not get to Michelin Star levels, but a meal made with love says a lot more than an overpriced dinner out. Save money and impress a date!
  • To Be Better – Something you might not know about eating out is they add a lot of extra fats and salt to make your food taste better. Cooking at home allows you to control amounts. In the long run, this is where you’re saving the most—health care costs from poor eating may hit late in life, but they will hit and it will be expensive.

In the end, learning to cook isn’t just a skill that makes life easier. It will save you money in the short and long term.

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