How to Learn to Cook Like a Chef: 8 Essential Skills
Listen, you work hard. When you come home from a tiring day, planning and cooking a meal can seem daunting. But, it doesn’t have to be! By learning essential cooking skills you can lower your food bills, eat more nutritiously, and turn cooking into a fun experience. So, join us, as we go over eight skills and ideas that will help you learn to cook like a chef.
Learn to Cook Like a Professional Chef with these 8 Essential Skills
1. Get the Right Kitchen Tools
First, if you want to be able to cook like a chef at home, make sure you have the right tools to do so. This doesn’t mean going to a high-end store and buying kitchen accessories that cost hundreds of dollars each. Instead, equip your kitchen with these four basic tools. All of these tools can be found at any restaurant supply store or discount department store.
A Sharp Chef’s Knife
Arguably, the item you should spend the most money on is a chef’s knife. A high-quality chef’s knife that stays sharp is worth its weight in gold. Moreover, a chef’s knife is a tool you will use frequently in the kitchen. Be it chopping, cutting, dicing, and so on, your knife is your best friend. Make sure to get a good one.
Prepping food is made much easier with a durable set of mixing bowls. Make sure you have small, medium, and large bowls. Popular retailers sell inexpensive sets.
A set of quality wooden or plastic cutting boards is essential to keeping food separated and organized. Keep in mind, it’s important to have designated boards for meat and fruits/veggies to avoid cross-contamination.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Having ingredients prepped in specified measured amounts, ready and waiting, can be a lifesaver. While eyeballing amounts may remind you of how mom cooks, being able to accurately follow a recipe is vital to learning how to cook like a chef at home.
2. Keep Your Knives Sharp
Not only will keeping your knives sharp keep you safer in the kitchen, it will also help you cook better. Sharp knives mean that food can be cut more easily and requires you to apply less pressure, preventing accidents. One of the essential skills in learning how to cook like a chef is proper care of cutlery. Likewise, watch chef learning videos to discover how to use whetstones and how to safely clean and sharpen cutlery.
3. Create a Cooking Notebook
If you want to learn how to learn to cook like a chef, then a smart move is planning out meals in advance. In cooking school, students are usually required to plan out the day’s meal, including appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Put this practice into place in your own kitchen! Using a notebook to plan out the week’s meals not only saves time; it creates a personal cookbook that you can refer to again and again.
4. Prep Everything
Let’s face it–prep is half the cooking battle! This is why bowls and containers are so important. If everything is measured, readied and in its own container, cooking can be simplified.
5. Waste Not, Want Not
Kitchen waste is often thrown into the trash. However, ingredients that would make their way into compost can extend your menu. Food scraps such as carrot tops, broccoli stalks, bones of all types, stale bread, and so on can be used to extend dishes and reduce your food budget. Make sure to research food scrap use when browsing YouTube for cooking tutorials.
6. Keep It Clean
Don’t let dishes build up! Another essential skill to learn when you teach yourself to be a chef is to clean dishes, measuring spoons and containers immediately. You can use your spare time to clean while you are waiting for dishes to bake or roast. Staying proactive about cleaning reduces cross-contamination and leaves those dishes and tools ready to go if you need them again.
7. Learn How to Disassemble a Whole Chicken
In your journey to teach yourself to be a chef, an essential skill is the ability to disassemble a whole chicken. There are many chef learning videos that cover chicken disassembly. These videos also cover how to use every piece of the chicken. As a result, you’ll have enough meat to supply meals for several days. Once you know how to use every piece of the chicken, including the gizzards and the bones, you’ll earn lots of cooking cred.
8. Master the Fine Art of Eggs
As you teach yourself to cook, you will find that egg mastery will enable you to bring together everything else in your kitchen. Eggs and egg whites can complement meats, vegetables, and fruit in amazing ways. Further, if you are dead tired after work and are at a loss for dinner ideas, omelets and crepes can be a quick, and tasty, meal.
Teach Yourself to Cook with CocuSocial
CocuSocial’s cooking classes are interactive, comprehensive, and fun. Our courses explain how to learn to cook like a chef, teaching you cooking best practices. Check out our courses and enroll now!