Want to learn how to cook in college? Here are the most essential cooking tips for young adults.
Learning how to cook can feel super daunting. It seems like there is so much to learn and it can be intimidating if you know nothing. As someone who cooked her way through college, I am going to share the most essential cooking tips I think you need to make cooking feel fun and easy.
You are going to learn simple cooking tips everyone should know and how to use different cooking methods to make cooking easier.
After learning about these best cooking tips and tricks, you are going to be more prepared to start cooking and even feel excited to put your new skills to the test.
This post is all about the most essential cooking tips you need as a beginner in the kitchen.
Essential Cooking Skills For Students
1. How to cook the perfect chicken breast
Chicken is one of the most versatile proteins you can make for yourself. It can be the main focus of your meal or mixed into countless others. Making boneless, skinless chicken breasts are completely customizable. You can choose the cooking method and the seasoning to make whatever kind of chicken you’re craving. Determine if your preferred method is to grill, bake, or sear and master that method.
2. Seasoning your food
I live by the motto that you should season with your soul. Since everyone has a different taste preference, it’s best to figure out your preference and stick to that. For basically any food you can season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder as a minimum. Season your food from a higher point to make sure it is evenly distributed.
3. Roasting veggies
If you tend to not enjoy your veggies, try roasting them. Roasting brings out the full flavor profile of vegetables and provides a great texture versus the possible sogginess that steaming creates. Preheat your oven (usually to about 375) and place veggies on a cooking sheet. Toss with a fat like olive oil and whatever seasonings you’d like. Cook until the desired doneness.
4. Add salt and olive oil to pasta
I used to think you added salt to the water to help it boil, but it actually enhances the flavor. Stir in a tablespoon of salt until it dissolves. Adding a splash of olive oil prevents the pasta from sticking together and adds richness to the noodles. If you choose to opt out of the oil, don’t rinse your pasta. The starches will help the sauce stick better.
5. Always keep your essentials on hand
You know when you look through the kitchen and feel like you have nothing to eat? By keeping a few essentials on hand, you can always have the option of making one of your go-to meals. As you start familiarizing yourself with cooking, the essentials will also help you to explore your creativity in the kitchen as well.
6. Keep your knives sharp
A lot of people are nervous to start using knives. Surprisingly, keeping your knives sharp make them safer to use. By keeping them sharp, you end up with more precise cuts. It’s also less likely that you will cut yourself since you can use less pressure with the knife. You can easily find a knife sharpener like this one.
7. Crack eggs on a flat surface
Cracking eggs is best done on a flat surface. When you use a bowl, you risk the shell breaking into the egg when you empty the shell. If you happen to get a small piece of egg in the bowl after you’ve cracked it, use part of the shell to dig it out instead of your fingers.
8. Let meat sit before cutting
There are few things worse than dry meat. When you finish cooking your chicken or steak, let it sit for a few minutes before cutting. This allows the juices to settle and the meat to maintain its tenderness and flavor.
9. Store your food properly
To prevent wasting food, it’s an essential cooking skill to learn how to store your food. Most items will be labeled but there are a few tricks to keep in mind. Store seasonings in a cool dark place, away from the heat of the stove. Prepping veggies ahead of time can help them keep longer in the fridge.
10. Master basic knife skills
There are many ways to use knives in the kitchen. Now that you keep your knives sharp, it’s time to learn the basic skills needed. First, you want to make sure to protect your fingers while cutting. To do this, turn your fingers in while holding whatever you’re cutting like a bear claw. Some other basic skills are dicing, slicing, and mincing.
11. Don’t use a knife to scrape food off the cutting board
In line with keeping your knives sharp, pretty please with a cherry on top, do not scrape your knife across your cutting board. Instead, try using a bench scraper or your hands to scoop the ingredients.
12. When using a recipe, read all the way through first
There is nothing worse than trying a new recipe and missing a step or making a mistake that could have been avoided. I like to read through the whole recipe as well as the comments. This also means you probably don’t want to wait until you’re starving to look at the recipe.
13. Make your own salad dressing
Making your own salad dressing is one of my favorite cooking tricks. Not only can you completely customize the flavors, but you can avoid all the added junk. Another great aspect is you don’t have a bunch of condiment bottles floating around your fridge. The base of any dressing is an oil and an acid (vinegar or lime/lemon juice), salt, and pepper. Then you can additional flavors like herbs, sweetener, garlic, or mustard.
This post gave you 13 essential cooking tips that every beginner chef should know.
Related posts you may like: