The Easiest Ways to Cook at Home For 2022
When I was at school I was one of the few boys in my year who chose to study “Home Economics” (later rebranded as “Food Technology”) rather than preferencing woodwork, metal work or graphic design. Indeed, while I had little desire to spend Wednesday afternoons planing wood and splintering my fingers, I had an insatiable hunger to eat at least 3 times most days so it just made sense.
Looking back, even though I was far from a model Food Tech student, it is clear that those adolescent hours gave me the core life skills that set me on the road to being a perfectly competent domestic chef who has cooked his own food all over the world.
And it turns out that this is something of an anomaly amongst my generation. An astonishing 1 in 10 people surveyed admitted to struggling to even boil an egg, and this figure increases to an alarming 1 in 5 among millennials. Indeed, it seems that a generation raised on Uber-eats and Door Dash has been rendered genuinely incapable of feeding itself.
However, there are some encouraging signs that this worrying trend may be abating. Although the 2020 lockdowns were a real boon for the take out industry, sales of cookbooks and home cooking utensils also soared, indicating that many of us now finally had the time on hands to start taking cooking at home a little more seriously.
In this post we are going to give you some practical tips to help you learn to cook and get started cooking at home!
Tidy Your Kitchen
Just as Jordan Peterson started his (rather boring) bestseller ‘12 Rules For Life’ with a command to go and “tidy our rooms”, so I am beginning my ‘Half A Dozen For Cooking’ with an invitation to go and tidy and clean your kitchen.
When you are cooking, your kitchen is your creative space. Whether you choose to view it as your laboratory or your studio this is where the magic is going to happen. In order for you to feel relaxed in your kitchen, you need space to be able to move around properly (this is also kind of a health and safety concern as well). Remove any clutter and ensure all worktops are clear and properly washed. If you can also give your fridge and oven a good clean and get your kitchen truly sparkling, then I assure you the kitchen will become a room you long to be in!
Buy Some Gear
If you went and bought every single kitchen implement that Amazon suggested you need, then you’d run out of both money and kitchen space quite fast (and afterall, you just de-cluttered your kitchen). But in practice, you really don’t need a lot of special gear to get started in your kitchen (for example, nobody needs a garlic press).
However, there are a few absolute essentials which I am going to recommend. Firstly, above all you need at least one good quality knife that can cut easily through thick veg and chunky slabs of meat. Seriously, the right knife can make all the difference between enjoying your time in the kitchen and stubbornly fighting your way through it. In fact, having a bad knife can be outright dangerous as it increases your risk of cutting yourself. In an ideal world, you’d have a whole range of good knives but for now, don’t come home until you’ve spent at least $20 on a big, stainless steel, kitchen knife.
Also make sure you have a good, non-stick wok with a lid. You can make a LOT of easy to make, simple, delicious meals just using a wok and I for one, use mine every single day.
Meal Kits/Food Subscriptions
By far, one the most successful ways to get into the habit of cooking up your own healthy, nutritious, delicious meals is by using meal kits. Meal kits are food subscriptions which you sign up to and each week a delivery of fresh, measured out ingredients is sent to you along with an easy to follow recipe talking you how to whip it up into a meal.
The most popular Meal kit provider is HelloFresh but there are plenty of others available via subscription. Meal kits take all of the hard work out of home cooking – they do all the planning, thinking and shopping for you making them ideal for inexperienced chefs.
Get an Easy To Follow Cookbook
You can learn a lot from books. Quantum physics, the art of lovemaking and the aforementioned ‘12 Rules For Life’ taught me exactly what boredom truly is. Cookbooks are long established as great ways to help home cooks with mealtime inspiration whilst telling them exactly what to do.
The trick is to search for a beginners cookbook or one that delivers quick, ‘30 minute meals’ for example.
Note that even simple cookbooks routinely call for a whole raft of ingredients, sauces and spices which you may never have heard of and which you may well only ever use once – if you come across an obscure ingredient, then have a google to see if it can be substituted for something you do have.
Follow YouTube Chefs
If you are more of a visual learner, then there are now loads of great YouTube chefs making easy to follow walk through cooking videos. The only issue is that using your laptop in the working-kitchen can result in a bad case of “splodgy screen”.
Stock Up Your Spice Rack & Sauce Shelf
Whilst it isn’t practical or cost effective to stock up on every spice and sauce you will ever need in a recipe, there are some staples that every home kitchen should have. Make sure you have Oil (Olive, Veg or both), Salt and Pepper, Butter (use low fat if you want), and some classic ever-green herbs like Parsley, Basil, Coriander and Oregano. If you like your food hot, add some Chilli Powder and Paprika to that.
In terms of sauces, Soy is very versatile, fish juice is great for asian cuisine and my personal tip is to get yourself some Worcester Sauce which you can add to pretty much anything.
If you are new to the world of cooking your own food, then welcome! It is a lifelong journey and you will always be learning new things as you grow and of course, as your tastes change. I hope you found this guide at least a little bit useful and wish you all the best!