How to Become a Better Cook: 4 Helpful Tips

study in 2021 on about 2,000 people uncovered that the average Australian is comfortable with their cooking skills. However, the study also found that these people ironically only knew how to make five dishes without looking at the recipe. Interesting, isn’t it?

Now listen, cooking can be hard. Especially for those who weren’t raised in the kitchen or taught proper cooking skills. But don’t fret!

There’s no need to have amazing cooking skills– unless you’re trying to compete on the Food Network, that is. But if you’re wondering how to become a better cook, there is always something you can learn from others. Keep reading for four tips on how to get better at cooking.

Learn What Flavours Blend Well Together

A common amateur cooking mistake is to use flavours that don’t match well together. Sometimes this ends in poor-tasting food, other times the flavours just neutralize each other. Learning how to improve your cooking skills includes knowing what flavours complement each other.

A good place to start is by examining the profile of different spices. Nutmeg can complement cinnamon well, for example, but paprika and brown sugar might not taste very well. Experiment and pay attention to recipe patterns!

Use the Right Equipment

Are you still using that same old frying pan you got from grandma five years ago? We all love a good hand-me-down (and free stuff in general), but having the right equipment is crucial to improving your cooking skills!

You’ll want to invest in the best cooking supplies that fit your budget. This includes whatever appliances you need and other reliable supplies. Don’t underestimate the power of a niche appliance (such as an air fryer), they can save your life sometimes!

If you’re looking for high-quality cooking equipment, you should try classic or polished cast iron skillets and pots. Cast iron skillets and pots add flavour and texture to food, so don’t miss out on getting one!

From left: Cuisineart Express Oven Air Fryer, Chasseur Round French Oven, Joseph Joseph Nest Plus 9 Piece Bowl Set. and Tefal Hard Anodised Specialty Grill Pan.

Master the Recipe First, Then Consider Experimenting

You’ve heard the saying by Dalai Lama: “Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.” While this probably wasn’t intended for cooking it still works!

Look up a few recipes that you’d be willing to try a few times. Read it thoroughly and follow it to the very last grain of salt. The next few times, adjust it slightly according to your taste.

Once you have a firm grasp of it and can make it from memory, then comes the fun. You can now start experimenting! 

Want to replace the chicken in the recipe with tofu? Go for it!

Want to half the Sriracha and add agave syrup to balance the flavour? The choice is yours. Just be sure to master the recipe first, then try out new methods.

Remember “Mise en Place” When Thinking of How to Become a Better Cook

Mise en place is a French term that roughly means “everything is in place”. In cooking terms, this means that all the ingredients are prepared before the cooking starts.

You can prep sometime before you start or even the night before. Cut and wash your produce, get the spices and utensils out, thaw and marinate the meat, and preheat the oven. If you wait to start everything while you cook, there’s a high probability something will go awry. 

Need More Help?

These are just a few tips on how to become a better cook. Ultimately, the cooking experience is all up to trial and error, so don’t be scared to fail a few times. 

And no, you don’t need to go to culinary school to become an adept cook. 

If you would like more advice on cooking or yummy food news, please visit the food section of our blog!