Starting to cook for yourself at home can feel like a daunting task, especially if you haven’t spent a lot of time in the kitchen but breaking it down into simple steps can make the whole thing more manageable.
Read on to find out how to get started with home cooking that will have you rustling up tasty dishes in no time.
What Should You Invest in to Make it Easier?
The right kitchen tools will make cooking easier and more enjoyable. That doesn’t mean you need to invest in every single new gadget but ensuring you have some good quality basics will set you up for success.
A good-quality, sharp knife and chopping board are essential for food preparation along with a fruit and vegetable peeler. A blender or food processor is a bigger investment but is ideal for making homemade soups and sauces.
You’ll also get better results if you invest in the correct cookware such as induction pan sets and oven dishes for making simple yet delicious meals like casseroles, lasagne and traybakes.
Once you’ve invested in your kitchen equipment, be sure to familiarise yourself with how best to take care of it, for example, learn how to safely store and sharpen your kitchen knives and how to clean non-stick pans and cookware without damaging them.
Which Cook Books Are Good For Beginners?
There are cookbooks for every occasion, whether you’re looking for simple, family meals that can be rustled up quickly for weekday evenings or you want to make healthier food choices.
There are also cookbooks for those with specific dietary requirements, like vegetarians, vegans or people living with conditions such as coeliac disease and diabetes.
Cookbooks that are geared towards beginners contain easy-to-follow recipes that have clear step-by-step instructions, along with plenty of pictures and helpful resources such as stock cupboard essentials, what equipment you’ll need and guidelines on measurements and serving sizes.
If you’re new to cooking, then How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman is a good cookbook to start with as it contains over 2,000 simple recipes along with tips and advice.
Another great beginner cookbook is Joy of Cooking, which was first published back in 1931 but has been revamped and revised for modern home chefs.
You might also want to check out Leiths How to Cook and look out for cookbooks aimed at students as these often contain easy-to-make, thrifty recipes.
What Are the Benefits of Cooking For Yourself?
There are many benefits to cooking for yourself. For one thing, it can be a huge confidence boost, particularly if it’s something you’ve never tried before. Learning to master new skills and prepare new dishes is a great way to raise your self-esteem.
Cooking is also good for lowering stress and improving mood, making it ideal for anyone struggling to manage their stress levels or feeling low.
This is because cooking takes focus and concentration, which takes your mind off difficulties or issues that you may have in other areas of your life and prevents you from becoming stuck in a negative thought cycle. It can also stimulate your senses and increase endorphins (feel-good hormones.)
Home cooking is also a great way to bond with others, whether it’s cooking a meal from scratch alongside a friend or partner or preparing a delicious dish for your family that you can sit down and eat together. Cooking at home is also better for your wallet, better for your health and boosts creativity too!