What Makes a Good At-Home Cook? | Food

There’s so much value in learning how to cook a good meal at home. And we mean that literally: it’s a lot cheaper to prepare a delicious meal in your kitchen, rather than having to pay someone else to make the dish for you at a restaurant. Plus, it’s just a valuable skill. You’ll need to make dishes at home anyway, so you may as well have the capacity to make dishes that you truly enjoy eating. 

And this isn’t as difficult as you might think. If you know the qualities that a great at-home cook possesses, then you can work on adding them to your own life. In this post, we’ll run through some of the essential characteristics that’ll help to push your meals forward.

cook a good meal at home - pic - spaghetti on a fork

Pexels – CC0 Licence

Knows How to Use The Ingredients They Have

A good cook doesn’t say “there’s nothing in the kitchen we can use to make a meal.” There’s always something in the kitchen you can use! It’s all about knowing how to put those ingredients together. If you’re not sure how to do this, then start with a little help from the good old internet. There are websites that’ll allow you to input the ingredients you have, and it’ll throw out a recipe for you. Once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll just become familiar with the process, and begin doing it yourself. 

OK With Challenging Themselves

We all have those go-to dishes when we cook a good meal at home that we can make in twenty minutes blindfolded. While you’ll want to have them in your arsenal of dishes (sometimes we’re tired and just need a quick meal), it’s also important to challenge yourself from time to time. By that, we mean making dishes that are a little more complex than what you’re used to, and which require you to use new skills. Your dishes might not turn out perfectly every single time, but if you incorporate this approach into your at-home cooking, then eventually you’ll find that you can produce some truly awesome dishes. 

Can Scale Up/Down To Cook A Good Meal At Home

The ability to adapt recipes for the number of people that will be eating is an underrated skill. You might be good at making dishes for yourself, your partner, or your kids, but what about when you want to host a larger dinner party for your friends and extended family? Can you still produce the same dish then, without any dip in quality? The process of scaling up (or down) is more complex than just doubling the amount of food that you include. You usually need to manage the cooking times more intently and learn how to serve food before some items become cold. 

Knows the Value of Starters and Desserts

An acceptable cook will produce a delicious main meal. A good cook will know how to produce a delicious meal. The main dish might be the star of the show, but if you can supplement it with a great starter and even better dessert, then you’ll be onto a winning meal. A delicious salad or soup can open the meal, while this fudge recipe from PreppyKitchen can help to give your guests a delicious end to the evening. As well as the starter/ beginner, think about which drinks will work well with your dish. Depending on what you’re serving, there may be a special beverage that can serve to bring additional sparkle to proceedings. 

A Patient Attitude

Patience is a virtue, and this becomes all the more clear when you’re eating a meal that has not been rushed. It’s true that, sometimes, we just want to get things over and done with, but you can always taste the difference when the cook has taken this approach. A great meal takes time — or, at least, it shouldn’t be rushed. Learn the art of enjoying the process of cooking, rather than just the outcome, and you’ll be able to give the meal the care and attention it deserves. Pro tip: don’t cook while you’re hungry, since you’ll only cut corners so you can eat sooner. Instead, keep a few light snacks handy to keep starvation at bay when you want to cook a good meal at home.

A Good Sense of Taste

Finally, you can improve the quality of your meals by learning how to taste your dishes critically. If you have a good sense of taste, then you’ll know when you’ve hit the dish out of the park, and when it wasn’t your best effort. Some ways to improve your taste are to exercise, drink plenty of water, avoid smoking, and to eat consciously. 

Love Lilla xx

Looking for Something?