How to Get Started Cooking

Learning to CookCooking is an activity that happens every day all over the world. Everyone needs to eat! From the most simplistic meals of bread, rice and beans to the elaborate five-course meal, food must be prepared as one of the most basic, and hopefully enjoyable, parts of life. Yet, as elementary as it is, cooking must be approached seriously and safely.

Before a person turns on the oven or stovetop burner or plugs in a small counter-top appliance, he or she must understand the safe and proper usage of the item. Always read the instruction booklet accompanying each one. Also, know your utensils, knives, pots, pans and measuring devices – cups and spoons. A good general cooking guide or online instruction tutorial can give invaluable information as you get started.

Next, you must consider personal safety. Always wear an apron when cooking. It will protect your clothes, but also your skin from spills and splatters. You will need oven mitts to protect your arms and hands from hot pots and pans and potholders or trivets to set beneath your hot cookware. Do not wear loose or dangling sleeves around your wrists while cooking; they can come in contact with flames or hot liquids causing burns.

Once you know your appliances, understand your kitchen implements and have the proper clothing, mitts and potholders you can enjoy browsing through cookbooks. A good place to start is learning the different methods to prepare an egg. You can boil a fresh egg until it’s cooked inside or hard-boiled. You can scramble an egg by stirring it briskly in a bowl then pouring it into a medium-hot ceramic cookware skillet containing a small amount of cooking oil. You can also fry an egg by breaking it open and releasing it whole into a hot pan of oil and turning it to cook on both sides. A good beginning cookbook will walk you through these steps, many times with photos to accompany each task, in the cooking process. Another good way to start is by preparing hot cereal. Follow the package directions and take your time. Hot cereal can provide instant cooking success!

When you’re ready to follow an introductory recipe choose one having only three or four ingredients such as a grilled cheese sandwich or simple pasta dish. Read the recipe through two or three times to ensure you understand the cooking techniques required and have all the ingredients. Again, a good beginning cookbook is an indispensible tool for safety, explanation and instruction.

When you have mastered several simple dishes, try one with more ingredients that utilizes greater skill and technique. Remember, people around the world are cooking every day. You can too!