Cooking can be stressful and time-consuming, but it can also be fun, experimental, and cathartic. But no matter how you feel about cooking, most of us have to do it every once in a while. And if you ask most chefs, there are a number of things you can do at home to get more out of every cooking experience.
For those who love cooking, it can be an adventure. Experimenting with ingredients and playing around with flavor profiles and textures is like an art form.
The art of cooking is an act of creation. People who cook well often find that in being a good cook, you have to have an open mind and the patience to fail and try again. But it does not just work ethic that gets them through, it’s more of a passion.
But if you’re someone that doesn’t really cook much, it can be difficult to take the first steps. Especially nowadays, in the age of the coronavirus, when cooking at home has become more necessary, figuring out how to make cooking less tedious and painful can be a way to help pass the time and find some joy while staying at home.
A question that arises from this is, what makes cooking so difficult for so many people? And why do so many people shy away from it?
One of the biggest things stopping people from cooking is just how much time it takes. Especially if you’re someone that doesn’t cook often and doesn’t have many basic ingredients or cookware, finding everything you need in addition to prepping your food can take a much longer time than you’d like to spend.
Most people who cook regularly, have most of their ingredients already with them. And just as importantly, they have both the basic and specialized equipment that they need make their favorite dishes and try out new ones.
When starting to cook for the first few times, it can also take a lot more effort to really get into the groove of things. It’s because you’re starting from scratch, so a lot of techniques and tools will feel unfamiliar.
It’s unrealistic to expect that you’d have the same kind of ‘sixth sense’ about cooking like professionals or even just regular home cooks have. A lot of them don’t measure things and can just ‘eyeball’ textures and consistencies without actually having to do anything but look at it.
But once you’ve started to develop your own arsenal of cooking tips and tricks, you can start to explore a little more. For example, you can modify recipes and start substituting ingredients to use up things in your fridge or even to make the dish a little more to your own taste.
So, if you want to start cooking (or need to start cooking), some of the best things you can do to prepare yourself are to get the right equipment, know and understand your recipes well, and make time, for it because even though a recipe says it’ll take you 30 minutes total, you might need some extra time.
And start simple. You don’t need to be making extravagant trifles or roast right out of the gate. You can start with simple and fun recipes like soup, pasta, or even rice crispy treats
Though there are a lot of unnecessary kitchen tools on the market, there are a couple that is actually helpful. One of these is a digital thermometer.
Digital thermometers are some of the most useful and versatile tools you can add to your kitchen. You can use them in all kinds of dishes, from steak to roast chicken, and even for candy making.
If you don’t have a digital thermometer, you might be thinking, “well, why do I need one?”
Even if many recipes tell you what temperature to set your oven on or even how long to leave something on the stove, using a thermometer can help you make sure that your dish is actually where you want it to be. This is especially important for cooking meats just right and for many egg-based desserts too.
Though recipes try to be as detailed as possible, there’s still a lot of variation from the kitchen to kitchen. So, in addition to following the recipe’s guidelines, you should also be prepared to make your own judgments about the dish you’re preparing. A digital thermometer can help you with this.
Digital thermometers are often used to check the internal temperature of your dish. The internal temperature will let you know if you’ve cooked it enough or if it needs a little more time.
This can be especially crucial if you’re cooking something large like a roast. Even if the outside looks nice and browned, it’s vital that you make sure the inside is cooked all the way through. If it is, the temperature should be at a specific number. If it’s not you might’ve over-cooked it or under-cooked it.
Another example is when making candy. Candy making is very sensitive to the temperature of the sugar you’re heating. There are many stages that your sugar will go through as it gets heated, and which stage you want it at will depend on what kind of candy you’re making.
If you want a fudge-like candy, you need to stay in the softball range which is about 112 to 116 °C. On the other hand, if you want a soft crack candy-like saltwater taffy, you’ll need to be much higher, somewhere around 132 to 143 °C.
But with all this in mind, where should you start? To find the perfect thermometer for you, you should read GiftWits’s article, ‘2020 Best smoker grill thermometers on the market.’ It’ll help you find the perfect digital thermometer to fit your needs.
So if you haven’t spent a lot of time cooking but are looking to change that, start small and invest in good ingredients and good equipment. Soon enough, you might be the new chef among your families and friends.
Cooking is something that many people are very passionate about. And even if you’re not that good at it now, if you put in the time and effort, soon enough you’ll find yourself a master of the art form.
Food brings so many people together. There’s a whole culture around cooking and eating good food. And it’s amazing.
So, even if you’re not that excited to cook right now, try it out, and you might feel differently once you start to get a hang of it. And make sure you get your hands on a digital thermometer – it’s a lifesaver in the kitchen.