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4 Ways to Become a Better Cook

Cooking is an art form just like anything else. The same way a painter needs practice, creativity, patience, and intimate familiarity with their craft to become a master, so too does the chef need those things to grow and succeed. 

4 Ways to Become a Better Cook

Cooking is an art form just like anything else. The same way a painter needs practice, creativity, patience, and intimate familiarity with their craft to become a master, so too does the chef need those things to grow and succeed. 

The thing about any form of art is that it takes much more than a couple of classes to see significant progress. The artist needs to be inspired by consuming other art and needs the right materials to help them refine their craft to the best of their abilities. While a master artist may be able to make-do with a cheap child’s paintbrush, the things they can do with a high-quality brush made of top-tier materials are endless. 

The same can be said for cooking. While a master chef may be able to whip up a great meal with an old or poorly-made pan, ceramic non-stick pans will enable them to create something twice as amazing.

But you don’t have to be an aspiring master chef to want to become better at cooking, nor do you have to shell out the big bucks to go to culinary school or take dozens of classes a year. Here are a few simple and achievable ways you can improve as a cook, whether you’re doing so to be a better dinner party host or simply for yourself.

Immerse Yourself In the Art of Cooking

Have you ever heard of a writer who absolutely despises reading anything? Or an artist who has never been to a museum or gallery or admired anyone else’s art? More than likely, the answer is no. This is because a major key to succeeding at your craft is by consuming it from other people. 

If you’re looking to become a better cook, make it a priority to try new restaurants and unique dishes that will expand your palette and your perspective of what makes a great meal. Chances are, you’ll find a dish that will inspire you to try something new or learn about a new spice that you can’t wait to throw into your next meal. 

If you want a little more, watch cooking shows or read books from top chefs and bakers. Simply watching other people cook and learning about their special relationship and journey with cooking will inspire you to find your own connection with the fine art of cooking.  

Invest In the Right Cookware

After practicing for a while, most artists will continue to upgrade the kinds of materials they use—the softest brushes, the thickest canvases, the most high-quality paints and pastels. The same can be said for chefs. While anyone can cook with the materials they’re given, your learning journey will be so much easier with the best cookware money can buy. Though you’ll need to invest a bit more money, the quality, ease, and durability that comes from top-notch cookware is priceless. Start with great ceramic non-stick pans, a quality set of knives, and a one-dish-wonder piece of cookware like a Dutch oven or cast iron pan (ceramic non-stick pans can also do the trick here) Having a collection of well-made essentials at home will make it easier to expand your skills.

Practice Mise-en-Place

This French saying is one of the first things taught in culinary school. Simply put, it refers to the art of putting everything in its place. 

Practicing mise-en-place means getting all of your ingredients and supplies prepared and organized before you start cooking. This is the foundation of any great meal, no matter how complex or how simple it may be.

Make sure you’ve put all essential supplies and appliances out on the table and chopped, sliced or grated all of your ingredients before you begin putting everything together. Making mise-en-place a habit will make cooking so much simpler and less chaotic. Though it may seem like it takes a lot of time from the beginning, you’ll eventually get into a flow with it and realize just how much time it actually ends up saving you in the long run.

Find Your Joy In Cooking

Becoming a great cook doesn’t necessarily mean you need to put the pressure on yourself to master every style of cooking. The more you practice cooking, the more you’ll find your niche – namely, the types of dishes that bring you the most joy to cook. 

Maybe soups aren’t your thing, but everyone who tries one of your pasta dishes can’t stop talking about it for the next two months. Pasta might become your specialty and the thing you love to cook the most. If that’s the case, lean into that! While it’s great to expand your skill set and learn how to cook the essentials well, there’s nothing wrong with finding your sweet spot and making that the thing you focus on the most. 

Conclusion

Cooking is an art form that can be very personal and therapeutic. From investing in high-quality cookware like a good set of ceramic non-stick pans to practicing the finer details, we can all improve if that’s what we desire. Ultimately, the biggest key to becoming a great cook is simply falling in love with the art and following what calls to you most.