Success in the kitchen means some quick planning before you begin. Here are some useful tip to get you started.
Set up your kitchen
Before you start cooking it's a good idea to give yourself as much space as you can to cook up a delicious meal. Move things out of they way that you are not going to need so you have space to lay out all the ingredients that you are going to need.
Read the recipe
Have you ever read a recipe only to still not know where to start? Have you ever gotten halfway through cooking something and realised you missed a key step? These are common setbacks in the kitchen that can be avoided by getting prepared before you start cooking.
Reading a recipe is as easy as read, check & cook:
Be prepared & read through the WHOLE recipe first. The ingredient list will tell you what food you need and how much of it.
The METHOD will tell you each step you need to take.
Do you have all the ingredients & utensils you need? Is anything missing? Sometimes we need to be creative. For example:
- If the recipe asks for a vegetable to be grated but you don’t have a greater – chop up the vegetable in fine pieces instead!
- Don’t have all the ingredients? Think about what you could substitute in it’s place. Check out this useful blog post by Choice – Food Substitutes or this one on how to replace an egg in a recipe:
Now you have done some prep work it's time to start cooking! Head over to our Cook section to try some easy recipes.
You don’t need fancy utensils or measuring devices to cook up a delicious meal! Using a strict approach when following a recipe can be very stressful and could turn you off cooking altogether! Cooking should be a fun experience and with a little practice you will become a pro in no time!
How to get started
Let’s start with a few standard measurements, and how you can begin to “feel” and “see” how much they represent. According to Sara Tane of myrecipes think of measurements like this:
- 1 cup as the size of your fist
- ½ cup as the size of tennis ball
- ¼ cup as the size of an egg
- 1 tablespoon to be about the size of your thumb
- 1 teaspoon is about the size of the top joint of your index finger
This might seem overwhelming, but as you eyeball more and more, you’ll become increasingly comfortable. If you go overboard with something on accident, you can always correct your mistake by adding a little bit more of something else.
https://www.myrecipes.com/convenience/how-to-cook-without-measuring-cups-and-spoons how can we embed the video??
For other tips on measuring when you don't have all the utensil you need check out this video by FoodBank:
Food hygiene – getting ready to cook
Now that you have cleared your kitchen space, read the recipe through a few times, made sure you have all the utensils & ingredients required - you are almost ready to cook! Before you start cooking there are some important steps to take:
- Tie long hair up.
- Remove jewellery and watches.
- Remove jumpers and roll up long sleeves.
- Thoroughly wash and dry hands.
For information on kitchen safety and head over to the Learn Cook Eat Kitchen Safety page.