Though most people love the idea of a home-cooked meal, home delivery or eating out sounds much easier after a long day at work. Cooking at home becomes a tiring chore that you can avoid. Eating at a restaurant or ordering may be convenient, but cooking at home is the easiest way of improving your health.
Convenience food has high chemical additives, preservatives, sugars, calories, and unhealthy fat. These are reasons why you should learn how to cook at home more. Some benefits of eating a home-cooked meal include spending less, eating healthier, and saving time.
Here are some tips on how to cook more at home.
Invest in a kitchen that meets your needs
A kitchen that feels comfortable to work in will encourage you to learn how to cook at home more. The design, style, color, and accessories should fit your style. If the kitchen doesn’t meet all your needs, the first step would be to contact a home interior renovation company to assist with kitchen remodeling. If kitchen remodeling is costly, consider financing options such as a home equity loan.
You don’t need a big kitchen to enjoy cooking; a well-organized one with a proper layout will make cooking comfortable. Remove clutter and ensure there is enough workspace to prepare your meals. Make your workspace a priority. Create a work triangle with easy access to your food preparation area, cooker, and refrigerator. Such a setup will minimize movement in the kitchen.
Have enough storage to keep away all the appliances and utensils that are not in use. A kitchen cabinet designer will help with ensuring you have adequate storage space. Frequently-used kitchen tools should be easily accessible on nearby drawers or customized storage accessories. A kitchen cabinet designer can assist you with optimizing your space.
Have the right equipment
Having the right kitchen tools, appliances, devices, and gadgets makes preparation and cooking more enjoyable, quick, and efficient. If your kitchen lacks essential appliances, you won’t be motivated to learn how to cook at home more. However, you can contact an appliance dealer and purchase the necessary equipment.
A vegetable and onion chopper is one of the tools that can make food preparation easy and fast. Most people hate cutting onions and associate it with tears, but a chopper will cut your onions into tiny pieces stress-free. A pressure cooker is also ideal for boiling grains and preparing them quickly. Many options are available; some, especially the electric ones, work as pressure cookers, steamers, and slow cookers. Blenders, food processors, and microwaves will make your work in the kitchen easier.
Water coolers will also provide access to fresh cold water, especially during the summer. You may need cold water for certain cooking tasks such as blanching. Water coolers are environmentally friendly because they reduce the use of plastic water bottles.
Invest in a good sink
Sinks are essential when preparing, washing, and chopping various ingredients. They make these tasks simple. However, the wrong choice of a sink or one with poor drainage that keeps clogging can make you dislike cooking. Investing in the right sink can make you feel comfortable and enjoy your time in the kitchen. Eventually, you will learn how to cook at home more.
Many aspects go into a sink’s design and style. A good sink should be deep with straight sides, providing more space to place dishes. The deep sink bowl will allow you to immerse large pans and pots without over-splashing. A flat-bottomed surface and tight corners will let you arrange dishes and glasses without tipping over. You can install more than one sink, making cleaning dishes easier and faster.
There are numerous sink options, depending on your style. Sinks significantly affect the aesthetics of your kitchen. The sink can be porcelain, stainless steel, composite, or concrete. It all depends on your preference and budget. When installing a kitchen sink, plumbing is a key factor to consider. Look for drainage solutions that will prevent clogs. Consider installing a garbage disposal unit under the sink.
An under-sink water heater is a great addition to your kitchen. You can easily install a point-of-use water heater without interfering with the existing plumbing. This will provide a constant hot water supply to clean your dishes and other tasks that may require hot water.
Avoid comparing home-cooked meals with restaurant food.
Restaurant food is prepared and cooked by trained chefs with the right equipment. Comparing what a restaurant chef makes to home-cooked meals is not only unfair but will discourage you from cooking at home. It isn’t easy to achieve a restaurant-grade meal unless you are a chef. Understanding that restaurant food is different from home cooking is one way of learning how to cook at home more.
Don’t forget that more goes into enjoying your restaurant food, other than the food itself. The music, interactions, and atmosphere all add to the experience. You cannot achieve such a setting at home. Furthermore, you will focus your senses on preparing the meal rather than relaxing and having a nice time.
Start small with simple recipes
The key to any new habit is starting small and working to the next level. You cannot jump from not cooking at all to cooking two or three meals a day every day. Learning how to cook at home more is a process that will take time. Start by cooking once a week, and increase the frequency as you get comfortable.
Don’t think of cooking as a complicated task that should be left to the chefs. Simplifying makes cooking more fun. The only way to cook for enjoyment is to forget about perfection and avoid complicated recipes. Cooking simple meals that don’t need a lot of preparation and time is one great way of learning how to cook at home more.
The trick is to prepare one-pan and one-pot meals, especially if you live alone. Sheet pan recipes are the way to start. Such recipes include foods you can put on a pan and cook in the oven. Foods such as lentils are also easy to cook and nutritious. Embracing one-pot recipes will also save you from dealing with a mountain of dirty utensils in the sink.
Learn how to make your favorite meals
Eating healthier is one of the reasons why most people cook at home. Most people focus on cooking healthier meals while learning to cook at home more. However, this may discourage beginners because they might not enjoy what they cook. The healthiest meals are not always the favorite.
Experts recommend allowing your food cravings to decide what you cook. But if you are craving a meal you don’t know how to cook, chances are that you will be eating out or ordering it. The big mission is “how to cook at home more,” and learning your favorite meals is a step towards achieving it. Learning to cook your favorite meal may take several tries, but it will feel good knowing you can satisfy yourself.
As you gain experience and comfort, you can introduce healthier foods into your diet. Learn how to prepare these meals and make them more delicious. Healthy food doesn’t have to be less flavorful. You will gradually introduce your taste buds to less fatty and saltier foods.
Keep your kitchen well stocked
It’s annoying having to run to the store every time you want to cook or realizing that you don’t have a certain ingredient when you are halfway through the process. To avoid this, make sure that your kitchen is well stocked all the time. If learning how to cook at home more requires you to turn your kitchen into a grocery store, don’t be afraid to do so.
One way to ensure you have all your cooking supplies whenever you need them is to plan your shopping trips in advance. Prepare yourself to go shopping when you are free or over the weekend. Sit down and plan what you will cook in the next few days and what you need. Check what is remaining, so you don’t have too much of a specific ingredient. Make a grocery list so that you don’t forget anything.
For some people, the most challenging part of cooking is finding the time and energy to go shopping. However, it doesn’t mean that you cannot cook at home. Grocery delivery services will get everything you need to your doorstep. You don’t have to face crowds, walk around the store looking for what you want, and queue anymore.
When you are learning how to cook at home more, it is challenging to know what amount of a given spice to add. The best way to make sure you balance all your spices is to stock up on pre-mixed sauces and spice blends. Such blends will save you and make every meal you cook exotic.
Prepare larger portions
The luxury of refrigeration allows us to cook larger portions and reduce cooking time. One trick to learning how to cook at home more is preparing enough food and having leftovers for the following day. You will also eat home-cooked meals for more days in a week but cook less.
Some people prefer cooking for the entire week over the weekend, but this is much more work, and you might be hesitant to do it. But eating twice after cooking once is less tiring and more efficient. You can repurpose leftovers into new meals to avoid getting bored.
Cook for others
Cooking for one may be tough and discouraging, but cooking for several people motivates you to put in the effort and time to prepare a nutritious meal. However, it does not mean that you can’t share a meal if you live alone. Cooking is more exciting when you have people over.
Instead of meeting friends and family for coffee or a meal at a restaurant, why don’t you invite them over and showcase your cooking skills? You will be surprised how many people would love to share a home-cooked meal with you. They may even teach you a few kitchen tricks and hacks. However, start by inviting those you’re comfortable with; remember, you are still learning and not yet an expert.
Pass the home cooking routine along
Don’t let the home cooking tradition become extinct. Make dining out a treat and cooking at home the standard. A few decades ago, dining out was a special occasion and a reason to get dressed up. But today, eating out is more common than cooking food at home. Home-cooking all your weekday meals and rewarding yourself with eating out on the weekend sound better.
After you have learned how to cook at home more and it has become a habit, one way of staying motivated is instilling the same in those around you. Share recipes and teach them how to cook. Once they learn, they will be pleased to invite you over for a home-cooked meal.
Consider an outdoor kitchen
An outdoor kitchen is a perfect way of adding fun to cooking. It is a great way to relax with friends and family. Instead of treating your family or friends by taking them to eat out, why don’t you invite them for cold drinks and a barbecue in your outdoor kitchen? An outdoor kitchen is a convenient and versatile way of enjoying time together outdoors.
You can add several accessories, appliances, and features to ensure your guests enjoy their time in the outdoor kitchen. An outdoor grill, compact refrigerator, vent panels, and a trash bin are the basic accessories for an outdoor kitchen. Outdoor AC installation will help beat the heat, and you can cook in your outdoor kitchen, entertain, and enjoy even in summer.
Building an at-home cooking habit isn’t easy. But identifying what can make it easier will make learning how to cook at home more enjoyable. Give cooking at home a shot with these tips.