I wanted to list out my top 5 cooking tips for beginners because learning to cook can be overwhelming. I simplify my recommendations into 5 points when first getting in to the kitchen!
Beginner Cooking Tips
These beginner cooking tips are the first things I recommend when helping people get comfortable in the kitchen. And most of them happen BEFORE cooking starts! Check out the list below.
1. Read the recipes thoroughly before starting (and then read them again).
This is an important step and needs to happen before the cutting boards and baking sheets come out. Reading the recipe first will help you form your grocery list in the correct quantities, plan the amount of time needed to make the dish, determine which equipment you'll need, etc.
I suggest reading through a recipe multiple times to double check you have all of the ingredients and equipment. There is nothing worse than starting a recipe and realizing you don't have something you need!
2. Write out a full grocery list.
After reading the recipe(s), compile your grocery list. Having a physical list to bring to the grocery store can make shopping more efficient, as well as help to prevent some unnecessary purchases. On the topic of grocery lists, I like to have a running grocery list in my phone. I add random ingredients/foods as I think of them or we run out. That way I'm not forgetting what all we need whenever I'm at the store!
3. Check to see what you already have at home.
Once you've made a full grocery list, go through your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Move things around and check expiration dates! If you find things that you already have on-hand, cross them off or remove them from the list.
4. Use a good knife.
Groceries: check. Now you're in the kitchen! A high-quality, sharp knife is actually less likely to cause injury than a dull, lower quality knife. Higher quality knives are more precise and effective than dull knives. I recommend either purchasing a good knife or using a knife sharpener to make sure your knives are in good condition.
5. Be patient.
One of my biggest cooking tips for beginners is to be patient. Not only with the process, but with the recipes themselves. Don't rush a recipe! You may forget an ingredient or skip a step if you try to quickly finish a recipe. Cooking is a learning process and it's okay to fail. Failing will teach you a lesson for next time!
Bonus cooking tips for beginners!
- Invest in a Crock Pot or Instant Pot. These tools make life much easier, no matter how experienced you are in the kitchen. They allow you to throw ingredients into a pot, leave it for 10 minutes (Instant Pot) or a few hours to all day (Crock Pot), and it's done! There is minimal work involved outside of prepping the ingredients.
- Either write out or make a mental list of what needs to be done for all of the recipes you're making. For example, if you're making 2-3 recipes as part of your weekly meal prep, chop all the veggies at the same time, season the meat, etc. This allows you to be more efficient while cooking!
- Start with simple recipes. Some of my favorites are:
- Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
- Chipotle Pulled Pork (a good slow cooker recipe!)
- Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad (a no-cook recipe outside of the chicken!)
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Spicy Peanut Noodles Recipe
- Check out my meal prep guide! It explains my 5 ways to efficiently meal prep without spending hours in the kitchen. If you're learning to cook and don't want to spend a ton of time cooking, this guide is for you - get it here!
Cooking Tips for Beginners
I hope these tips have helped you feel more comfortable in the kitchen. Please rate and review this post below and feel free to ask any questions! I love all things food and cooking so I'm here to help 🙂
This was so helpful. I'm new to cooking and it's very overwhelming so these tips helped!
I'm so glad, Kay! It can be a lot at first but one step at a time 🙂
I will definitely be trying some of these tips. I'm not a fan of cooking but these make it sound more manageable. Thanks for sharing!
Of course, Mary! I hope you find them helpful. Cooking definitely gets better the more you do it.