How to start learning cooking?

Learning to cook can be a rewarding and enjoyable journey. Whether you’re a complete novice or someone looking to refine your skills, here is a comprehensive guide to starting your culinary adventure.

1. Setting the Foundation

Understanding the Basics: Begin with understanding basic cooking terms and techniques. Familiarize yourself with common cooking methods like boiling, sautéing, baking, roasting, grilling, and steaming. Knowing these will help you follow recipes more effectively.

Gather Essential Tools: Start with basic kitchen tools. You don’t need a fully stocked kitchen to begin with. Essential tools include:

  • Knives: A chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife.
  • Cutting Board: Preferably one for vegetables and another for meats to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Pots and Pans: A medium-sized pot, a frying pan, and a baking sheet.
  • Utensils: Spatulas, wooden spoons, tongs, and a whisk.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate ingredient measurement.

Stock Your Pantry: Keeping a well-stocked pantry with basic ingredients can make cooking easier. Some essentials include:

  • Oils and Vinegars: Olive oil, vegetable oil, balsamic vinegar.
  • Spices and Herbs: Salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, paprika, cumin.
  • Staples: Flour, sugar, rice, pasta, canned tomatoes, beans, and broth.

2. Starting with Simple Recipes

Begin with Easy Recipes: Start with simple, straightforward recipes that don’t require too many ingredients or complex techniques. Scrambled eggs, pasta with tomato sauce, and grilled cheese sandwiches are good starting points.

Follow Recipes Closely: When you’re just starting out, follow recipes to the letter. This helps you understand how different ingredients and cooking methods work together.

Practice Mise en Place: This French term means “everything in its place.” It involves preparing and organizing all ingredients before you start cooking. This helps streamline the cooking process and ensures you don’t miss any steps.

3. Building Basic Skills

Knife Skills: Learn basic knife skills like chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing. Proper knife skills make cooking more efficient and enjoyable. Consider watching videos or taking a class to improve your technique.

Seasoning: Learn the importance of seasoning. Salt enhances the natural flavors of food. Experiment with other spices and herbs to understand how they can transform a dish.

Cooking Techniques: Focus on mastering basic cooking techniques:

  • Sautéing: Cooking food quickly in a small amount of oil over high heat.
  • Boiling and Simmering: Cooking food in water or broth. Boiling is vigorous, while simmering is gentle.
  • Roasting: Cooking food in the oven with dry heat, perfect for vegetables and meats.
  • Grilling: Cooking food over an open flame or on a grill pan for a smoky flavor.
  • Baking: Using dry heat in an oven to cook food, essential for bread, pastries, and some savory dishes.

4. Expanding Your Horizons

Explore Different Cuisines: Once you’re comfortable with basic recipes, start exploring different cuisines. Each cuisine has unique flavors, ingredients, and techniques that can broaden your cooking skills.

Experiment with Ingredients: Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ingredients. Trying new vegetables, grains, and proteins can make cooking more exciting and varied.

Healthy Cooking: Learn about healthy cooking techniques like steaming, grilling, and baking. Use fresh, whole ingredients and minimize processed foods.

5. Learning Resources

Cookbooks: Invest in a few good cookbooks. Books by authors like Julia Child, Mark Bittman, and Ina Garten are great for beginners.

Online Resources: There are countless online resources, including cooking websites, blogs, and video tutorials. Websites like AllRecipes, Epicurious, and YouTube channels dedicated to cooking can be incredibly helpful.

Cooking Classes: Consider taking a cooking class. Many community centers, culinary schools, and even online platforms offer classes for beginners.

6. Practicing Regularly

Cook Often: The best way to improve your cooking skills is to cook regularly. Set aside time each week to try new recipes and practice your skills.

Learn from Mistakes: Don’t be discouraged by mistakes. Every cook makes them. Use them as learning experiences to improve your technique.

Cook with Others: Cooking with friends or family can be a fun way to learn new skills and recipes. You can share tips, try new dishes together, and make the process more enjoyable.

7. Essential Tips for Beginners

Read Recipes Thoroughly: Always read the entire recipe before starting to cook. This ensures you understand the steps and have all the necessary ingredients and tools.

Keep it Clean: Clean as you go to keep your workspace organized and reduce the mess you have to clean up later.

Taste as You Cook: Tasting your food as you cook allows you to adjust seasoning and ensure the flavors are balanced.

Stay Organized: Keeping your kitchen organized makes cooking more efficient and enjoyable. Store similar items together and label your pantry items.

8. Building Confidence

Start Small: Don’t overwhelm yourself with complicated recipes. Start with simple dishes and gradually take on more complex ones.

Document Your Progress: Keep a cooking journal or take photos of your dishes. Documenting your progress can be motivating and help you see how much you’ve learned.

Ask for Feedback: Share your cooking with friends and family and ask for feedback. Constructive criticism can help you improve and refine your skills.

Be Patient: Learning to cook takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process of learning and experimenting.

9. Sample Beginner Recipes

Recipe 1: Basic Scrambled Eggs


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter


  1. Whisk Eggs: In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper until well combined.
  2. Heat Butter: Melt the butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat.
  3. Cook Eggs: Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Let it sit for a few seconds, then gently stir with a spatula until the eggs are softly set.

Recipe 2: Simple Pasta with Tomato Sauce


  • 200g pasta
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil (optional)


  1. Cook Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Make Sauce: In a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine: Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce. Garnish with fresh basil if desired.

10. Embracing the Joy of Cooking

Enjoy the Process: Cooking should be enjoyable. Take time to appreciate the process, experiment with flavors, and create dishes you love.

Share Your Creations: Cooking for others can be incredibly rewarding. Share your meals with friends and family and enjoy the communal aspect of food.

Keep Learning: The culinary world is vast, and there’s always something new to learn. Stay curious, keep exploring new recipes and techniques, and enjoy the journey.


Starting to learn cooking is an exciting and fulfilling endeavor. By understanding the basics, gathering essential tools, and practicing simple recipes, you can build a strong foundation. Expand your skills by exploring different cuisines, experimenting with new ingredients, and utilizing various resources. Practice regularly, stay organized, and embrace the joy of cooking. With patience and perseverance, you’ll develop confidence in the kitchen and enjoy the delicious results of your efforts. Happy cooking!

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