These days, it’s not unusual for children to move quite far away from their parents in pursuit of careers and individuality. While this grand adventure can be positive in many regards, there are certain downsides. Being miles away from Mom’s cooking is a major one.
If you get homesick for your mother’s homemade meals while off on your own, you might need to turn your attention to your own cooking skills. Learning a few cooking hacks can help to turn around your own kitchen output and hit some of the highs associated with home cooking.
What are some things you can do when cooking at home to help reach this goal? How can you learn how to cook as well as your parents? Read on and we’ll walk you through some tips and tricks that can really help.
- Get a Great Knife
If you’re somewhat new to cooking for yourself, there’s a lot you’ll need to get a handle on in the kitchen before cooking up a masterpiece. The thing that your mother probably had that you don’t yet? All the proper tools at your disposal.
If there’s one tool that might be well worth investing in early on in your cooking journey, it’s a proper chef’s knife. This knife can make a world of difference when it comes to the work you’ll be doing when putting a meal together.
A lot of work involves cutting and prepping different ingredients. This work can range from slow and methodical without a proper knife to irritating and impossible. At a certain point, it can impact that final product that you end up creating.
A great chef’s knife should feel comfortable in your hand, which might mean getting a different-sized knife depending on the size of your own hands!
You’ll be shocked how much more efficiently you get through your meals with this proper tool in your arsenal.
- Use The Freshest Ingredients
Quality matters, and if you’re trying to craft a meal as good as Mom’s, you’re going to have to go the extra mile when it comes to quality. If you can source and use the freshest ingredients possible, it’s going to produce the best possible final meal.
This is actually harder to do than it might sound. Fruits and vegetables that sit on display at the grocery store aren’t always fresh, and in some cases, even have many preservatives in place that attempt to keep them looking fresh past a normal timeline.
Your best bet at sourcing actually fresh ingredients will be to go to your local farmer’s market and get something that was plucked from the ground within the last 24 hours.
While this may sound like a little bit of extra work, and it is, you can’t beat the taste benefits of truly fresh ingredients. This is one of the most important kitchen hacks there is.
- Be Wary of High Heat
If you want to cook something for a long time, it may seem like the logical move to turn the heat up on your stove to a high degree and let it rip. This actually is something you’ll want to avoid doing.
When you turn your stove up to high heat, you’re going to create an instant temperature that’s more likely to burn the exterior of what you’re currently cooking than properly guide it to a finished state.
Even when a recipe calls for high heat, it might be better to keep your stove’s heat closer to medium. This will all also depend on what kind of stove you’re working on. An electronic stove tends to get hotter than a gas stove, so you’ll have to be more careful with the heat in that scenario.
The exception to this rule is when you’re attempting to boil water. It will be difficult to burn water, so you can crank the heat up and speed up the boiling process.
- Don’t Improvise & Stretch
If you’re new to cooking for yourself, you’re going to want to stick to the recipe in front of you as much as possible. Until you really know your way around the kitchen, improvisation isn’t going to be something you want to engage too much in.
Yes, your mother probably did her own fair bit of improvisation. She had years of experience in the kitchen, and you do not. Improvising and making a false move can really send things off in the worst possible direction. At the same time, don’t leap into recipes that are far above your current comfort level, no matter how badly you want the food.
This is true no matter what you’re making. If you can’t make some of your favorite recipes from home successfully, you might want to look to some other sources to fill the void. It’s possible there are some pre-made versions of what you’re attempting to make that you can simply heat up at home.
The XCJ, for example, sells soup dumplings that are to die for, and you can get plenty of great frozen food options at stores such as Trader Joe’s.
Cooking Hacks for Home Cooking
If you’re new to the world of cooking at home, you’re likely starting to feel a bit nostalgic for the meals of your childhood. However, those meals don’t have to be so far away. If you utilize the above cooking hacks and tips, you can be well on your way to crafting a great meal.
Need more advice for the kitchen? Keep scrolling our blog for more.