How to learn beginners cooking skills

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InspiredPleb
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Random question so wasn't sure which forum haha!

I'm 16, and I'm embarrassed to say it, but I've always been intimidated by cooking. Other than operating a toaster or a microwave, I have no beginners cooking skills. As in, anything to do with the hob or the oven .

Are there any resources to learn absolute beginner skills like these, like books that don't necessarily have tons of recipes but teach essential skills? I only have 1 member of my in house family who can cook competently and they're way too busy to teach me.
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LovelyMrFox
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Look up some recipes online. All you really have to do is follow instructions on a page, so it shouldnt be too intimidating
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becausethenight
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I would say start small (eg pasta, boiled egg, scrambled egg, a simple cake etc) and you can work it out as you go if you're following a recipe (at least that's what I did, and managed with fairly few disasters lol)!

Youtube cooking videos in general are really helpful as you can see what the meal looks like at each step of the recipe, without getting confused by written descriptions. BBC good food has good recipes and it tags them by difficulty so you can be sure it'll be doable.

Good luck
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InspiredPleb
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(Original post by LovelyMrFox)
Look up some recipes online. All you really have to do is follow instructions on a page, so it shouldnt be too intimidating
I think I'll have to do this and just try my luck no matter what disaster it creates haha!
I think what's intimidating isn't the recipe itself - I can chop vegetables and follow instructions fairly well, but I get confused with basic skills involving dials and operating the oven. It sounds silly, but did everyone learn how to do this in Food Tech (I had to miss a lot of that lesson in high school!) or did you all just learn by experimenting?
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ZeaAbdul
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(Original post by InspiredPleb)
Random question so wasn't sure which forum haha!

I'm 16, and I'm embarrassed to say it, but I've always been intimidated by cooking. Other than operating a toaster or a microwave, I have no beginners cooking skills. As in, anything to do with the hob or the oven .

Are there any resources to learn absolute beginner skills like these, like books that don't necessarily have tons of recipes but teach essential skills? I only have 1 member of my in house family who can cook competently and they're way too busy to teach me.
Tasty by Buzzfeed has some really good recipes. It also has recipes that don't use too many ingreidnets, like two ingreidnet pancakes or cookies. I'd advice starting off with basic things that you like because then you're more likely to continue making them, which allows you to practise more. Omelets and cookies are a good place to start. Good luck!
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LovelyMrFox
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(Original post by InspiredPleb)
I think I'll have to do this and just try my luck no matter what disaster it creates haha!
I think what's intimidating isn't the recipe itself - I can chop vegetables and follow instructions fairly well, but I get confused with dials and operating the oven. It sounds silly, but did everyone learn this in Food Tech (I had to miss a lot of that lesson in high school!) or did you all just learn by experimenting?
Maybe look up some help with ovens online? That might help you out.
I learned mostly from experimenting when I finally needed to start feeding myself :lol:
I just looked up simpler recipes to make online, and Im still not the absolute best. Its an important skill to learn, even just being able to make scrambled eggs or something small
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InspiredPleb
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(Original post by LovelyMrFox)
Maybe look up some help with ovens online? That might help you out.
I learned mostly from experimenting when I finally needed to start feeding myself :lol:
I just looked up simpler recipes to make online, and Im still not the absolute best. Its an important skill to learn, even just being able to make scrambled eggs or something small
The server rejecting my ratings once again.....
Anyways, thank you for the clarification ! Knowing now someone mainly learnt from experimentation is really reassuring. Motivates me to do the same.
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Sinnoh
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Might sound like a bit thrown-into-the-deep-end, but try some of the recipes on the Gordon Ramsay youtube channel. One thing you might notice is that they almost never include quantities, and I think that's a good thing - it's something to get used to, cooking by guesswork. I've made meals where I had no idea what I was doing to start with.

As for the very basics - you can do pretty much everything just on the stove top. I hardly ever use the oven at uni.
Don't use metal tools in a non-stick pan - it scrapes away the teflon.


A few videos I recommend:
expand
5 key skills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJy1ajvMU1k (I still have never needed to fillet a fish though)

10 other tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHRXUeVsAQQ

A basic stir-fry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1mE2IWeamI

Simple chicken curry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-VjBxMufhw (might need to pause this one a few times lol)

Fried rice (by Binging with Babish): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk0axPbD2pc

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LovelyMrFox
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(Original post by InspiredPleb)
The server rejecting my ratings once again.....
Anyways, thank you for the clarification ! Knowing now someone mainly learnt from experimentation is really reassuring. Motivates me to do the same.
No problem! Good luck, and have fun
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Sinnoh
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Should also point out that the first few proper meals you cook, it will take ages - both to chop and prepare vegetables and things and to cook and get everything done. Just be prepared for that.
The more you cook, the quicker you'll be and you won't have to set aside so much time.
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InspiredPleb
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
Should also point out that the first few proper meals you cook, it will take ages - both to chop and prepare vegetables and things and to cook and get everything done. Just be prepared for that.
The more you cook, the quicker you'll be and you won't have to set aside so much time.
Thanks for letting me know - hopefully I won't lose confidence now if it does take quite a while !

As for your other comment, thanks for the amount of links and tips in there! Had a gander at the Gordon Ramsey video and seems to be the sort of stuff I can work on (he's surprisingly conversational , though I guess that's to be expected outside the context of Hell's Kitchen etc haha!!) and the other links seem really promising. There's no better prep than stepping outside of my comfort zone I suppose.

Reassuring to know I won't need to use the oven too much in daily life, even if I'll need to learn how to use it at some point.
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Sabertooth
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Take a look into a Delia Smith. She has cookbooks and a website that teach VERY basic things. Her book teaches you to crack an egg for instance.

I learned from my parents and grandma and would say I'm a pretty good cook now. I experiment a lot having followed many recipes in the past. I'd start with Delia, then move onto online recipes then eventually experiment on your own. As you make more things you'll find yourself more able to guess what would taste good together and how much to add of whatever.
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username5301604
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YouTube videos are usually my go to
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Noodlzzz
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(Original post by Sinnoh)
Might sound like a bit thrown-into-the-deep-end, but try some of the recipes on the Gordon Ramsay youtube channel. One thing you might notice is that they almost never include quantities, and I think that's a good thing - it's something to get used to, cooking by guesswork. I've made meals where I had no idea what I was doing to start with.

As for the very basics - you can do pretty much everything just on the stove top. I hardly ever use the oven at uni.
Don't use metal tools in a non-stick pan - it scrapes away the teflon.


A few videos I recommend:
expand
5 key skills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJy1ajvMU1k (I still have never needed to fillet a fish though)

10 other tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHRXUeVsAQQ

A basic stir-fry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1mE2IWeamI

Simple chicken curry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-VjBxMufhw (might need to pause this one a few times lol)

Fried rice (by Binging with Babish): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk0axPbD2pc
Great life lessons in learning to swear whilst cooking too Sets you up for student life when your flatmate cooks pasta without water and the fire alarms go off and then you stand in the cold rainy dark London street once a week. I know I'm not alone in this!
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