How to Learn How to Cook – Beginner’s Guide/Basic Rules

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To someone who doesn’t spend much time in the kitchen, cooking may seem like a foreign skill. Once you get more comfortable with it, however, cooking a nice meal can actually be fun and easy. To always have a good meal that you made at home, have the kitchen tricks hidden up your sleeve. These are the barebones basics that will get anyone cooking in no time. Try these beginner’s cooking basics:

Preparing meats: When you prepare different meats, you need to cook them to specific temperatures to make sure that they are safe to consume. Steak and seafood (the 2 “S’s”) don’t have to be well done to be safe to eat. Chicken and pork must be cooked thoroughly. Any ground meat should be cooked thoroughly because of the large amount of surface area that has come in contact with potential germ areas. If you choose to have a burger medium, then you run the risk of a foodborne illness.

  • Steaks: Rare = 130 degrees | Medium Rare = 140 degrees | Medium = 150 degrees | Medium Well = 160 degrees | Well Done = 165-170 degrees.
  • Seafood: Cook seafood to at least 145 degrees. You can prepare it more if you prefer it that way.
  • Poultry: This should be prepared to 165 degrees for both chicken, turkey, and any other bird.
  • Pork: Should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees or more to ensure that all parasites and bacteria are killed.

Baked Potatoes: Rinse the potato to remove loose dirt. Stab the potato a few times with a fork or a knife. Heat the oven up to 425 degrees. Once the oven is hot, then you can place the potatoes directly onto the rack. If you prefer, you can wrap them in tin foil and place on the rack. After 20-25 minutes rotate them so that the part on the rack is now on top. Let them sit another 20-25 minutes. To check them, stick a knife in them. If it goes in easily, then they are done and ready to come out of the oven.

Pasta: To cook pasta, boil water in a large pot. Put a dash of salt in the water for flavor, and a teaspoon of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking to each other. Once the pot is rolling, then gently add in your pasta while you are stirring the pot. Keep the pot uncovered, and stir occasionally. Cook for 8-10 minutes depending on the type of pasta and how firm you enjoy to eat it.

Veggies: Cut up your vegetables however you like. Just make sure to remove any seeds or cores prior to cooking. You can toss them into a frying pan to cook on the stove top with some olive oil or a splash of broth. Put it on medium heat, and let them simmer stirring occasionally until they are the consistency you like. Steam vegetables such as broccoli or green beans by putting them in a pot with a steaming tool. Put a few inches of water and set on a medium heat. Cover the pot until it starts to boil, then crack the lid so the steam stays in the pot, but has room to escape. Take them off after 7-10 minutes.

You can dress up your meat, veggies, and carbs however you like. Try different marinades and spices to make your plate more interesting. These beginner cooking tips will help you impress any guest with your expert cooking skills!

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