Mastering Home Cooking: Tips from Professional Chefs

Yasmin Davis Miami

Those who discovered the joy of cooking during the COVID-19 pandemic are not alone.

Home cooking may just be changed forever. During the pandemic, 31% said they tried new recipes, according to an International Food Information Council report. Overall, 54% of people said that they are cooking more at home.

Yasmin Davis notes that home cooking comes with many benefits. Meals tend to be healthier, with more natural ingredients. Cooking with others can be a good bonding experience. Cooking at home is almost always less expensive than eating out.

Cooking is an art — and it takes practice. Want to develop dishes that feel like they’re straight out of a high-quality restaurant? Master chefs are offering their insider tips.

Master Knife Skills

Home cooking is especially challenging when a recipe has multiple ingredients and steps or requires a chef to work at a very quick pace. What’s essential help is honing one’s knife handling technique, from safe finger placement to the strength of the grip.

Prepping is Everything

If the thought of tackling a seemingly difficult dish for the first time is too intimidating, prepping ingredients ahead of time will go a long way when developing cooking confidence. Prep bowls are a home chef’s best friend.

Don’t Sacrifice Quality

Perhaps the most reliable path to cooking restaurant-quality meals is buying good-quality ingredients. That includes finding basics that are standard in revered restaurants, like good finishing salts, organic produce, and higher-quality oils, like flavorful top-chef butter and olive oil. The difference is immediately noticeable.

Yasmin Davis Miami

Special Sauce

Sauces may feel like an afterthought for a dish, but it’s actually a fundamental part of whipping up high-quality meals at home.

Chef Julia Child called them “mother sauces,” which bring out the flavor essence of any dish. For example, French cuisine has a few of them, including béchamel and hollandaise, that can yield numerous dish possibilities. At the same time, try experimenting with spices and herbs to make dishes singular creations.

Don’t Be Afraid of High Heat

Ovens can be intimidating, and many people just don’t feel comfortable cooking with high temperatures. That can be an issue with an array of dishes from the steak that needs high heat to sear and vegetables that go mushy quickly if they aren’t cooked fast enough.

Professional chefs recommend this rule of thumb when figuring out when to cook on either low, medium, or high heat: think about the texture of the dish. For tender meat, cook low and over more time. If a browned crust is wanted, hot is the way to go.

It Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

A simple home-cooked meal can be just as good as a restaurant meal. Trying fancier recipes is fun and a good way to expand one’s cooking talents, but simple recipes with good ingredients can be just as fulfilling.

Instead, prioritize the balance of flavors, such as combining acid with sweet notes, for a delicious meal that doesn’t need a lot of frills to satisfy.

What happens to be in one’s pantry at any given time may be enough for a delicious meal.

Yasmin Davis
Yasmin Davis