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Learn the Basics of Cooking without Spending a Penny!

By Yann, published on 02/08/2018 We Love Prof > Arts and Hobbies > Cooking > Learn to Cook for Free

“Kitchens are for conversation. They’re not just for cooking; they’re for conversations.” – Frank Delaney

There are a lot of Brits who can’t cook some of the most basic dishes, some even have no idea how to fry an egg, and there are even people who struggle to cook pasta or rice.

What about you?

Don’t panic if this applies to you! Superprof is here to help you with some free online cooking resources.

Avoiding the Pitfalls when Learning to Cook

Let’s start with the pitfalls you’ll need to avoid when you first start cooking. Even if you don’t get cooking lessons, there are things you should keep in mind:

  • Don’t panic: you don’t need to take things so seriously, your life isn’t at stake.
  • Be organised: even when doing the shopping, you should be aware of what you need. Before you start a recipe, you should get all the ingredients you’re going to need out so that you’re not running about when you’re trying to cook.
  • Carefully read your recipe book before you start: it’s better to be aware of what you’re going to have to do rather than discovering each step as you come across it.
  • Try new recipes before offering them to your friends and family: this is a great way to gain a bit of confidence in your own abilities and show them what you’re really capable of.
  • Pay attention to seasoning and flavouring: be it spaghetti carbonara, a smoothie, burritos, or fajitas, you should regularly taste your creations so that you don’t make it too sweet or too savoury. If you’re not sure, keep your seasoning next to your creations and let your guests flavour it to their liking.

How do you bake? Watch and learn how to cook! (Source: Pexels)

By following these basic rules, anyone can become a great chef!

Why not make a chocolate cheesecake, strawberry tart, or a black forest gateau?

Take a MOOC in Cooking

What if I told you there’s an online cooking school?

You can learn a lot about seasoning, cutting, and creating, and tasting dishes from real people, of course. However, you can sometimes just close your cooking books, put away your apron, sit down in front of your computer, and start taking notes like you would at a university lecture. This is thanks to MOOCs.

What is a MOOC?

MOOC is short for Massive Open Online Courses. MOOCs were first created by American universities and today offer plenty of courses in a huge variety of subjects to people all over the world.

Anyone can sign up to learn any subject and follow classes morning, noon, or night.

Which are the best cooking MOOCs? A good meal will leave your guests wanting more. (Source: cattalin)

How Do You Sign Up For a Cooking MOOC?

There are a number of MOOCs dedicated to cooking and the science of cooking. These courses are for everyone. A lot of the courses have a specific start date. It’s very easy to sign up.

Once you’ve created a profile, you’ll be ready to enrol in the class.

What Can You Learn About on Cooking MOOCs?

Following a cooking MOOC is quite simple. You don’t need any previous qualifications to follow a free online course. Here are you few things you’ll learn about:

  • Vegetables: Peeling, paring, washing, chopping, slices, etc.
  • Eggs, sauces, and bases: Cooking eggs, pairing hot and cold sauces.
  • Meat: roasting, grilling, frying, braising, etc.
  • Fish: freshness, frying, grilling, seafood, etc.
  • Baking, patisserie, and cream: Choux pastry, pie dough, biscuit dough, etc.

You’re also rewarded with a qualification at the end of a lot of MOOCs.

Ready to preheat your oven?

Watch Video Tutorials

Since there are so many cooking video tutorials on YouTube, it can be difficult to find the good videos that are appropriate for your level.

To learn how to make a cake, a fruit salad, or a vegetable soup, you should check out a few of these video tutorials.

Which are the best cooking YouTube channels? In both cooking and cooking video tutorials, presentation is important! (Source: MonikaP)

YouTube channels have changed the way we can learn new skills. You’ve probably already seen science or history videos or people teaching others how to play the guitar on YouTube. There are plenty of YouTubers and YouTube channels around for those wanting to learn how to cook.

  • Epicurious is a popular cooking site and their YouTube channel is full of useful and interesting videos for novice and experienced cooks.
  • SortedFood includes a lot of useful videos on cooking techniques and how to cook a load of recipes.
  • Just Eat Life includes a good variety of recipes from around the world that are clear and easy to follow.

However, there are also of useful sites where you can find videos on how to cook. There are also cooking Facebook pages with videos you can watch on how to cook a variety of meals.

These videos often last less than two minutes. You know the ones I mean; where you can only see the chef’s hands from above and the whole process is sped up. Websites are a good way to access thousands of recipes and are even better if you have a tablet to view them from while you follow the instructions.

Cooking Websites

Whether you’re looking to make a plate of pasta or a quiche lorraine, you should practice cooking, and there are literally plenty of websites for those who want to learn how to cook. Get your cooking utensils, turn on your computer, and get ready to find some of the greatest recipes around.

Why not get in touch with some friends and have them round to yours?

Whether learning to make tapas, roasting a chicken, or preparing a plate of cookies, the internet is home to plenty of different resources for those wanting to learn how to cook.

A few of our favourite sites include:

  • More than just a recipe site, Genius Kitchen focuses on cooking and the culture around cooking.
  • Yummly.com boasts even more recipes than Genius Kitchen. However, this is more of a gateway to recipes than a site itself. If you’re looking for an easy recipe, this site is a good place to start.
  • While StudentRecipes is a great site is great for students, it’s also great for novice chefs wanting to learn more about cooking without breaking the bank.
  • Epicurious comes highly recommended and is a veritable treasure trove of recipes and cooking articles. Whether you want to learn quick and easy recipes or just what equipment you should have in your kitchen, this is a site you should check out.

There are also plenty of blogs written by amateur cooks with original recipes for adventurous cooks. Whether you want to make a vegetable stir fry or learn how to boil an egg, you’ll find plenty of basic cooking instructions online. Additionally, there are lots of blogs for vegetarian and vegan cooking, too.

Many of us decide to learn how to cook because we want to eat more healthily. In fact, it’s the most common reason for learning how to cook.

The second most common reason people learn to cook is for enjoyment and having fun with friends and family. Whatever your reason for learning how to cook, these different resources should help you a lot.

Whether you want to cook some vegetables, take up baking, or just make healthier meals, these resources are the ingredients and the recipes you’ll start making hearty homemade meals.

The rest is up to you. If your first attempts at cooking failed, be patient! Learning from your mistakes is the best way to learn!

Simple Recipes for Learning How to Cook

After having learnt a few basic cooking techniques, you can start moving onto more serious things and putting your new knowledge to the test.

Which are the best cooking websites? Whether you’re cooking vegetarian cuisine, Indian food, or a Sunday lunch, you can do it cheaply if you’re organised. (Source: dbreen)

Here are 20 of the easiest recipes you can learn:

  1. Ham omelette
  2. Beef lasagna
  3. Meatballs in tomato sauce
  4. Tuna patties
  5. Croque monsieur
  6. Risotto
  7. Fajitas
  8. Pasta bake
  9. Cottage pie
  10. Deviled eggs
  11. Pizza
  12. Clafouti
  13. Pancakes
  14. Pear and chocolate crumble
  15. Cupcakes
  16. Chocolate cake
  17. Chocolate mousse
  18. Waffles
  19. Madeleines
  20. Chocolate muffins

You can find recipes for these on cooking websites and blogs. Soon you’ll be making hamburgers, sushi, tacos, cheesecake, and macrons!

Cooking Vocabulary

To learn how to cook like a genuine chef, you’re going to have to learn the lingo. In each of our articles on cooking, we have a few definitions of cooking terminology, so don’t forget to read our other articles.

Paring

This means to remove all the non-edible parts of an ingredient. For meat and fish, this can mean the bones, skin, etc. You can also pare fruit and vegetables.

Braise

Braising is when you cook something for a long time at a low heat in a closed container with a bit of seasoned liquid.

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