How to be a good cook

Cooking is as much fun as eating. However, to be a good cook, you need to do things by the book. There are some basic rules that even very experienced cooks follow. Find here a basic list.

A woman and two girls cooking, with aprons and chef hats.

In general

  • Read the recipe to be sure you have everything you need.
  • Get everything ready before you start. Everything means tools and ingredients, including any preparation.
  • Follow the steps making sure you are using any tool the right way.

Measuring

  • Use measuring cups and spoons for dry ingredients. Level the surface with a spatula on the flat side.
  • Place the measuring jug on a flat surface before adding the liquid. This helps to see the level better.

Safety

  • Always use pot holder and oven gloves when handling hot pans and trays.
  • Move the pan handle to the side or the back when cooking on a stove. This makes more difficulto to knock the pan off the stove by accident.
  • Lift the lid of any pot with boiling liquid with the opening away from you to avoid the burning steam.
  • Place a hot pan on a heat proof surface when you remove them from the stove. Having a heat proof mat is the best solution.
  • For vegetables and fruits, use a peeler. Be sure to peel and cut in a direction away from you and your fingers.
  • Keep sharp knives in their block or drawer when not in use.
  • Dry your hands before using electrical equipment.
  • Remember to turn the stove, or the oven, off when you finish.
  • Wipe up any spills on the floor as soon as they happen.
  • Ask for adult help when needed..

Hygiene

  • If you have long hair, tie it back before cooking.  
  • Roll up your sleeves and wear and apron. Loose clothes are not good for cooking.
  • Make sure work surface and all equipment are clean.
  • Always wash your hands before cooking.
  • Thoroughly wash all raw vegetables and fruits to remove dirt, chemicals, and insecticides.
  • Use a cutting board when cutting up vegetables and fruits.
  • Always wash knives and cutting boards in between uses.
  • Use clean kitchen towels. Use a different towel to dry your hands than the ones used to dry dishes.
  • Be clean and tidy. Try to leave the kitchen tidy when you finish.

Accidents

  • If you get burned, hold the burn under cold running water. Cold water helps to take the heat out. Rubbing butter or grease would only make it worse. For more information, read burns.
  • If the cooking oil catches fire, water will not put out the fire. Throw salt at the bottom of the flame to put it out. Try to turn the burners off and call for help.