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January 28, 2022 | Cooking

How to Cook Like a Professional Chef

how to cook like a professional chef

Have you taken the time to look around your kitchen? Sit and ponder it for a minute. Do you fully use it? 

Here you have invested in all the most beautiful appliances for your home. They fill every inch of your kitchen – with timeless stainless steel and durable features – just begging to be used. And what did you cook for dinner last night? Frozen waffles and leftover fruit? A bowl of cereal with toast this morning? Come on! With cooking like that, you may as well compare your kitchen to a Lamborghini you never take over 35 MPH. Where is the fun in that? 

It is time you learn to cook like a professional chef. You are grown. You have the tools. Make use of those pro-style appliances and start nourishing your body with something good. Instead of saying you just don’t have the skills or that you don’t know how to cook, keep reading to find out how to learn. (Don’t worry, this is not a landing page for an expensive culinary school.) 

Cooking Like a Pro

You may not believe it but cooking like a professional chef is not such a far-fetched idea – especially in your own kitchen. Most chefs work as part of an assembly line when putting a meal together. It is simple. The fun part is coming up with the meal in the first place! You get to use your creative side to bring different flavors together and ideas for various combinations that will either make a lasting, highly recommended dish by friends and family – or will find its way to the garbage. Either way, it is all part of the experience. 

You have the kitchen to cook like a pro, so what are you waiting for? 

Choosing the Ingredients

You cannot choose the cheapest, oldest ingredients and expect greatness. With some things, sure. But not everything. Sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone and purchase things you have never imagined yourself buying. Like going to the butcher or your local fish market for your main dish rather than shopping in your local grocery store’s meat or seafood section. Also, always opt for fresh vegetables and produce, in general.

Keep in mind that buying local food provides you with the highest quality and level of freshness you can find. Though, if it is not an option, fresh or frozen is always a much better option than canned. 

Carefully choosing the ingredients you use when cooking can have an intense impact on its flavor. To get the best meal, you need to buy the best of the best ingredients. 

Practice Makes Perfect

There are no professional chefs out there that create a dish perfectly the first time. And those who tell you they do are probably lying. It takes time to get the right amount of each flavor, the right amount of heat, and so on to get the perfect finished product. And that means practicing. 

Choose a recipe you would like to be able to make – maybe a dish from your favorite restaurant or a recipe you have seen in a cookbook, on a cooking show, or the like. Then, gather up the finest ingredients, and cook it. 

Maybe it will taste good, maybe not. But in doing this, you can see what you did that maybe you shouldn’t have done or what you should have done more of. Maybe you needed to cook it just a little longer. Or, maybe the sauce didn’t have quite as much spice as you’d like. Maybe the meat was a little too chewy. Whatever the situation, the more you practice it, the more you become a pro at the dish. Fine-tune all the details until you have perfection. 

This is how you get a signature dish. 

Taste As You Cook

Every chef tastes their food as they are cooking. Otherwise, how else would you know if you added enough seasoning, for instance? You cannot cook a meal from start to finish without tasting it along the way – or else you will find that somewhere you missed something and it will be too late to add it. 

As you season food, taste it. Then, as it cooks, taste it again to make sure the seasoning flavor is still pulling through. If not, add more. If you added too much, find something to tone down the flavor. Doing this will help you save a dish from its demise. 

Create Your Own Stock

If everyone uses the same base, how would one chef’s dish be elevated above the others? This is where you need to add your own personal flair. Now, don’t panic – or roll your eyes. You may think this is taking it a bit too far, but if you create your own stock you can create your own flavor. 

Homemade stock is incredible and it can be used for everything, from soups and stews to using it as a base to boil veggies, saute meats, and so forth. It is an undeniable flavor that will be unmatched by others. Why? Because you made it on your own – fresh. And that means it is not simply made of sodium-infused generic flavors that have been dried and formed into a cube. 

Check out different means of creating stock and spend an afternoon making it in batches. Then, all you have to do is place it in the freezer. It will stay good for a long time – and you will always have it handy when you need to make your signature dish, chef. 

Take the Title

As we said, you have the kitchen and the counter space – all you need is a refrigerator, a range, a grill, and maybe even a dishwasher to clean up after yourself. So, grab your ingredients, get in that kitchen and start cooking! You don’t have to leave your waffles and cereal in the dust, but it is time you take your chef skills to the next level. Your friends and family will likely be thankful you did.