It's one of those Twitter threads you can spend the afternoon on. Recently, writer/editor @cottoncandaddy told her 100K followers about her date who was so clueless in the kitchen, he couldn't have cooked even if he was starving. Her tweet immediately went viral and has already accumulated nearly 290K likes. However, the best part isn't the reactions. It's the comments. People have been telling stories about the worst kitchen fails they've encountered and they're hilarious. From mistaking every ingredient in the fridge to not being able to follow basic instructions, these poor folks will make you feel like a Michelin-star chef.
If you don't want your friends to include you in a similar thread, there are some easy tips that can improve your cooking skills straight away. According to Fine Cooking, the first thing you can do is choke up on your chef's knife, "or better control, choke up on the handle to the point of putting your thumb and the side of your index finger onto the side of the blade right above the handle. Speaking of chef’s knives, invest in a good one (and keep it sharp). The longer, wider blade of a chef’s knife will give you speed, control, and confidence," the magazine wrote.
Next, start your dishes with the best ingredients you can get. For example, imported Parmigiano-Reggiano is way better than domestic parmesan. In fact, you can hardly compare the two. Or if you're baking a cake, premium chocolate makes all the difference and fresh homemade breadcrumbs are superior to packaged crumbs by miles. You get the idea.
Now that you've got the good stuff, use your hands. "Hands are extremely sensitive and sophisticated cooking tools," the experts said. "You can develop this sense of touch by paying attention to how different foods feel at different degrees of doneness, even as you’re checking them with a thermometer, a toothpick, or a knife. Meat, for example, goes from being very soft when it’s rare to quite firm when well done. Touch can also indicate when a cake is baked, if dough is kneaded enough, and whether a pear is ripe."
A great way to instantly elevate your dishes to another level is by switching to kosher or sea salt. Kosher salt and sea salt have a much, much better flavor than ordinary table salt. Though food shouldn’t taste salty, falling on the other side of the spectrum and using little or no salt makes food boring.
Also, pick recipes that use descriptive words. Like, "bake until golden brown" or "boil until reduced by half." Don’t freak out if the actual amount of time it takes to reach the desired state is more or less than the time suggested in the recipe.
Cooking is a never-ending journey, full of ups and downs. Focus on the journey, not the setbacks. Take everything as a learning experience, apply yourself, and always. taste. throughout. the. process.