I’m always amazed when people tell me that they “HATE” to cook. And while I totally understand that people don’t have to share my same level of passion for cooking, hate is such a strong word. In my mind, I can’t fathom, hating to do something, that is a part of my survival or everyday life. When I hear people say that they don’t like to cook, it’s almost like I hear them saying, “I don’t like to shower” or “I don’t like to brush my teeth”. It’s just a foreign concept to me. LOL
After teaching over 3,400+ people to cook over the past six years, I’ve heard the same reasons on why people don’t like to cook over and over again.
So if you or anyone you know fits into one or more of these categories, have NO FEAR, I’ve got some solutions for you.
Here are 5 reasons you hate to cook and how to fix them:
1. You are not Organized.
- Listen, if you are not organized, cooking can take way longer than it should. It can become a chore and be exhausting. Let me introduce you to a little concept in the culinary world known as ‘mise en place’. Which simply means “Everything in its place”. This concept is one of the first things you learn when you go to culinary school and it is a must in the kitchen. Think about it, how many times have you gotten half way through a recipe and realized you were missing or forgot a key ingredient? You either had two choices to make 1. go back or send someone to the store in the middle of cooking or, 2. try to make the dish work without that important ingredient.
- Here’s how to fix it. Meal plan before you go grocery shopping to ensure that you have everything you need and put it on your grocery list. This is why I love the #EatOutAtHome meal planner because the meal plan and grocery shopping list are all in one place. Before you start preparing any recipes, read through them, in their entirety and measure everything out. Having all ingredients portioned out, chopped and ready to go, not only lets you know what you have and don’t have on hand, it makes the cooking process go by twice as fast. And here is a heads up: All recipes are not created equal. Sometimes, I have seen recipes that mention ingredients in the instructions, that are not listed in the ingredient listing, so make sure you read ALL the way through.
2. You don’t have good kitchen equipment.
- I can still hear Chef Pound screaming in my ear “USE THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB!” This seems so simple, but yet still amazes me that people have crappy kitchen tools. Sub-par tools produce sub-par results. Look, eating is a part of our day to day lives and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. Having the right tools for the right job makes life in the kitchen so much easier. It’s when you have to rig things, and substitute tools, that you become discouraged.
- Here’s how to fix it. If you took my knife skills class, then you know that I go into depth about what 3 knives every person needs and the kinds of knives they should have. But in addition to having great knives, you need to have a solid and reliable set of cookware. And no, I don’t recommend that your pots and pans need to be made from expensive copper, but you do need a quality stainless steel set where the handles won’t wiggle off over time. LOL (you know what I’m talking about). Having good knives and good cookware are just as important as having a great stove and refrigerator. Here are 3 sets of cookware that I recommend depending on where you are in life (and in your culinary journey). Beginner. Intermediate. Advanced.
- However, If you are on a budget, and you are not ready to replace your set all at once, shopping at stores like Homegoods, TJMaxx, & Marshalls, you can get some great pieces from reputable brands and build your collection piece by piece.
3. You cook/eat the same things over and over again.
- I mean really, how many ways can you eat chicken? I know that’s what you are thinking. So maybe you are in a recipe rut? You’re just not motivated, you’re not inspired. Bored even. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to crave new flavors and new dishes. You just want something different, but delicious. You’re so over pizza, chili, spaghetti, and plain old chicken breasts with broccoli and brown rice. I get it. Lucky for you, this is one of the easier reasons to remedy.
- Here’s how I keep my inspiration tank full. I keep a running list of recipe ideas that I want to try. Whether I saw something at a restaurant that I thought I could make at home or a recipe I had at a friends house or at an event. I also search Pinterest. Now, let me be clear, I know that recipes on Pinterest are not always reliable, hence the hashtag #nailedit, but I look for ‘ideas’ not recipes. In addition, I buy quality cookbooks from any and everywhere. Some of my favorite places to buy cookbooks are the same stores that I listed above for cookware, as well as Anthropologie, Half Priced Books, and the Dollar Tree. And lastly, I also subscribe to cooking magazines. Which is probably my favorite way to stay inspired because they come to me, they are seasonal and always filled with new ideas. Some of my favorite magazines are Saveur, Bon Appetit, Donna Hay, Food & Wine, and Fine Cooking.
4. You don’t know how to cook.
- If this is you, I’m so glad you are reading this. You’ve tried a million recipes, sometimes they come out right and sometimes… well……its good that there are great restaurants around. LOL Somewhere along the way in life, you just never picked up the knack of cooking. You never got around to it and no one ever taught you. You know just enough to get by and to not starve to death. You get so excited when one of your homegirls invites you over and says that she is cooking because you know, that there is nothing like a good, home-cooked, meal!
- Simple fix: Take some cooking classes. There are classes for any and everything that we want to learn. Swimming, Sewing, Photoshop, Patio Gardening, and COOKING. This is exactly why I created EatGourmetEveryday.com, to teach anyone how to cook, regardless of their skill level. As a matter of fact, I will be launching a new comprehensive online cooking program to teach all of the skills that I learned in culinary school, but simplified for home cooks. STAY TUNED.
5. You don’t have anyone to cook for.
- This one, well, I’ve been there too. As a single woman, sometimes I just don’t want to go through the hassle of cooking for myself, but then I have to remind myself that “I’m worth it!”.
- And other times, I just call a friend over for an impromptu dinner party, and usually, they offer to do the dishes, as a thank you, which is a bonus! Sometimes (most times) they even bring wine. So be a blessing to someone, invite them over, cook a casual meal and enjoy the company. Isn’t that the goal of Eating Out at Home anyway?