Cooking tips for people who don’t like to cook: tips, tricks, and advice for people who want to eat, but would rather be anywhere but in the kitchen.
I know there are a lot of people out there who genuinely don’t enjoy cooking. For whatever reason, they’d prefer to spend their time doing a hundred other things before they’d willingly hang out in the kitchen. What I’ve found, though, when I discuss my love of cooking with people who don’t cook, is that this is a typical response: “I’m not good at cooking; I don’t like it.”
Those are two entirely different statements, but I’ve come to understand how related they are. It makes sense; most of us don’t enjoy things we aren’t good at. I don’t like to sit down and paint or draw, largely because I’m a horrible artist. I never enjoyed math in high school and college because, while I wasn’t horrible, I wasn’t as good at it as I was at other subjects.
So if we can remove that degree of fear from cooking, if we can make it feel accessible even for those who aren’t at home in the kitchen, we can eliminate the first half of that statement and, in doing so, eliminate the second half, too.
Cooking Tips for People Who Don’t Like to Cook
If cooking isn’t something you’re good at or comfortable with, don’t jump right into hosting a five course meal for 12 people. Find a couple easy, similar recipes and master them. Maybe you’ll start with chicken- if so, I’d recommend trying baked green chile chicken taquitos, oven-fried chimichangas, and easy weeknight chicken tacos– or maybe pasta- sausage and tortellini or baked spaghetti– is more your thing.
Look for ingredients and techniques that you’ve heard of. Seek out recipes with a short list of steps, or processes that claim to be fool-proof.
2. Read the Entire Recipe Before Getting Started
Don’t just scan the ingredients list and call it good. Read all the ingredients and their amounts and read all each step. Be sure to read the comments, too; learn from the tips and critiques of others who have already prepared that dish. If a recipe calls for ingredients or techniques you’re not familiar with, consider finding another (or see #3).
Read through the recipe again right before making it. Pay attention to how the ingredients are listed; does it call for “one onion,” or “one onion, diced”? You’ll want to make sure your ingredients are in the required state so you don’t lose time when you start cooking. If you’re uncomfortable with the fast pace that’s necessary for a lot of recipes, make sure all ingredients and tools are accessible and ready to go. Measuring out spices, digging for the colander so it’s ready to drain the pasta; these are all small things you can do to make yourself more comfortable when the cooking begins.