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Hi, I am a beginner at cooking and want to improve my technical skills. What are some skills I should hone to improve my experience as a home chef?

For example, knife skills, cooking eggs just to name a few.
 

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My suggestion is to read a lot of recipes (and other materials) to learn how food flavors combine to make good tastes. Learn how to “taste the recipe” in your mind. Then cook, eat, and repeat… repeatedly. Practice will hone both your flavor skills and the mechanical cooking skills. Feed someone else who will give honest feedback.
 

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Hi, I am a beginner at cooking and want to improve my technical skills. What are some skills I should hone to improve my experience as a home chef?

For example, knife skills, cooking eggs just to name a few.
To get started learning knife skills, take a class (if possible). I found it invaluable to get instruction and feedback. It allowed me to correct errors and improve knife skills and techniques.

If you are unable to take an in-person class, I recommend you take a look at this FREE knife skills class on Craftsy. It covers the fundamentals well. The following is what they cover. The entire sequence totals less than two hours.
  • Introduction
  • Essential Knife Skills
  • Shortcuts for Fruits, Veggies, and Herbs
  • Sharpening & Honing

I may not agree 100% with everything said and done, but it will help get you started for a very good price . . . FREE!
 

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My suggestion is to read a lot of recipes (and other materials) to learn how food flavors combine to make good tastes. Learn how to “taste the recipe” in your mind. Then cook, eat, and repeat… repeatedly. Practice will hone both your flavor skills and the mechanical cooking skills. Feed someone else who will give honest feedback.
I can't agree more! Taste, taste, and taste some more. That was one of the most critical things I learned was to taste as I cook. That way I can make adjustments while I'm cooking and not crossing my fingers and hope it turns out well.

Tasting as I went also provided me with invaluable opportunities to focus on the impact of a single ingredient . . . especially salt and acid (e.g., lemon, vinegar, etc.) and its contribution to the overall flavor. Understanding what specific ingredients can do is a lifelong journey.

I would emphasize reading (as mentioned above). One resource I found very helpful is Samin Nosrat's book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Masting the Elements of Good Cooking. I first read this book as an audiobook (Yes . . . a cooking book that can be listened to). I liked it so well, I then purchased the digital version for my iPad. Then I purchased a hardback version. The hardback version is under $17 right now.

 

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just about anything you want to learn can be found on the internet.
the primary skill required to become a better cook is paying attention to what you did and how it turned out -
then think about what you can do / need to do . . . to improve.

after that, it's practice practice practice.
it's uncommon to make a dish turn out "perfect" the first time. what stuff looks like, how it comes together, sequence and timing of adding ingredients . . . the next time(s) around you know what to expect.
 

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Knife skills, yes. Learn how to make a clear chicken stock. Bring it to a very very short brief boil and then simmer. As to the boil we're talking just a minute of less. Then followed by a loooooooooong simmer all afternoon and into the night. Ain't no other way. Remove the pieces, the bones, the veggies and the strain thru a sieve and then thru cheese cloth. A lake made from egg whites wouldn't hurt either.

And get yourself an original copy of THE ESCOFFIER. And simply skim thru the hundreds of recipes. I once made an exquisite Beef Wellington from his recipe using a pate feuillete. Perfectly pink and medium rare with a flaky crust.

And I use exclusively WHITE LILY AP FLOUR. It's a soft wheat only available in the south. It's what you want for crusts. The other flours available in this country are hard wheats, a whole different mouthfeel. As you know it's corn starch used for thickening pie filling. Well, you want ONLY a high starch flour and there's an inverse relation between starch and protein in flour. You want a low protein flour. Low protein equals high starch. White Lily AP flour. Once you learn that relation your cooking will take off.

I have given to you some of my heart that's taken years for me years to learn.
 
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