Skip To Content

    20 Tricks That Will Take You From Aspiring Cook To Gourmet Chef

    Because you really, really want to enjoy being an adult and cooking for yourself.

    Ignacia Fulcher / BuzzFeed

    We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us how they came to love cooking. Here are their helpful tricks and tips!

    1. Subscribe to Hello Fresh to have healthy foods delivered straight to your door along with information about how to cook them. Knowledge is power.

    hellofresh.com

    "Hello Fresh boxes boosted my confidence and have created a passion for cooking I didn't think I would ever have." —apettersen

    Get a classic plan from Hello Fresh for $9.99 per serving.

    2. Tune out all the extra bullshit in your life and focus on measuring all your ingredients precisely with a couple of measuring cups, so your meal doesn't end up way too salty or sweet, because ew.

    amazon.com

    "I learned to love cooking (baking more specifically) when I started having extreme anxiety in high school. The process of collecting ingredients, finding a great recipe (cakes, cookies, pies, and more cookies), methodically measuring everything, and then seeing it all magically combine into fluffy, sugary deliciousness was such a soothing activity that still gets me into a nice, calm headspace." —haleyb

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $19.99.

    3. Open up this kid's cookbook for basic food combinations that taste amazeballs.

    buzzfeed.com

    "This was the very first cookbook I ever bought on my own at the school book fair! I still make stuff out of it!" —steinbeck

    Get it from Amazon for $1.50+.

    4. Watch the Food Network to update yourself on cool-ass recipes you might be able to replicate in your own kitchen.

    Food Network / Via giphy.com

    "I am Cuban and live in Pittsburgh, so it goes to say that I didn't have much access to things I considered 'comfort food.' It was out of necessity that I learned to make ropa vieja, but as time went on (and I had access to Food Network), I realized I could experiment and change recipes and it became a cathartic part of my day. Creativity and art can sometimes be shown through food." —christina

    5. Drop your food in a Crock-Pot, forget about it for a couple of hours, and voila! Perfectly cooked food every time.

    amazon.com

    "When I was a junior in college, I decided I was over having Chipotle or ramen noodles for dinner every night. I had never cooked in my life because my sweet mother made dinner for our family daily growing up. Everything about cooking meat intimidated me — the temperature, color, how to season!? I was basically only sufficient at boiling noodles. That same sweet mother of mine gifted me my beloved Crock-Pot! I love being able to throw the ingredients in and go about my day while it simmers and cooks to perfection. Five years later, I LOVE cooking and just made pan-seared lamb for dinner, which is a big step up from the boiled noodles! Slow cookers are a great way to ease into cooking." —megk

    Get it from Amazon for $23.92.

    6. Invest in a sharp chef's knife for easily chopping all of your veggies and meats.

    williams-sonoma.com

    "A really good chef's knife for chopping big things and a really good serrated 'bagel knife' for bread and soft veg like tomatoes. I got the chef's knife on a closeout sale at a hotel distributor website." —aprilrhodes

    Get them from Williams-Sonoma: Wüsthof gourmet chef's knife for $54.95 and Zwilling Pro serrated chef's knife for $139.95.

    7. Ask your grandparents for their secret recipes and turn into a cooking connoisseur while spending quality time with the old people who love you most!

    ABC / Via giphy.com

    "I used to stay with my great-grandfather sometimes when I was a kid when my mom had to work. Coming from South Carolina he cooked all of the time so I always watched him and helped him. Everything that I learned about cooking and baking, which I love, I learned from my Papa." —akimat

    8. Sauté your food in a non-stick pan to get crispy, caramelized veggies when the spirit moves you.

    amazon.com

    "A really good non-stick pan. I burned everything before my mom got me a really good non-stick frying pan and non-stick sauce pot." —aprilrhodes

    Get a three-pack from Amazon for $23.99.

    9. Create bomb-ass stews in an Insta Pot. It'll warm you up inside during these chilly fall nights.

    amazon.com

    "I don't have an Insta Pot, but my roommate does and she makes everything in it. She puts the rice in the bottom and steams the meat and veg on the top." —aprilrhodes

    Check out a BuzzFeeder's review here!

    Get it from Amazon for $69.99+. Available in three sizes.

    10. Check out some Tasty vids and follow along with the Tasty Top!

    tastyonetop.com, BuzzFeed

    "I hated cooking until I went on maternity leave for two months, then I needed a hobby to myself when my husband got home and took the little one. I ended up making a new dinner every night. I would actually copy BuzzFeed's Tasty recipes. I actually enjoy cooking now and I'm pretty good at it. This week I made a chicken pot pie from scratch, crust and all." —vanessav

    Get it from Tasty for $149.

    11. Use parchment paper when you're baking things that are super sticky so they'll be cooked evenly on either side.

    amazon.com

    "Parchment paper means nothing sticks to the pan and burns, and a much easier clean-up." —aprilrhodes

    Get a pack of 22 sheets from Amazon for $4.38.

    12. Sign up for a couple of cooking lessons to get hands-on experience around a hot stove.

    Walt Disney Pictures / Via giphy.com

    "My mom sent me to cooking lessons when I turned eight and they continued until the chef had nothing else to teach me, so I started trying things out on my own. Even though I didn't end up in a culinary school, I can probably survive if I had to open my own restaurant. I had an illegal catering business at school and it was pretty popular among students. Even though my current job has nothing to do with cooking, it definitely has become one of the few ways I can express myself." —triplechocolatechip

    Take an online cooking class at Sur la Table for $9.95.

    13. Try some silicone cooking utensils that are really easy to clean after you've made your latest masterpiece.

    amazon.com

    "I hate cooking. But to make it better: silicone cooking utensils. Spatula, spoon, sauce brush, whisk. They are much easier to use than wood or metal." —aprilrhodes

    Get them from Amazon for $24.95. Includes serving tongs, spoon, spatula, ladle, straining spoon, and whisk.

    14. Tune into Worst Cooks In America and make yourself feel better about not being that horrible at cooking for yourself.

    Food Network / Via giphy.com

    "Worst Cooks in America taught me a lot of ways to improve my skills, and really good recipes." —artemiskarpusi

    Watch last season on iTunes for $19.99.

    15. Cozy up on the couch and get inspired by the classic pancake scene in Matilda. Maybe it'll convince you to try it out on your own (the pancake making, not the telekinesis).

    amazon.com

    "I remember becoming obsessed after reading and watching the movie Matilda when I was six or seven. I went on a pancake-making spree which evolved into a love of being in the kitchen. It's my comfort zone now." —emily

    Get it from Amazon for $11.45+. Available on Blu-ray and Amazon Video.

    16. Read a cookbook for easy-to-make recipes that will also taste delish.

    amazon.com

    "I've always loved to cook, and I do know my way around a kitchen, but above all I love a good cookbook. I have amassed quite a few over the years, and reading cookbooks has really upped my game. Many cookbooks are filled with indispensable tips." —michelle

    Get it from Amazon for $18.95. Also available on Kindle.

    17. Splurge on a mini dishwasher so you won't ever have to touch any dirty dishes for a prolonged period of time ever again.

    walmart.com

    "I grew up in a Hispanic household where dishwashers are solely used as a drying rack. Once I moved away for college I started using my dishwasher and found out cooking wasn't completely terrible when you don't have to hand wash dishes?" —idcantu

    Get it from Walmart for $224.99+. Available in three colors.

    18. Get yourself a reliable Dutch oven for flavorful recipes like gumbo or chili!

    amazon.com

    "My mom taught me to cook from the time I was probably about seven years old. My favorite part of the holidays was always choosing a recipe I'd never made before to try out and share with my family. It was always a hobby and a necessary life skill for me, but it really became a passion in my early twenties, when I was in an utterly miserable relationship and living in a strange city. I didn't have many friends, and my boyfriend at the time worked non-stop. So to combat the loneliness and sense of purposelessness, I turned to a few of my favorite cooking blogs like Smitten Kitchen and The Homesick Texan for ideas of ambitious recipes I could spend the weekends perfecting. I also read Julia Child's autobiography during this time, and hearing about how food and cooking helped to define her life into something extraordinary gave me a lot of hope and made her into a role model for me. Cooking helped keep me sane during a really difficult time, and continued to be something I loved to do once things got better. A few years passed, I moved to a new city with more friends, and ended up meeting my (now) fiance. Cooking meals together was one of our favorite dates early on, and we ended up getting engaged over a meal we made ourselves. Cooking Sunday dinners together is still one of our favorite things we do, and we definitely plan on passing down our skills to any kids we end up having! All that said, some products that make me love to cook were definitely my heavy, cast-iron Dutch oven!" —erinm

    Get it from Amazon for $26.49.

    19. Play Oblivion to get alchemist cooking advice that applies in real-life situations. Who even knew?

    amazon.com

    "Nerd warning! When I moved out of my parents' house, I had no cooking skills. I also played Oblivion a LOT. So, I pretended I was a character in Oblivion and performed 'alchemy recipes' and ended up becoming very fluent in the kitchen with amazing dishes I made up myself. To this day I still whip up food using my playful imagination!" —quarterhorse

    Get it from Amazon for $12.47+. Available on Playstation 3 and PC.

    20. Help your parents out in the kitchen, observe, and hope the joys of cooking come to you through the process of osmosis.

    Fox / Via giphy.com

    "I'm not really sure, but I've loved cooking since I was born maybe. I remember spending my childhood by playing chef in our kitchen — chopping shallots and garlic, cutting potatoes, peeling cucumbers, and pretend cooking it like a master. As I grew older, I've had some problems with anxiety. For me, cooking is such a relieving thing. It's one of some tasks that can help me be calm. I feel 'whole' whenever I succeed in making something tasty. Cooking helped me to find myself, and serving my meals to my loved ones becomes my way to show them my love :)" —reyshas

    Don't you love to cook? I love to cook!

    Food Network / Via giphy.com

    Reviews here have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

    Need A Shopping Buddy?

    Get great products - from pros in the fine art of buying stuff online - delivered to your inbox!
    Newsletter signup form