Many people enjoy getting a little creative in the kitchen at home. If this sounds like you, then you will know the frustration of messing up a meal all too well. This can happen very easily, particularly if it is a new recipe which you have never tried before. But if you find that you are continually failing to produce consistently good food, you might start to wonder what’s up. Don’t worry. Before you label yourself a bad chef, first make sure that everything is okay with the following.
The Oven & Stove
It is amazing how often so-called bad chefs really just have a bad oven. There are some clear signs you should look out for which can indicate that this is what is really going on. For a start, if you are preparing your meals perfectly, but the finished result keeps showing up poorly, then you might have a problem with your oven or your stoves. If you are careful with your timing, but food is still coming out either undercooked or burnt to a crisp, the problem is probably not with you. This is not to say that it’s not a problem, of course. Having a dodgy oven or failing stoves can be frustrating - but at least there is a solution. Call it in and get your oven fixed as soon as you can - it will make a world of difference to the quality of your dishes.
A good chef takes pride in their tools - but it is hard to take pride in something if it is not working as it should, or frequently breaking. If you have started to produce meals of significantly reduced quality, it might be worth looking into whether your tools are to blame. More often than not, you can see a dramatic improvement in your skills by simply replacing or repairing old and damaged tools. Certain tools are particularly important - knives are among the most important tools a chef has, and you need to ensure that yours are the best they can be. First of all, be sure to get decent quality ones from somewhere like Cut It Fine. But also make sure that you are looking after them properly, by sharpening them before and after every use, or at least every other use. This will dramatically extend the life of your knives, and that will help with your prep.
Funnily enough, we often forget that the recipe itself can be at fault. Sometimes it can be something of a challenge finding a recipe that is actually top notch. Mostly, this is just a matter of trial and error. You need to spend some time looking around for decent resources for the kind of recipes you like to cook with. Over time, you will learn which chefs, websites, books and television programs you can trust - and which ones your kitchen could probably do without. Then you can ensure that you're only ever cooking meals which you know you can trust, and that will make a huge difference to your cooking.