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Is cooking an art or science? What is the best way to learn cooking?

Updated on January 29, 2010

cracking an egg

Art or Science

We all need to eat and the best way to realize that need is to learn how to cook your own meals. Cooking does not have to be complicated, in fact it can be so simple that anyone who wants to learn how, can.

All it takes is some basic tools, time devoted to doing the and a few essential ingredients.

I view cooking as both an art form and a science. There are some basic things that you need to know, for example how to boil water. Water is boiling when the bubbles in it, that begin to form at the bottom of the pot, rise to the surface.

Making your own food offers you a wide-range of choices and possibilities. A sandwich can be s simple as a slice of tomato and a dab of mayo on two slice of bread or a three decker clubhouse with bacon, chicken lettuce and mayo.

The one takes a little more time than the other but a recipe which is a set of instructions will guide you through even the most complicated meal.

The best way to learn to cook is to cook. People learn by doing and seeing as how you have to eat, you might as well get started.

Sandwiches are food but even though they can be very creative and bring your imagination into play to truly get into the cooking experience you need to prepare something hot.

Now you could live off a raw food diet and that will require its own skills but for now let’s stick with the basics.

What you will need:

There are a few tools that are essential to food preparation. You need at least a hot plate with one functioning burner, two or three burners are better but one will get you going.

You need a fry pan and a sauce pot. A spatula and a stirring spoon are also most useful as is a measuring cup.

You will need at least one cookbook. When deciding which one to buy and the array of possibilities is vast, first ask yourself what foods you enjoy eating on a regular basis. Second, how much do you know about cooking? If you have never boiled water and live off of take-out than get a very basic cook book.

The Internet is a great source of recipes and cooking tips.

You can begin your self-taught cooking course by:

1- Assess what tools for cooking you have on hand.

2- What do you enjoy eating?

3- Can you make one of the favourite foods with the tools you have.

This may be time to hit the Internet. Do a search for a recipe for the meal you have chosen. Read the information carefully. Now, do you have all the tools, pot, pan, measuring cup and so on? If you do, do you understand the recipe? If yes, then do you have the ingredients? If not, can you buy them locally?

If the answer is no then pick another recipe.

When you have all that you need. Simply follow the recipe exactly as it is written. Do not stray from that path; it is there to guide you to the tasty end.

Once you have prepared a dish a few times, you can let the art take over from the science and make the changes that suit your own palette.

Now you can cook.

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  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    I started cooking quite young as well, good move with the cherries and frosting.

  • reversefunnelsyst profile image

    reversefunnelsyst 8 years ago from Nashville

    Bob

    To me it is science first because we experiment and t hen it becomes art and we create masterpieces in kitchen.

    Thank you for great hub. I started cooking when I was 8 years old and actually burned my first cake and I took burned parts off and covered with white frosting and decorated with cherries. Nobody noticed anything. It was yammy.

    Thanks again!

    Tatyana

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks Katherine for your generous words.

  • Katherine Baldwin profile image

    Katherine Baldwin 8 years ago from South Carolina

    Hi Bob, as always, great hub. If you are going to be passionate about something, cooking is one of the best places to start! I see the Joy of Cooking in your Amazon capsule. That is by far, the most comprehensive cookbook that you can find. It goes into the why and how of proper techniques for any ingredient. I still have a '70's edition that I still use to this day. It's that good. I highly recommend it and I have a collection of probably 200 plus cookbooks. I collect them in my travels and I have some great ones from all around the country, but The Joy of Cooking is still my favorite. It also makes a great wedding gift and the groom is usually very grateful. Hey, everyone - buy your wedding gifts through Bob's hub!

    Katherine

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Cooking is simple, start small and gradually evolve your skills.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for the comment and yes cooking is simple, begin with the basics and gradually evolve your skills.

  • Annette Rozen profile image

    Ann Martin 8 years ago

    great hub! you certainly make it sound simple enough.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    "a hub on why so many celebrity chefs are guys?" Great idea, my grandmother taught me how to cook.

  • Lifebydesign profile image

    Lifebydesign 8 years ago from Australia

    Wish this was around when I was starting and finding my way in the kitchen - girls don't always find cooking easy. :-)

    Hey, a hub on why so many celebrity chefs are guys?

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    It is amazing; how placement, portion size, colour change the meal or so it seems.

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    Isn't it amazing what cuisine-oriented eye candy does to the taste buds???

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks BW, a little spice will go a long way. :) CJ, thanks for the thumbs up, I have been paying closer attention to presentation recently and the food seems to taste better.

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    Thanks, Bob!  I actually taught cooking classes and treated it both science and art - the science is found in things like food safety, and the art is found in things like the presentation.  Great hub, by the way!

    Thumbs up!

  • Bueller's Way profile image

    Bueller's Way 8 years ago from Massachussetts

    Great Hub Bob, I never learned to cook and am slowly trying to learn how to man the stove. I found this to be a greatly needed bit of inspiration and I'll be back to read more of your stuff. Until then I will continue my endeavor to make cooked food good instead of just edible.

  • Bob Ewing profile image
    Author

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    good answer

  • Chef Jeff profile image

    Chef Jeff 8 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

    Q: Is cooking an art or science?

    A: Yes.

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