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

Updated on May 7, 2011

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

Is cooking an art or a science? To me it is actually a bit of both. I consider it more to be an art because creativity, style, flavor, look and even uniqueness are all involved. On the other hand by involving measurements and ingredients and knowing how to blend certain flavors or spices and how much to blend and what to blend them with is a form of a science. The real answer to this question is all in how you look at this. Is cooking a hobby or are you a chef? Then this may be more of an art to you. If you are a dietitian it may seem to be more like a science to you due to the fact that you have to have exact measurements or make variations to a recipe by omitting say sodium or MSG or by adjusting calorie intake.

So how do you learn how to cook? There any many different ways to learn however my favorite method is by trial and error. By cooking this way I am experimenting with different foods, different spices and all kinds of flavors as well as different measurements of ingredients. Personally what I do is write down the ingredients and the cooking process as I create a dish. After trying the meal and usually serving it to family or friends I collect their opinions and weigh in my own to decide if it is something I will make again. If so the recipe goes in to a notebook and if not I will either alter it and retry it or throw it in the trash. I also always take a negative opinion into careful thought on how or what could I do to make this better or a little bit more moist instead as an insult and letting it hurt my feelings.

So what happens if you do not know how to even brown hamburger meat let alone measure spices and judge flavors or even begin to know what to blend with what. There a several ways to handle this problem. One popular way is to seek out the advice or have assistance when possible of a Mom, Dad, Grandparent, Husband or wife and friends that you consider to be good cooks. You can also observe other people cooking at events such as cookouts, church gatherings, weddings and even in some restaurants. You can learn more then you think by just watching what they do, how they cook, and even by asking what their recipe is or how do they cook that particular meat. Always remember never to be to embarrassed to ask questions because the only dumb question is a question that is not asked, besides all good cooks had to learn at some point and most are more then happy to share techniques, tricks and even recipes with newcomers. So suppose you do not have anyone around that can help you or that method just is not working for you. Another approach to learning how to cook is by reading and researching books, cookbooks, the Internet, or by watching videos and television. You can go to the library and check out videos and books with instruction how to cook, how to spice and blend, different ethnic styles, also guides to cooking poultry, fish, pork, beef, etc. When checking out always make sure the books or videos you are going to borrow have a visualization guide and temperature guide when learning to cook meats and fish. If this method also will not work there is also always the option for a cooking school. Learning this can be costly and time consuming considering that most cooking programs you will go to will certify you as a culinary chef or other related career fields. If cooking school seems to be an only option for you then check with your local community college or your local phone book for recreational classes and schools for cooking and not for culinary arts if you are only wanting to learn basic cooking. The advice I am going to give for learning how to cook is don't get frustrated and keep trying. You are going to have some real bad goofs and one day you will be able to laugh about them I know I do.


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