Feeding yourself is one of the most basic functions of humanity, but more than a quarter of Americans don’t know how to cook at all. Restaurant sales surpassed grocery store sales in 2015, meaning that people are relying on restaurants to feed themselves and their families. This isn’t inherently bad – it is often possible to make good food choices in restaurants, so you can still be well nourished even if you don’t know how to cook. But eating out frequently is expensive and over time it might not be sustainable for your budget. If you reached adulthood with no clue how to cook a decent meal, you’re living in the best possible time because there are gadgets and tech that can help.
Learn The Basics
Basic food safety rules go a long way toward cooking safely. Always wash your hands before and after handling food and before you eat. Keep your foods separated in the shopping cart, in the refrigerator, and when you prepare them. Always cook food thoroughly and learn the proper temperature for each type of food you are preparing. Keep your food refrigerated at the proper temperature and make sure you get your leftovers in the fridge quickly after meal time.
Basics Don’t Create Meals, Though
Knowing basic food safety doesn’t turn safely cooked chicken into a meal. For that you will need to learn how to cook recipes or methods for creating your own recipes. Of course YouTube is a great place to find tutorials, but sometimes you don’t know what you will get or whether it will be satire. It’s best to stick with something you know is going to help.
Project Foodie is a great app from celebrity chef Daniel Holzman that includes video tutorials, recipe customizations, grocery list building, and recommendations for which kitchen tools you may need to buy.
Side Chef is an app that can help you plan a weekly menu and generate a shopping list from that, something that newer cooks often struggle with. This app can even help you place a grocery delivery order so all you have to do is decide what to make and then learn how to make it.
Chef Tap allows you to save recipes from multiple sites and organize them, then when you decide to cook one of them it can add ingredients from that recipe to your shopping list. This one is available across devices, which is nice if you want to save recipes on your phone and then use your tablet to pull up instructions when you cook. You can also adjust recipe sizes within the app according to how many people you want to feed.
There are apps for recipe substitutions, measurement conversions, cooking times, and just about anything else you might need to learn how to cook.
Apps Don’t Do The Whole Job, Either
Gadgets are often very helpful for newer cooks. The InstaPot has taken the world by storm because it takes the guesswork out of cooking food. The Range Dial Grill Pro helps you know what temperature your food needs to cook to based on what it is by using a simple dial with pictures. The Days Ago Tracker is a neat device you can put on your condiments so you know when it’s time to throw them out. The Hiku Fridge Magnet can scan barcodes or recognize your voice to keep a grocery list going until it’s time to go to the store.
If you don’t know how to cook, it’s not hopeless. There are plenty of resources available to you to help you learn this very necessary life skill. Learn more about cooking tips and tech from this infographic.