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How to Learn to Cook: Cooking Tips for Beginners

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In this Lesson you will Learn

  1. How to learn to cook!

If you didn't learn to cook growing up, it might feel hard to start as an adult. However, if you can follow a recipe and have the right ingredients and tools, all you need is some basic know-how. This academy should serve as a free online cooking course with each section providing some valuable background information and other cooking tips for beginners.

Before You Start

You can find recipes on spoonacular for any dish you want to make. After you have chosen a recipe, make sure to read the instructions carefully from beginning to end before you start so you can avoid any surprises. If you run across any terms or techniques you don't know, be sure to check the appropriate lesson in the academy or google it (if you're doing a lot of research, you might want to start with an easier recipe). Moreover, look for recipes without too many ingredients, and avoid recipes with expensive ingredients until you feel more comfortable. If you have simple, high quality ingredients, you'll almost certainly produce something edible, but if not at least you won't be out too much cash.

Once you've chosen a recipe, make sure you have all the ingredients in the right quantities to make the number of servings you desire. Once you become more experienced in the kitchen, you will know enough to swap ingredients to make do with what you have on hand, but until then, see to it you have all the ingredients and tools the recipe calls for. If you need to preheat the oven, do it before you prep your ingredients, especially if you're short on time. To prep, cut the vegetables, measure the liquids, etc. It might be advisable to use a food scale or measuring cups/spoons at the beginning so you don't over season or otherwise ruin a dish; eventually you'll be able to do this by feeling too.

At this point, just dive in and start cooking. In general, the question how can I learn to cook can be answered quite simply: by doing it. You'll make mistakes, but you'll quickly learn and find yourself gaining the confidence to follow recipes more loosely and eventually to come up with your own recipes. When you do, share them on spoonacular!

P.S. Our meal planner can help you figure out when and what you're going to cook.



  1. Learn to cook by doing it - find recipes, read them carefully, look up unfamiliar terms and techniques, prep accordingly, and learn from any mistakes.
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