Poll: What Cooking Skill Would You Love to Learn?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  420 comments   :  22,370 Views

Chefs make it all look so easy, don’t we? The truth is, whether we're making a Bechamel (white) sauce on TV or flipping an omelet in a restaurant, it has taken plenty of practice, research, and education--both formal and informal--to get it just right.

Members often ask me questions about their biggest kitchen challenges.

Cooking isn't about making food look perfect, and the sign of a good cook isn't one who can perfectly execute pâté de canard en croute. It's about feeling comfortable in the kitchen and being able to cook food that is healthy and delicious.

So now I want to know: What cooking skill would you love to learn?

Can't bake bread to save your life? Terrified of cooking fish? Nervous about wielding a knife?

Share your kitchen fears in the comments below. My role on SparkRecipes and SparkPeople is to help you feel more comfortable in the kitchen. Tell me know I can help!

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  • 420
    Love to learn how to use a Wok and not burn the house down. It seems such a healthy way to cook. - 5/9/2015   8:19:10 PM
  • 419
    Definitely would love to learn to make bread. - 7/21/2012   11:27:53 AM
  • 418
    Grilling! My husband is so good at it. Its burnt or raw with me in charge. - 7/20/2012   12:54:16 PM
  • 417
    I have a mandolin which I just can't master! Would love to learn how to use it! - 7/19/2012   7:32:16 AM
    Kayotic, I completely agree. My knife skills are very lacking. I'd love to be able to get rid of all of my chopping machines and just learn how to use my knife effectively . I'd have so much room in my kitchen that I'd have to do a little dance. Dancing burns calories. Yeah! - 7/17/2012   6:29:33 PM
  • 415
    I would love to make baked desserts that are healthy! I love to cook them but often food such as cake or baked goods are so high in sugar and fat that I can't jusity making them while trying to lose weight! - 7/17/2012   5:23:18 PM
  • 414
    Timing every dish so they come together at an appropiate temperature. The main entree cools while I am finishing with preparing veggies. I am good at making soups and pasta. - 2/20/2012   2:21:06 PM
  • 413
    I'm terrible with knives. I once cut myself in 3 different places (twice on the foot!) with one single knife chop. Just 2 nights ago I took a big chunk out of my nail that would have cut into the bed if ti were a quarter of an inch lower. I just can't get a handle on handling a knife, and it will likely cost me some skin. - 1/4/2012   9:12:56 AM
  • 412
    Knife skills - 1/4/2012   12:40:39 AM
  • 411
    I would love to know how to properly chop veggies and be more creative with my meals. - 1/3/2012   7:02:49 PM
  • 410
    Definitely pastry. Not my forte. - 1/2/2012   7:49:10 PM
  • 409
    Good pie crusts! - 11/16/2011   11:20:17 AM
  • 408
    i'd really like to be a better decortator of cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc. - 10/21/2011   12:52:05 PM
  • 407
    I had beef wellington on a cruise several years ago and been trying to make it ever since but either the meat is not right or the grease comes through the pastry and it was finished with a peach tart with some kinda pudding ubder a half peach,dang that thang was good
    - 9/20/2011   9:25:15 AM
  • 406
    I would love to learn how to cook chinese food, not over cook fish (don't have it very often because of this) and how to season food right. Also how to cook good meals on a very tight budget but be healthy. Plus try and get more than one meal out of it. Thanks for asking. - 9/16/2011   1:26:11 AM
    Make bread. At high altitude, I've always struggled with this in the past. Inside the hard, hard outside, the bread tastes good, but not the crust. - 9/14/2011   7:39:09 PM
  • 404
    Stir Fry - I realize it's basic, but I never know what kind of liquid to use to get good flavor. If I use one from the grocery store, it's got lots of added sugars, perservatives and calories. - 4/4/2011   1:07:27 PM
    I want to learn how to make sushi and improve my knife/chopping technique for quicker, similar size cuts - 1/27/2011   2:52:30 PM
    Chinese food and Baking - 1/14/2011   12:31:07 PM
  • 401
    Baking.... I can cook anything else but can't bake a decent cake or pie crust to save my life.. Well, I can do a nice graham cracker crust, lol but that's too easy. :-) - 1/8/2011   12:55:23 PM
  • 400
    I would like to master canning fruits and vegetables, it just tastes so much healthier! - 1/6/2011   2:46:00 PM
  • 399
    Japanese or Korean style of cooking - they are all so skinny :-) - 1/5/2011   5:04:12 PM
  • 398
    I wish I wasn't so recipe dependant. I want to be the kind of cook that can whip up something fabulous with whatever is in the kitchen. I also ALWAYS over cook Tuna steak - wish I could get that one right! - 1/5/2011   4:29:27 PM
  • 397
    I like the idea of getting the most bang for my buck - multiple meals from minimal ingredients and things like that! - 1/5/2011   4:06:30 PM
  • 396
    Carving a turkey, roast or ham without making a mess of it. Before next Thursday would be great. :-) - 11/19/2010   3:28:16 AM
    Similar to Westiegal, I would like to be more adept at prepping once for a few meals. I don't mean cooking a lot and having leftovers, but I always read about these "cook once, eat twice" and similar kinds of things, but have never really gotten there.
    Not having a freezer (other than the one in the fridge) is one reason, but that's not enough of a reason to not do it at all. - 11/14/2010   10:06:06 AM
  • 394
    I would love to see a recipe that has you cooking once but preparing 4-5 meals such as a roasted turkey and with the left over meat a turkey pot pie, turkey tacos, turkey spaghetti & turkey soup for instance. All healthy of course! - 11/10/2010   3:12:55 PM
  • 393
    I would really love to master the art of making a great sponge cake. I have often been asked to make a sponge for our church functions, but have always declined as I just don't seem to be able to get it right. I follow the recipe, but it is never quite right. Perhaps it is because I am not a real fan of cake of any sort.?? - 11/9/2010   5:54:50 AM
    I need to learn to season with herbs and spices; modify a recipe to just 2 servings; change old recipes to healthy ones; use whole wheat flour instead of white flour; to bake using applesauce or sour cream. - 9/22/2010   3:59:30 AM
  • 391
    Knife skills. - 9/15/2010   11:00:55 AM
  • 390
    I have the cooking skills down pretty well, but I would love to be able to get creative and whip something up from whatever ingredients are in the kitchen. - 8/6/2010   11:08:50 AM
  • 389
    I would like to use more spices and learn canning - 8/4/2010   11:46:46 AM
  • 388
    Canning and dehydrating how-tos. And I'd love to see a LONGER video on how to bake a basic wheat bread recipe that you let raise and knead twice; humans have made homemade bread for thousands of years without a machine? How do you do that in a bowl? - 8/3/2010   1:21:04 PM
  • 387
    I really need to learn to cook for a picky eater, my taste buds aren't as discriminate. Flavour, flavour and more flavour is what I want, but DH is happier with a semi-bland meal. I'm always looking for low-sodium and low-cholesterol options for both of us. - 7/30/2010   2:10:58 PM
  • 386
    I would love to master the skill of using various amounts of spices and herbs when cooking to increase and maximize flavours in my dishes! - 7/19/2010   11:19:38 AM
    I would love to be able to learn to re-figure an old recipe making it more healthy and to figure out how to figure out the nutritional values on recipes. In my quest, I'd love to make regular family recipes into diabetic friendly recipes and to be able to offer the carbs, sugar and fat content for those who need to follow strict guidelines in their diets. I'd love to be able to offer beter tasting dishes for diabetics which they will love and not feel guilty about eating. I'd also like to incorporate more spices/less salt in my recipes as well without distorting the original flavor! - 7/19/2010   7:18:58 AM
    I can't even make noodles - they don't tell me when they're ready... - 7/17/2010   6:08:58 PM
    i'm always afraid to venture from the recipe...what happens if what i make tastes like crap....im trying to learn new things and trying to get a "flare" for making foods. - 7/15/2010   12:26:54 PM
  • 382
    I would love to learn more knife skills - and not just knife skills, but information on how to choose the right knives for my needs. That would be great! - 7/15/2010   10:28:16 AM
  • 381
    I love to cook everything.....HOWEVER, I am terrible with fish (not shell fish), I would love to be able to use fresh herbs more, and to master some good baking skills that I can improve on! - 7/14/2010   9:48:51 AM
    My biggest challenge is just the fact that I hate to cook - always have. But when I do cook, I can never seem to time it so that everything is ready at the same time. I usually end up eating each item as it's ready, otherwise it would be cold by the time other stuff is ready. - 7/14/2010   8:34:02 AM
    I need help with biscuits; they look beautiful, however, they turn out like brickbats or fall apart when you try to slice to put butter/sausage in them. I would also like to learn to make yeast rolls but without taking the whole day to do so.

    Sparklebabie - 7/13/2010   5:02:13 PM
  • 378
    I am pretty confident in the kitchen, but I would love more baking with whole grains from scratch recipes and instruction about adapting old recipes to them. Answer questions about the difference between "white whole wheat" ,"whole wheat pastry flour" , "graham" and so on. IS there a difference between white whole wheat and ww pastry flour?

    I would especially appreciate baking recipes that DO NOT use banana as an oil/sweetener substitute because that is an allergen for me and it's a common substitute in quick bread recipes.

    I love how you use simple "real ingredients" rather than convenience foods that tend to be full of not-so-good-for-us stuff. - 7/13/2010   1:43:33 PM
  • TOPSFAN535
    I would like to learn how to be a more innovate and intuitive cook. My son-in-law is a great cook and seldom uses a recipe, he just throws stuff together with great results. I majored in food and nutrition in college and am a good cook but in school they overemphasized following the recipe to the letter, not being innovative! - 7/13/2010   11:27:19 AM
    I'm pretty comfortable in the kitchen; however I would love to learn how to break recipes down from servings of 6 or 8 to 2. I hesitate on many recipes because I cook only for me and am not a huge fan of leftovers. So a meal w/1 or 2 servings would be great for dinner & lunch the next day. I know I can freeze some things but don't know for how long beacuse I may not what that dish for a month, then there's freezer burn... and wasted food. - 7/13/2010   10:47:43 AM
  • 375
    Like Catcar5167, I would like to learn what herbs and spices mix the best. I love Rosemary, but so far every recipe I've tried was less than desirable.
    - 7/12/2010   10:59:35 PM
  • 374
    For me, any skill would be an improvement! - 7/12/2010   9:48:48 PM
    When serving a holiday dinner for the family my challenge is having everything ready at the same time. - 7/12/2010   4:58:11 PM
  • 372
    I would love to learn how to bake bread (I worry about messing up the yeast!), which is something I actually think I'm going to try soon. I love fresh bread, and this would allow me to get a better idea of the nutritional info (thanks SP recipe builder!). I also wish I was more efficient at chopping vegetables, herbs, etc... and knowing when chicken is cooked through (I always worry about undercooking it). - 7/12/2010   2:58:30 PM
  • 371
    Is there a way to make tomatoes less acidic when cooking them in recipies? - 7/12/2010   2:37:53 PM

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