How to Make Cooking More Enjoyable (and Easier) with Technology
Written by Eric Kelly of My Dad Adventures
Learning to cook—or practicing new recipes—might seem intimidating. But there are many ways to make it easier and more fun with the help of the internet. Here’s how to make cooking simpler and more enjoyable, thanks to technology.
Don’t Fall Down the Data Rabbit Hole
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re surfing the web for new recipes. But spending too much time online can mean huge data overages if you’re not linked to Wi-Fi. To avoid drowning in data fees with your smartphone or tablet, be mindful of your data usage.
Take Inspiration from Real Life
If you’re passionate about food, odds are you’ve been to a restaurant that has dishes you couldn’t stop raving about. The good news is, you can recreate those recipes at home—with or without the help of your favorite chef.
Consider reaching out to ask for advice (and a sneak peek at their recipe card!) if a local chef or bartender is responsible for the evening’s epic food or drink. Either way, you can still attempt a recreation of your favorite dish, and happily, Mayo Clinic notes it will likely turn out healthier than restaurant options.
Also, keep in mind that one study found people preferred healthy food that they made themselves over the commercially prepared alternative. So, you might have better results duplicating a restaurant’s kale salad anyway, rather than their chocolate milkshake.
Take Advantage of Tutorials
Tutorials are popular among many home chefs—including 59 percent of those ages 25 to 34—and for a good reason. Keeping your tablet or smartphone handy while you whip up breakfast, lunch, or dinner is crucial for nailing a new recipe or technique.
What’s so great about online tutorials is you can play and pause as many times as necessary. The same goes for cooking shows, whether streaming or on live TV. You can pause and rewind to follow each step in the recipe, ensuring everything turns out just-so.
Many videos also come with a blog post or a recipe card you can save for future reference. Once you get the techniques from the tutorial down, you can practice later while offline. Still, you’ll need ample data for the first few practice runs.
Get Up-to-Date Cooking Advice in Seconds
While grandma’s old recipe cards are nice for holiday dinners or those nostalgia-inducing sugar cookies, modern chefs can enjoy branching out with new recipes and appliances like an electric pressure cooker. Whether you’re running the pressure cooker for a quick dinner or need to make a recipe gluten-free for allergies, the internet provides plenty of support for every cooking direction.
Because the internet is always changing, new ideas are always emerging, and that means more flavors and techniques than you could ever try in a lifetime. You can even subscribe to the best cooking channels for ever-changing meal ideas.
Of course, you can also glean inspiration from cooking apps with user-recommended dishes. This way, someone else has already done the trial and error part of cooking for you.
ReviewGeek recommends trying a cooking app like Tasty, BigOven, or Yummly for fresh new ideas for your plate. The best part is, many are free to download and use.
Have Substitutions at the Ready
There’s nothing like preparing to make a delectable dish and then discovering you’re missing a necessary ingredient. With the worldwide web at your fingertips, however, you can easily search for a suitable swap—such as applesauce for oil or lemon juice for vinegar.
You can also find simple substitutions for special dietary needs. An app like Substitutions tells you what to exchange in a pinch. Also, tools like the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner can suggest meal ideas based on the ingredients you have in the pantry—making meal prep a snap.
Are you ready to get cooking? Whatever your motivation for tying on an apron and getting busy in the kitchen, there are ways to make cooking more fun and more rewarding. From tech help to networking to find the best flavors out there, there’s no stopping today’s super-connected home chefs.