Does Following a Recipe Make You a Better Cook?

When you want to try something new, or you open a device which needs to be set up, what you automatically look for is the procedure on how to go about and assemble the product. Same goes when you want to try and prepare food you have not cooked before. Even when it’s just a lutong bahay recipe which others might consider an easy (or basic) meal to prepare, there are still doubts on whether you are doing it right.

Does Following a Recipe Makes You a Better Cook?

After all, recipes and cook books are made for the purpose of guiding people how to make certain dishes no matter how simple they may be. Sometimes, recipes may educate those who makes use of it new cooking techniques which may be used in the future, or for most recipes found in particular cookbooks. However, a question lingers on whether people—regular home cooks to professional chefs—makes for a better cook when following recipes? Could it be that you could become an effective cook even without following procedures?

Recipes are like GPS

If you drive a car, or is a passenger of one, you have encountered the GPS system, and have the knowledge that it is not just a map or a navigation system, but a series of instructions in which the driver has to follow in order to avoid getting lost. The recipe is very much like the same, but you are navigating the way you can use the ingredients to produce a tasty dish. Just like when one of the instructions are not followed will leave the driver confused and lost, so will a slight misstep in following the recipe could alter the dishes’ flavors.

It teaches cooking fundamentals

Recipes are not limited to procedures, as well as a mini-shopping list of the ingredients which are included for the preparation; rather, as mentioned earlier, it also serves as a teacher which can instruct you (in a silent manner which requires reading) on how to perform different cooking techniques, or how to make complicated techniques easier. In a way, recipes are also simple how-to guides for those who wants to learn cooking.

Cooking is science

Frankly, cooking is what you can connect to alchemy: the science of working with different ingredients, putting them together, to create a whole. Of course, cooking also means experimentation—trying different ingredients to see which fits together. To follow a recipe brings a sort of organized and harmonious way of making use of the ingredients, where cooking is about freestyle.

Recipes are ignored

Admit it, there is a point when you just drop the cookbook and go, “I can do this!”. When you start the process of food preparation, you tend to forget that you need to check the recipe time and again to review whether you are still on the right track. However, you don’t want to stick to reading (and trying to understand the process) while the fire’s going on in the kitchen. It’s just challenging to cook and read something at the same time.

Recipes used to consult

Sometimes, the only reason you search for a certain recipe online is not really to learn how to cook a dish, but just to confirm that these are the correct ingredients, or to review the steps so you can be sure you remember it correctly.

There is lack of freedom

Cooking is about freestyle. If it tastes bland, add more spices to taste. You can control what goes in the dish, and you can even add your own twist. Compared to following the recipe, you are limited to the ingredients and procedures which are stated in the instructions.

It serves as an inspiration

Recipes are not only limited on written texts. Sometimes, recipes—even the lutong bahay recipes you have perfected in cooking—are shown through small video clips found in social media which makes users’ mouth water, and be inspired to replicate these dishes with their own twist.

You will learn improvisation

Recipes are just too complicated sometimes, even with the ingredients just before getting to the part of actually preparing the dish. Sometimes, the ingredients are not even found in the area (or in the country at all). This is where you will learn how to improvise, find ingredients which are similar in taste and feel.

Key Takeaway

To conclude, does following a recipe make you a better cook? It can improvise your cooking skills, and it could certainly teach you a lot of hacks and techniques on making your dish preparation easier. That doesn’t mean that you have to follow and rely on recipes all the time. Remember, your cooking skills get better by learning on your own too. You don’t become a better cook by sticking to recipes, but then again there are times when recipes help correct and improve food preparation.

About the author

Praveen Rajarao

Praveen Rajarao is an Entrepreneur and in his spare time blogs on his website – and His topics range from blogging to technology to affiliate programs and making money online and how-to guides. Daily Morning Coffee is also accepting Guest Posts from Professional Bloggers at this time, take a look at “Write For DMC” page for more details on the same.


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  • not only following a recipe make you a better cook, keep trying that recipe until you have desired taste make you a better cook,
    thanks for sharing this this

  • I always used to say that cooking is an art. In this article I got a new point – “it is a science”. Well, cooking is of course a science because of the chemistry that happens inside the dish but a lot of human discretion is used in cooking. So it is both science and art. Had it been just a science, everyone could have cooked tasty food with a recipe manual at hand.

  • I think following my recipe is good, back to us how we make it better than the recipes we have followed. we are clever in managing the ingredients of the cooking and spices that we will make later. great article
    Dandyamo recently posted…Paket Pernikahan JogjaMy Profile

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