Home and Living

Your Go-To Guide to All the Kitchen Basics You Should Know

So, you’ve graduated and are moving on from dorm life. Whether this means moving into an apartment or back in with your parents, with that meal plan gone, chances are you may decide it’s time to start cooking. Because #adulting. It can all seem a little overwhelming, but with a few tips and tricks from Plated, you’ll be gliding around the kitchen in no time. We’ve rounded up some basics below, perfect for all new grads—from making pasta and pancakes, to getting creative with tools when you’re on a budget. (Side note: if you’re not a new grad, we bet you’ll find some solid info on this list, too!)

Recipe basics

How to make pasta
If you’re looking for a super easy (and cheap) dinner that’s perfect any day of the week, pasta is the answer. Pick your favorite shape and sauce, and follow along to make noodles galore. Extra credit if you make enough for lunch the next day.

How to sear steak
Even if steak isn’t in the cards super often, it’s always good to know how to perfectly sear one when it’s time to splurge. Not only will your steak be extra juicy, but you’ll experience flavor to the max.

How to make omelets (and eggs, in general)
Move over, omelet station… there’s a new grad in town (who can easily make this treat at home). Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, omelets can be filled with pretty much anything you have on hand (pro tip: it’s definitely okay to use leftovers). Or, if you’re all about other staples like scrambled, boiled, poached, or fried eggs, we’ve got that right here.

How to make pancakes
Who doesn’t love a stack of pancakes with syrup, powdered sugar, and all the chocolate chips? Exactly. Most of us make them from a box, but this breakfast fave can be made from scratch in under ten minutes. With just a few pantry ingredients, you’ll be flipping ‘jacks in no time.

How to make birthday cake
We’re not going to lie… funfetti cake is perfection. BUT, our birthday cake recipe is maybe better. Totally easy, this layered cake will make you a star baker (and some new best friends) in no time. Dare we say: rainbow sprinkles?

How to make ramen
Repeat after me: just because you graduated does not mean you should stop eating ramen. Maybe just elevate the instant version with our go-to ramen, which is totally customizable—you can enjoy this much-loved Japanese staple all the time.

How to make rice
For some reason, cooking rice is overwhelming for most, but it’s super easy with the right recipe. Think of the most perfect, fluffy rice—just pinky swear that you won’t lift the lid.

How to tell when it’s done
With so many types of food out there, it’s hard to keep track of when everything is done cooking. After all, knowing internal temperatures or textures isn’t something most people remember.  Lucky for you, this quick guide has your back.

Prep + tools

How to dice an onion (without crying)
We’ll be honest, cutting onions isn’t great. But, these tips definitely cut down on the tears, so you can focus on those knife skills. Pro tip: once you’re in the groove, keep going so you have a stash for the week.

How to mince garlic
While mincing garlic may seem like a lot of work, it’ll only take you a few seconds. Once you’ve got the steps down, you’ll use this skill over and over again.

How to choose kitchen tools
Most of us can’t stock up the kitchen all at once (they can be expensive!). If you’re looking to start with the essentials for post-grad life, you really only need six tools to get you started.

How to improvise when you don’t have a tool
When a recipe calls for something like a rolling pin and you don’t have one… no worries. There’s a substitute for that (ahem, wine bottle), along with tons of other tools you probably don’t own.

Oh, and because some people may be asking what to get you as a grad present, or you need to buy one for another beloved grad, we’ll just leave this here.

Take your cooking skills to the next level—order Plated!

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