When you work in your kitchen, do you feel like a productive master chef or a bored line cook? If your routine has got you down in the doldrums, spice up your cooking habits. Use appliances you never use. Make food from a culture you’re unfamiliar with. Use a kooky kitchen gadget you’ve never used before. Whatever you do, look at your kitchen through fresh eyes and never cook a boring meal again! Learn how to change up your everyday cooking habits and surprise your loved ones with a spread of adventurous new dishes. Keep your creative muscles limber in the kitchen and make it a vibrant experience every time.
Use Obscure Appliances
Remember that air fryer you got for your last birthday? You’ve probably heard folks telling you that it makes French fries and chicken nuggets much healthier. If you’re not into cooking fast food at home, fear not. View your air fryer through different eyes and see it for what it is: a tabletop convection oven. Instead of hot oil, it moves hot air around your food to cook it efficiently and quickly. If you’re looking for a crispy, crunchy bite for dinner tonight, break out the air fryer instead of taking extra time to preheat your oven. It’ll roast vegetables with alacrity and ease. And air fryers are experts at reheating food, too! A microwave will leave your leftover pizza floppy and damp, but an air fryer will heat it evenly without sacrificing texture.
Try a few new kitchen gadgets, too. Use an avocado slicer next time you’re making guacamole or avocado toast. Mince garlic without the fuss of chopping by hand—use a garlic chopper instead. Add extra fun to the cooking process by trying out wacky new gadgets you didn’t know you needed. Meat tenderizers that add marinade, knives that heat up and make slicing butter a snap—try a new utensil every week. You might find little hacks to shave time off that routine you’re breaking!
Try Unconventional Ingredients
If you tend to stick to a few basic dishes, branch out by swapping your regular ingredients for variations you’ve never tried before. Turn spaghetti night on its head by using noodles dyed with squid ink. Knock your dinner guests’ socks off with portobello mushroom burgers; the vegetarians at the table will be begging for your recipe. And if you’re planning a roast dinner for a special occasion, why not buy Wagyu beef instead of your grocery store go-to? Wagyu’s unique flavor elevates any beef-based dish with its buttery texture and umami flavor. It makes for splendid roasts, burgers, and even meatballs.
Amp up those vegetables you’re roasting in the air fryer (see above!) by adding sliced daikon radishes to the mix. Use ghee instead of regular butter to fry your eggs. Think about all your favorite dishes that you cook on a regular basis. Next time you’re in the kitchen, swap out one or two ingredients for a variety you’ve never used before.
Update Your Utensils
How long have you relied on your kitchen knives? If your trusty knife set and block are more than a few years old, consider replacing them with a fresh set. Working with new utensils adds excitement to the cooking process. You’ll be mesmerized as you watch your brand-new knife chop veggies with precision.
Add a little extra brightness to your kitchen with unique measuring spoons and cups, too. Whisks, spatulas, wooden spoons—treat yourself to one or two fancy new utensils. Every whimsical addition to your kitchen will get you excited to cook.
Sample New Cultures
Did you know that Indian cooking uses spices in an entirely different way than, say, French cooking? European sensibilities tend to pair similar flavors together—onions with garlic, parsley with oregano, and so on. Indian cuisine, meanwhile, combines flavor profiles that have little to no common ground. For example, cayenne is a common ingredient in any curry. Any Indian dish that contains cayenne isn’t likely to have similar flavors. Instead, cumin offers a contrasting flavor that enhances both ingredients. Take a cue from Indian chefs and experiment with complementary spices you’ve never paired before.
Look around the world for cooking techniques you’ve never tried before, too. Famous in the Caribbean, jerk chicken is slathered in spices before being slow-cooked over a fire of green pimento wood. Confit, perfected in the Pyrenees mountains, refers to cuts of meat submerged and cooked in their own fat. And tamales, a classic Central American street food, are traditionally wrapped in corn husks before cooking. Try out some adventurous methods! You might find one or two that stick with you.
Make a Game of It
If you’re a dedicated foodie, you probably watch your fair share of cooking shows and videos. Take inspiration from them! Next time you’re in the kitchen, pretend you’re hosting a cooking show. Gather all your ingredients in a picture-perfect mise en place, complete with tiny containers or bowls for each herb and spice. Add aesthetic precision to your cooking routine, and you’ll see it through fresh eyes.
You can also go head-to-head with a friend or partner in a timed competition. When you place a time limit on yourself and embrace your competitive spirit, the cooking process becomes much more fun. Even if you’re by yourself in the kitchen, set a timer and keep an eye on it.
Creativity flourishes with limitations. If you’ve never cooked a vegan or gluten-free meal, why not try it? Bake bread with unique flours. Experiment with substitutes for eggs, butter, and milk. Perfect your recipes and make exquisite meals by limiting yourself just a little bit.
Get out of that rut you’ve been in! Shake up your kitchen with a few changes, from the simple to the adventurous. Do something different in the kitchen every day and challenge yourself to cook like you’ve never cooked before. When swapping out your grocery-store beef for a more decadent variety, look no further than Lone Mountain Wagyu and buy Wagyu beef from our versatile selection. When you know how to change up your everyday cooking habits, you’ll break that routine in a snap. Variety is, after all, the spice of life. Grab those spices and dive into a bright culinary future!