Being able to cook is a fundamental skill that every man should have at least a basic grasp of.
It is a key plank in being independent and self reliant and ensures you have the edge when it comes to health and fitness.
As a bonus, watching men cook is something that turns women on.
43% of millennial men are now cooking, and spending 49 minutes a day doing so.
The question is, are you one of them?
I dabbled a bit in the kitchen when I was at high school, but it was in college when I started to getting really good.
I had a roommate who was an incredibly cook and I picked up a lot of tips from him. We would watch cooking shows for inspiration and then spend hours creating some tasty meals.
Now, it's a skill I use every day and something I (and my girlfriend) am incredibly grateful for.
Why Men Should Cook
1. The Kitchen Is Not Just A Woman's Domain
Cooking is a task that is often stereotypically portrayed as a woman's job.
However it is a useful life skill that is incredibly beneficial for a man. Whether you are single, dating or in a long term relationship, being able to whip up a healthy, nutritious and tasty meal can only do you good.
It doesn't mean you have to flip the gender roles, become an ardent feminist and take over all the cooking. This is about adding value to your life and upskilling in a crucial area. After all, we all have to eat, so you shouldn't neglect such an important area of your life.
Traditionally men have always been involved in food preparation, from hunting to butchery as well as cooking and baking.
2. Cooking Makes You Independent
When you can't cook for yourself you must be dependent on either your mother, your girlfriend or take out.
Learning to cook allows you to perform that crucial task of feeding yourself without relying on others. It's one of those basic manly life skills, like starting a fire, changing a tire or polishing boots, although arguably even more important.
Being able to take care of yourself is important. If you are single then it's critical. If you are in a committed relationship, you may benefit from the domestic attention of a woman, but you still need the independence of being able to stand on your own two feet.
Women like a man who can take care of himself and they want to know you aren't looking for a wife who will take over the duties of your mother.
3. Cooking At Home Is Healthier
Nutrition is an incredibly important part of any workout program. You can't put of muscle or lose fat if you don't know how to eat.
And you can't know how to eat if you don't know how to prepare food.
Sure you can eat take out, but you never quite know what kind of additives, oils, sweetners or other unhealthy stuff might be going into your food.
If you have serious fitness goals (which you should), then you need to be able to feed yourself.
4. Cooking Saves You Money
Eating out can be expensive, particulalry if you want to eat healthy.
Learning how to cook means more money in your wallet for other important things. I find it much more pleasurable to go out for a couple of nice meals every week, rather than eating out all the time.
If you are smart about your food budget and shop smart, then you can make a little bit of money go a long way in the kitchen.
5. Cooking Allows You To Be Hospitable
Inviting people into your home to share a meal is one of life's simple pleasures. It's where you connect and show generosity and hospitality.
Being able to cook enables you to participate is this ritual by being a good host. Without it, you can't. It's not the same going out or ordering food. A home cooked meal shared with loved ones is a special experience.
6. Cooking Is Artisitc and Therapeutic
Cooking is an art. It develops your inventiveness, engages the senses, teaches you to pay attention to details and allows you to create beautiful things.
It's also downright pleasureable and therapeutic. Cooking allows you to destress, clear your mind and enjoy being present in the moment. It's a little bit meditative.
7. Cooking Impresses Women
Women love a man who can cook. Not only does it show that all important independence and basic life competence, but women too love to eat.
What could be better for them than their man plating up something that looks good and tastes even better.
Cooking is great low cost date idea. It's great for conversation, it's a shared activity and means you are never far from the bedroom.
It also doesn't hurt that certain foods are aphrodisiacs.
The Cooking Basics Men Should Master
They key to become a better cook is to be curious and persistent. It takes time, practice and often a lot of failure.
But if you keep working at it, like any skill, you will get better.
While you shouldn't expect to become a master in a short space of time, these are a few basics that you can start working on right now in order to up your game in the kitchen.
1. Making An Omlette
Eggs are a great source of protein. An omlette is not only an impressive breakfast you can create quickly, it is extremely versatile and you can experiment with many different flavors and variations.
2. Making Pancakes
Another basic breakfast staple that is pretty easy to learn. If you want to impress a lady on a Sunday morning then you could do a lot worse than pancakes.
Grilling has long been the one part of food prep that is considered to be the male domain. Learning how to sear and cook to the right level of doneness are very important skills. There are slightly different things to think about when grilling steak, chicken, sausages and burgers and you should endeavor to learn them all.
Here's a great video on grilling burgers.
4. Cooking And Carving A Roast Chicken
Roast chicken is actually quite a simple meal but a great thing you can make if you are catering to a large number of people. Despite being pretty easy it is always a winner.
5. Making Basic Sauces
The two basic sauces I first learned were a tomato sauce and a white sauce. These are two of the five french mother sauces.
These two sauces are easy to make and a staple for a huge number of dishes.
6. Stir Fry
Stir fry is a quick and easy dinner meal that also has an endless variety of combinations and flavors. Once you understand the basic principles you can quickly and easily create some impressive meals.
Best Resources For Men Learning To Cook
My best piece of advice for someone starting out is to watch cooking videos, rather than just reading a recipe book.
I first started learning to cook before the days of YouTube so I used to just turn the TV on and watch whatever was being cooked on that show.
Now there are numerous quality food channels online and you can easily find multiple videos for any recipe. It doesn't matter which one you watch, just watch something.
The reason it's so important to watch is that a good chef will explain the process and why they are doing certain things. This helps the analytical male mind understand what is happening and helps you avoid skipping certain steps that you may deem to be unimportant.
When you are more experienced a recipe book will suffice, but while you are learning your craft watch, listen and understand.
Here are a few great YouTube cooking channels that would be a great place to start:
This is a great video from Brothers Green Eats, where the host just spends 45 minutes just cooking a bunch of different stuff, to demonstrate the basics. If you've got the time it's well worth it.
Cooking is a great way to get healthier, impress your date or girlfriend and become a resourceful and independent man.
It's a lifelong skill that, if you enjoy it, you can always be learning, working on and refining.
I love trying out new recipes or cuisines.
Even if you have a bit of trepidation about getting in the kitchen I encourage you to give it a go. You never know, you might be quite good.