Angie's LIST Guide to
Cooking Classes

Learning how to cook can save you money, increase your health and help you deepen relationships with family and friends as you treat them to homemade meals from scratch.
 

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If you want to know the secrets to cooking like a professional, consider taking cooking lessons. Whether you’re looking to improve your skills or to learn the basics, there are various levels of classes from which to choose. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Mark V.)
If you want to know the secrets to cooking like a professional, consider taking cooking lessons. Whether you’re looking to improve your skills or to learn the basics, there are various levels of classes from which to choose. (Photo courtesy of Angie’s List member Mark V.)
 
 

What to expect from cooking class

Cooking classes are a great way to meet new people and learn to prepare dishes from other cultures. There are many kinds of classes for all skill levels. Through a casual one-day class, you may learn to cook one specific dish, such as lasagna. Or, you may learn how to shop for people with special dietary needs.

Specialized or continental-type classes teach how to cook meals from other countries, such as Italian, French or Mexican dishes. Baking and holiday cooking are also popular class topics.

In a typical cooking class, you may learn:

• How to shop for and measure ingredients.

• Different methods for cutting and combining ingredients.

• Different cooking techniques, such as braising, boiling or grilling.

• How to make special dishes, sauces and other foods from scratch.

How to find a cooking class

If you are new to cooking, look for an instructor who will teach the basics, such as measuring, preheating an oven and what type of cookware to use with certain foods. The goal of any cooking class should be to have fun learning new and healthy ways to prepare food. The atmosphere should be relaxed, with the instructor willing to answer any questions students pose in class.

The best way to find a class that suits your needs is to decide what type of cooking you want to learn and focus your search on that area. Check local sources such as gourmet shops, culinary education programs and restaurants. In addition, consider Angie's List, which offers members local consumer reviews on cooking classes and service providers in more 550 other categories.

How much do cooking classes cost?

The cost of cooking class depends on several factors, including where it's held, what's being taught and whether ingredients are included in the price. The average cost ranges from $75 to learn how to prepare a basic home cooked meal to $200 for instruction on making a full-course Italian meal.

The length of a class depends on how many meal choices are being taught and where the class is conducted. If you take a class through a local community college, the class may last four weeks, whereas local food stores may teach hourlong sessions.

What can a personal chef do?

Hiring a personal chef is another option for improving the quality of meals eaten at home. Such chefs may prepare a family's meals for a week. Often, he or she will do the shopping, prepare the meal and may serve it. Some private chefs will come to your home and teach you or a group of friends how to cook a specific meal. These types of lessons can be expensive, but feature more focused instruction.

Cooking classes and personal chefs are among the more than 550 categories of service providers for which Angie's List members can access local consumer reviews.

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Bruce Hannough

Subject: cooking bacon / managing bacon grease

The simplest method to cook back in a microwave is to fold over several paper towel sheets to form a 'bed' for you your bacon. Place your bacon on the sheets and then cover with additional sheets, (typically 3 or 4 sheets, more if you have many slices of bacon). Microwave on high for 3 or 4 minutes initially and then check results.

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