(Closed) Anyone have tips for teaching DH to cook?

posted 7 years ago in Cooking
Post # 3
10019 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I cook most of our meals, too, mostly because I love cooking so much.  My Fiance cooks a few things that he learned when he was a single dad, but only about four recipes, lol.  Sometimes we cook together. 

What I would suggest is having him help you try a new recipe, that way it will be a learning experience for both of you at the same time.  It won’t be as much like you’re instructing him as you’re doing something fun together, which will make it more fun for him.

Also, my Fiance actually enjoys watching the Food Network with me, there are so many great shows now, and a lot of them are starring men – like the Diners and Dives show (can’t think the of the name but it’s great).  Maybe your Darling Husband will enjoy watching other guys cook on TV and will get into on his own.

Post # 4
8038 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I learned to cook by watching my mom. I’d try first having him watch while you cook… and ask him to assist, and sort of explain as you go along. I find that if you know a few basic skills then cooking comes quite naturally. Maybe ask him to pick a few recipes he wants to try and you can make them together. Also pick a time he is willing to try this (maybe on a relaxed weekend vs. a weeknight where you’re both starving and cranky and just want to eat).

Does he not make ANYTHING? You could start w. some super easy things like how to make egg salad sandwiches or something that’s a quick go-to.

Slow cookers are also super handy… you could show him how to prep a few ingredients, toss them in there, and then have a nice stew (or whatever) ready for dinner.

If all else fails and he really doesn’t want to cook or like to cook, try to make some sort of compromise. You cook, he cleans. You cook, he vacuums and cleans the bathroom… etc. I think it’s perfectly fine for a person to get out of doing something they REALLY hate.. but they should make up the slack elsewhere.

Post # 5
866 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

1. Patience. This is a given, maybe, but I’ve found that Darling Husband has never learned even the most basic kitchen habits (using 1 cutting board for meat and a separate one for produce; checking the level of the measuring cup, etc.) and it’s difficult to remember how to tell him when these things are habit/intuition for most home cooks. I have to work at *not* getting frustrated when he doesn’t know how or why to do something.

2. Tell him the “why” not just the “how.” I explained the difference between “1 cup of flour, sifted” and “1 cup of sifted flour” and why exactly it maters, and completely blew him away. He’s never confused the two since.

3. Make him DO THE WORK. Telling is fine, showing is better, but doing is the only way to really, really learn. Darling Husband always watched me make rice, and assumed he could just do it himself… and he couldn’t get past how to wait for the water to boil. Now that he’s done it himself a few times, start to finish, he can do it without my help. It’s like driving a car — remember thinking, “oh, my dad drives me to school every day, this will be easy!” and then sitting in the driveway, trying to figure out whether to take a left or a right? Same concept.

4. Patience.

5. Give him the easy stuff to do… at first. I don’t trust Darling Husband with the complicated stuff yet (I still do 99% of the cooking), but I do ask him to stir the sauce, chop the carrots, or other simple tasks while I tell him about the more complicated stuff. Eventually he gets interested enough to ask, “hey, can I try that part?”

6. Did I say patience yet? Seriously, most of us learned the basics as children with our mothers/fathers, and decided to seek out more info from books and blogs on our own. It’s like learning a new language at a later age — baby steps, basics, building blocks.

Good luck!

(I’m just chock-full of cliches today, aren’t I? Sorry ladies…) ๐Ÿ˜€

Post # 6
758 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@BostonBaby:  This is great!

I’ve been trying to teach Fiance how to cook, too.  We grew up in completely different types of homes, him where his mom cooked everything, did laundry, etc until he moved out with me; me where I had to be independent from a really early age and was doing all of that myself.  He’s gotten a lot better, but the cooking aspect is still 100% me. ๐Ÿ˜›

It doesn’t help that he has some major anxiety in the kitchen, especially around boiling water, or hot stoves, etc.  FMIL accidently dropped a pan of boiling tea on him when he was young, like 4 or 5, so I’m betting that has a lot to do with it.  Plus, she was always very over protective (as in not allowing him and his siblings in the entire kitchen when the stove was on or when she was using the oven – seriously?).

If I ever threatened to stop cooking, he would just shrug.  I’ve seen him not eat for days simple because he didn’t want to spend money on food.  Crazy. ๐Ÿ˜›

@laceandpearls10:  I hope you’re having better luck than me! ๐Ÿ˜€

Post # 7
11232 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

My Fiance knew how to cook, but nothing complicated. When I started working and he was home during the day, he really picked it up by just doing it. I’d send him a recipe (if necessary) and he would make it. If he didn’t know how to do something, he’d ask. He’s become quite the chef.

Post # 8
3771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 1999

I usually show him a couple recipes and ask what sounds the best to him. Then I get him in the kitchen and ask him to do some of the tasks to speed things along. Cooking side by side has really gotten him to be more helpful in the kitchen.

Post # 9
1064 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Cook together!! And watch James Olivier ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 10
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Im with Rivendeler! Cook together, I remember cooking with my mom and my older sister. I think that made me aware of what flavors to combine and overall taught me how to cook! 

Post # 11
7152 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

What about letting him watch you in the kitchen? That’s how I learned from my mom. He can be your sous chef, of sorts.

Also, do you have a Williams- Sonoma? They have classes and lessons that are free. You just sign up and come in. You even get to taste the food and take home the recipe.

Post # 12
3356 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

my Darling Husband does all the cooking, but he loves it when I help out.

Post # 13
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I still do most of the cooking, but Fiance has come a long way since we first met. We try to pick out recipes for the week and he cooks his and I cook mine. That way if he wants something specific to eat, he’ll have to cook it for himself. I help him out if he has any questions, but he seems to do well on his own.

Post # 14
777 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I was in more or less the reverse situation when I met Darling Husband. He is an excellent cook, and I just had a handful of go-to dishes. (Admittedly, they were things like mushroom risotto and eggplant parmesan, so not super simple, but still.) Thanks to Darling Husband, my repertoire is now much larger, and I’ve also learned a lot of basic principles of cooking so that I can experiment and still enjoy good results.

When you have time, you should cook together. Delegate tasks to him, and explain why you do things in a particular way. Simply telling him “this is how you do it” won’t suffice. If he grasps the principle behind it (chop veggies evenly because they won’t cook evenly if they’re all different sizes; don’t add oil to pasta water because it will coat the pasta and then the sauce won’t stick to it; cook summer squash over high heat so that it gets nice and caramelized before it gets too mushy–things like that) then he won’t forget, and he’ll be able to apply those same principles to other things.

When you don’t have time to cook together, encourage him to ask questions about how you prepared the meal you’re eating. Ask him to explain how he would go about recreating it, and then explain where he’s wrong, why you did things in a particular way, and what specific ingredients/seasonings/methods of preparation he didn’t identify add to the dish. Then, a week later, ask him to make that dish or something similar, and encourage him to ask questions/seek your help in the process.

Also, even when you don’t have time to cook together, try to enlist his help with finishing touches like seasoning things correctly. Ask him what it needs (is it done, or does it need another minute or two? more salt? more acid? some fresh herbs? some spice? a drizzle of olive oil? a pat of butter to enrich the sauce?). So many mistakes in the kitchen happen in those last few minutes before plating, and if he learns how to take a number of different dishes from 95% there to completion, he’ll be in good shape.

Finally, be supportive when he makes mistakes. It’s inevitable when someone’s learning a new skill, and it’s also really valuable, because often I’ve learned more from mistakes I’ve made than from things Darling Husband has told me.

Post # 15
9951 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Great advice from the other Bees.

Food is a WHOLE Experience… do things together that expand that horizon

Grocery Shop Together – Go to a Farmers’ Market – Visit Foodie Places (Cheese Shop, Bakery, Winery, Brewery etc) – Cook Together (He can be your Sous Chef… doing prep, chopping veggies etc) – Watch Cooking Shows on Tv – Visit a Kitchen Store (always fun) – Check out Cooking Classes in your area (there is usually everything from Beginners thru to complicated ones)

And as others have said have patience with him… cooking is like any other skill, it takes time to develop… the more you learn and put into practice the better you become

And lastly, if you as a couple don’t own a copy of the *Joy of Cooking* buy one.  It really is the basic bible for info on food & cooking.  EVERY HOUSEHOLD SHOULD HAVE A COPY.  There aren’t a lot of pics in it, just illustrations… but it is jammed full of great info, and talks in plain language so as to explain things well… covering everything from A to Z (examples… Info on every vegetable you can imagine – Cuts of Meat – Food Storage – and Cooking Techniques… etc) and from Introductory to Advanced.  Truly this book is a real once-in-a-lifetime purchase.  You can also find other cookbooks that have great illustrations and step-by-step instructions with pictures.

Hope this helps,

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