Most Common Ingredients for the First-time Cook

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Not everyone has a talent for cooking, and there is nothing wrong with that. You can learn to cook better as you continue to get more experienced in the kitchen. Thomas H. Palmer’s famous line is as applicable to cooking as it is anywhere else—”if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Just like any experiment, you need to mix things up a bit if you want to achieve a different result. If on your first attempt, your cake was nowhere as sweet or as soft as you wanted it to be, that means you need to change something in your recipe. To know which component to add or remove in the process, it is best to be familiar with the most common ingredients people use in the kitchen. 

You can find hundreds of different ingredients in the kitchen, depending on the cuisine and recipes that the cook prefers. The following are the most common cooking components that people generally use:

Spices and Seasonings

You have to be familiar with spices if you want to be able to cook tasty food. The most common and arguably most crucial spice is salt since it goes into almost every recipe known to man. Salt can be used for seasoning and binding, for adding texture and color to processed meat, and even to control fermentation in baking. There are different types of salt available in the market, so feel free to pick each variant and try them until you find what works best with your taste buds.

Black pepper is another essential spice that you can use for everyday cooking. It has a lot of health benefits, such as helping your body detoxify and digest better, keeping your skin younger by preventing wrinkles and deformation, and normalizing your blood pressure though potassium intake.

Another kitchen staple is ginger, although not everyone likes having the aromatic root in their food. Ginger is a valued ingredient due to its medicinal characteristics, as it helps lessen gastrointestinal pain and provides a soothing sensation to combat nausea and stress. While it is much more prevalent in Asian cuisine, you can still put a small, thin strip of ginger in your cooking if you wish to experience its mild, pungent flavor.

Using the right combination of spices is crucial in creating an authentic taste in food. Like how a professional gamer carefully picks which components to use in building his gaming PC setup, you also need to be meticulous in mixing and matching your spices to produce the best taste suitable for your dish.


White sugar is the most common sweetener because it is also the most available. However, if you would like a healthier option, brown sugar tastes almost the same while providing your body with healthy doses of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. For baking purposes, confectioner’s sugar should better suit your goal due to its more delicate texture.

If you are trying to avoid sugar intake, an excellent sweetener alternative would be raw honey. Honey was mostly marketed as an add-on to pancakes, but you can use it almost anywhere to replace sugar. You can glaze meat with honey before grilling or roasting, use it as a salad dressing or dipping sauce for bread, and it also works well in baking because it keeps cakes and muffins naturally moist.

Garlic and Onions

Despite being classified as vegetables, garlic and onions belong to their own ingredient tier in the kitchen simply due to how frequently they appear in recipes. The distinct taste of both garlic and onions can differ depending on how you cut and prepare them before cooking, so that is something you might want to learn about more.

Aside from adding a unique blend of flavor to your cooking, these ingredients are rich in antioxidants, too. They have also historically been credited for their antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory effects. When shopping for garlic and onions, try to go for the more pungent ones. According to experts, the stronger-smelling types will have better health benefits. Adding them to your daily diet can do wonders for you and your family’s health.

The kitchen can be a fun place to learn about different kinds of food, but it can also feel like a war zone if you don’t know what you are doing. If that is the case, you need to look at your ingredients as your weapons. To win the cooking battle, it is best to be fully aware of what your arsenal holds and to understand how to use each ingredient properly. Recognizing which ingredients should go with each recipe is an excellent start at being a good cook.

Meta title: Most Frequently-used Ingredients: A New Cook’s Guide

Meta description: Cooking allows you to be creative in the kitchen while providing food for your loved ones. Want to be a good cook? Here are the top ingredients you should know.

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