32 Cooking Resolutions to Make This Year

As a former editor of a food website, I am an avid and advanced home cook. Every January, instead of just making normal resolutions, I make cooking resolutions, too. I also like to encourage home cooks everywhere—whether you’re a novice mastering how to chop an onion or a seasoned pro who can whip up a soufflé in your sleep—to set kitchen goals. It’s a new year, so why not learn a few new skills to step up your culinary game? Over the next 12 months, I want to master sous vide, learn to love cauliflower, and be a better baker. Not sure where to start? To inspire you to get your chef on, here are 32 cooking resolutions to make this year.

  1. Try making your own ingredients. Instead of buying items like granola, salsa, barbecue sauce, and chicken broth, make them.
  2. Learn a new way to cook food, such as sous vide.
  3. Bake a type of cake you’ve never made before. Some ideas: princess cake, baked Alaska, coconut cake, icebox cake, zuppa inglese cake, or devil’s food cake.
  4. Practice meatless Mondays. Better yet, be a weegan—a vegan on a plant-based diet during the week. Only eat meat, fish, and dairy on the weekends.
  5. Master homemade gnocchi. Or pasta.
  6. Learn how your favorite type of cheese is made.
  7. Pick a wine varietal you’ve never tried before and seek out as many bottles of it you can find.
  8. Experiment with a new vegetable you haven't cooked with before, like okra, celery root, turnips, beets, or lima beans.
  9. Make cauliflower steaks.
  10. Teach yourself how to grill.
  11. Plan a food-centric trip. Travel to Mexico to taste mole, Eurostar through Italy in search of the best pizza, or shop for exotic spices in the bazaars of India.
  12. Cook a new recipe every two weeks.
  13. Sign up for a free trial of food delivery service such as Blue Apron, Din, or Sun Basket.
  14. Eat (and cook with) local foods. Especially honey. It’s supposed to make allergies go away!
  15. Go fishing. Then become better at cooking seafood by roasting up your catch.
  16. Pick fruit from a nearby farm or friend’s house who has a blueberry bush, Meyer lemon tree, or strawberry patch.
  17. Start growing a garden. Even if you only have space for one small pot of rosemary, grow something edible.
  18. Make some sort of dough item from scratch: pizza dough, pie dough, pretzel dough, or bread dough.
  19. Get your knives sharpened.
  20. Learn how to shuck oysters.
  21. Host one dinner party a month.
  22. Master the perfect French omelet.
  23. Pick a new type of cuisine (Indian, Chinese, Moroccan) and become an authentic expert by learning everything you can about it.
  24. Figure out the time it takes you to make perfectly cooked hard, soft, and baked eggs. Memorize it!
  25. Become a more consistent cook. Make a dish, say chicken noodle soup, taste equally delicious every time you cook it.
  26. Cook at home more. Eat out less.
  27. Invest in that culinary appliance—KitchenAid, food processor, ice cream maker, Le Creuset—you’ve had your eye on for years.
  28. Make your lunch and bring it to work.
  29. Memorize the grain to water ratios for rice, quinoa, farro, couscous, and any other grain you cook often.
  30. Break in the cooking gadget—cast iron skillet, slow cooker, Vitamix—you got for Christmas.
  31. Try one new type of cheese every month.
  32. Have fun while you're in the kitchen cooking. Listen to your favorite music and sip a little wine. 

Shop items that will help you step up your culinary game below.

What culinary resolutions are you making this year?