50 signs that you’re a good cook

A poll of 2,000 people conducted by cookware brand Circulon has revealed the top 50 indicators of culinary expertise.

A spokesman for Circulon said: “It’s been very insightful to discover what makes the average consumer tick, and what categorises them as a ‘good’ cook.

“Proficient home cooks tend to be those who are confident about preparing food in front of others, and who are knowledgeable about their food, cookware and kitchen equipment.

“It’s been fascinating to uncover just how many people class themselves as relatively good at cooking. The rise of cookery programmes and the increased popularity of sharing food on social media have influenced Britain’s love of food and desire to cook.”

Researchers found just 5% of respondents class themselves as an ‘excellent’ cook, while 43% say they’re ‘good’.

The average person cooks around 11 dishes on rotation. Two-thirds of those quizzed are confident about throwing together random ingredients from their cupboard to make something delicious and 55% say they are confident knowing which herbs should be used.

A third often try to replicate celebrity recipes and 22% are so proficient at preparing food that they don’t even weigh the ingredients, preferring to throw them in at random.

And when it comes to cookware, 23% will always read reviews before purchase and 22% take recommendations from friends and family.

Inspiration for cooking still comes from cookery books for 54% of people, while 43% regularly watch cookery programmes.

The spokesman for Circulon continued: “Carrying out this research has enabled us to fully appreciate our customers’ needs in the kitchen, while recognising their ability, confidence and approach to home cooking.

“Our findings have informed and influenced key elements in the development of future cookware ranges, with customer buying habits and usability in mind.”


  1. Can rustle up anything from scratch
  2. Loves to eat as well as cook
  3. Willing to experiment and try all foods and ingredients when cooking at home
  4. Happy to prepare food in front of guests
  5. Always being able to whip something up when there’s virtually nothing in the cupboard
  6. When making a roast dinner, ensures that everything finishes cooking at the same time
  7. Can identify certain herbs from appearance
  8. Can throw things together knowing that the different combinations (of foods, herbs, spices) will go together well and taste good
  9. Experiments with dishes by adding a twist on classics
  10. Experiments with recipes more than once a week
  11. Able to laugh if things go wrong in the kitchen
  12. Can identify herbs and spices by the taste
  13. Knows what herbs go in each dishes
  14. Can chop ingredients really finely and safely
  15. Always has eggs and milk in the fridge
  16. Home-makes all condiments and sauces
  17. Owns a spice rack
  18. Always the one that people go to for cooking tips
  19. Knows what every utensil in the kitchen does
  20. Has a very well stocked pantry with all kinds of ingredients eg masala leaves, curry powder, mustard seeds, different types of oils: olive, avocado, roasted sesame seed, peanut, truffle, canola
  21. Doesn’t need Oxo to make gravy
  22. Will invite extra people to stay to dinner at a moment’s notice
  23. Rarely eats takeaways
  24. Knows exactly how long to cook a perfectly poached egg
  25. Knows how to peel fruit and veggies efficiently
  26. Knows and practices cooking terms such as al dente, broil, blanch, clarify, deglaze, flambé, gratin
  27. Always wants to try a new dish when eating out
  28. Able to guess what’s in a dish just from the taste
  29. Never needs to use a cookbook
  30. Always the designated cook for large family gatherings
  31. Knows when a cake is done without having to stick a cocktail stick in it a hundred times
  32. Knows measurements without having to actually measure
  33. Owns good quality cookware
  34. Writes a detailed list for the ‘food shop’
  35. Knows which wine to pair with certain meat or fish
  36. Owns a full set of herbs/spices
  37. Enjoys a messy kitchen
  38. Doesn’t need a timer
  39. Understands what all the symbols on the oven mean
  40. Can chop an onion in seconds
  41. Able to cook steaks perfectly using the thumb technique
  42. Always adds in ‘just the right amount’
  43. Knows what ‘bain marie’ is and has the perfect pans for it
  44. Knows the correct pronunciation of unusual or exotic foods
  45. Knows which wine to drink with meat
  46. Can flip a pancake perfectly
  47. Knows how to prepare celeriac
  48. Mum goes round for Sunday dinner rather than the other way round
  49. Always read food magazines
  50. Owns a set of fancy knives


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