8 Reasons Regular Guys Should Learn To Cook

by | Jul 11, 2012

Photo by f_mafra

Some guys I know don’t consider cooking a worthwhile venture. Besides the occasional stint behind the grill, they’d rather bask in blissful ignorance than feed themselves in more than 3 steps: stab, chew, swallow.

But ask any woman (or man that already knows how) why it is better to be a kitchen savvy dude and you’ll start to see what these guys are missing.

Whether it’s because they think it takes too much time, too much effort or wrongly assume it’s a woman’s job, men who never learn to cook are losing a huge opportunity to take their man skills to the next level.

8 Reasons Regular Guys Should Learn To Cook

1. Chicks dig it

There isn’t a woman alive immune to a man who can make her a delicious meal. Step up to the plate boys, we’re begging you.

2. Life skills are manly

You can fix your car, hunt wild animals and build a camp fire. Shouldn’t you know how to feed yourself without a drive-thru?

3. You’ll save money

Though there’s a good chance you’re single if you never learned to cook (see point #1), a home cooked meal is a much cheaper date night (or singles night) than dinner for two at Chez Fancy—particularly with the 150% wine mark up common at most restaurants.

4. It’s faster than going out

Fancy date meals aside, cooking at home is almost always faster than going out—so long as you know what you’re doing. Once you have a few basic skills down, you can stop wasting your time in fast food spots simply because you don’t know what else to eat.

5. Guy Fieri shouldn’t be better than you at anything

Food Network star Guy Fieri has bad hair, bad clothes and douchey sunglasses, but the dude knows how to cook. Are you going to let him upstage you like that? Of course you aren’t.

6. Your puppy (aka girl magnet) will eat better

My notoriously adorable puppy Toaster loves salad scraps (sugar snap peas are his favorite), eggs, meats, fish, and pretty much anything else we’re willing to share. A balanced diet is as good for dogs as it is for people (just don’t give them onions, garlic or grapes).

7. You might lose weight

Cooking is one of the easiest ways to improve your diet and stick to reasonable portions. This is a recipe for weight loss, if you’re willing to swallow it.

8. You might like it

Cooking is relaxing, fun, creative, purposeful and, hopefully, delicious. Why wouldn’t you want to add this skill to your tool belt?

Why do you guys like to cook?

Originally published June 6, 2011.

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54 Responses to “8 Reasons Regular Guys Should Learn To Cook”

  1. Darrin says:

    Sounds about right to me!

    My favorite thing about cooking is that I can make being healthy and fit “automatic” instead of burning up all my willpower trying to starve myself or exercise when I am exhausted.

    Every Sunday I throw together enough food for most of the week. I’ve got a repertoire that I can make without consulting a recipe, so it’s really easy. The food’s tasty but healthy (none of the ultra-processed stuff that will short-circuit the reward centers in my brain).

    This way, the “fastest food” around me at work or at home is always leftovers and its easier to eat that instead of go out for food of dubious quality. Score!

  2. Adam says:

    All the reasons listed above, plus: I get to choose what I eat. If I go to a restaurant, they may have an extensive menu, but if I’m cooking at home I can make anything. I can invent foods that don’t even exist yet, or I can put my own twist on the simplest comfort food. Or I can eat canned soup with saltine crackers if I want to (which I sometimes do).

    It’s the same reason I make my own deodorant: Why should I have to smell like the least noxious of the limited choices on the drug-store shelf? I’ll choose what I want to smell like.

  3. So where is Toaster’s glamour shot?

    PS: Don’t feed them chocolate either.

  4. Karen B. says:

    Guy Fieri isn’t my fav either. I don’t like to see guys (or gals) with bad hair or crazy hair cooking my food. I always imagine the hair in my food. The Next Food Network Star chose another guy with crazy hair to have a show. Ick.

  5. It’s possible that I landed my awesome wife solely through my ability to cook.

    I can’t figure out any other reason why she hangs around me….

    • Lou Doench says:

      Ditto here… in fact my ability to semi-run the household (save for the bills) is one of the things that sold me to my wife.
      That and the love slave thing…

  6. julie says:

    When I give my cat scraps (this one is a meat only, the other one was less picky), I have to wash off all spices. If a little bit of garlic gets through, I don’t want to be in the same room with her, yuck. I’ve not yet met a dog who will eat mushrooms, either.

    I think everyone should be able to cook, not necessarily fancy stuff, but a bit more than running a toaster oven or microwave.

  7. I’ve been doing a lot of braising this past winter. Short ribs. Pork belly. Duck legs. Brisket. Rabbit. Beef shanks. Lamb shanks. Serve the braise with pureed celery root and you have an awesome dinner.

    Chicks totally dig it. I married way up because I cook.

  8. Brandon says:

    I actually like Guy Fieri’s show. Why do so many people hate him?

    • Karen B. says:

      Obviously, it’s his hair.

      • Adam says:

        For me at least… yeah, it’s the hair. And the loud, hyperaggressive voice in which he screams every single word at top volume. I’d rather listen to Fran Drescher than that guy.

        He absolutely knows what he’s talking about when it comes to food; it’s just that his personal mannerisms make me want to put a brick through the TV set.

  9. Isaac says:

    Very good article 🙂

    I must say that I’m ahead of the curve than. Thanks 🙂

  10. Dave B. says:

    Living in a village in Africa has been good enough reason for me. If you want anything besides beans and ugali (corn flour thickened in hot water), you’re on your own. Considering my lack of an oven, fridge, and reliable electricity, I’m looking forward to seeing how my skills transfer when I come back home (wasn’t much of a chef before I left).

  11. Jens says:

    I’m amazed that you still have this discussion in the US. In Sweden, it is taken for granted that men cook. The women still does the bigger part of the household work, but we are trying to change that as well. An equal relationship is a happy one.

  12. John Valenty says:

    It’s true. My wife thought I was 1000x more attractive when she found out I could cook.

  13. Frank Matthews says:

    Nice to see guys “ahead of the curve”.

    All of these 8 are good reasons. But they can be condensed like George Carlton turning the 10 Commandments into 2. But not that good.

    When you are Twenty. The recipe is getting them Drunken up, loosened up and knocked up. Oops! Don’t do that last one.

    If you are working to Lose weight, it can help. You can cut any unnecessary carbs and fat. Or if you are looking to gain healthy weight, (Protein) you can max that too.

    The life lesson part. My Mother tried to teach us 3 Brothers that she won’t be around forever, so learn to cook. I was about 10. 2 of 3 learned the other married young to a girl that can cook. Turned out she was right.

    Oh if you open a can….you are doing it wrong.

  14. laici says:

    wow.. now i need to learn how to cook.. lol


  15. Tim P. says:

    Cooking is hard, cooking a vegetarian/vegan meal is even harder. This one is for the vegetarian/vegan hunks out there. This website could be a good start for some recipes.

    • I teach vegetarian and vegan hunks (and the not so-hunky) how to cook easily and healthfully, and most importantly quickly.

      I teach pressure cooking and it’s interesting to see how much it appeals to guys. I think that because it involves one pot and it’s “gear”, it’s appealing.

      You can make a mean pot of veg chili or lentil soup in less than 30 minutes with only 1 pot to clean up.

      What do you think?

  16. Tim P. says:

    Cooking is hard, cooking a vegetarian/vegan meal is even harder. This one is for the vegetarian/vegan hunks out there. This website could be a good start for some recipes: http://www.fourgreensteps.com/community/recipes

  17. People argue that our inability to cook is one of the reasons for our health issues.

    I’ve been cooking since forever. Always loved it. There is one ingredient that you can only get in a homecooked meal — love. Can’t get that in a restaurant.

    Plus I have better control over what the food is.

    • Yes, food with love in it tastes best. Just cook when you are angry and you’ll see what that’s all about.

      Eating at home makes a huge health difference especially with sodium and fat, which you control at home how you want.

      Thanks for the love reminder.

  18. Yea, men who cook are sexy! Go cooking men!

  19. Rob says:

    Very much required nowadays. Women more and more have no clue how to cook, how to take care of a house, how to raise children. Nearly every married guy i know now does most of the cooking. Honestly it is a HUGE asset to bring to a relationship that you can fix things, cook things, cool under pressure, etc. All this is shown when you invite the lady to your place and cook something simple and tasty. Remember you can deligate just about everything but unless you want a personal cook you pretty much need to learn to fend for yourself.

  20. Alex says:

    My husband baked a delicious apple pie for our first date.
    It later turned out that it was the only thing he could cook, but too late, I was already in love!

  21. Alex says:

    What about guys who aren’t regular?

  22. Lauren says:

    Great list! When a guy can cook, his appeal goes way up! Who doesn’t want their man with ’em in the kitchen? That’s a dream date right there. 🙂

  23. Eric says:

    Great post. But I think this article can be directed at women just as much as it is directed at men. I do have a few male friends who don’t cook mostly because they don’t have the time and some just don’t like doing it at all. That said, I know more and more women nowadays that don’t know how to cook at all and a lot that just don’t like doing it. Out of all my married friends, the guy is the one mostly doing the cooking in the relationship. Fortunately, my grandmother and father showed me how to cook and to enjoy cooking for others. Now I’m trying to teach my girlfriend how but it’s becoming a bigger challenge than I expected because she’s just doesn’t like cooking and fears screwing up a meal. Would love to see a post about women who should learn how to cook and why it’s important.

    • Wow, I’m stunned at the number of people saying that there are more men cooking than women among the couples they know. I’m not that old that I should be seeing that much of a generational divide.

      Hmm … gives me something to think about in terms of who my audience should be for my blogs.

  24. Reason #9 — “Grilling is not Cooking.”

    Yes, grilling is useful, but it doesn’t rank anywhere in the same league as cooking — not when it comes to the skill set needed to impress women. A man who owns up and develops his ability to cook will definitely win points.

    Grillmaster dudes, are you listening?

  25. Neil says:

    Knowing how to change a tire is great, and undoubtedly attractive to most women. But the number of times a guy would be able to use his tire-changing ability to impress a woman is likely far lower than the number of times he’d be able to impress with his prowess in the kitchen. Plus, the amount of time it takes to prepare a simple and delicious salmon dish and the time it takes to loosen rusted lug nuts and replace a flat is probably close to equal, and the results of the former will definitely be tastier.

  26. Nice to see myself illustrating this post. Yes, I am a regular guy. And yes, I enjoy cooking, including tomatoes.

  27. Rob F. says:

    a few years ago I hated cooking. and eating for that matter. I was hoping for the little pill that Violet took in Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory that contained a full meal. But as i’ve gotten a bit older (32 now) and started exercising, i’ve wanted to start eating healthier as well. I never thought i’d move past grilled cheese and scrambled eggs but these blogs have really been helping me out!

  28. antheay says:

    Beautifully written…

  29. Jason says:

    In 2009, I lost 50 pounds eating Subway and working with a trainer. In 2010 I was in an accident and shattered my ribs. I wasn’t able to work out and I gained 65 pounds as of today. Even after I was cleared to go back to the gym, the deep depression of gaining all the weight back after working so hard to lose it is overwhelming.

    I’m still working with my trainer, and she continuously urges me to learn to cook. But learning to do something is self-improvement. You have to have the right attitude to do that, and I don’t. My workouts have suffered and no matter how I’ve tried, I just hate cooking.

    I’m sure all the reasons are sound, but depression over failure is a tough obstacle to overcome. My trainer even brings me easy, healthy recipes to try but I just can’t make myself do it. Gaining the weight back has killed my self-esteem and desire for self-improvement. I think that guys that can cook have to have a measure of self-confidence. Because mine is so damaged, I was able to counter each point made in this article. I admit, it’s the wrong attitude. But, depression has a way of doing that to you.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Hi Jason,

      Your story really bums me out. I highly recommend a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck. I think it might help you ge to a place where you can try again. Let me know if I can help.


      • Jason says:

        Thanks. I’ve added it to my Amazon wishlist. I buy several books at a time because shipping is cheaper. (I’m an avid reader.) So, the next time I order a few books, I’ll order the book you recommended as well.

        I have to do something. My trainer tells me all the time that my problem isn’t physical, because I’ve done it once before and can do it again. She says it’s mental. I know that. It’s just very hard to motivate yourself, especially when you don’t feel you deserve it. It’s unbelievable how depression can crush your will. All I can think about is, if I hadn’t had the accident, how healthy I would be right now. Instead, I’m in the worst shape I’ve ever been in.

        Taking steps to learn to cook would signify a readiness to move forward. Right now, I just don’t have it in me.

    • Darya Pino says:

      There’s no one on earth that doesn’t deserve to be healthy, yourself included. It’s not your fault you were hurt, and there’s only one way to get back on the right track. Cooking is a good start because it’s easy, not a big commitment, and hard to mess up. You actually start to feel good about yourself after creating something, even if it’s small. Baby steps 🙂

      • Jason says:

        Thanks for the book recommendation. I read it the day it came in. Very helpful!

        Things are getting back on track. I’m working on learning to cook, (easy stuff to start), and I have a 6-month plan I sat down and worked out with my trainer to get my weight back to where I was before the accident. It involves a spreadsheet with weekly goals, monthly goals, and finally a 6-month goal.

        My trainer brought up an interesting point. Losing the weight I lost the first time was a major accomplishment. It was something I didn’t think I was going to be able to do. Doing that built my confidence in my own abilities. But, if I’m able to overcome my current situation and then lose the weight a second time, there will be no stopping me! If I do that, not only will I feel good about myself, but I’ll be able to be an example to help others that are struggling with the same thing. Someone doesn’t think they can lose the weight? I can say, “Sure you can! I did it…..twice!” LOL!

        I’m working hard to turn this thing around, so I appreciate your part in it. I’m really enjoying the gym again, and by starting with simple things, I can maybe give this cooking thing another go. Thank you!

    • Darya Pino says:

      Jason, you just made my weekend. Thanks so much for checking back in and I’m so glad you’re back in the game. Of course you can and will succeed. Please let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help.

  30. Neil says:

    Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time, Jason. Learning to cook isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require the right frame of mind. Darya’s right, though… I think one of the key things to remember is that the first step in learning how to cook is not to think about it as learning how to cook.

    You spent a year eating Subway and that helped you lose weight, so take some of those lessons into your own kitchen. Making a sandwich doesn’t necessarily require using the stove, or knowing how to make a sauce or braise anything, but it is cooking. Use some whole wheat or grain bread, or wraps to reduce the carbs, then load up – mostly vegetables, a couple slices of lean cold cuts (turkey), mustard instead of mayo…

    In terms of actual pots-and-pans cooking, it may look intimidating, but once you get into it, you’ll find it’s actually fun to experiment and occasionally mess up. And many recipes are super-easy and also healthy. One I turn to often when I’m busy is eggs poached in tomato sauce. All I do is:
    1) chop up some fennel and/or red peppers
    2) heat a splash of olive oil in medium-sized pot on the stove over medium-high heat
    3) add the veggies and a pinch of salt and pepper, and let cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring once in a while, then turn the heat down to medium
    4) open a jar of strained tomatoes (make sure all that’s on the ingredients list is tomatoes) and pour into the pot. Leave to heat up for a few minutes
    5) when the sauce starts to bubble a little, crack a couple of eggs gently into the pot (2 eggs/person is a good serving). Put a lid on the pot and leave to cook for 5 minutes or so
    6) With a soup ladle, scoop up the eggs and sauce and plate in a bowl. Eat with a simple side salad.

    So good, and it takes 15 minutes from start to finish.

  31. I completely agree with every point mentioned in this article; it’s why I’ve started trying to talk about learning the basics of learning how to cook for people who’ve never really done it but want to learn!

    If anyone is interested, feel free to check it out, I would love to receive comments or questions!

  32. Timothy D . MacLam says:

    If a man wants to be a mama’s boy all his single life, then pass cooking onto partner/ spouse, regardless of (?) her cooking abilities or interests, do not bother to cook. It’s great to spend half your pay on restaurants anyway. It is also fun to have an angry spouse because she is tired of cooking duty every night after work.
    My mother taught me that if you can read, you can cook. That means a cookbook or two, boys. The Joy of Cooking is a great instructional book and the are other simple ones. Take recipes as suggestions occasionally but not if baking (a cake really does need the baking powder or whatever it tells you.)
    A couple of my male associates and one good friend did all the cooking it their houses. They are all dead now, two as a likely excess of food; too much of a good thing.
    So if some of you boys man up to the stove, you will be well prepared to make a healthy supper for you, junior, and sis. when your wife is on second shift. There is something special that happens when your little girl says to you, “Daddy, that was the bestest [sic] supper I ever had.”
    -Bp. Timothy

  33. Jack's Best says:

    I agree with many of the statements here, especially the one about marrying up and being 1000x more attractive. While I’m not married, it did help that I was making all kinds of impressive food for my girlfriend.

    It got to the point of her mom asking me for recipes. Who does that?

    Girls really appreciate a guy who can make a delicious steak. And not just ones where it’s a piece of meat but one where you cut it nicely, plate it and garnish with some green of some kind.

    Creme brulee too. Girls love that.

  34. pajh says:

    “Step up to the plate”. I see what you did there.

  35. April says:

    Near the top of my list of things I want in my next boyfriend/husband/whatever, is someone who will cook with me! Or for me, once in awhile. Thanks for another post that made me smile and nod my head.

    By the way, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Here’s my post: http://3hungrymonkeys.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/i-won-something-woot/

  36. momgateway says:

    Ata girl! This is great!

  37. Sara says:

    I didn’t grow up big on cooking but my boyfriend has been cooking since he was 12. He has helped me improve my skills. We both cook together and it’s fun because we are spending time together. Baby school and work keeps us busy so cooking a meal together is a must

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