10 Reasons You Hate To Cook (And What To Do About It)

by | Jul 25, 2012

Photo by liber

I don’t like the word hate and try not to use it. I especially dislike it when it is applied to any kind of food or cooking.

Do you really hate asparagus? Or are you just whining about something you haven’t bothered to learn to appreciate? Yeah, I thought so.

My theory is that most people who profess to hate cooking are actually just making excuses to avoid it. Why would anyone really hate cooking? What did cooking ever do to you?

The sad part is that cooking is a wonderful skill to have. Not only does it save you time and money on food, it can also contribute to better health, bring you closer to friends and family, and be a great creative outlet for stress.

You don’t have to love cooking, but knowing the basics and feeling competent in the kitchen can open a world of opportunity to improve your quality of life. But sure, go ahead and hate it if you want.

For the cautiously curious, here are a few of the obstacles that may be preventing you from getting past your pessimism and what to do to get over them.

10 Reasons You Hate To Cook

(And What To Do About It)

1. You suck at it

The first thing you need to do is understand the difference between not liking cooking and not liking to be bad at cooking. Big difference. I didn’t like being bad at cooking either, but there is a pretty easy solution: learn how. It’s much easier than you think.

2. You’re slow

I know you’re busy. We all have better things to do than slave away over one lousy meal. But when you aren’t experienced in the kitchen the planning, shopping, chopping, cooking and cleaning involved in making a meal can feel like it takes forever. That’s because it does.

I can always spot a kitchen rookie by how long it takes them to chop an onion (seriously it takes like 20 seconds max). The good news is with a little practice and some decent knives (see point 3) you can slash the time you spend making a meal until you barely notice.

Ditto for cleaning up. Seriously, put some muscle into it and it’s over in no time!

3. You have crappy knives

I generally don’t advise spending money to solve problems, but knives in the kitchen are an exception. Spending $50 on a half-way decent chef’s knife can do wonders for your kitchen confidence and efficiency.

And you probably already know what an inspiration a shiny new toy can be.

4. You pick complicated recipes

Some of the best meals I’ve ever eaten have less than 5 ingredients. If you’ve never cooked anything in your life, cassoulet shouldn’t be your first choice.

Rather than finding a recipe and deciding to cook it, start with an ingredient that is seasonal and you know you enjoy. It’s hard to mess up kale and garlic. Learn to fly before you jump off a cliff.

5. You choose out of season ingredients

The main reason people don’t like _(fill in the vegetable)_ is because they have only had it from industrial farms that grow foods out of season. I agree, you’d have to be a masochist to like these impostors.

Farmers markets and dedicated produce stands are your friends. In season ingredients taste worlds better than the out of season stuff shipped from the opposite hemisphere. Your food doesn’t have to be 100% local, but at least pick foods that grow in the same season you happen to be living in. This alone could completely change your cooking experience.

6. Your pantry is inadequate

It can be really annoying to flip through a recipe book or food blog and realize that you need to make one or many grocery trips in order to make any dish because you don’t have olive oil, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar or red chili flakes. If you don’t know what belongs in a basic pantry, check out my free How to get started eating healthy guide for a rundown.

7. You cook everything to death

Just because your mom cooked broccoli until it was dark gray and could be eaten by an infant doesn’t mean that’s how food is supposed to be prepared. Most vegetables cook quickly and taste better when they haven’t been incinerated. When your vegetables turn bright green in the pan, that’s your cue that the cooking is nearly done.

8. You only cook for large groups

Your first cooking forays shouldn’t be huge productions. Start simply and don’t bite off more than you can chew by promising to host a dinner or bring food to a potluck of 30 people. Start by volunteering to help in the kitchen with someone who knows what they’re doing. Make a side dish, or a simple one pot meal for yourself.

Practice makes perfect, and you want your first experiences to go smoothly to build your skills and confidence.

9. You only cook for special occasions

New cooks don’t need any extra pressure in the kitchen. If you’re just learning your way around the range, maybe you should hold off on hosting Thanksgiving dinner or Mother’s day brunch. It can be stressful to just coordinate a large meal, you don’t need the added pressure of possibly ruining a family holiday. If you want to contribute, volunteer to make the salad or biscuits. Start your real kitchen adventures in the privacy of your own home.

10. You don’t ask for help

If you are truly new to cooking, you may as well acknowledge that you will be slow and lack the basic skills and intuition of a seasoned chef. You are definitely capable of getting there, but in the mean time make your experience as pleasant as possible by letting others contribute their expertise and knife skills when you want to cook. It is also nice to have an extra pair of hands for cleanup.

Do you really hate cooking? Or are you just looking around the room and saying that you hate things?

Originally published May 31, 2010.

ATTENTION: Due to the excessive negativity of some recent commenters, I am permanently closing the comments on this post. If the contents of this article make you want to scream in rage, stab someone, punch a wall, or hurl yourself off a bridge, I suggest you find a therapist.

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68 Responses to “10 Reasons You Hate To Cook (And What To Do About It)”

  1. Some people do all those things, but for some reason still like to cook. I won’t name names, but I’ve been invited (several times) to dinner with someone who:
    isn’t good at it,
    is slow,
    picks complicated recipes
    and out of season ingredients,
    and makes it for large groups
    on special occasions.

    And is always so proud of herself when it comes out looking sort-of right. Just *looking* right. Because how would she know if it tastes like the one in the book?

    • Shelley Hunt says:

      This is garbage. How about you’re female and have been FORCED to cook–sometimes three different meals a night–for 25 years? I am a good cook. I have VERY good knives.

      You haven’t helped at all. I’m not lazy. I’m tired of being a fucking whore.

    • Darya Rose says:


      So sorry that this disturbed you and thank you so much for handling it with grace. For some reason this post has attracted some intense negativity lately, so I’m permanently closing comments. Sorry again that you had to be involved.


  2. Daniel Cowan says:

    Good list, I like the hating asparagus part, haha.

    About the knives, I had two thoughts:

    If you buy a Forschner chef’s knife, you won’t need to spend $50 – you can usually get the 8-inch version for $30 or under. It is a really good knife, it usually rates very high in the Cooks Illustrated knife tests. For the price it is a pretty amazing product, I don’t see how they don’t have a complete hold on the market, but I never see Forschner’s in department stores, for instance, go figure.

    Also, though, really less important than the make of your knife, is how well you maintain the edge. I’ve worked with a lot of people with fairly expensive Japanese style knives that are never sharpened, and they are as dull and any cheap knife. And conversely, I have one utility knife I got at the grocery store for $10, sharpened it, and it has a razor sharp edge that has lasted for almost a year. A little more difficult to learn the skill, but once you do, it is a nice skill to have.

    Also, I recommend reading Cooks Illustrated magazine.

    • Michael C says:

      I agree with you that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good knife. I think that people get hung up on knives a bit too much. You can get a very serviceable chefs knife a restaurant supply store for 20-30 dollars. It’s the white plastic handled one that you will probably see in any restaurant kitchen that you walk into. I think mine is a Gladiator, but there are some other similar knives from other makers. It holds an edge like a champ and I love it. It’s a 12 inch knife and I think it cost me all of $20. The difference is that it’s made for a commercial environment so it’s all about function, and not so much about aesthetics.

  3. Nice post, Darya.

    Drew and Daniel, I appreciate your comments as well. You both had really good points.

    Going forward, my goal is to research a little more before I start cooking. I’d like to make sure the recipes I plan to try aren’t too difficult for a novice and to make sure all the ingredients are easy to find. There’s nothing worse than hunting for an ingredient that cannot be found.

    • Sharon says:

      For me, the reason I dislike cooking is the cleanup after, AND what took you anywhere from an hour to who knows how long to prepare the meal, & set the table. The food is gone in 15 minutes and all that’s left are dirty dishes to wash, and a table to be cleaned. I don’t have a dishwasher. I know what you want to say, I still have my company”. True enough, but they feel they “SHOULD” offer to help, and I don’t want any help. I just want to enjoy my company and have maid service (which I can ill afford) come in and clean up. THEN I might not mind cooking so badly

  4. E. Foley says:

    One of my “hates” of cooking is cleaning afterwards. In high school, I was the dishwashing girl at McDonalds and I am SOOOOOOO OVER doing dishes!!

    My boyfriend and I have an agreement: I cook, he cleans up. On the rare day when he cooks, I try my best to suck it up and clean, but usually he cleans anyway.

  5. Elva says:

    One of the reasons why I don’t like to cook is because of what people think about the dish… sort of like Drew’s criticism of whoever he’s talking about. You try and you *think* it’s good, but there’s always someone who thinks it sucks.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Well, if you just start by cooking for yourself there’s only one opinion that matters 😉 Good luck!

    • Elva, if you start with the basics and work your way up, you solve two problems.

      First, when it’s something simple people seem more willing to offer honest feedback. Just burgers? Needs a little more salt. Fried chicken? A little overcooked. But if they know you spent two hours on it, they’ll be polite and tell you they liked it, no matter what it is. It’s hard to learn that way.

      Second, if you already understand how to fry, and how to poach, and how to sauté, then when those are just steps in a long recipe you’ll know you got them right.

      You don’t sit down at the piano for the first time and expect to play Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit. Cooking isn’t that hard, but there are still basics to master before you try the advanced diches.

  6. Barbara says:

    Another variation: I love to cook for large groups. I grew up in an extended family, and then lived in a college co-op house where I regularly cooked with five other people for forty or more. Cooking for just myself seems much slower in terms of what I can produce; the cost savings aren’t as dramatic as for buying in true bulk; and eating out is as much a way to get more human interaction as a way to get food.

  7. Jean says:

    Good list, Darya. My husband doesn’t say he “hates” to cook, he just claims to have no interest in it. But I notice that whenever he masters something he seems quite proud of himself! I think it just takes a few successes in the kitchen to make a convert. And how can you not succeed when you have a good knife, good ingredients from the farmers market and a simple recipe.

  8. Michael says:

    Nice list, Darya. I love to cook and the best investment I ever made was purchasing a set of Wusthof knives. The difference is amazing.

    I also have one of the nations top farmers market right down the street from me (post coming soon!). Great ingredients + great knives = outstanding meals.

  9. I totally agree with #4: simpler is better! Some of my favorite meals take 15 minutes or less to make from scratch (like eggs ‘n’ greens). It’s just as easy as something from a package, better tasting, and about 10 times healthier. And cheaper. What’s not to love?

  10. Valerie says:

    What about “it’s just too dang hot!” I actually love to cook, but my A/C doesn’t work very well and I live in the Houston area where it’s been in the mid-90’s for the past month. Makes it very hard to keep motivated to cook. I always have trouble sticking to my cooking schedule during the hot summer months because it’s just so dang hot here, and there’s only so many cold meals my family will eat.

    I know, I know. I’m whining…. As soon as I win the lottery and get a new A/C system, I’ll cook every night! 😛

  11. Heather says:

    Awesome list! A few years back when my younger brother moved into his first apt. (he had never cooked for himself due to our Martha Stewart like mother). I went over only a few times just to teach him basic cooking of chicken, beef, eggs, pasta and a few veggies he likes.

    He has now mastered a weeks worth of dishes impressing his roommates and more importantly his Lady friend(s). I bought him a George Foreman Grill, which is amazing for cooking meat and veggies in a quickly esp. if you’re in a hurry.

  12. Matt Shook says:

    Hahaha…such a great list, informative and hilarious. I don’t really hate anything about cooking, but if I had to say I hate something…I guess I dislike cooking for other people who are unappreciative of the food I make them, and have kitchens that are woefully equipped.

  13. Jack Tripper says:

    This must have been written by someone from California because 2 of the 10 items say to just get to your Farmers’ Market! Well, not everyone lives in an area where the Farmers’ Markets have delicious, local, fresh produce year round. In fact, where I live, they only carry a few local items because my area isn’t great for growing things. It doesn’t make me hate to cook, but I’m amazed how many Californians don’t seem to realize that not everyone lives in an area of bountiful Farmers’ Markets.

  14. Reason # 11. I’m lazy.

    Jim Purdy

  15. rrr says:

    A nicely written article, albeit a debatable one. I cook to sustain myself. Otherwise, I detest it. I hate dealing with the mess I have to clean up afterwards-Dirty dishes and so forth. Therefore, I keep the cooking to a minimum. You have probably surmised that I don’t watch the food channel. I am also proud to state that I do not possess a single cookbook.

  16. MrsBumm says:

    I wish i knew how to cook. I have even started trying, but my kitchen is horrible, i have no counter space, very dim lighting no pantry, and very few cooking tools!! I would love to learn how to cook, especially sinse my son is starting to eat regular foods, i just do not have to means necessacery to even learn! Or the money for a new kitchen! But I AM great at grilling!!

    • Joel says:

      You don’t need lots of tools or lots of space to cook. My kitchen has a about 2 square feet of counter space and a stove with two settings, off and full blast. I’ve got few tools and the ones I do have a crappy, but it’s all about making the best of them. Yea, it will take a bit longer to prepare things, but once you get in the groove of how to use your space and equipment things will go much better for you.

      It’s especially not so bad when you are cooking simple recipes since you don’t need a ton of space or lots of equipment. And like Darya says, you can cook some good stuff with 5 ingredients or less.

  17. Ohdoctah says:

    Nice list of solutions. I love to cook. I need to learn to cook new things.. thats going to be my project for the future!

  18. Neha says:

    Hi MrsBumm, you don’t need a lot of cooking tools to cook. A Pan and pot, couple of spatula, a knife and cutting board will work. Also whatever counter space you have, try to keep it uncluttered and clean and you will be more motivated to cook. In-fact you can cook many healthy delicious meals if you only have a crockpot/slow cooker.

  19. Circe says:

    I love cooking, I just hate all the dishes it keeps making.
    Seems like I no sooner get the sink cleared, then lunch and dinner have it filled up again!

  20. Epicurea says:

    i really enjoyed reading this. especially #4 with the overly complicated recipes used to really deter me from setting foot into a kitchen! and it is true that simple recipes usually taste the best.

  21. thomas says:

    3.b) “You don’t know how to keep your non-crappy knives sharp” 😉

  22. anon says:

    So you are telling me I can cook something in less than five minutes, including picking and preparing the food and cleaning afterwards? If not, at least during the work week, I still dislike cooking because it’s a huge time waster. I can just as easily order something over the phone, continue working, and then walk to pick it up in less amount of time.

    Cooking would save a decent amount of money each week though, or better yet, not cooking, and knowing what to buy that I can eat raw. Any suggestions?

    • Michael says:

      Cooking would save a decent amount of money each week though, or better yet, not cooking, and knowing what to buy that I can eat raw. Any suggestions?

      Even if you eat everything raw, you still have food prep time. Now if you want eat a raw steak that is pretty simple but everything else will take at least a little prep.

      I don’t know where you live but if you reside in a major metropolitan area it is pretty easy to hire a chef to come into your home for a day and cook all your meals for a week. That way when you get home each day you can just warm up dinner or depending what plan you have take lunch to work as well.

      Prices are pretty reasonable, especially if you are used to paying “eating out” prices on a regular basis anyway.

    • Darya Pino says:

      For me, there are definitely some dishes I make regularly that take not much longer than 5 min. But if you’re super lazy, salad is even easier. You can get lettuce that is already cleaned and cut. It takes less than 1 min to slice a cucumber and carrot. Personally I made a batch of lentils or beans once a week (takes 20 min, but I only do it once every few days, and it just boils so it’s like calling in an order) and just throw that in my salads to give it substance. Or frying an egg to put on top takes about 2 minutes. It’s pretty damn fast once you get good at it.


  24. Linda says:

    I’m one of those who hates cooking, and I don’t like the assumption that all I need to do is X to like cooking. I was a horrible cook, botching up more than my fair share of food. I worked at learning how. I’m better, but I still hate cooking. I even have some fairly decent knives. Okay, I can chop food better, but I still hate cooking. I like having the end product, but I do not like doing all the stuff to get there. It simply is never going to be something I’m going to like.

  25. Yash says:

    Meh! Not really – I just hate cooking. It’s just a pain in the ass. Why would I bother doing it when I can buy healthier meals from outside or prepare quick meals like a sandwich?

    Basically, anything to do with a kitchen – not for me!

  26. Josie says:

    I am here to tell you that I hate cooking, and for none of the reasons listed. It’s boring. It’s time consuming. The dishes everyone else mentioned. I hate grocery shopping, it’s cold, unfriendly, crowded, and anything that’s supposed to be fresh is already going bad. I forget about food I have in the fridge, so by the time I go to make that salad it’s rotten – money down the drain. I’m at class all day, so when I get home all I want to do is watch the Big Bang Theory and go to bed.
    If you can combat these issues, then all the power to you, but don’t for one second think that you, as someone who enjoys the art, can tell people who don’t what they’re doing wrong (for every little thing). You can’t. Not because of anything other than you’re not in the same mind frame. You have to know the feeling before you can understand the issue.

    …..sorry if this comes out as harsh, the only thing keeping me going today is an energy drink.


    • Darya Pino says:

      The interesting part is the new protein that converts white fat to brown fat.

    • Darya Pino says:

      I hated cooking until I was about 25 and thought it was a useless skill. Then I discovered that it is actually fun when you use good ingredients and shop at the farmers market, where everything is fresh and it isn’t air conditioned. Once you practice a little you can cook quickly as well. Also, I learned all this while getting a PhD in neuroscience and launching/running this website. And yes, I think I can help people do the same.

      It’s also kind of amazing that someone who is so exhausted has the energy to rant on a random blog they’re not familiar with.

  27. Lorenzo says:

    I think the main point is choosing good ingredients.
    When you cook out of season, industrial products you need to cook them for hours and to add tons of fat, spices, salt etc. to give taste. That’s why it becomes boring.

  28. Christa says:

    Love, like or hate to cook doesn’t matter. Basically you have to cook. Just like you have to pay your bills, and do the laundry. Eating out for every meal just typically isn’t in the budget for the average person. So learning basic cooking skill is just a life skill.

    I don’t care for cooking and I’ve avoided learning for years. Why would I cook when my husband can, would and did cook. Mainly because he wanted a meal cooked for him as much as I did. So over time I’ve learned and will continue to get more cooking skills.

    I’m finding with practice the process gets easier. I’m learning to find recipes that I can do and then repeat them with success. I’ve thrown away the idea that each time I cook I have to cook something new. I look for recipes that are simple and I’m starting to create my list of recipes that I’m known for.

    Keep the hate out if the kitchen, and just start cooking. Have a list of core recipes that match your skill level and keep cooking them and keep trying.

    • I know so many people who fall into that trap. They’re not really comfortable in the kitchen, and every time they try to cook they look for some fabulous new recipe, as though all the previous failures were the recipes’ fault.

      My wife is an excellent baker, and always cooked the same way she bakes: Follow a recipe exactly. Only in the past year has she gotten comfortable doing variations on a few basic recipes. She’s now the mistress of the Dutch oven, and we love it.

  29. Dee says:

    Cooking has gotten a little easier for me, but it is still a CHORE. My skills are more aligned to thinking type/ abstract tasks, not domestic duties….. All that being said, because of my weight loss goals, I have started cooking everyday since January this year 2012, providing all meals for me and by extension my family… It takes a lot out of me – alot of discipline and stamina

    I concentrate on the basics – protein, starch, veggies – I still don’t deal in flour and complicated recipes

    My partner says he hates the kitchen, and anything to do with the kichen (except eating of course!) so there’s little help there

    At the end of the day, planning meals and cooking for myself has increased my well being….

  30. Jennifer says:

    I am a great cook! I haven’t done it really since I got married 15 years ago. I hate it. Capital H because:
    1. I am always on a diet and perpetually fighting weight gain and when I cook and then have to get my kids to eat it (because it’s healthy and pretty to me but really my kids won’t eat kale without being “talked into it” even if I add ton of salt and maple syrup and all the gunk they like) I eat more.
    2. It’s stressful to eat around a family that all likes different things. (My idea of heaven is cooked spinach, my husband likes meat, I’m vegan, my kids like asian foods (I am not going to make pho and sushi and pad thai every day) and junky junky kid food (a la chicken nuggets and pasta), ugh.
    3. I’m a grazer and an actual meal kills me and insulin spikes me into wanting to eat the rest of the day.

    My solution thus far has been putting my older child in charge of cooking and feeding my younger child. The older one is a budding chef and the younger one adores the older one. Both are happy, both get something out of it. Responsibility, achievement, stress-free mommy. When school starts again and they are both studying and doing their sports things I am back to square one. Oy.

    #PeopleThatNeedAFamilyMeetingAboutDinnerPlans #PeopleAreEasierToNegotiateWithWhenTheyAreOverTheAgeOf5

  31. Brenda says:

    I can cook but I loathe it and stay out the kitchen as much as I can. Cooking makes me feel the shame of being a woman that I was raised with so every time I am in the kitchen, I see and feel the slavish life my mother had. So if I have to have a reason for it, I think that’s a pretty powerful one- and not one I wish to change either. I am happy eating sandwiches and not cooking!

    I think like anything else, one does not have to seek to change their perception of something if they don’t want to. It is like interests, people, kids etc: we all have likes and dislikes; some people love plumbing, some hate it, some want kids/relationships, some don’t. So what?

    • Darya Pino says:

      That’s fine. But most people nowadays don’t know if they really hate cooking or not, they just don’t know how and they don’t like being bad at things. Since cooking has so much power to improve health and quality of life, I wanted to challenge people to think a little differently about a pastime they may have disregarded thoughtlessly.

      If you have past trauma that makes cooking particularly unappealing to you, there are certainly other ways to eat healthy.

      • Brenda says:

        I am sorry if I came across as a bit harsh and unthinking. I certainly appreciate what you are trying to do. I just think this aspect about women being stuck in the kitchen and expected to be is a vastly overlooked reason for hating cooking. I actually think many women in particular may not even realise this underlying reason themselves as it is so insidious and took me a long time to understand.

        I find it interesting that my partner likes to cook- when he feels like it. He had to agree that it was a pleasure because as a man, he was not raised with the expectation that he should be an unpaid servant to the family with no life, identity and therefore self-esteem outside household chores as I was. He can come and go in the kitchen as he pleases; it is not his expected role simply by virtue of his sex with no account for the individual’s fundamental needs and interests in life. He is not tied to the depressing eternal round of cooking, cleaning and washing up no matter how he feels with nothing to show for all that time lost as many women are.

      • Sandra says:

        Can you tell us more about healthy ways to eat without cooking? I’ve tried, but except for a very few basic things, cooking stresses me out, and even with those few dinners I really really dislike it. Thanks!

  32. yattwood says:

    I HATE to cook because I’m A WIDOW – and I don’t want to cook for ONE PERSON.
    I HATE to COOK because NO MATTER HOW “SIMPLE” – it’s ____NEVER____ SIMPLE ENOUGH – everything is “fold egg whites this”, “saute that” – all kinds of COMPLICATION – I NEVER see ANYTHING that says, ‘open this can, pour this, cook for 5 minutes”
    Or, things that just need a MINIMUM of ingredients. Installing Oracle on a UNIX server is more SIMPLE than the most “simple’ of cookbooks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Darya Pino says:

      Almost every recipe on this site is for one person and very simple. Most were developed as I was a single graduate student living alone and working two jobs. I’m sorry that you are so unhappy.

  33. Paula says:


    I want to cook, I really do and I have tried.
    Thank you for this article, most of your points dont apply to me, and I live alone so nobody to help…but two points hit home, which I didnt think of before:

    I am slow, very slow, and I have crappy knifes!
    The thought of peeling, slicing and dicing make me sick, I do have a food processor, but even with that I spend over an hour for a 30 minute recipe.

    So, after I invest on a good knife, how can i learn the art of speed slicing? 20 seconds for an onion you said?!

    Help please! I am going broke on food, especially because I eat healthy..so no pizza or hamburgers for me.

  34. Lesley says:

    Read this. Still HATE cooking.

  35. Lesley says:

    “Why would anyone hate cooking?”, said a chef.

  36. glendalea says:

    I have a plaque that states “The only reason I have a kitchen is because it came with the house.” I have never felt any desire to cook, never prepared a meal that I didn’t dread preparing or detest cleaning up after. Grocery shopping is a chore. I have raised children, have grandchildren, have been married nearly fifty years, have had several well stocked kitchens over the years, too many cookbooks, and have received many compliments on my cooking. But when there is no one else around I never cook so much as an egg for myself. There really are some of us who just plain do not like to cook. I am so thankful that there are people around that DO enjoy cooking because it would be a miserable world if everyone hated it. But there are those among us who never will like it simply because it is not in our general makeup.

  37. Jacks says:

    Nope, not only do I hate cooking, I despise it, as well as anything that has to do with it. Your list doesn’t even describe me or many I know. I can produce good food at a reasonable pace with sub par knives. I just do not at any time or place cook. I will starve before I step into a kitchen.

  38. Sandra says:

    Nice website, thank you, Darya.

    A major reason I hate cooking is that I’m very slow at it. If I triple the prep time given on recipes, that’s about how it is. Plus I’m capable of botching even the simplest recipes so that I wind up heating up frozen pizza anyway, and am frustrated at all the lost time and effort. Plus I can’t mulitask… I can’t get things to come out at the same time.

    Cooking is very stressful for me… it makes me feel so stupid and incompetent. If you have suggestions about how to eat more healthy without cooking, that would be great.

  39. Anony says:

    I know this is an old post, but the better I get at cooking, the more I hate it. Maybe hate is the wrong word, but I do certainly resent the hell out of it!

    I guess this is because since I had children, I had to learn to cook because I like my family to eat well. I cook simple, no fuss, local produce meals, but it feels like all I do is breakfast, lunch, dinner, plus snacks, and frankly, the last place in the world I want to have to spend time is the kitchen, especially as I never enjoy a meal at home the way I do when I go to restaurant.

    I think you forgot that some people are just not interested in this cooking business. In fact, I just spend my time being angry in the kitchen, counting the minutes until I am free from my prison job. Some people say that cooking relaxes them, but man, I am so stressed out by it and am never hungry after.

    My grandmother, mother and sister are all fantastic cooks who enjoyed it. I just did not receive the cooking gene and was even considered anorexic at one point, not intentional, but food is just not that interesting to me. I have to really be hungry, so I guess that is my base problem. I like food, but I only eat when I am truly hungry. Well, at least I will never be fat, and my children are growing up eating great food with lots of vitamins prepared from my heart!

    Thanks for the article!

  40. aMoLk says:

    Sorry, but I really hate to cook.
    When I do cook, results turn out pretty good most of the times. But I just really really hate to do it. Its the last thing in this world, I feel like I should be doing. I also hate doing laundry, but I can live with, you don’t need to do it everyday 🙂

  41. Zee says:

    Interesting post, but I in response to your question, yes I still hate cooking, and no, I’m not just looking around the room hating things. Ever since I was young, I hated cooking. I hated how long it took, how easy it was so screw something up, and how hard it was to please everyone.

    Let me ask you this. Do you think everyone loves singing? No. Because you need to be passionate about it, and somewhat good to love it and do it all the time.

    I have zero passion for the kitchen. But I am extremely passionate about music. I would rather spend a whole day in a music theory lecture, then a composition lecture,
    Than spend it in a cooking class, followed by a class cook-off.

    So no I disagree with you, some people don’t just hate it for the sake of saying they hate it; they really do hate it.

    I really wish I liked it. I have a 1 year old and I really want my family to eat well, and my husband is the kind of guy who won’t even make a sandwich haha. We’re doomed! 😛

  42. GyaruNO says:


    It honestly brings me to tears even now as i type. My husband and i fight so much over it and im so crap at it. He is crap too but he tries but it frustrates him.

    I really hate it how so many recipes i look at on the net always involve impossible ingredients or ingredients that cost so much money that it just becomes a joke.

    I live in Australia and over here is the complete opposite to the U.S. There are 2 major supermarket chains here and being a duopoly they screw us so hard against the wall that you seriously would not even begin to understand how frustratingly expensive it is even for the most simple of ingredients let alone the rarer type stuff.

    I want to cry I hate it and it’s destroying my marriage and life. Cooking is destroying EVERYTHING I HATE IT SO MUCH WITH A PASSION

  43. Maria S. says:

    An interesting attempt to categorise cooking haters, and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to at least some points you are making. Then there is an unfortunate group of people like myself (and some of those who left comments earlier).

    I cook well, I cook fast, I have fantastic new kitchen, I stick with simple, I don’t mind cleaning up or doing the dishes, and I dread every time I have to cook.

    I try to cook in bigger batches – that way at least I can do it less often.

  44. Marlene says:

    Hi Darya,
    I came across this blog post recently and found it interesting. Looks like it was started last year, but I felt like responding anyway.
    The reasons you listed might be applicable to a lot of people actually. It makes a lot of sense. However, I do feel there are many folks out there, like me, for whom it is not about an element of cooking being off or not adjusted properly (bad knives, bad technique, etc.) but rather it’s the act in and of itself. I personally never acquired a kind of value system around preparing meals. As a child, the shopping, prepping, and cooking of meals was not something I did or was made to value. My mother loathed cooking. She was a single mother working two jobs and going back to school at the same time. Life was about resiliency, and cooking was something one was tasked with, it took time and skill and attention. Aside from that, I have also dealt with generalized anxiety disorder since I was a child. Cooking, and everything associated, has always been extremely overwhelming to me. It creates a lot of stress. I am not the type of person who enjoys buying groceries at the supermarket. I find it loud, too many people, too many options. It’s jarring and hard to focus. Farmers markets are the same. While beautiful and outdoors, I do not like them if I am tasked with shopping and have certain items to obtain. Kids running around, people are loud, loud music sometimes, and again a lot of options everywhere. I get overwhelmed very easily, and sometimes just go home. Generally if I do make it home with food, I am done for the day. Literally wiped out. I cannot bear the thought of going into that kitchen and washing and prepping something. That’s generally out of the question. Over the next few days I begin to agonize over it, and feel guilty about all that food sitting in there. I loathe the thought. But I do it. I manage to wash and prep things. Chop and such. And perhaps begin to cook. But then I require a break.
    So usually I end up eating the ready made stuff or not much at all because it will be mid week before I’ve been able to create anything.
    Sometimes when I do manage to make a dish, I don’t actually eat it. It has exhausted me.
    I think for me, cooking just has a lot of moving pieces, and because of my constitution, it is not very enjoyable. I feel the same about driving and cleaning. Although my anxiety is managed so I can function, I think my loathing cooking goes beyond just being lazy or not having the right tools. My kitchen is ridiculously stocked (which sometimes also makes me anxious).
    For some there is pleasure in all those steps. For me it is often unbearable, although I guess necessary. My friend is a chef and grew up cooking with her mom. She fascinates me, because her love of it is so beyond me. She has tried teaching me, and I learn very easily. But it isn’t about being proficient or not being proficeint for me. It’s just an activity I’ve found I do not find enjoyable. I wish I did though. I definitely try.

    • Darya Rose says:

      I see your point, and it sounds like a legitimate disorder. Treatments like CBT could probably help with the anxiety. Thanks for sharing and best of luck 🙂

  45. Julia says:

    Im mad about cooking right now. Im just going to rattle off reasons semi incoherently.

    I HATE to cook because the entire process takes forever. Like hours of planning, shopping, prepping cooking and cleaning. Then its time for bed. We also don’t know WHAT to make. It requires planning. All the ingredients don’t magically appear in my kitchen. I’m at work for 10 hours a day. Crock pots take 8 hours usually so that is out. I don’t eat meat, husband does. So that is hard and confusing. I like things he does not and vice versa. I won’t cook meat.

  46. Darya Rose says:

    ATTENTION: Due to the excessive negativity of some recent commenters, I am closing the comments on this post. If the contents of this article make you want to scream in rage, stab someone, punch a wall, or hurl yourself off a bridge, I suggest you find a therapist.