How to Get Your Husband to Do More Cooking

Two Methods:Teaching Your Husband to CookRedefining Household Responsibilities

At one time, it might have been the norm for a man to stay out of the kitchen. Happily for all, those times have changed. If your husband is reluctant to cook, it might be that he doesn't know how to cook, doesn't think cooking is his job, or simply prefers that you do the cooking. Whether your husband needs to learn how to cook, or just to redefine his household responsibilities, there are simple strategies that you can use to help him.

Method 1
Teaching Your Husband to Cook

  1. Image titled Get Your Husband to Do More Cooking Step 1
    Cook together. Many people learn to cook by imitating someone who already knows how. Invite your husband to join you in the kitchen. For example, if you do all the preparation of raw meats and vegetables, your husband can help by stirring the vegetables as they saute.[1]
    • If you label your actions, your husband will learn what different cooking terms mean. For example, tell him that you're dicing the tomatoes, and he will see you chopping tomatoes into smaller pieces. If you tall him you're slicing the onions, he'll see you cutting a peeled onion in half, then into strips by cutting along the same direction as the onion's layers.
    • Having a good time while you're cooking is one of the best ways to make it seem like a fun activity.
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    Teach the basics. When teaching someone how to cook it is essential to start by teaching a few simple techniques. Your husband may find cooking intimidating and mysterious. Show him that it's not by enlisting his help in cooking, teaching every step.[2]
    • Start by teaching basic terminology, and how each action is done. Many beginning learners will be helped by finding out why an action is done a certain way.
    • Another motivation will be learning to make food he likes. This might be risky, because when he's learning he might not make it exactly the way he remembers it. Keep it simple.
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    Buy a cookbook. Look through cookbooks together. There are some great cookbooks for beginning cooks, including Mark Bitman's classic How to Cook Everything. The qualities you're looking for in a cookbook include how well it explains the steps of cooking, and whether your husband likes the kind of recipes the cookbook contains.[3]
    • If your husband enjoys Italian food, Marcella Says …, by Marcella Hazan is a great basic cookbook. '
    • The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker is another classic, with many favorite dishes.
    • If your husband has a sweet tooth, the Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham includes many recipes for desserts as well as basic recipes of all sorts.
    • Many men make their way into the kitchen via the outdoor grill. If your husband already knows how to use a grill, check out cookbooks that relate to grilling, barbecue, or side dishes that go along with grilling.
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    Praise him - a lot! Learning new skills is hard, and most beginning cooks have some failures along the way. Never disparage or criticize his cooking. Instead, find ways to compliment everything he does in the kitchen. Volunteer to clean up after him. Thank him for any help he provides in the kitchen.[4]
    • Teach him how to make your favorite dishes, and he'll know that your praise is genuine.
    • Name dishes after him. Deviled eggs become "Dave's Deviled Eggs." Lasagna becomes "Ahmad's Spicy Lasagna."
    • Let him overhear you bragging to others about his culinary skills.
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    Start with simple dishes. A basic lesson in teaching any new skill is that it's easier to build on success than recover from failure. Simple dishes include any recipes consisting of less than 10 steps which rely upon basic cooking techniques.[5]
    • No beginner's recipe should take more than 30 minutes to prepare, though baking may take longer.
    • You don't want him to get bored, even though the recipes are easy. The best recipes to start with will be highly motivating as well as easy to prepare.
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    Remind him of advantages. If he's a practical man, he'll be motivated by the many advantages of learning to cook. After all, cooking is a basic survival skill, and helplessness isn't usually considered a positive trait. In addition, cooking for yourself is frugal practice, far less expensive than eating out.[6]
    • If you're ever sick or injured, he'll need to be able to cook in order to provide for you and/or his children.
    • Cooking impresses people, particularly when done by a man. It might not be fair, but when a man can cook, people are generally more impressed than when a woman can cook. This is an advantage that you don't have to point out - chances are, he'll notice the compliments for himself.

Method 2
Redefining Household Responsibilities

  1. Image titled Get Your Husband to Do More Cooking Step 7
    Try to see his perspective. If your husband already knows how to cook, he might be avoiding cooking for other reasons. He might feel insecure about his cooking skills, or unsure of interfering with what he perceives as your role.[7]
    • He might not even notice that you do all the cooking. He might take it for granted, genuinely unaware of the hours you spend in the kitchen.
    • Perhaps his father had strong feelings about who should be responsible for cooking. Maybe he grew up being told that men who cook aren't manly, or had feminine attributes. It might help him to hear that most of the most famous chefs in the world are men. Introduce him to Anthony Bourdain, Jamie Oliver, Levi Roots, or others.
    • Some men have had other people provide for their needs their whole lives. They're used to it, and it seems normal to them. Understand that changing this perspective may take time.
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    Ask for his help in the kitchen. It may seem simple, but sometimes all a man is waiting for is to be asked. If there are simple steps to be done in preparing a meal, asking him to do one or two of the steps is an easy way to start your husband's involvement in the kitchen.[8]
    • Remember that asking for his help is an invitation, not a demand. Be friendly and encouraging.
    • There is usually a certain amount of household entropy that occurs in a home, where a couple or a family get used to having things a certain way. Changing these routines will take time, so keep it simple.
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    Assign him a weekly meal. A common way to get husbands more involved in the kitchen is to trust him with dinner once a week. Plan it around your existing schedules, and it will become part of your weekly routine.[9]
    • Decide ahead of time who's doing the shopping. Planning a meal includes knowing ahead of time what ingredients you'll need, and shopping for them.
    • Provide lots of praise. The rule is, if he's cooking, you're not allowed to complain. The reverse is also true.
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    Sit down and have a talk. If you really need your husband to do more cooking, you might need to talk to each other honestly about your household responsibilities. If it seems like both of you work long hours, but only one of you is coming home to spend additional hours cooking, this can develop into a resentment that undermines your marriage.[10]
    • Schedule the talk for a time when you're both relaxed and open. Don't launch into an angry tirade when you're frustrated and overwhelmed.
    • Prepare to listen to his perspective. Assume that your husband wants to help you, that he's on your side.
    • Come up with ways that you can work together to make your husband's cooking easier for him. Ordering groceries over the internet, eating off paper plates that don't need washing, using the grill, or something else.
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    Hold a contest. Some people, both men and women, respond well to competitions. Knowing that he might win something can motivate your husband to try new things, including cooking. Make cooking seem like a sport, and he may be more motivated to spend time in the kitchen.[11]
    • Try holding bake-offs with his male friends, or chili competitions.
    • Get him interested in watching other cooking competitions on television, such as Top Chef, Chopped, or other reality cooking shows.

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