These Are The Top Thirty Declining Cooking Skills

Traditional cooking skills such as making tomato sauce from scratch, homemade gravy and poaching an egg are dying out, a study has found.

Researchers polled 2,000 households on their cooking abilities and found a number of skills are on the wane – including being able to make cheese sauce that’s not from a packet, ‘proper’ stuffing and batter.

Other cooking techniques on the decline include making white sauce from scratch and making you own salad dressing, along with making homemade stock.

Eighty per cent said they simply don’t have enough time to cook from scratch.

While 78 per cent rely on convenience foods such as ready meals and pre-chopped vegetables in order to get by.

The research, commissioned by Ulster Weavers, a home textiles company based in Northern Ireland, also found meals such as toad in the hole, bubble and squeak and hot pot were enjoyed by families on a daily basis in the seventies.

But today, families are more likely to eat quick-fix dinners such as pizza, curry and spaghetti bolognese.

A spokesman for Ulster Weavers said: “It’s a shame traditional cooking skills appear to be falling by the wayside.

“The results suggest people are strapped for time as a result of their busy lifestyles, meaning they aren’t able to go that extra mile in the kitchen.

“This could have an impact on future generations who may grow-up unable to cook and prepare certain foods.”

Researchers found other cooking skills falling by the wayside include browning mince, braising steak and melting chocolate properly.

Making roast potatoes also features in the list, along with putting an omelette together and making Yorkshire puddings.

It also emerged around half of the population wish they had learnt more traditional cooking skills when they were younger.

And nearly three quarters agree traditional cooking skills are dying out.

But while 67 per cent were taught to cook by their Mum, just 16 per cent have learnt how to cook from their dad.

Amid this, three in ten said their family have secret recipes – including recipes for cakes, meatballs and stews.

Half of families regularly cook together – typically six times a month – and 80 per cent of families often eat together – on average 19 times a month.

A spokesman for Ulster Weavers added: “It’s such a shame that traditional cooking skills are dying out.

“We think it’s so important that we offer the opportunity for families to cook together again which is where we offer a children’s range as well as easy to cook recipes on our website.”


1. Béchamel sauce from scratch
2. Homemade stuffing
3. Short crust pastry
4. Stock
5. Cheese sauce
6. A tomato sauce from scratch
7. Yorkshire puddings
8. Gravy
9. Braising steak
10. Salad dressing
11. Batter
12. The perfect steak
13. Chillies
14. Pancake mix
15. Stuff and roast a chicken
16. Knead dough
17. Pound/tenderise meat
18. Brown (cook) meat (excluding beef mince)
19. Cream butter and sugar
20. Poach an egg
21. Omelettes
22. Roast potatoes
23. Brown (cook) beef mince
24. Melt chocolate properly
25. Crush garlic
26. Separate an egg
27. Chop garlic
28. Cook rice
29. Boil an egg
30. Bake a potato

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