” Cooking certain dishes, like roast pork, reminds me of my mother.”

Maya Angelou, Poet

Cooking vs. Eating Out – All Pros & Cons

advantages and disadvantages of cooking at home compared to eating out in a restaurant

Many people ask themselves whether they should cook or eat out on a regular basis. Cooking at home has become quite popular over the past years, and for good reasons.

There are many benefits from cooking at home and you should definitely give it a try. However, cooking can also imply some issues.

In this article, the pros and cons of cooking are examined.

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Advantages of Cooking at Home

  1. Cooking can be fun
  2. You will learn a lot about nutrition
  3. Your friends will be excited
  4. Cooking can increase your level of confidence
  5. Increase in flexibility
  6. Cooking may help to reduce your stress level
  7. There is no dress code required at home
  8. Your children can play while you cook
  9. You can cook large portions and put them in the freezer
  10. You can adjust recipes to the taste of your family
  11. Your overall health level might improve
  12. Better nutrition for your kids
  13. You might be fitter
  14. Steep learning curve might keep you motivated
  15. Cooking can be a fun family activity
  16. You know what’s in your meal
  17. You can assure high quality of your food
  18. You can save money
  19. Cooking at home may be great in case you want to lose weight
  20. Avoidance of allergens

Cooking can be fun

One important upside of cooking at home is that it can be quite a lot of fun. I personally really enjoy cooking since you can try out so many different recipes and you see progress pretty soon.

It is really nice to prepare your own meals since you can enjoy the full benefits of the end result by finally eating it. Thus, not only me, but many other people I know enjoy cooking a lot since it gives them a feeling of self-development and creativity.

You will learn a lot about nutrition

When you engage in cooking, you will also learn quite a lot about your diet and how to improve it in a healthier manner. If you read recipe books or engage in cooking forums online, there will be many people talking about what’s healthy and what’s not and therefore, you will get a much better feeling whether your current nutrition is healthy or not.

If you come to the conclusion that you currently do not eat healthy enough, you can prepare meals that are healthier by cooking at home instead of grabbing some fast food or eating out.

Thus, this knowledge regarding your nutrition might be quite valuable for you in terms of learning which foods are good for you and which might harm you in the long run.

You will also likely expand your knowledge about vegetarianism and veganism.

Your friends will be excited

Another advantage of cooking at home is that you can cook for your family and friends, who will be quite impressed since many of them will not have any cooking skills at all.

Thus, if you want to make a nice evening with your favorite people around you, including cooking for them will be great in order to make the evening even better.

Everyone can order pizza, but only few people are able to cook in great style. Therefore, you can create really nice evenings for your family and friends if you know how to cook.

Cooking can increase your level of confidence

If you learn how to cook tasty dishes, you might also experience a boost in self-confidence. We as humans are wired in a way that we appreciate positive feedbacks from others.

Therefore, if your friends give you complements regarding the dishes you created, chances are that you feel quite happy and become more confident regarding your abilities.

Thus, especially if you are a rather insecure person, cooking might help you get out of this state of insecurity and into a state of self-confidence.

Increase in flexibility

If you cook by yourself, you might also be much more flexible compared to eating out at a restaurant. For instance, if you have small kids at home, you could cook for them in the late afternoon and bring them to bed pretty early while you and your spouse may want to eat later in the evening.

Thus, you can adjust your eating schedule to your individual circumstances instead of having to go and eat at a restaurant together at the same time.

Cooking may help to reduce your stress level

I also really enjoy cooking since I can relax and unwind from stressful periods of my daily life. Cooking involves some sort of physical activity, which is known to reduce stress levels.

Moreover, since you can be quite creative, cooking may be a good tool to get rid of your worries that you brought back from work to your home.

Therefore, cooking may also be a great tool for you to reduce your stress level and therefore to increase your overall quality of life, especially in difficult times in your life.

There is no dress code required at home

Another benefit of cooking at home instead of eating out in a restaurant is that there is no dress code that you have to comply with at home.

For instance, you do not have to dress fancy at home and can wear everything you want while for a fancy restaurant, you will have to dress up.

Thus, it might also be much more convenient to wear casual clothes most of the time instead of dressing up for a fancy restaurant.

Your children can play while you cook

Children get often bored in restaurants since there is not too much to do for them. They do not have toys to play with and will often be in a relatively bad mood.

If you cook at home instead, your children will be able to play with their favorite toys while you prepare the dishes, which may result in a much better overall mood of the whole family.

You can cook large portions and put them in the freezer

It might also be quite convenient to cook large portions of your family’s favorite dish and just put it in the freezer. By doing so, you only have to cook one time and can enjoy several tasty dishes whenever you want.

This gives you a great level of flexibility, especially if you have to work long hours since you only have to warm up your food instead of cooking every time from scratch.

You can adjust recipes to the taste of your family

While in a restaurant, you have to rely on the taste of the chef who creates your dishes, you can adjust recipes to the taste of your family if you cook at home instead.

This will increase the chances that your family members will enjoy their meals since you can avoid foods that you know they do not like at all.

Your overall health level might improve

If you learn to cook by yourself, chances are that you will learn a lot about healthy nutrition from cookbooks or from other people and you will be more likely to cook healthier as well.

In turn, your body will thank you for that since healthy nutrition is crucial in order to stay healthy and to avoid suffering from serious diseases.

Better nutrition for your kids

Not only you can significantly improve your knowledge regarding healthy nutrition through cooking by yourself, also your family members can greatly benefit from it. For instance, if you provide your kids with healthy food, they are less likely to suffer from health conditions of any sort.

Moreover, you might also even be able to teach your kids about proper nutrition and they will be more likely to engage in healthy cooking once they turn into grownups.

You might be fitter

Our nutrition is crucial for our body and our brain to work properly. Thus, if you learn how to cook healthy instead of just grabbing some convenience food, chances are that you will also feel much fitter in the long run.

For instance, if I cook a healthy meal at home, I can feel an almost instant boost in power after I finish my meal. Just try it, you will be surprised how much your diet really influences your fitness level!

Steep learning curve might keep you motivated

Even though cooking can be quite exhausting at the beginning since it involves a high level of coordination, you will learn a lot at the beginning of your cooking career and things that looked difficult at the start will become rather easy after you tried them a few times.

Thus, don’t be discouraged if it takes a while until you see significant progress. Trust me, it will be worth it in the long run!

Cooking can be a fun family activity

It might also be quite enjoyable for you to cook with your kids and your spouse. Cooking with your family can be plenty of fun and even better, you do not have to do all the work by yourself.

Moreover, your kids will likely learn a lot and their awareness and their knowledge regarding healthy nutrition will improve significantly.

You know what’s in your meal

Another major advantage of cooking is that you exactly know what kinds of foods you have used for your dishes. This is not true at all when you eat out in a restaurant.

Sure, you will roughly know the ingredients, however, you will not be able to figure out exactly all the ingredients and you might have things in your food that you are not fine with.

Thus, in order to keep full control over what’s in your meal, cooking at home might be a great tool to do so.

You can assure high quality of your food

In general, if you cook at home, you can fully influence the quality of groceries you want to use. Therefore, you will be able to supply your family and yourself with high-quality food on a regular compared to eating out where you do not know how good or bad the quality of the ingredients really was.

You can save money

By cooking at home rather than attending a restaurant, you might also be able to save large sums of money in the long run. Cooking at home can be rather cheap compared to going out to a restaurant.

Especially for a big family, visits to a good restaurant can be quite expensive. Through cooking at home, you can save plenty of money by cooking the same dishes and you can use this saved money on other things you like instead.

Cooking at home may be great in case you want to lose weight

In many restaurants, the focus is on the taste of the food rather than on saving calories. Thus, especially if you want to lose weight, you should cook by yourself instead of eating out.

On the one hand, cooking burns calories. On the other hand, you can avoid foods that have high amounts of calories. Thus, cooking at home can also help you with losing weight.

Avoidance of allergens

In many restaurants, flavor enhancers are used, which often also contain certain allergens or other unpleasant substances. Thus, especially if you are rather sensitive regarding allergens, you might refrain from eating out and rather cook at home instead since you can avoid using those allergens if you cook by yourself.

Disadvantages of Cooking Homemade Food

  1. Cooking takes time
  2. Might be hard at the beginning
  3. Some people might give up too early
  4. Some people may not be interested in cooking
  5. It may be more convenient to grab food or to eat out
  6. You have to wash the dishes
  7. You have to go grocery shopping
  8. People who work long hours might not have time for cooking
  9. High-quality groceries can be expensive
  10. Cooking might be dangerous
  11. Socializing is easier when you eat out in a restaurant
  12. Good restaurants for special occasions instead of cooking at home
  13. You will not be able to cook for many people at home
  14. You can get inspired by new dishes from eating out in restaurants
  15. Kitchen may look like a mess

Cooking takes time

From the previous analysis, it has become clear that there are many important advantages related to cooking. However, cooking at home can also imply some problems.

One downside of cooking is that it can take plenty of time to prepare certain dishes, especially if you want to prepare slow-cooked food.

Thus, for certain kinds of foods, you should factor in that it will take plenty of effort and time which you might not have if you work long hours in a demanding job.

Might be hard at the beginning

Although there is a steep learning curve in cooking, it might still be hard at the beginning since you will likely make plenty of mistakes.

However, after a while, you will notice that it will become much easier and you will start to be quite proud of yourself due to the high quality of the dishes you will be able to prepare.

Some people might give up too early

Thus, even if it might be hard at the beginning, don’t give up too early as many other people do! Stay on track and think in the long run.

Once you learned the basics, you will have a solid foundation and from that time on, cooking will be much more fun and will feel much less as a pure effort.

Therefore, since it might be hard at the start, many people might quit far too soon. Don’t be one of those people, keep going!

Some people may not be interested in cooking

Even though I love cooking and it is quite enjoyable for me, people are different and cooking might not be for you. Some people may simply not be interested in cooking at all and may enjoy other hobbies instead.

Thus, if you notice that cooking is not for you, go for something else! However, don’t quit before you started! You need to actually try it to figure out whether cooking is for you or not.

It may be more convenient to grab food or to eat out

Let’s be honest. Of course, just grabbing food from your favorite fast food chain or eating out is often much easier and convenient compared to cooking at home. You will not have to take the effort to cook and to clean up afterward.

You can simply enjoy your food and do not have to care about all the things that come along with cooking at home. Thus, from a convenience perspective, eating out or grabbing food might have an edge over cooking at home.

You have to wash the dishes

Cooking may be fun, but washing the dishes might not be fun at all. Even if you have a dishwasher at home, you still have to do some manual work. Therefore, there might also be some work related to cooking at home that is not enjoyable and you should take this into account when it comes to the decision whether you want to cook at home or to eat out instead.

You have to go grocery shopping

If you decide to cook at home, you have to shop for groceries. This may be rather annoying, especially if you live in a remote area where you have to drive large distances to the next supermarket.

Also at busy times, you might have to wait quite long at the checkout. If you eat out in a restaurant, you will not have those issues since you do not have to go grocery shopping.

People who work long hours might not have time for cooking

Some jobs also require you to work quite long hours. Therefore, you might simply not have the time to cook if you come home late at night every day.

Moreover, due to your demanding job, you might be quite tired when you come home and may be not motivated at all to cook.

Thus, depending on which profession you work, cooking by yourself might not be the way to go.

High-quality groceries can be expensive

Although cooking at home is usually cheaper compared to eating out, going for high-quality groceries can also be expensive when you cook at home.

Thus, depending on your standards, cooking at home might not be cheaper compared to eating out if you only buy high-quality products from your local store.

However, even though it might not be cheaper, at least you can expect that your food is of much better quality compared to eating out in a restaurant.

Cooking might be dangerous

In a few cases, cooking might also be a little bit dangerous. For instance, if you are a beginner and you work with a large knife and don’t know what you are doing yet, you might cut yourself in the finger. Thus, if you are not careful, you might hurt yourself by cooking at home.

Socializing is easier when you eat out in a restaurant

Restaurants are also a quite nice place to socialize and to meet your friends or also to make new connections. If you only cook at home with your family, chances are that you will not meet many new people, which may become rather boring in the long run.

Good restaurants for special occasions instead of cooking at home

If you want to celebrate certain occasions, you might want to eat out in a nice restaurant instead of having to cook at home. For instance, for your birthday party, you might not want to cook for your guests but may rather want to enjoy talking to them and to have a great time together instead of having to take care of cooking.

You will not be able to cook for many people at home

If you live in a small flat and want to meet up with friends, it might also be a better idea to eat out in a restaurant since might simply not have enough space in your flat for all of your friends.

Thus, depending on which circumstances you live right now, cooking at home might not be a good option for you if you don’t have enough space to accommodate your guests.

You can get inspired by new dishes from eating out in restaurants

Eating out in restaurants may also give you the opportunity to get inspired by new dishes you haven’t known before. In turn, you can try to cook those dishes at home in the future.

Therefore, eating out in a restaurant may also inspire you and may be a good addition to cooking at home since you will get to know many different dishes in the long run.

Kitchen may look like a mess

If you cook at home, your kitchen might look like a mess. This is especially true if you are just beginning your cooking career since the processes will not be sophisticated yet.

Therefore, expect that you have to clean up a lot, especially when you start cooking and have to learn a lot.

Top 10 Cooking Pros & Cons – Summary List

Cooking ProsCooking Cons
Cooking is funCooking at home can be time-consuming
You will learn a lot about nutritionCooking might not be for everyone
Health improvementsMay be hard at the beginning
You can save moneyYou have to shop for groceries
Cooking as family activityYou have to clean up
You know the ingredients of your mealMotivation may suffer over time
Avoidance of allergensSetbacks might discourage you
Good if you want to lose weightYou may hurt yourself
Improvements in confidenceYour social life might suffer
Your friends will be impressedYour kitchen may look like a mess

Should You Learn Cooking At Home?

Cooking at home has many advantages and I definitely recommend that you at least try it.

After all, what do you have to lose? If you don’t want to learn cooking on your own, you can also go for cooking classes instead.

Either way, cooking is a great hobby and chances are that you will really enjoy it in the long run.

Make sure to get some high-quality pots right now to start your cooking career!

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooking

https://www.britannica.com/topic/cooking

https://cooking.nytimes.com/

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/cooking-at-home.htm

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

Wanna make a contribution to save our environment? Share it!

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