Be a Man: Learn To Cook

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Back at the beginning of July, Brett asked the question, “Is Cooking Manly?” The poll results were astoundingly lopsided: 95% yes, 5% no. It looks like a vast majority of us are convinced that being able to turn a heap of meat and vegetables into a delicious meal is a vital skill for a man to have.

Why then does it seem that so many men are unable to do something as simple as grilling a proper steak, much less doing something more involved like making a pot of soup (an exceedingly simple task)? Frankly, I know so many guys that would have trouble feeding themselves if a blizzard came through that it’s laughable.

Why do so many of us think it’s manly to cook, yet are unable to do so? Obviously the average male thinks it’s great to be able to slap a steak or some pork chops on the grill. But what about cooking in the kitchen? Is the kitchen the realm of women? Today, let’s look at some reasons that every man should be able to put together a meal, and by “meal” I mean meat AND side dishes, cooked on a grill, a cast iron skillet, or in the oven.

A Man Is Independent

An overriding theme of The Art Of Manliness is that a man should be independent. But a man that can’t quickly throw together a meal is always going to be dependent on someone else to feed him, be that his wife, girlfriend, or McDonald’s. Dependency is not an admirable trait in a man. You don’t want to be the guy that has to turn to frozen pizzas just because your finer half decided to have Cosmos with the ladies.

If you depend on someone to provide you with something that you require daily, can you really consider yourself independent? Seriously, we pride ourselves on our proficiency with power tools, yet few of us touch a power tool on a weekly basis. But we do touch food every single day, yet lots of guys have relegated cooking to a woman’s job.

A Man Is Healthy and Strong

It’s been proven time after time: cooking at home is vastly healthier than eating out, especially if “eating out” means grabbing fast food. At home, you can control the ingredients used and the cooking methods. There are no hidden ingredients in your kitchen. You’ll be leaner, more muscular, and healthier. And there’s nothing manly about a guy that’s weak and sickly.

A Man Provides For Himself and Others

Remember that bit about independence above? Well, along with being able to provide for himself, a man that can cook can provide for the most important people in his life – his family and friends. Providing food for others has long been a manly trait, from our hunter-gatherer days of bringing home the mastodon, through modern times when most of the renowned chefs in the world are males. The ability to put together a complete meal when your wife is sick or tired (or sick and tired, probably of your crap) is very manly.

A Man Spends Time With His Family

Want to be involved in your kids’ lives? Spend time with them. Want to find out about the new boy your daughter has been hanging out with or what your son is doing after school? Spend some time with them.

No one could possibly argue that it’s unmanly to spend time with one’s wife and kids. I saw several commenters talk about how cooking or grilling allows them to spend quality time with their kids. So what about being able to provide them with a tasty dinner, while talking to them about their day at school or work?

Better yet, spend time with them in the kitchen. You can teach them the necessary skills to be healthy and independent while also being a father. Imagine raising a son that isn’t afraid to turn on the oven, that is comfortable wielding a knife, chopping vegetables, and understands how to saute an onion. Imagine him being able to select and combine herbs and spices. Imagine him teaching these same traits to your grandkids.

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