Great British Fake Off

Cooking is a fundamental life skill which can be easy for some but more challenging to master for others. For those who can’t even make toast without it burning, you can take great comfort in the fact that you are not alone.

We surveyed 2,000 Brits to find out just how much the UK really knows about cooking, from our kitchen confidence to our go-to meals. Here is what we discovered.

54% of Brits state they don't enjoy cooking

Not all of us are naturally gifted in the kitchen, with over half of Brits (54%) stating they don’t enjoy cooking at home. When cooking from scratch however half (50%) of Brits believe the food they cook themselves tastes better and is healthier compared to pre-cooked meals.

A further 37% believe that home cooked meals are of a higher quality than processed ones, with 42% of Brits stating they like to see exactly what is going into their food.

46% of Brits cook from scratch so they can personalise the meal to suit individual tastes with one in ten (10%) Brits having to cook meals to suit their dietary requirements such as vegan, vegetarian or any allergens.

One in 10 Brits are not confident in cooking a jacket potato

When it comes to which meals Brits are the most confident in cooking for themselves, the humble jacket potato ranks first with 90% of UK feeling confident in its preparation.

Sausage and mash come in second place with 88%, while the mighty full English breakfast follows in third place with 87%.

At the other end of the scale, sushi is giving Brits cooking grief, with over three quarters (76%) of the UK not feeling confident in its preparation. This is followed by fajitas at 37%, then a staple of British cuisine the pie at 32%.

Almost one in five (19%) Brits do not feel confident in preparing a roast dinner, with those aged between 16-25 being the least confident at 66%. It’s clear from the data that with experience comes wisdom, as those aged 55 and over are the most confident at 88%.

Time is the biggest barrier to stopping Brits cooking more

The biggest barrier to stopping Brits cooking more in the time it takes, with 39% of Brits agreeing so. This is followed by the cost of raw ingredients (30%) as well as the increased cost of running household appliances (26%).

One in five (20%) Brits site their lack of cooking knowledge as a barrier, with a further 17% not having the needed equipment.

Because of these barriers, almost a quarter of Brits (23%) go to their parent’s house at least once a week to avoid cooking themselves. A further 36% order at least one takeaway per week while a quarter (25%) eat out in a restaurant at least once per week.

Almost half (49%) of Brits got their cooking knowledge from family members

Cooking is an acquired skill that is only mastered through lots of practise. That being said, almost half (49%) of Brits gained their current cooking knowledge from family members, while a further 29% gained through the trial-and-error cooking of dishes.

A further 21% of Brits got their cooking knowledge via Google, with another 18% through cooking TV shows and YouTube videos. Notably there is a shift between the generations here, as 42% of those aged 16-24 turn to YouTube for cooking inspiration while 41% of those aged 55 and over turn to good old cookbooks.

A third (35%) of Brits turn to Google for their cooking questions

Although Brits turn to family members to learn cooking skills when they have cooking related questions over a third (35%) turn to Google instead. A further, 32% use traditional cookbooks as a source for information, while a quarter (26%) turn to YouTube videos.

Less than one in five (19%) of Brits go to family members with cooking questions, with 15% of us turning to platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram for help.

For the most Googled cooking queries ‘how to’ questions dominate the top ten, with ‘how to make Yorkshire puddings’ coming first with 1.8 million annual searches.

This is followed by ‘how to cook rice’, with 1.5 million annual searches and ‘how to cook steak’ with one million annual searches.

Reheating food also seems to be a confusing topic for Brits when it comes to cooking, with searches for ‘can you reheat rice’ nearing 700k annually and searches for ‘can you reheat chicken’ at 400k.

Are you guilty of ordering one too many takeaways?

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