Looking to cook with your English-speaking friends? Cooking is a great social activity. It's fun, can help you learn more about others, and you get to eat some good food in the end!

Here you'll find useful phrases that you can use when cooking with others. You'll learn what to say when deciding what to cook, as well as phrases you can use while cooking. Take a look at the tables below and get ready for the next time you cook with someone!

Deciding What to Cook

If you and a friend want to cook, you'll first need to decide what to make. Below, we've collected phrases that can help you do this.
What kind of food do you like to make?
 
I usually make vegetarian food.
 
Do you have any food allergies?
 
Are you lactose-intolerant?
 
Do you usually follow a recipe?
 
I'm craving soup.
 
I'm in the mood for some steaks.
 
Do you like spicy food?
 
Do you want to have something hot or cold?
 
Should we grill something?
 
Can we make something without gluten in it?
 
 
I'm craving soup
Sometimes there's a dish or type of food that we just really want to eat. To tell someone what kind of food you really want to eat, you can use the sentence pattern I'm craving + FOOD. To crave is simply another way to say that you really want something. A possible response to our example sentence using this pattern is Do you want to make some tonight?.
I'm in the mood for some steaks
A common way to express what you'd like to eat is to use the expression to be in the mood for. You can use it like this: I'm in the mood for + FOOD. This is an idiomatic way of saying I want or I would like. One way someone could answer our example sentence is We could get some and grill on the weekend, if you want?.

While Cooking

Once you've decided what to cook, it's time to get started in the kitchen! The following phrases will come in handy while cooking. Have a look!
Let's grill some burgers.
 
Do you have the recipe?
 
I usually just make everything from scratch.
 
We have to heat up the oven first.
 
Could you peel the potatoes?
 
Can you slice some vegetables?
 
I need to cut the ham.
 
Should I start grilling the chicken?
 
Is the water boiling yet?
 
How many cups of flour do we need?
 
What kind of seasoning should we add?
 
Just add only a pinch of salt.
 
I can make a vinaigrette for the salad.
 
Do you want to grate some cheese over it?
 
Can you set the table?
 
These cookies don't have any nuts in them, right?
 
We'll keep the cheese separate from everything else.
 
 
I usually just make everything from scratch
To make from scratch is an English idiom. When you make something from scratch, it means that you make it using only base ingredients. You do not get help from something already pre-prepared. For example, if you wanted to make a cake from scratch, then you'd need to make the cake itself, any filling, and the icing all with base ingredients. If you bought a cake kit from the store that already had pre-made icing, filling, etc, then you would not be making a cake from scratch. Food made from scratch is often more tasty and impressive than food made from kits.
We have to heat up the oven first
When using a recipe, be sure to pay attention to the temperature that you have to heat the oven. Depending on what country your recipe is from, the temperature could be quite different. For example, in the United States Fahrenheit is the main temperature used, while in the United Kingdom Celsius is used. Fahrenheit and Celsius are quite different from each other. 200 degrees Celsius, for example, is 392 degrees Fahrenheit. So, make sure you know which temperature your recipe is using!

Answers to the Most Common Questions

What are the most essential English phrases to know while cooking with someone?
  • I usually make vegetarian food.
  • Do you have any food allergies?
  • I'm in the mood for some steaks.
  • I usually just make everything from scratch.
  • What kind of food do you like to make?
  • I'm craving soup.
  • Do you have the recipe?
  • Just add only a pinch of salt.
Do English-speaking countries use the same measurements when cooking or baking?
No, they do not. The United States in particular uses measurements different from other English-speaking countries. In American recipes you'll see measurements like cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons. In other English-speaking countries - like the UK - measurements are a bit more specific. British recipes will usually use metric measurements like kilos, grams and milliliters.
What is typical American and British food?
Both the USA and UK are home to many different kinds of food. Classic American food includes food cooked on a grill like burgers and steaks. These are especially eaten during the summer months. Unique ethnic food is also very beloved in the United States. You can pretty much find food from all over the world there. But Chinese and Mexican food in particular is the most common.
A classic dish from the UK is fish and chips - or fish with french fries, in the United States! The UK also has it's share of ethnic food. Dishes from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are very popular.
How do I tell someone what kind of food I want?
Two very common ways to say what kind of food you'd like to eat are:

I'm craving + FOOD.
  • I'm craving soup.
  • I'm craving Chinese.
  • I'm craving hamburgers.


I'm in the mood for + FOOD.
  • I'm in the mood for some steaks.
  • I'm in the mood for chili.
  • I'm in the mood for sushi.