You may not be the next Wolfgang Puck, but we think every guy should know his way around the kitchen to some degree. Cooking skills are essential, whether you’re entertaining a lady or simply wanting a healthy meal that didn’t come in a take-out box. So put on your chef’s hat and make sure you can master these five meals.

1. Steak
We know it’s cliche, but every man should be able to grill up a mean piece of meat. It’s a crowd pleaser, it’s simple to make, and it pairs well with almost any side dish.
Tip: Let the meat sit at room temperature for cooking and make sure to season it well. Grill at a high temperature to get a good sear.

2. Breakfast Frittata
Ron Swanson said it best: “There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food.” And if you want to treat your girl to breakfast in bed, a bowl of cereal just isn’t going to cut it. Impress her with something that takes a little more skill—like the perfect frittata.
Tip: Make sure your add-ins are fully cooked before tossing in the eggs. Use a well-seasoned cast iron pan, and go for cheeses that melt easily like cheddar or gruyère.

3. Pasta
There’s something romantic about pasta. It conjures images of moonlit walks on the cobblestone streets of Italy. Plus the possibilities are endless. Try a classic bolognese sauce or lemony shrimp scampi with shallots. Yum.
Tip: Always salt your water and make sure it’s at a full boil before adding pasta. Stir pasta a few times while cooking to avoid clumping.

4. Cheeseburger
Is there anything better than a juicy cheeseburger? We say, no. So be sure to have this classic meal in your arsenal. If you get it just right, you’ll be the king of summer barbecues.
Tip: For a guaranteed juicy burger use ground beef that is 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat. Before grilling, make an impression in the center of the patty with your thumb; this keeps the burger from puffing up too much while cooking.

5. Brownies
What’s dinner without dessert? You should be able to make at least one tasty confection to satisfy the sweet tooth among your dinner guests. And the classic fudge brownie (served with vanilla ice cream, of course!) will do just that.
Tip: Check on your brownies five minutes before they’re supposed to be done. Just one or two minutes too long and they can turn out hard and chewy instead of soft and gooey.

Photo: iStock/franckreporter