Kitchen Prepping Tips to Save you Time and Energy
Even the world’s top sous chefs know that they aren’t perfect in the kitchen. There are always ways to cut down on kitchen prep time if you are proactive and plan appropriately. You don’t have to sacrifice quality to put a healthy and delicious meal on your kitchen table. Use these Danby time-saving suggestions to improve your cooking experience in your kitchen!
Make a plan
One of the biggest setbacks to any meal is a lack of ingredients. We have all been there, trying to decide what to eat but feeling limited because of what’s in your fridge or pantry.
Get rid of this frustration by planning ahead at the end of every week. Take an inventory of what you have, and make a list of what you need. Always try using up what you already have before you rush out to buy more, of course!
If you are feeling ultra ambitious, try not only planning but also prepping your meals early. Put a few hours aside on Saturday or Sunday to prepare your veggies for the week. Dice your tomatoes, slice your peppers, and grate your carrots ahead of time. Package them up and put them in your fridge, and you will thank your foresight later in the week.
Use seasonal ingredients
Seasonal ingredients are an extension of the planning process. You can shape your plan around readily available produce and meats. In-season food usually tastes the best anyhow, and you don’t have to do much work to bring out their flavour. This saves you time and money!
Read the recipe
This might seem obvious, but far too many people dive headfirst into a cooking project without following the instructions. This can easily derail an entire cooking operation—especially a complex one with multiple steps. If you don’t want to redo stages of the process, or ruin your timing, read ahead and be prepared.
Sometimes a recipe calls for some of the ingredients to sit out for a certain time before you cook them, or you might need to have vegetables chopped ahead of time to quickly add them in on the go. Avoid recipe disasters and costly mistakes by using your head!
Tools of the trade
You would be surprised how many people continue to hack at their food with dull knives and inefficient kitchen appliances. This not only wastes time, it can also be dangerous. As the old woodworker’s adage goes: “a sharp tool is a safe tool because less force is required.”
Get a good set of knives and make sure your kitchen appliances are up to the task. Everyone could use a good chef’s knife with an 8” blade, a serrated knife for slicing bread, and a paring knife for chopping smaller items.
Keep your skins
Who told you that you need to peel everything before you eat it? This isn’t a make-work assignment in the army—you are in the comfort of your own kitchen, and you make the rules. Introducing this rule will save you time, and is also a healthier alternative!
Every fruit and vegetable has loads of nutrients and fibre in their skin. Potatoes are the classic example, but beets and carrots also fit the bill. Keep those skins on and you will be pleasantly surprised by the extra flavour your meals have. Just make sure you wash everything thoroughly before you cook.
Anybody who says that leftovers are a curse clearly isn’t thinking straight. With the right planning, leftovers can become a valuable aspect of your planning process.
You are already doing the work anyhow, so it’s really not a setback to toss a few more greens onto your cutting board. You can package the extra food for lunch the next day. If you have the space in your freezer, you can also save a container of your next delicious creation for a rainy day when you need it most. You will surely pat yourself on the back when you realize that a future dinner is just a microwave away from completion. Check out Danby’s freezer storage tips to further maximize savings.
Clean on the fly
People often avoid cooking because they hate cleaning afterwards. Pots on the stove, trays in the oven, and cutting boards are bound to make a mess. It can seem daunting to face this heap after you finish. So why not tackle it while you are cooking?
You can’t be 100% efficient at all times. You are bound to have some downtime while you wait for a pot to boil or some vegetables to sear. Use these mini breaks to clean up your last mess. If you are proactive, you will find that there is almost no mess at all by the time you finish. Happy days!
Introducing these kitchen-prepping tips into your routine will help you make the most of your meals. Make a plan, embrace variety, and, most importantly, save valuable time. Discover the joy in cooking! Looking for extra cooking help? Check out Danby’s blog on Easy Cooking Methods.