While you may fancy yourself a top-notch home cook, if you’re like most people you probably don’t have much time on weekday nights. But does that mean you’re sentenced to weeknights filled with expensive carryout or frozen dinners in plastic trays? Not if you know how to save time in the kitchen it doesn’t.
Take a look at the following five ways to save time cooking, so you can eat well without feeling tethered to the stove.
Prep Your Ingredients in Advance
One excellent way to save time in the kitchen is to have all your ingredients ready to go when you fire up those burners. Each Sunday, spend an hour or so preparing your week’s meals and stowing them in plasticware. You’ll want to go simple here, so save the fancy recipes for the weekend. Think meals that can be warmed up, like pre-cooked chicken breasts with quinoa and broccoli or slices of peppers, onions and mushrooms for quick and easy veggie fajitas.
Learn to Batch Cook
Batch cooking is another great way to save time in the kitchen. The process is similar to the meal prepping outlined above. However, batch cooking is more like making meals in bulk instead of pre-cooking or prepping several different dinners. For example, you could make a lasagna, a large pot of soup or a batch of the family’s favorite chili. Half could be eaten over the next few days, while the other half could be placed in the freezer for nights when you don’t want to do anything more than heat food up.
Look for One-Pot Meals
Because so many people are trying to figure out how to save time in the kitchen, there are endless one-pot recipes available online. To widen your search net, try looking for “dump dinners,” “slow cooker dinners,” or “instant pot meals.” Once you’ve found a few you like, stick with them and rotate them out. Relying on familiar recipes can help save time cooking, as you’re already knowledgeable as to preparation steps and ingredient measurements.
When your kitchen is tidy and you know where to find everything, you cut down on the time it takes to hunt down spices or look for the right sized measuring spoon. You also reduce the chances of cooking mishaps. Take some time to coordinate your workspace, from having the necessary utensils and ingredients laid out to organizing your kitchen and getting your pantry in order.
Clean as You Go
One of the best time-saving kitchen tips you’ll ever receive is to clean as you go. This serves multiple purposes. When you wash items and reuse them during the cooking process, you cut down on the total amount of pots, pans and utensils that are waiting for you once the meal is ready. In turn, this keeps your work area less cluttered, meaning you lessen the chance of spilling a pot of sauce or knocking a bowl of flour to the floor. As you can see, it makes overall kitchen cleaning a lot easier after you’re done cooking.
With a little bit of prep work, some strategy and a touch of organization, you can kiss those microwaved meals goodbye. But when life has you so busy you can barely remember to eat, call your local Eco Clean. Whether you need help cleaning the kitchen or the entire house, we’re here to lend a hand.