How to save time while cooking
We all know that cooking your own meals is a healthier alternative to going out to eat. Cooking can also be a fun yet challenging activity that can unlock your creativity in new ways. However, all of these advantages don’t take away the fact that sometimes whipping up a meal takes too long, especially if you have a busy schedule. If you’re looking to cut down on your time in the kitchen, check out these simple tips.
Plan a weekly menu. Before you go shopping for groceries, have an idea as to what you want to make every night so you have the ingredients and recipes on hand when it comes time to cook. By making a list of all the ingredients you need ahead of time, you can save yourself multiple trips to the grocery store, which in turn can make your prep and cook time more efficient. Approaching your meals in an organized way can also help prevent you from grabbing takeout, which is expensive and usually less than healthy.
Stay stocked. Along the lines of the first point, it helps to have a freezer and pantry with ingredients you often use. This means keeping enough of the basics like spices, olive oil, veggies, and proteins within arm’s reach. Keeping your kitchen stocked can help you improvise a last-minute meal on those nights when you’re short on time.
Prepare properly. Read the recipe you plan on using thoroughly before going to the store, then look it over again before starting to cook. Then, gather all the ingredients you need and arrange them in a step-by-step manner. Putting ingredients away when you’re finished with them can also help you save time later.
Learn the basics. Knowing how to properly chop, dice, peel, saute, and perform other common cooking techniques means you’ll struggle less in the kitchen. And when you struggle less, you’ll enjoy it more and get through the prep work faster. Little things, like knowing how to hold a knife properly and which type of oil to use for which style of cooking, can have big ramifications when it comes to the end product. Be sure to pay attention to these details every time you cook and they’ll come naturally to you before long.
Try one-pot meals. This kind of cooking is exactly as it sounds. All the ingredients go in one pot, and typically simmer together for a dish that’s simple and flavorful. One of the best time-saving tools when you make a one-pot meal is a slow cooker. Do your prep work before you go to bed, then before you leave for work the next morning, toss the ingredients into the slow cooker and let it simmer on low heat all day. When you get home, you’ll be greeted with the delicious aroma of a hot meal that’s ready to eat.
Clean as you go. As you finish using the various tools you cook with, clean them. Saving everything for after the meal not only adds on to the time you spend in the kitchen, it can reduce the amount of space you have to cook, which can cause problems and unnecessary messes.
How to Save Time in The Kitchen [Eating Well]
Save Time in The Kitchen [Martha Stewart]