Explore the Top 9 Time-Saving Cooking Tips
Every professional cook knows that the meal prep time is just as important as the taste of the food. When preparing food on a commercial scale, you need to implement effective time saving cooking tips to ensure you meet deadlines and attend to clients' needs in record time. However, cooking speed isn't a concern for professionals alone. Everyone who cooks at home should know how to speed things up when they want to make a quick meal. In this piece, you will find some of the best cooking tips for saving time as a chef.
9 Essential Time Saving Cooking Tips
Below are the nine best time saving cooking tips you should practice.
Prepare Staple Items Once a Week
Meal prepping is the best way to save time when it comes to cooking. However, not everyone likes to cook a week’s worth of food at once because it gives them limited options. Alternatively, you can prepare staple foods needed for various savory recipes. These are dishes that make up the bulk of your diet. Some examples are white rice, soups, pasta, meat, and grains. Cook them and put them in the freezer, then bring them out whenever you need to prepare a quick meal. You can make a different side dish anytime you want to eat. Preparing these side dishes and condiments only takes a few minutes.
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Cook Once, Eat Twice
If you cook whenever you want to eat, you will waste time and resources in the kitchen. Instead of making single servings, make two or more servings. This is especially important for dishes that take a long time to prepare. Spending hours in the kitchen just for a single serving of food is not productive. Keep whatever is left in an airtight container and store it in your freezer. You can defrost it and heat it in the microwave the next day or whenever you like. Making multiple servings of food also helps you save money. You can buy fresh veggies, fresh herbs, and other essential items at discounted prices in bulk.
Pre-cut Fruits and Vegetables
Slicing, dicing, and cutting can be time consuming and annoying when you are in a hurry. You can make things easier by cutting enough fresh fruits and vegetables with a cutting board and putting them in your refrigerator. Please ensure they are in clean, airtight containers so they are not exposed to moisture. You can wipe the containers with a damp paper towel first. When you are ready to make a meal that needs vegetables, use your pre-cut vegetables to save time. You can also snack on sliced and diced fruits more frequently this way. If you don't have time to slice fruits in bulk, consider buying pre-cut options from the grocery store or farmers market.
We've already emphasized the importance of using freezers and refrigerators when saving time in a clean and organized kitchen. However, freezing deserves a paragraph of its own. It is one of the most effective ways to save time in the kitchen. Instead of cooking daily, dedicate time off to cooking. Prepare different types of food, not just staples, and load up your freezer. Put the meals into single or double-serving containers so you don't have to heat the whole thing when you feel like eating a specific dish. Whenever you are hungry, put your desired meal in the microwave or crock pot and eat it after it heats up. Some people make enough food for seven days, while others stretch it up to a month.
Keep Your Pantry Stocked
You can't save time in the kitchen if you don't invest in a homemade stock. Filling your pantry with all the dry ingredients you need for your daily meals is one of the most efficient time saving techniques in the kitchen. This way, you don't have to run to the grocery store or market whenever you want to cook. Once every month, buy things non-perishable items like rice, whipped cream, pasta, canned foods, milk, and cereals. Don't wait until your pantry is empty to restock. Keep an inventory and buy replacements before you run out of each food item.
Improve Your Cooking Skills
Sometimes, saving time in the kitchen isn't just buying pre-cut food or using a freezer. It might be a matter of skill. If you don't cook frequently or haven't been cooking for a long time, you must Improve your skills. Take courses that cover expert recipes and more efficient cooking techniques. You don't need to be physically present to learn new skills, as online classes are available during your free time. Explore different methods and improve your skills by practicing regularly. Cooking will eventually become second nature for you.
Even if you prefer eating a meal once, there will be times when you have leftovers for one reason or another. Instead of discarding it, tweak it a little for extra flavor and make it a dish for another day. Leftovers make great foundations for new meals and prevent you from starting from scratch every time. It saves time, reduces wastage, and allows you to explore several creative ideas. For example, you can slice the leftover steak from Friday’s barbecue and add it to a bowl of vegetable salad for Saturday's lunch.
Keep a List
A food list or timetable is another excellent way to save time, especially if you have just started cooking. Consider this list of your favorite recipes as a blueprint, and use it whenever you want to cook complicated recipes. Instead of thinking of the next steps, you have to follow the list. Apart from following recipes, you should keep a list of all the food items in your house if you love cooking. This inventory will make it easier to identify every item when cooking and replace others when necessary.
Keep a Clean and Organized Kitchen
If you leave your kitchen cluttered and messy, you will have difficulty finding necessary things when cooking. So, declutter your kitchen and make sure it is always clean and organized. If you store dry spices for savory recipes in jars, labeling is also a great way to find things quickly and save time in the kitchen. Place them on the kitchen table, but make sure they are separate from utensils, crock pot, cutting board, frying pans, food processors, and other cooking tools.
Many people run away from the cooking process because they have a long meal prep time. However, this isn't always the case. As you can see in this article, you can speed up your cooking. They will also help you stick to your food budget. It might take time, but you will eventually master it and improve your efficiency in preparing a quick meal in the kitchen.