Cooking tips that are tried and true to save you time in the kitchen. These routines will help simplify meals, make your time more efficient and help you cook with confidence.
The best cooks develop patterns that make their cooking more efficient. Cooking should be a fun experience and managing these secrets is what makes a good experience turn great and fun! Once these cooking tips are established time and money are easier saved.
Lot’s of people are wanting to learn how to cook. Some too busy to spend the hours in the kitchen that it takes. Chefs and caterers must cook at a rapid pace to made sure food is tasty and on time. These techniques extend beyond the restaurant business and can be accomplished at home.
May individuals have high blood pressure, diabetes and want to eat healthier but are feeling frustrated at the food choices in grocery stores. Are they really healthy? Healthy is a broad term that is different for each individual. Eating a plant-dense, whole food diet with fresh ingredients in their most natural form is the best route because there are no added preservatives. This means making sauces and condiments at home too.
I promise that may sound time consuming, but it is not and it tastes just as delicious as store bought versions- even better!
1. Prepare Portions and Menu’s Ahead of Time
Get in the habit of planning meals early in the week. Prepare your ingredients such as chopping, peeling, measuring before beginning each recipe.
The best of the best highly paid chefs and professional catering companies often prepare their menus and food ahead of time. They also use fresh ingredients because they taste better. It is true the saying “fresh is best” because when individuals consume more fresh, flavorful ingredients, the brain feels more satisfied and less food is usually consumed.
Someone that works during the week can chop all the vegetables for the week in preparation for quick meals and snacking. It is also good to cook the next weeks meals on the weekends. This is great for muffins, casseroles, quinoa salads, stuffed peppers, quiches and pasta salads. Just make sure to add dressing the night of serving the meal as it can make food soggy if put on sooner. It is also important if freezing foods to follow the recommended freezing and packaging guidelines.
Salad dressings and condiments can also be made ahead of time. A few favorites are simple olive oil and lemon, green goddess dressing, turmeric almond dressing, homemade barbecue sauce and creamy cashew dressing.
Planning and preparing meals and portions ahead of time can be cost effective and helpful in finding coupons, sales and buying in bulk. Using a Meal Planning Calendar to guide this process can help save time and money in the kitchen!
2. Read Recipes All The Way Before Starting
One of the most frustrating situations is getting through a recipe and realizing that the eggs needed to be sitting out or the caramel needed to be used at a later time but all of it was already dumped into the recipe. It is ruined. It is really important to read a recipe all the way through so that nothing is surprise, food does not waste and cooking becomes a breeze. Knowing what needs to happen and when it will happen helps to avoid mistakes as you prepare each step.
3. Slow Down, Don’t Rush
Take your time. Slow down and develop a system for organizing each recipe that works for you. Give yourself lots of time to work to avoid missing necessary steps.
4. Fresh Is Best! Choose Fresh Local Ingredients
Home cooking is becoming increasingly popular. Look at Pinterest blowing up with fantastic mouthwatering recipes! If there is a local farm near you they sometimes allow people to pick their own fresh grown wholesome foods at a lower price. Consider also buying season foods from the Farmer’s market and other local vendors. They will taste a whole lot better than from the grocery store.
Make sure spices are always fresh and replaced each year, as they lose their flavors over time.
5. Take A Cooking Class
Many farms also offer cooking classes. This is a terrific option to gain experience and knowledge of how to prepare your own wholesome foods. Professional chefs, popular catering companies, classy restaurants and Cozymeal chefs know quick tricks to cut food prep time in half. Where did they start? Cooking classes!
Other cooking classes can be found on the TV by searching YouTube, Amazon Prime and Netfix (I like to watch them while working out on the elliptical). Williams Sonoma offers classes on Saturdays and so do some culinary institutes.
Use crock pots to save time in the kitchen. All the food can be prepared hours in advance and cooking all day. This eliminates extra dishes and clean-up!
6. Clean As You Go
My grandmother always taught me it is important to clean up as you cook. It free’s cooking space and decreases stress of feeling overwhelmed after preparing a meal. There is more room to enjoy the fruits of your labor. This is a fantastic way to cut out time in the end. As food cooks, wash dishes and put away clean ones. Rinse out food processors and pans right away to avoid food from sticking and taking more time to remove.
7. Have The Right Cookware and Tools
The right cookware is essential to a successful experience. Dull knifes can slice fingers and nobody wants that! Make sure knifes are sharp. Basic knives to use are Chef’s knife (mincing, chopping, and slicing vegetables, fruits and herbs), paring (short blade for small jobs like trimming, coring, and peeling), serrated (has scalloped teeth to cut through bread and soft foods such as tomatoes and cake) and kitchen shears (cutting chicken, herbs, twine and parchment).
Make sure to have good pots and pans, skillet, baking sheets, cake pans, tart pan, muffins pans, loaf pan, wire rack, cookie sheet, pie plate, bundt pan and round cake pan, to name a few. Cookware can go more extensive into dutch oven, cast-iron skillet and wok but not always necessary if just starting out.
My favorite- a slow cooker or insta pot. Slow cookers (crock pot) can save tons of time and makes wonderful meals. They can be set in the morning and ready to eat when home after work.
8. When Entertaining Decide In Advance
When entertaining for guests or a large party do not attempt to try a new recipe. Make something you are a pro at and enjoy the process. Practice makes perfection and this is a great to perfect even deeper your best dish! Decide what serving dishing and utensils are being used ahead of time and set them out the night before. This will make entertainment a breeze!
One entertaining tip my mom has passed down to me over the years to always set the table for guests the night before. She always had our Easter dinner, Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving table set with party favors and all the night before. This makes the day of entertaining focused on food preparation and not home preparations.
9. Plan Cooking Space
Start cooking in a clean kitchen. Unload the dishwasher and reload it with any dirty items around before starting a recipe. Make sure there is ample room on counter tops to chop, mix and house ingredients as you cook.
10. Trust Your Instincts and Write It Down
When working with different elements it is important to trust your instincts. Smells, baking times and taste vary with eat food and can change based on climate and altitudes. Higher altitudes can call for baking food longer. Different times of the year also change baking consistency. Use visual cues and your instincts to detect if a baked good or meatloaf seems too watery and flat. If so, add more cooking time if needed. Write down cues taking notes on favorite recipes and things that happened the first time a recipe is tried such as times of year, weather, place, and ingredients used.
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Food is a gift and cooking is a pleasure. Planning ahead in the kitchen is one of the best ways to save time and save money. It helps individuals not waste as much food. I hope these tried and true tips that I have found helpful in the kitchen help build your confidence, provide more time and make sharing a home cooked meal a fun experience!