Episode 127 How To Be More Efficient In The Kitchen
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Most of us want to spend the least amount of time possible in the kitchen. There are a few tips and hacks that can help you be more efficient in the kitchen.
It is best to implement these ideas in small bits. Try to change one or two things at a time.
Plan Your Meals
It is important to plan your meals. When you enter the kitchen without knowing what you are going to make, you will be slower and less efficient. I like to plan weekly using the free Feed Your Family Tonight Weekly Meal Planning Sheet. You can also get the Feed Your Family Tonight Meal Planning Notebook to have a year’s worth of meal planning sheets all in one place.
Read the Recipe
When you read the recipe think about how you will execute the different parts of the recipe. Are there steps you can combine to be more efficient? Are there breaks in the hands-on work for you to do a little bit of cleanup?
Do the steps in the best order.
Cut the veggies before you cut meat to avoid washing the knife and cutting board more than once.
Start things that take more time first like cooking rice or boiling water.
Consider Task Stacking
This is a concept I learned from Lisa Woodruff. You cannot multi-task, but you can let machines work while you do other tasks.
Run the dishwasher
Start the rice in an instant pot or rice cooker.
Roast Veggies in the oven while cooking other parts of the meal on the stove.
What Can You Do Today to Be Successful Tomorrow?
Clean and chop extra veggies for tomorrow’s dinner.
Blanch veggies for another day after you blanch veggies for tonight’s dinner.
Salt or marinade meat for the next day.
Do a little lunch prep while your cutting board is out.
Use the Right Tools for Maximum Efficiency
Get good knives and have them sharpened regularly. Sharp knives will make you much more efficient in the kitchen.
If you have a tool out for a recipe, consider using it for more prep. For example, if you are using the food processor to shred carrots, use it to cut more carrots for your salad or slice other veggies. If you have the blender out for a recipe, use it to make a salad dressing or marinade for the next day.
Get a Garlic Press and Citrus Squeezer. These two tools save me tons of time every week.
Keep Essential Equipment and Ingredients Organized and Close to the Prep Area
If you can’t find your favorite spatula with your eyes closed, you need to find a better place. You should have your most-used tools and ingredients at your fingertips.
Organize your spices in “sweet” and “savory.” Keep ingredients for baking like cinnamon, baking powder, and vanilla in one bin and ingredients for cooking like garlic powder and oregano in another bin.
Start with A Clean Kitchen
It isn’t always possible to have a totally clean kitchen, but it is much easier to cook when you have an empty sink and clean countertops when you start to cook.
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Marie Fiebach is a married mother of four active kids. She helps busy families plan and execute weeknight dinner so they can recapture a little calm in the crazy. You can see her every week on KAKE TV’s Good Morning Kakeland or listen to the Feed Your Family Tonight Podcast.
For a transcript click here.