Perhaps you are a master chef. Perhaps you are just beginning your culinary journey. From food professionals and chefs, these tips and tricks can help you spend less time working over the stove and more time enjoying your labor.
We reached out to many food experts for their top time-saving tips. Many of these tips are already well-known, but the whole thing is a guide for reducing time spent in the kitchen.
Many of the tips given by chefs were basic and should be repeated.
1. You should always read the entire recipe before you start to cook. Emilie Bousquet–Walshe is the Chef de Cuisine at Go Burger Bar and Grill.
It is a time-saver to read through all the recipes before starting at work or home. This allows you to take your time and complete certain instructions while other tasks are being completed. One example: A hostess in culinary school asked me to help her make a cake. She began by removing all ingredients. I interrupted her mid-way and reminded her first to read the instructions. First, separate the eggs. The egg whites should be kept at room temperature for 30 minutes. She would have wasted 30 minutes prep if she hadn’t read it.
2. Make sure you have the right tools. Michelle Girasole is the marketing director at Chef Jamie Oliver.
Learn how to chop with a good knife set properly. You should have a sharp, balanced knife set that includes a chef’s (8-inch blade), small paring knives, and a serrated knife to cut cakes and bread. These three knives will make cutting easier, safer and help you save time in the kitchen.
“My uncle is a landscaper and he always said, “If the tools aren’t right, the man isn’t bright!” ‘”
3. Choose in-season ingredients. Many chefs reiterated the advice to purchase in-season meats and produce. This will save you money and mean that you don’t have as much to do with your food to achieve the best flavors. Departure Restaurant + Lounge’s Chef Gregory Gourdet in Portland said:
For maximum flavor, use super seasonal ingredients. You will need to do less work to make them delicious. This will help you save time and calories!
4. Keep it simple, and don’t peel all the produce. Chef Gregory continues:
“Eat the skin!” Vegetables and fruits have densely nutrient- and fiber-rich skin. Don’t worry about peeling if the product is not tender. Make sure to wash it well. You can roast sweet potatoes, carrots and beets with great skin.
5. You will need to remember the “mise en lieu “…” principle for some recipes. This will help you avoid recipe disasters and time-consuming corrections. It doesn’t matter if you have small bowls, single bowls, or muffin tins for your mise-en-place; it is important to prepare all your ingredients before you start.
Shelley Young is the chef and owner of The Chopping Block Chicago.
It’s all about “mise en place”, which is French for “together in place”. Before you begin cooking, make sure that all your ingredients are ready and available. Some recipes, like stir fry and Chicken Picatta, are quick to prepare. Make sure you have all your ingredients ready before you begin cooking. You can save time preparing other dishes, such as soups, which take longer to cook.
6. Prepare your pans. Yummly founder and CEO Dave Feller says:
Start with HOT pans. Instead of heating a pan, adding oil and then waiting for it to heat up, place an empty pan on your stove. As you prepare your ingredients, the pan will heat up and cook faster. )”
David Craine, the Executive Chef at BLT Bar & Grill New York City, agrees.
Put the pans that you will be using in a preheating oven. This will ensure that they are hot when you need them.
7. Cook once and prepare multiple ways. Make more. I have been using this strategy for years because it is easier to cook two meals at once. Beth Bader, the author of The Cleaner Plate Club, offers great tips.
- Cook once and prepare multiple ways. Roast chicken is best for weekend cooking. But leftovers can be used to make quick chili, chicken salad, or chicken for quesadillas, and other quick, easy weeknight meals when you have time, roast two chickens in the oven. For easy weeknight meals or lunches, you can roast one chicken and then carve the other. You can make twice as much stock for soups with two carcasses!
- Double the amount of soups, chilies, or spaghetti sauce you make and freeze half. You will have a week of meals prepared in no time.
- You can get help from your family during the weekend when you prepare large meals for the week. These meals can be prepared on Saturday and Sunday to have plenty of leftovers for Monday through Wednesday. You can make a quick meal of grilled cheese and soup on Thursday from your freezer. On Fridays, you can make your pizza and salad for fun.
Jeff Anderson, the Executive chef at Safeway Culinary Kitchens, says you can add an extra roast to a pork loin, pot or another item. This will allow you to have more for sandwiches and other meals.
This also applies to desserts. Laura Forer, Waltzing Matilda’s Bakery New York, said:
Want fresh cookies but don’t have the time to bake a lot of them? Make a double batch next time you make cookies. As your cookies bake, scoop out the extra dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. The pan should be frozen for 30 minutes. After the cookies have frozen, could you place them in a bag? Freeze until you are ready to use them. You can now make small batches of freshly baked cookies whenever you like!
8. Even the smallest of meals can be saved. Gio Bellino of Flavour Bombs suggests that you save even small amounts of food.
Get into the habit of freezing small amounts of your meals. This means that you can save small amounts of the delicious gravy from your meatloaf, some of the bacon grease from your soup, and some marinade, rub, or herb blend. You can save small amounts of vegetables and stuffing to make a savory sauce or breading. These ingredients will be handy for future cooking. When you start experimenting with different flavors, you can have starters ready to create a new dish or recreate a dish using ingredients you already love.
You will save time and money by having a stash of essences in your freezer. This is basically how you make your own “flavor bombs.” ‘”
Stacey Strout Stabenow is the founder of No More “to go” Weekly Meal Plan. She has similar ideas.
If a recipe requires you to dice only a small amount of vegetables, such as bell peppers or onions, then go ahead and grate the whole thing. The rest can be stored in a sealed bag in the freezer or refrigerator. Huge time saver for future recipes.
Label and freeze any remaining cans, such as creamed corn or chillis adobo.
The same applies to fresh herbs. You can freeze extra herbs in an ice cube tray if you have more than necessary. Fill the trays with herbs, then freeze them. Once frozen, place the herbs in trays and cover with water. You can thaw them by simply rinsing them in hot water and drying them on a towel.
9. Keep your kitchen clean as you go. David Lebovitz’s favorite kitchen tip is also one I love.
Fill the sink with warm soapy water, and then, after you have finished with your dishes, place them in the water. They’ll be much easier to clean later, after a long soak. You can then scrape them or scrub them with a sponge and load them up in the dishwasher. You can also wash them by hand.
10. One-pot meals are becoming more popular. Beth Moncel told The Kitchn that they are easier to prepare, require less cleanup, and can be frozen and reheated very well.
11. You can save time by prepping for the week, even if you don’t have the time to cook a lot. Spending just an hour on the weekend prepping your veggies can help you save time on the busier workweek. Jess Dang is the founder of CookSmarts.
We offer a meal-planning service, and customers tell us that the best way to save time is to dedicate an hour each Saturday or Sunday to prepping their vegetables. The easiest way to save time is to mince all the garlic you need for the week, chop all your onions and use your food processor once to grate carrots, cabbage, and other vegetables. This saves time and makes it more likely you will cook throughout the week. This time can be used to multitask, such as spending time with family members or listening to their favorite podcast.
Here are some more specific tips
Some tips were specific to certain foods but are still useful.
12. The roasting temperature can be increased. Jill Houk is the author of The Essential Dehydrator and The Complete Soda-Making Book.
“Roast at higher temperatures. Temperatures higher than 350 degrees (180C) are not recommended for your oven. Higher temperatures are better for some items like fish, roasted vegetables and baked grains. The higher temperatures also cook them quicker. You can bake shrimp at 450 degrees (230C) in just five minutes. You can cut 15-20 minutes off the vegetables’ cooking time if you roast them at 400 degrees (200C) instead of 350 degrees (180C).
13. Make soup by sauteing vegetables.
For vegetable soups, saute your vegetables before adding the stock or water. This allows the flavors to combine and enhances the flavor. It also reduces the cooking time by 5-10 minutes.
14. At room temperature, grated Parmesan cheese. According to Chef Mirko Paderno of Oliverio, it is easier to grate the cheese because it is soft. This is another time-saving tip he offers:
15. Dried beans can be cooked in mineral water.
16. Beat the egg whites before adding them to the yolks. Waltzing Matilda’s bakery also states:
Separately beat the yolks and whites in a recipe, such as a sponge cake or fluffy egg omelets, do not need to wash the beaters. The yolks should beat first to prevent the whites from not increasing in volume. Give the whites a quick whip once you are ready to use them for re-inflating. Any remaining batter on the beaters will not make any difference at this stage.
17. Roast beets whole. Recipe developer Pamela Braun says:
Roasting the beets whole is a time-saver in the kitchen. With a little olive oil and coarse salt, wrap the beets in foil. Roast them in the oven. The skins will easily fall off once they are done. This will save you a lot of time and keep your hands from becoming stained.
18. Calculate how long it takes for the oil to heat in a pan. Then use a timer going forward strong> Grace Young informs The Kitchn.
Use a timer to heat the wok. My work heats up in just 1 minute on my gas stove. I also saved time by setting my timer so that the wok doesn’t overheat.
She also offers this multitasking tip:
19. To kill sponge germs, you can use leftover hot water.
20. According to America’s Test Kitchen/The Blade, you don’t need brown meat before adding it to the slow cooker. Instead, use “a little soy sauce or tomato paste (secret weapons), to give the same meaty depth and flavour.”