7 Time-Saving Cooking Hacks

Jun 18, 2018 | Cooking Tips

One of the biggest complaints I get from people when I talk about cooking is time. No one seems to have enough of it. Now, whether it’s actually a lack of time, poor time management, or just where someone’s priorities lay, I don’t know. What I do know is that cooking and eating well are usually the first things to get cut when time runs short. So, what can be done?

7 Time-Saving Cooking Hacks

I firmly believe that if time is the only thing holding someone back from cooking, there are solutions. So, in an effort to help time restrained people cook more I have compiled a list of 7 time-saving cooking hacks that I have learned and developed over my almost 20 years in the restaurant industry. Let’s take a look.

Number 1. Have a plan.

Having a plan when entering the kitchen will start you off on the right foot. It doesn’t have to be a super detailed plan. Just have some kind of path forward in your mind. Think about what you’re making, how you’re going to make it, and the steps that go into making it. Read any recipes you’re following a few times so that you know exactly what needs to be done. And if you think it would be useful, make an actual prep list to keep your mind focused and organized.

Number 2. Stay Organized.

Staying organized in the kitchen is incredibly important. We have a saying in professional kitchens that a disorganized station leads to a disorganized mind. This causes all kinds of issues from losing things, to tripping over things, to burning things. All of the bad things. Keep things as organized as possible and things will become easier and quicker.

Number 3. Clean as you go.

Nobody likes having a big mess to clean up after they just spent an hour cooking. It sucks. So, clean as you go. Keep your sink full of hot soapy water and when you have a second wash any dishes that are there. Wipe down your counters whenever you get a second. If you make a mess clean it up as soon as you can. Cleaning as you go takes no extra time because you are just optimizing the time you have. You are using inactive time. This also helps keep everything organized and tidy.

Number 4. Make ahead if you can.

Make things ahead of time that can be made ahead of time. For example, if you knew yesterday that you were going to make potato salad with tonight’s dinner, you could have boiled the potatoes and eggs then. This way when you go to make the potato salad you don’t need to wait for that stuff to cook or cool down. There are lots of things that can be done a day in advance. It’s really about saving as much time as you can when you are actually cooking.

Number 5. Preparation.

Being prepared is pretty much the key to all this. It is the most important of the 7 time-saving cooking hacks. This includes making sure you have all of the ingredients you need. Maybe even having them premeasured. Making sure your kitchen is clean and organized when you start cooking. This definitely includes making a plan or prep list. And of course, having anything done ahead of time that can be done.

Number 6. Stay calm. 

It is super important that you don’t freak out while cooking. I know you’re not likely too. You’re not really under a tonne of stress in your home kitchen. But, if you do feel a sense of panic it can mess everything up. If you do start to feel overwhelmed step back, take a deep breath and figure out what’s going on. It could be as simple as clutter is starting to build up and you didn’t really notice. So, take a minute and tidy up, get your mind straight and move forward.

Number 7. Enjoy it.

Try and enjoy it. This is really important and I’ve talked about it a bunch. Try to stop thinking of cooking as a chore that needs to be done. If you follow all of the other time-saving cooking hacks you’ll notice that cooking not only takes less time but it’s actually more enjoyable. I find that it’s a great way to unwind after a long day as long as everything is organized, tidy, and you know what you’re doing.

For me cooking is a form of meditation. I get in the kitchen, I focus on what I’m doing and let everything else slip out of my mind.

To be fair, this last hack doesn’t really save you time. However, it definitely changes your perception of time making it seem like cooking is going a lot quicker than it actually is.

So there you go 7 time-saving cooking hacks that will help you not only spend less time in the kitchen, but also help you enjoy that time more. I hope that you enjoyed this post and if you did please share it and tell your friends. And most importantly, get cooking.

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