Many clients have told me in the past that they could use tips on how to be more efficient in the kitchen. How can we be faster, quicker and just make the kitchen be less daunting. Through my work physically going in and setting up someone’s kitchen and pantry, here is a quick list of efficiency tips! Let me know how they work for you and if you have any other tips to share!
Prepping your kitchen:
1. Organize according to use.
When you are designing or putting your kitchen together it’s always important to design areas for peak functionality, i.e. plates and cups are stored near dishwasher for easy putting away, pots and pans near stove etc.
2. Only tools you use on a daily basis belong on counter top
Now this can be a problem if you have a small kitchen, but do your best not make your kitchen counter a storage area. Why? Because, it makes it easier to clean up after you cook as well it makes a kitchen more inviting.
3. Clean your pantry
There is nothing worse that spending3 precious minutes searching for the can of chickpeas in the back of your pantry, so keep it clean and organized, it will save you time (this is one of my favorite services for my clients).
4. Make a frequency used drawer
In this drawer put measuring cups, spoons and frequently used utensils so they are at the ready when you are cooking. I love to take out all my measuring things before I cook because it makes it even faster!
5. Keep a list on a grocery app or on your fridge
This is were you can put your list of pantry staples you have used throughout your week so if you run out you have already added it to the weekly shop and wont forget.
How to prepare for busy times:
1. Meal plan
You know why I think this is the biggest efficiency for a kitchen it saves, time, money, stress and so much more.
2. Make big batches
If you are making a soup, pasta sauce, lasagna, stew for example make double so you can freeze it for a busy evening’s dinner that just needs to be reheated.
3. Prep on Sundays
Take an hour out of your weekend to prep salad dressing or chop vegetables. Carrots, celery, peppers, onions (they can smell), broccoli or cauliflower can last anywhere from 2-3 days pre-chopped in the fridge.
4. Outsource or buy precut things
There are some nights or weeks that if you are in a rush its better to buy precut vegetables or get a meal in a box delivered rather than ordering in a pizza.
1. Pick out simple recipes.
If you know you are swamped with kids programs and/or work, it doesn’t make sense to try a new recipe. It makes more sense to go with an easy standard recipe that you do well so you feel more confident and less rushed in the kitchen.
2. Read a recipe before you start.
I know most of us read the name, ingredients to make sure we like a recipe but read it in full so you can see how all the steps ahead of you fit together.
3. Take all the ingredients out of the fridge and pantry.
This may seem silly but if you are cooking onions in a pan and then look and see the next ingredient is garlic but have to find it, the garlic crusher etc you likely will forget to stir the onions, burn them or get frustrated cooking.
4. Clean as you go.
I think this is the best thing I taught my husband in the kitchen. There is nothing worse than eating a delicious meal and seeing a disaster in the kitchen. Every time a recipe says let something simmer or bring to a boil, you have time to prep or chop but also clean pots, pans, and dishes in the sink.