Kitchen Hack 1: Collect Trash in a Bowl
Find a bowl or other container that you can place next to you on the counter. Use this to collect all garbage and debris produced as you cook. This can be a real time saver when chopping up fresh vegetables. Just chop then slide all refuse from the cutting board into the bowl. Repeat until you are done cooking then toss the contents of the bowl in the trash or composting bin.
Kitchen Hack 2: Pre-measure Ingredients
Having your ingredients pre-measured can really save time when you prepare the dish. Have everything prepped so you can toss it in the pot, pan or bowl when it’s time to cook. If you have ingredients that you know you use frequently, prep in bulk and be ready for next time. Or you can save even more time with a meal kit that provides everything you need in pre-measured packages so you can cutout almost all prep time.
Kitchen Hack 3: Dirty Fewer Dishes
Try to keep dirty dishes to a minimum. It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get carried away putting everything in its own bowl as you cook. As long as you’re not mixing raw meat with anything, just let it pile up on the cutting board. And always measure dry ingredients first so you can re-use the same tools! Fewer dirty dishes means less time spent cleaning up after the meal.
Kitchen Hack 4: Improve your Workspace
Ultimately, your efficiency while cooking is only as good as the kitchen you are working in. If you are short on counterspace, you will constantly be getting your wires crossed moving bowls and pans from one place to another. This is particularly difficult when cooking as a tandem or preparing food for a big party.
While some improvements to your kitchen are easy, like using a pulled our drawer to hold an extra cutting board, others are more complicated, like adding extra shelf space to your pantry, or retiling your kitchen to give it it the look and feel that gets you inspired.
Never underestimate the impact that decluttering your kitchen can have on how quickly you are able to make meals.
Kitchen Hack 5: Know the Recipe
It can be tempting to dive into a new recipe headfirst. This can lead to problems if you misread a step, misunderstand an instruction, or totally misjudge the time commitment. The best way to begin a new recipe is with a clear understanding of the process, preferably with images that show you what to do and what everything should look like.
Bonus Hack: Give Leftovers a New Life
The biggest timesaver in the kitchen? Avoiding it entirely! Make your leftovers good as new by becoming a microwave master. For dishes like pizza or rice, try microwaving them next to a cup of water, or lightly draping with a damp paper towel. For pasta dishes, avoid uneven heating by molding the food like a wreath. The hole in the middle will ensure your pasta tastes like it was freshly made.