Do you love to cook but hate how long it takes you? Well, we’re here to help with that! Food should be enjoyed, not tolerated, and cooking should be a joy, not a pain. So, if you’re struggling a bit, let me help you. Here are 15 tips to help you cook faster (so you can spend more time eating).
1. Use a sharp knife
That’s right– a sharp knife will enable you to cut through foods more quickly and safely. Also, hold your knife like this, not with the thumb on the top of the blade.
2. Cut on a flat surface
If your food is rounded (like an onion, apple etc) slice off some of the side or cut it in half to create a flat surface for chopping. It will be much easier and faster for you to chop when everything is stable. Also, bend your fingers back, like in the photo below, in order to keep them safe.
3. Keep things handy
Keep things you need on a regular basis, like olive oil, salt, and pepper handy on the counter. You might as well do this since you use these items so frequently.
4. Keep needed items at the front of your pantry
When you store foods, keep things like sugar, vinegars, oils, sauces and your favorite seasonings near the front. This will make things go much faster when you need them to cook with.
5. Move unnecessary items to the back of the drawer
As far as cooking items, you don’t usually need a rolling-pin, cherry pitter, melon-baller, or cookie cutters, so push them to the back of your drawer. Bring items like spatulas, spoons, whisks, and measuring cups to the front.
6. Get a spice drawer you can actually use
It can be such a pain to dig through your drawers in the search of spices for cooking, so having them all organized and labeled can be a huge time saver.
7. Hang your pots and pans
You really don’t have to have that many and hanging them will give you faster access. Plus it’s aesthetically pleasing too.
8. Start with a clean slate
Nobody wants to cook in a messy kitchen. Start with clean countertops and clutter-free space so you can create in your best work space.
9. Read the whole recipe first
Sometimes unexpected things happen in recipes, like meat that was supposed to have been marinating or sauce you should have made in advance. Reading the whole recipe lets you know about surprises and sets you up for them.
10. Do your prep work
Having all the ingredients together, measured and ready to go makes cooking go so much faster and smoother.
11. Be a multi-task champion
Whisk the sauce while reading the recipe, season the meat while simultaneously pounding potatoes. It sounds hard but with some practice, you can make it work.
12. Make big batches
When making something like pasta sauce, make a lot of it. That way, you can save and freeze foods to eat later. This saves you time, energy, money and resources.
13. Make the same recipes over and over again
No really. Make the same recipes (make sure they’re ones you like) over and over and over. This helps you practice, improve and get creative. Once you’ve mastered the recipe and can do it easily, start mixing it up to really make it your own.
14. Get the heat right
Too low and nothing will cook correctly, too high and you’ll burn things constantly. So, learn how your stove and oven work with heat and cook carefully.
15. Clean as you go
While waiting for water to boil, wash some dishes. Clean up those spoons while sauce is simmering. If you clean as you go, you’ll realize your kitchen is clean before you’re even done.