For many of us, the kitchen is where we spend a LOT of time. And generally, there is no getting around it - whether we enjoy it or not!
But what if I tell you there are some ways to make the ‘kitchen tasks` easy and quick? A few tweaks here and there make some of the mundane tasks less effort-consuming. Plus, being smart about time management in the kitchen can allow you to spend more time with the people you love.
Here, let`s look at helpful tips for kitchen management to save you time and make the cooking process fun!
What Is Time Management and How It Can Help You in the Kitchen
The demands of work and commuting in an urban setup can wear a person out at the end of the day. They don`t want to spend hours in the kitchen when their family and self-care require more attention. This is where time management becomes critical.
Between prepping food, cooking it, and then cleaning up afterward, time can easily get away from you. That's why time management is so substantial in the kitchen. By using time management techniques, you can streamline your workflow and save yourself time in the process. Read the handy tips below and learn how to save time in the kitchen.
7 Handy Tips to Save Time in the Kitchen
1. Plan Ahead
Making a meal plan in advance for around 2-weeks can save you from a lot of cooking glitches. You may spend more time deciding what to cook without a proper plan. And once you finally manage to come up with an idea, chances are some key ingredients will be missing from the kitchen. You will have to make an impromptu trip to the grocery shop or again brainstorm what to put on the table.
To avoid the issue, create a meal plan with the whole family. List out simple meals for weekdays or the days you expect to be super busy. Gather all the ingredients you need according to the meal calendar on the weekends or on your day off.
2. Prep Food Right After Grocery Shopping
Most of us are guilty of dropping all the groceries into the refrigerator and pantry after coming back from grocery shopping. However, messy storage spaces can be the biggest hurdle when you are pressed for time.
So instead of putting everything here and there, take a little more time after grocery shopping to semi-prepare your meals. For example, cut the veggies you will need and freeze them in labeled containers for use on their cooking days. Meat products can also be marinated or boiled and kept in the freezer.
Suppose your meal plan calls for the same ingredient in multiple dishes, such as tomato puree or chicken broth. You can avoid starting from scratch by prepping them in advance and saving them in an adequate quantity.
But if your weekends are booked and you lack the time needed to shop for groceries, consider contacting a meal prep delivery service. A reliable service will send you a variety of pre-cooked meals that you only have to reheat before eating.
3. Buy Pre-Cut and Pre-Peeled Foods
Another way to bring convenience to your kitchen is to purchase pre-cut and pre-peeled foods. Contrary to popular belief, pre-prepared products such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and meats are worth their price tag.
Yes, a preservative may be added to retain its freshness but purchasing from a trustworthy source minimizes the risk of contamination. They may be a little expensive when compared to buying fresh groceries. But the time and effort minimized in preparation, organizing, and cleaning up after their purchase can ensure a stress-free meal after a hectic work day.
4. Get You Kitchen Organized
Having an organized kitchen and keeping everything in its correct place will save you tons of time during cooking. Constantly having to hunt for things while preparing meals can be frustrating and time-consuming. So, make sure to keep every kitchen item in its storage and space to remain productive.
Here are some kitchen management tips to try:
- Place children-friendly food items at their level so they can easily help themselves with snacks, breakfast cereals, milk, etc., without asking for an adult`s assistance.
- Keep a dustbin and paper towel roll nearby to clean up as you work.
- Keep your workspace tidy (preferably the space near the stove).
- Store dishes and cutlery as close to the dishwasher as possible. This will make the process of putting away clean dishes quick.
- Try to rinse the dirty dishes and utensils immediately so you don`t have heaps waiting after dinner.
Remember: Less hunting for things will save you more time and give you better meals.
5. Keep Frequently Used Appliances at Hand
We all have kitchen items that we use more than others. Make sure to keep those items close to your workstation. Additionally, ingredients such as salt, black pepper, and a combination of spices are staples in every meal. Instead of putting them in drawers or hard-to-reach areas, keep them in small containers on your countertop.
Similarly, there are kitchen appliances like hand blenders and chopping machines that get more attention. Rather than storing them in deep cabinets, place them on the counter or cabinets near your working area. Having them closer will reduce reaching time and give you more productivity.
6. Consider Advanced Kitchen Tools to Simplify the Process
Further, streamline the cooking process by utilizing advanced and appropriate kitchen tools for your help. When you have the proper set of tools, you will not have to spend so much time doing minute tasks. Your tools will do them for you!
For example, a food processor can help chop, shred, and puree ingredients faster than a knife. Bread machines and stand mixers are also helpful for kneading dough and making batters.
Yes, the tools may be expensive to begin with. But in the long run, they will be worth the investment for convenience.
7. Declutter Your Kitchen Once a Week
A quick clean-up at the end of the day is essential to maintain the kitchen and avoid messiness. But take out some extra time each week to declutter your kitchen of things that have lost their freshness or passed their expiration date.
Straighten up your drawers and cabinets of any unnecessary items. Use the time to organize your kitchen in its natural state for the week ahead. Clean all surfaces thoroughly to keep your kitchen hygienic.
These were our top tips for kitchen management to save you time and increase efficiency. Being clever with meal preparation can minimize the effort you put into the kitchen and give you more free time to spend with people you love.
With an organized and planned strategy, you will have less waste, less cleaning up, and ultimately less stress related to kitchen chores.