You may be a bit of a gourmet chef in the kitchen, but along with your Michelin star meal comes a kitchen that looks like a tornado has swept through it. Short of hiring professional help to tidy up after you, here are a few tips that can help you prepare your culinary delights without leaving a whirlwind in your wake:
1. Clean As You Go
Cleaning as you go doesn’t take much time and saves you from cleaning up a larger mess at the end. Wipe down work surfaces as you prepare your meals, rather than allowing splashes and spills to build up. Put ingredients back in the fridge or pantry once you’ve used them and have a container on hand for food waste. While your food is cooking, it’s a good time to wash the dirty dishes and put away any remaining utensils you used to prepare your meal.
2. Prep Ahead
Having the right utensils, equipment and ingredients set out beforehand is a great way to stay organized in the kitchen without having to rummage through the cupboards or the fridge. The professionals even have a term for this: Mise en place is a French culinary term for having all your ingredients measured out, cut, peeled, sliced, and grated before you start cooking. Pans and mixing bowls are prepared, with all tools and equipment laid out at the beginning. Chefs use this technique to assemble meals quickly and effortlessly.
3. Soak After Use
Filling the sink with hot, soapy water is perfect for soaking utensils and pots and pans after you’ve used them. By doing this straight away rather than waiting, you save yourself the time and hard work of scrubbing off dried food residue and tough grease from your plates and pans.
4. Use Fewer Dishes
Before you reach for another dish to dirty, look at what you can simply reuse after a quick rinse. Instead of grabbing a new utensil or dish, consider rinsing one you’ve already used. Rather than using a different spoon each time to check the taste of the sauce, rinse and leave one on the counter to use again for next time, or take the same knife you used to cut the onions to cut up the rest of the vegetables.
5. Serving Suggestion
Consider plating as much food as you can on one dish rather than using separate dishes. Can the potatoes fit on the main plate as a side without the need for a bowl? Can one large plate be used for the salad instead of side dishes for each person? Thinking economically when it comes to serving food can save space both on the dinner table and in the sink when it comes to cleaning up.
These five tips will help you prepare your meals without making a mess. Now that the kitchen is looking safe to re-enter, all left to do is relax and enjoy your meal.