Cook Like a Chef at Home

There’s no need to feel lost in the kitchen. Cooking like a chef is all about being efficient. A few minutes of thought and planning before you cook will save you time and aggravation down the line. Think of it this way – if you can shave ten minutes off of your time in the kitchen for each weekday meal, you’ll have almost an hour of extra time to dedicate to the rest of your life. Use these easy tips to make cooking a breeze:


tomato pepper and onion cut

Mise en place
The words “mise en place” are sacred to every chef for a reason. A French term meaning “put in place,” it refers to your kitchen “set up”: how you put yourself in position to cook a meal. It means laying out the (prepared) ingredients you’ll need in a thoughtful arrangement, so that once you start cooking your full attention can be devoted to the meal. Think along the lines of how your favorite TV chef always has everything neatly laid out on the table for easy access. This way you’ll never be caught rummaging through a drawer for some obscure spice while your dinner burns on the stove.

If you make a habit of keeping your trusty items and ingredients – salt, pepper, oil, spatula – in the exact same place, soon you’ll be reaching for them like it’s second nature. Knowing everything is in place allows you to move with confidence and fluidity in the kitchen, and the results will show in your finished meals.
Prep for the week ahead of time
Don’t waste time chopping onions, mushrooms, and such every single night. Dedicate 30 minutes to prep work on Sunday and save yourself time and stress during the week. Store prepared ingredients in airtight containers in your refrigerator so they’re ready to use when you need them. This will also help in quickly setting up your mise en place each night so you can get down to cooking.


Clean as you go
There’s nothing worse than a dirty sink full of pots, pans, and dishes at the end of the night. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whenever you have a few free seconds waiting for something to cook, use it to clean your cutting board or apan you’re finished with. It only takes a few seconds here and there, but it will save you a ton of time before you’re done.


Use that thermometer
Ever hack your chicken breast to pieces trying to figure out if it’s cooked? Don’t forget that you probably have acooking thermometer lying unused in your drawer (or can pick one up at the store for a few dollars). Cook your meat perfectly tender and juicy every time by monitoring its internal temperature. Keep a cheat sheet with the optimal internal temperatures for common items like chicken, pork, and fish on an index card in your kitchen drawer so that you’re never left guessing whether your dinner is actually cooked.


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